Naples, Italy

The University of Naples Federico II is a university located in Naples, Italy. It was founded in 1224 and is organized into 13 faculties. It is the world's oldest state university and one of the oldest academic institutions in continuous operation. The university is named after its founder Frederick II. Wikipedia.

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Gentile S.,Mental Health Center | Gentile S.,University of Naples Federico II
Pharmacotherapy | Year: 2013

As second-generation antipsychotic long-acting injections (SGA-LAIs) are rapidly replacing depot first-generation antipsychotics as first-line agents in treating schizophrenia spectrum disorders, a systematic assessment of their adverse effects is timely. English-language, peer-reviewed articles reporting original data on the safety and tolerability of SGA-LAIs were identified electronically by searching the MEDLINE, EMBASE, PsycINFO, and DARE databases and the Cochrane Library (January 2001-April 2013). In addition to second-generation (atypical) antipsychotics and long-acting injection (depot) antipsychotics, a separate search was performed for each available drug: aripiprazole LAI, olanzapine pamoate, paliperidone palmitate, and risperidone LAI. Articles were excluded if they were review articles, post hoc analyses, analyses of subsets of patients enrolled in previous trials, single case reports, case series studies, small naturalistic studies (involving less than 50 patients), studies providing no safety data, and studies lasting less than 8 weeks. Of 181 articles identified from the search, 140 were excluded; thus, 41 articles met the inclusion criteria. Predictably, the reviewed information revealed that SGA-LAIs have safety profiles consistent with their oral parent formulations. However, they seem to also show unforeseen and worrisome safety signals. Indeed, the routine use of olanzapine-LAI in clinical practice could be limited not only by the well-known risk of postinjection syndrome, whose clinical management remains a matter of concern, but also by the risk of worsening of psychosis. The reviewed information seems to suggest that worsening of psychotic symptoms and depression could also be associated with both risperidone-LAI and paliperidone palmitate. The leading cause of death among patients enrolled in risperidone-LAI studies was suicide. Given the exponential growth in the clinical use of SGA-LAIs, further studies must be urgently performed in order to confirm or exclude the potential safety signals associated with such drugs. © 2013 Pharmacotherapy Publications, Inc.

Vigorito C.,University of Naples Federico II | Giallauria F.,University of Naples Federico II | Giallauria F.,University of New England of Australia
Frontiers in Physiology | Year: 2014

Progressive aging induces several structural and functional alterations in the cardiovascular system, among whom particularly important are a reduced number of myocardial cells and increased interstitial collagen fibers, which result in impaired left ventricular diastolic function. Even in the absence of cardiovascular disease, aging is strongly associated to a age-related reduced maximal aerobic capacity. This is due to a variety of physiological changes both at central and at peripheral level. Physical activity (PA) appears in general to have a positive effect on several health outcomes in the elderly. This review aims to illustrate the beneficial effects of exercise on the physiologic decline of cardiovascular performance occurring with age. Furthermore, it will be stressed also the positive effect of physical activity in elderly patients affected by cardiovascular diseases, such as heart failure and hypertension, and multiple comorbidities which may significantly worse prognosis in this high risk population. © 2014 Vigorito and Giallauria.

Verde F.,University of Naples Federico II | Darsena D.,Parthenope University of Naples | Scaglione A.,University of California at Davis
IEEE Transactions on Signal Processing | Year: 2010

This paper proposes a low-complexity physical (PHY) layer design to introduce cooperation in the downlink of an infrastructure- based multicell multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO) orthogonal frequency-division multiplexing (OFDM) network, aimed at supporting future high-throughput broadband wireless Internet access with large-scale coverage. In such a system, several multiantenna base stations (BSs) are organized in a cellular architecture to serve multiantenna mobile stations (MSs) and are connected to a central service unit via a high-speed wired backbone. To improve the network performance, a novel PHY layer design is proposed that allows cooperation among an arbitrary and unknown number of BSs by suitably randomizing the MIMO-OFDM block codes used by the BSs. Such a randomized MIMO-OFDM code renders the encoding/decoding rule independent of the number of actual BSs cooperating and works without any channel feedback, which greatly simplifies the protocol as well as the MS design. To provide performance insights and develop PHY layer designs, this paper provides analytical upper bounds on the symbol error probability for linear receivers, which allow to accurately evaluate the diversity order and the coding gain achievable through the proposed scheme. Lastly, we present numerical results that validate the theory, and highlight the performance gain and the coverage expansion attainable with our cooperative transceiver. © 2009 IEEE.

Tarantino G.,University of Naples Federico II
Journal of Gastrointestinal and Liver Diseases | Year: 2012

In this article, we review the current concepts about the pathogenesis of hepatic steatosis and non-alcoholic steatohepatitis and evaluate the existing diets in the context of this knowledge and the available literature. The intent is to enable clinicians to evaluate the diets of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) patients and make rational decisions based on this perspective - in the absence of controlled trials - to help their patients. Finally, a tailored approach for the dietary treatment of NAFLD is offered as a way to optimize the dietary management of this condition.

Tarantino G.,University of Naples Federico II
Journal of Gastrointestinal and Liver Diseases | Year: 2012

As excess body weight constitutes a major health problem, it is now important for hepatologists to weigh risk factors that lead to insulin resistance and hepatic steatosis. This mini-review focuses on the type of bodily fat distribution that determines the ectopic fat storage into the liver in overweight or obese people. Although obesity is closely associated with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, the excess of visceral fat storage is reckoned to be just as or even more important.

Guida R.,University of Surrey | Iodice A.,University of Naples Federico II | Riccio D.,University of Naples Federico II
IEEE Transactions on Geoscience and Remote Sensing | Year: 2010

Detection of man-made structures in urban areas, in terms of both geometric and electromagnetic features, from a single, possibly high resolution (HR), synthetic aperture radar (SAR) image is a highly interesting open challenge. Within this framework, a possible approach for the extraction of some relevant parameters, describing the shape and materials of a generic building, is proposed here. The approach is based on sound electromagnetic models for the radar returns of each element of the urban scene. A fully analytical representation of electromagnetic returns from the scene constituents to an active microwave sensor is employed. Some possible applications of feature extractions from real SAR images, based on the aforementioned approach, have already been presented in the literature as first examples of potentiality of a model-based approach, but here, the overall theory is analyzed and discussed in depth, to move to general considerations about its soundness and applicability, and the efficiency of further applications may be derived. For the sake of conciseness, although the proposed approach is general and can be applied for the retrieval of different scene parameters (in principle, anyone contributing to the radar return), we focus here on the extraction of the building height, and we assume that the other parameters are either a priori known (e.g., electromagnetic properties of the materials) or have been previously retrieved from the same SAR image (e.g., building length and width). An analysis of the sensitiveness of the height retrieval to both model inaccuracies and errors on the knowledge of the other parameters is performed. Some simulation examples accompany and validate the solution scheme that we propose. © 2006 IEEE.

Tarantino G.,University of Naples Federico II | Tarantino G.,Instituto Nazionale per Lo Studio e la Cura Dei Tumori Fondazione Giovanni Pascale
Future Microbiology | Year: 2015

Background: The gut microbiota is modulated by metabolic derangements, such as nutrition overload and obesity. Aim: The aim of this systematic review is to summarize the role of these gut modifiers in nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and obesity. Methods: A systematic search of MEDLINE (from 1946), PubMed (from 1946) and EMBASE (from 1949) databases through May 2014 was carried out to identify relevant articles. The search terms were 'probiotic' AND 'NAFLD', 'prebiotic' AND 'NAFLD', 'antibiotic' AND 'NAFLD', 'probiotics' AND 'obesity', 'prebiotic' AND 'obesity' or 'antibiotic' AND 'obesity'; these terms were searched as text word in 'clinical trials' and as exploded medical subject headings where possible. Results: The evidence in the literature is scant, due to the scarcity of appropriately powered, randomized, controlled clinical trials, involving various centers and population of different origin. Conclusion: Although probiotics and prebiotics have been proposed in the treatment and prevention of patients with obesity-related NAFLD, their therapeutic use is not supported by high-quality clinical studies. © 2015 Future Medicine Ltd.

Karimi E.,University of Naples Federico II | Marrucci L.,University of Naples Federico II | Marrucci L.,CNR Institute of Neuroscience | Grillo V.,CNR Institute of Neuroscience | And 2 more authors.
Physical Review Letters | Year: 2012

We propose the design of a space-variant Wien filter for electron beams that induces a spin half-turn and converts the corresponding spin angular momentum variation into orbital angular momentum of the beam itself by exploiting a geometrical phase arising in the spin manipulation. When applied to a spatially coherent input spin-polarized electron beam, such a device can generate an electron vortex beam, carrying orbital angular momentum. When applied to an unpolarized input beam, the proposed device, in combination with a suitable diffraction element, can act as a very effective spin-polarization filter. The same approach can also be applied to neutron or atom beams. © 2012 American Physical Society.

Passariello A.,University of Naples Federico II | Agricole P.,Biocodex | Malfertheiner P.,Otto Von Guericke University of Magdeburg
Current Medical Research and Opinion | Year: 2014

Probiotics may be registered as food supplements or drugs. This article summarizes differences in European regulations of probiotics registered as food supplements and drugs, as well as issues related to the quality of probiotic products. For registration as a drug, the European Medicines Agency demands extensive and detailed quality, efficacy and safety evidence; whereas compulsory analyses requested for food supplements consist only in a nutritional analysis. As a result, the quality of those probiotics registered as drugs, compared to food supplements, is in general controlled with higher standards. Despite these differences and whatever the status of the probiotic product, its efficacy and safety has to be documented in well conducted randomized controlled trials (RCTs). Furthermore, this paper reviews recent evidence on the use of probiotics for gastrointestinal diseases, evaluating all the existing information up to January 2014. In all eligible published studies in which use of probiotics for gastrointestinal diseases were investigated and reported, no language limitations were applied. Special focus is placed on RCTs (or their meta-Analyses) showing positive results, so that the findings may be applicable to everyday clinical practice. Currently, the best documented clinical areas appear to be probiotics efficacy for the treatment of acute gastroenteritis in children and for the prevention of antibiotic-Associated diarrhea both in children and in adults. In other gastrointestinal conditions, some promising observations are emerging, but no definitive conclusions can be reached at present. © 2014 2014 Informa UK Ltd.

Gentile S.,Mental Health Center | Gentile S.,University of Naples Federico II
Expert Opinion on Drug Safety | Year: 2014

Introduction: Assessment of the metabolic safety of second-generation antipsychotics (SGAs) is mandatory in pregnant women, where the occurrence of metabolic complications and, especially, gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) may severely impact on pregnancy and fetal outcomes.Areas covered: The aim of this article is to review published data reporting the occurrence of GDM during SGA treatment, and to establish whether or not this iatrogenic complication is a relevant concern in clinical practice. Medical literature information published in any language since 1996 was identified using MEDLINE/PubMed, EMBASE, Scopus, and The Cochrane Library. All articles reporting metabolic complications in pregnancies exposed to single, specific SGAs were acquired, without methodological or language limitations.Expert opinion: Among studies assessing the metabolic safety of specific SGAs, we have 18 cases of GDM overall: 5 cases involve clozapine (CLO), 9 olanzapine (OLA)-The SGA agent that shows the highest number of reported cases of pregnancy exposure-And 2 each for quetiapine and risperidone. Four of these cases, 2 involving CLO and 2 OLA, were complicated by serious fetal and/or neonatal consequences. Such reports of SGA-Associated GDM, together with preliminary data coming from retrospective and prospective studies, may represent signals of a potential safety issue. © 2014 Informa UK, Ltd.

Tarantino G.,University of Naples Federico II
World Journal of Gastroenterology | Year: 2013

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is currently not a component of the diagnostic criteria for metabolic syndrome (MetS); however, the development of NAFLD has some common mechanisms with the development of MetS, as they share the pathophysiologic basis of insulin resistance. It is also recognized that NAFLD is the hepatic manifestation of MetS. To define MetS, the presence of at least three of the proposed criteria is required, and sometimes it is sufficient to have only one laboratory value, modified by diet or drugs, for the classification of MetS. Ultrasonographically-detected NAFLD (US-NAFLD) is more stable, only changing during the middle-to long-term. Although controversies over MetS continue, and considering that abdominal ultrasonography for diagnosing NAFLD has high specificity and guidelines to modify the natural course of NAFLD by diet composition or lifestyle have not yet been established, why should we not introduce US-NAFLD as a new criterion to define MetS? © 2013 Baishideng. All rights reserved.

Tarantino G.,University of Naples Federico II
World Journal of Gastroenterology | Year: 2012

The purpose of this review was to highlight, in relation to the currently accepted pathophysiology of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), the known exercise habits of patients with NAFLD and to detail the benefits of lifestyle modification with exercise (and/or physical activity) on parameters of metabolic syndrome. More rigorous, controlled studies of longer duration and defined histopathological end-points comparing exercise alone and other treatment are needed before better, evidence-based physical activity modification guidelines can be established, since several questions remain unanswered. © 2012 Baishideng. All rights reserved.

Smart N.A.,University of New England of Australia | Dieberg G.,University of New England of Australia | Giallauria F.,University of Naples Federico II
International Journal of Cardiology | Year: 2013

Introduction: We conducted a meta-analysis of randomized, controlled trials of combined strength and intermittent aerobic training, intermittent aerobic training only and continuous exercise training in heart failure patients. Methods: A systematic search was conducted of Medline (Ovid) (1950-September 2011), (1974-September 2011), Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials and CINAHL (1981-September 19 2011). The search strategy included a mix of MeSH and free text terms for the key concepts heart failure, exercise training, interval training and intermittent exercise training. Results: The included studies contained an aggregate of 446 patients, 212 completed intermittent exercise training, 66 only continuous exercise training, 59 completed combined intermittent and strength training and 109 sedentary controls. Weighted mean difference (MD) in Peak VO2 was 1.04 ml kg- 1 min- 1 and (95% C.I.) was 0.42-1.66 (p = 0.0009) in intermittent versus continuous exercise training respectively. Weighted mean difference in Peak VO2 was - 1.10 ml kg- 1 min - 1 (95% C.I.) was - 1.83-0.37 p = 0.003 for intermittent only versus intermittent and strength (combined) training respectively. In studies reporting VE/VCO2 for intermittent versus control groups, MD was - 1.50 [(95% C.I. - 2.64, - 0.37), p = 0.01] and for intermittent versus continuous exercise training MD was - 1.35 [(95% C.I. - 2.15, - 0.55), p = 0.001]. Change in peak VO2 was positively correlated with weekly exercise energy expenditure for intermittent exercise groups (r = 0.48, p = 0.05). Conclusions: Combined strength and intermittent exercise appears superior for peak VO2 changes when compared to intermittent exercise of similar exercise energy expenditure. © 2011 Elsevier Ireland Ltd.

Finelli C.,University of Naples Federico II | Tarantino G.,University of Naples Federico II
World Journal of Gastroenterology | Year: 2013

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is recognized as the most common type of chronic liver disease in Western countries. Insulin resistance is a key factor in the pathogenesis of NAFLD, the latter being considered as the hepatic component of insulin resistance or obesity. Adiponectin is the most abundant adipose-specific adipokine. There is evidence that adiponectin decreases hepatic and systematic insulin resistance, and attenuates liver inflammation and fibrosis. Adiponectin generally predicts steatosis grade and the severity of NAFLD; however, to what extent this is a direct effect or related to the presence of more severe insulin resistance or obesity remains to be addressed. Although there is no proven pharmacotherapy for the treatment of NAFLD, recent therapeutic strategies have focused on the indirect upregulation of adiponectin through the administration of various therapeutic agents and/ or lifestyle modifications. In this adiponectin-focused review, the pathogenetic role and the potential therapeutic benefits of adiponectin in NAFLD are analyzed systematically. © 2013 Baishideng. All rights reserved.

Berti M.,University of Naples Federico II | Bolle P.,University of Avignon
Nonlinearity | Year: 2012

We prove the existence of quasi-periodic solutions for wave equations with a multiplicative potential on T d , d ≥ 1, and finitely differentiable nonlinearities, quasi-periodically forced in time. The only external parameter is the length of the frequency vector. The solutions have Sobolev regularity both in time and space. The proof is based on a Nash-Moser iterative scheme as in [5]. The key tame estimates for the inverse linearized operators are obtained by a multiscale inductive argument, which is more difficult than for NLS due to the dispersion relation of the wave equation. We prove the 'separation properties' of the small divisors assuming weaker non-resonance conditions than in [11]. © 2012 IOP Publishing Ltd.

Smart N.A.,University of New England of Australia | Dieberg G.,University of New England of Australia | Giallauria F.,University of Naples Federico II
International Journal of Cardiology | Year: 2013

Introduction: We conducted a meta-analysis of randomized, controlled trials of combined electrical stimulation versus conventional exercise training or placebo control in heart failure patients. Methods: A systematic search was conducted of Medline (Ovid) (1950-September 2011), (1974-September 2011), Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials and CINAHL (1981-September 2011). The search strategy included a mix of MeSH and free text terms for the key concepts heart failure, exercise training and functional electrical stimulation (FES). Results: FES produced inferior improvements in peak VO 2 when compared to cycle training: mean difference (MD) - 0.32 1.min- 1 (95% C.I. - 0.63 to - 0.02 - 1.min- 1, p = 0.04), however FES elicited superior improvements in peak VO2: MD 2.30 1.min - 1 (95% C.I. 1.98 to 2.62 1.min- 1, p < 0.00001); and six minute walk distance to sedentary care or sham FES; MD 46.9 m (95% C.I. 22.5 to 71.3 m, p = 0.0002). There was no difference in change in quality of life between cycling and FES, but FES elicited significantly larger improvements in Minnesota Living with Heart Failure score than placebo or sham treatment; MD 1.15 (95% C.I. 0.69 to 1.61, p < 0.00001). Moreover, the total FES intervention hours were strongly correlated with change in peak VO2, (r = 0.80, p = 0.02). Conclusions: Passive or active exercise is beneficial for patients with moderate to severe heart failure, but active cycling, or other aerobic/resistance activity is preferred in patients with heart failure who are able to exercise, and FES is the preferred modality in those unable to actively exercise. The benefits of FES may however, be smaller than those observed in conventional exercise training. Aggregate hours of electrical stimulation therapy were associated with larger improvements in cardio-respiratory fitness. © 2011 Elsevier Ireland Ltd.

Celarec D.,University of Ljubljana | Ricci P.,University of Naples Federico II | Dolsek M.,University of Ljubljana
Engineering Structures | Year: 2012

The sensitivity of the seismic response parameters to the uncertain modelling variables of the infills and frame of four infilled reinforced concrete frames was investigated using a simplified nonlinear method for the seismic performance assessment of such buildings. This method involves pushover analysis of the structural model and inelastic spectra that are appropriate for infilled reinforced concrete frames. Structural response was simulated by using nonlinear structural models that employ one-component lumped plasticity elements for the beams and columns, and compressive diagonal struts to represent the masonry infills. The results indicated that uncertainty in the characteristics of the masonry infills has the greatest impact on the response parameters corresponding to the limit states of damage limitation and significant damage, whereas the structural response at the near-collapse limit state is most sensitive to the ultimate rotation of the columns or to the cracking strength of the masonry infills. Based on the adopted methodology for the seismic performance assessment of infilled reinforced concrete frames, it is also shown, that masonry infills with reduced strength may have a beneficial effect on the near-collapse capacity, expressed in terms of the peak ground acceleration. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.

University of Rome La Sapienza, University of Naples Federico II, ICFO - Institute of Photonic Sciences, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro and National University of Singapore | Date: 2014-12-10

The present invention concerns an ultra-sensitive photonic tiltmeter or goniometer utilizing a novel optical effect named photonic polarization gear effect, based on the orbital angular momentum of the light, to measure with high resolution and sensitivity the roll angle of a rotating object relative to a fixed measurement stage, or to perform related angular measurements. More in detail, the present invention concerns an optical system that uses a pair of photonic devices named q-plates in combination with suitable polarization optics to greatly enhance the measurement sensitivity and resolution of angular measurements based on the polarization of light. Our invention can be combined with all existing methods for the measurement of roll angles based on the polarization of light and results in an enhancement of the corresponding angular resolution and sensitivity.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP-SICA | Phase: KBBE-2009-1-4-05 | Award Amount: 2.64M | Year: 2010

The overall objective of the SUSTAINMED project is to examine and assess the impacts of EU and national agricultural, rural, environmental and trade policies in the Mediterranean Partner Countries (MPCs). Specific impacts include socio-economic structural changes, income distribution, resource management, trade liberalisation, poverty alleviation, employment and migrations trends, as well as commercial relations with major trade partners (in particular the EU) and competitiveness in international markets. The project will integrate a wide range of complementary methods and analytical tools including quantitative modelling, structured surveying, indicator building and qualitative data analysis, in order to provide (i) orders of magnitude of the impact in MPCs related to changes in important policy parameters, and (ii) qualitative insights into processes which will be important for the future welfare of MPCs but which cannot be fully captured by quantitative indicators. The project results will enable the EU Commission and relevant stakeholders to formulate realistic policies and action plans aimed at supporting sustainable agri-food systems, rural development programmes and capacity building in the Mediterranean region. The project outcomes will also contribute to improve collaboration and economic and commercial relations between the EU and target MPCs, in line with the stated goals of the Barcelona Process: Union for the Mediterranean. Furthermore, the project will provide relevant research to support the promotion of sustainable development to fulfilling the EUs commitment towards the United Nation Millennium Development Goals in the region. The project consortium brings together during three years recognised researchers from six EU Member countries, one Associate country and five Mediterranean Partner countries, with a strong scientific background and experience in Mediterranean policy, market and institutional analysis.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: MSCA-ITN-ETN | Phase: MSCA-ITN-2015-ETN | Award Amount: 3.95M | Year: 2015

TERRE aims to develop novel geo-technologies to address the competitiveness challenge of the European construction industry in a low carbon agenda. It will be delivered through an inter-sectoral and intra-European coordinated PhD programme focused on carbon-efficient design of geotechnical infrastructure. Industry and Research in the construction sector have been investing significantly in recent years to produce innovative low-carbon technologies. However, little innovation has been created in the geo-infrastructure industry, which is lagging behind other construction industry sectors. TERRE aims to close this gap through a network-wide training programme carried out by a close collaboration of eleven Universities and Research Centres and three SMEs. It is structured to provide a balanced combination of fundamental and applied research and will eventually develop operational tools such as software for low-carbon geotechnical design and a Decision Support System for infrastructure project appraisal. The research fellows will be involved in inter-sectoral and intra-European projects via enrolment in 8 Joint-Awards and 7 Industrial PhDs. The research fellows will be trained in low-carbon design by developing novel design concepts including eco-reinforced geomaterials, engineered vegetation, engineered soil-atmosphere interfaces, biofilms, shallow geothermal energy and soil carbon sequestration. Distinctive features of TERRE are the supervision by an inter-sectoral team and the orientation of the research towards technological applications. Training at the Network level includes the development of entrepreneurial skills via a special programme on Pathways to Research Enterprise to support the research fellows in establishing and leading spin-out companies after the end of the project.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: NMP-2008-3.2-1 | Award Amount: 16.82M | Year: 2009

The ultimate ambition of COPIRIDE is to develop a new modular production and factory concept for the chemical industry using adaptable plants with flexible output. This concept will be superior, intellectual property (IP) protected, and enable a much wider spread of know-how and education of this skill-intensive technology. Key functional enabling units are new production-scale, mass-manufactured microstructured reactors as well as other integrated process intensification (PI) reactors realising integrated processes. This will lead to a substantial reduction in costs, resources & energy and notably improves the eco-efficiency. To ensure the competitiveness of European (EU) manufacturing businesses, PI technology / know-how is transferred from leaders to countries (and respective medium & small industries) with no exposure in PI so far, but with a track record in sustainability, and to the explorative markets food and biofuels. A deeply rooted base will be created for IP rights (Copyright, = COPIRIDE) by generic modular reactor & plant design and new generic processes via Novel Process Windows, facilitating patent filing. Due to the entire modular plant concept comprising all utilities far beyond the reaction & processual parts - a holistic PI concept is provided, covering the whole development cycle with, e.g., safety & process control & plant approval. Features, inter alia, are fast plant start-up and shut-down for multipurpose functionality (flexibility in products), sustainable & safe production, and fast transfer from lab to production & business (time-to-market). Industrial demonstration activities up to production scale with five field trials present a good cross-section of reactions relevant to the EU chemical industry. The economic impact in COPIRIDE is 10 Mio /a (cautiously optimistic) to 30 Mio /a (optimistic) by direct exploitation. Indirect exploitation might sum up to 800 Mio /a (very optimistic) by other companies via technology transfer.

Over the past decade, earthquakes proved to be the deadliest of all European disasters, with almost 19,000 fatalities and direct economic losses of approx. 29 billion. Earthquake Induced Liquefaction Disasters (EILDs) is responsible for tremendous amounts of the structural damages and fatalities; with experiences from recent events giving example of where approx. half of the economic loss was directly caused by liquefaction. Liquefaction is a phenomenon, with previously a low profile until recent earthquake events, in which the stiffness and strength of soil is reduced by seismic activity. With the causes of Liquefaction being known, it is important to recognize the factors that contribute to its occurrence; as well as the resulting hazards. The theory on how to address the subject has been comprehensive, as well as the engineering to reduce its consequences of liquefaction already developed; however, recent findings and advances need to be accurately examined in order to implement mitigation strategies practically. A systematic approach is needed for assessing the possibility of liquefaction on a site, prior to construction, then implementing the most appropriate liquefaction mitigation techniques. However, the variability of circumstances, invariably translates to multiple approaches of implementation, based on the susceptibility of the location to liquefaction, as well as the type and size of structure. The LIQUEFACT project addresses the mitigation of risks to EILD events in European communities with a holistic approach. The project not only deals with the resistance of structures to EILD events, but also, the resilience of the collective urban community in relation to their quick recovery from an occurrence. The LIQUEFACT project sets out to achieve a more comprehensive understanding of EILDs, the applications of the mitigation techniques, and the development of more appropriate techniques tailored to each specific scenario, for both Europe and global.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: KBBE-2009-3-2-01 | Award Amount: 7.90M | Year: 2010

Biodiversity in the seas is only partly explored, although marine organisms are excellent sources for many industrial products. Through close co-operation between industrial and academic partners, the MAREX project will collect, isolate and classify marine organisms, such as micro- and macroalgae, cyanobacteria, sea anemones, tunicates and fish from the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans as well as from the Mediterranean, Baltic and Arabian Seas. Extracts and purified compounds of these organisms will be studied for several therapeutically and industrially significant biological activities, including anticancer, anti-inflammatory, antiviral and anticoagulant activities by applying a wide variety of screening tools, as well as for ion channel/receptor modulation and plant growth regulation. Chromatographic isolation of bioactive compounds will be followed by structural determination. Sustainable cultivation methods for promising organisms, and biotechnological processes for selected compounds will be developed, as well as biosensors for monitoring the target compounds. The work will entail sustainable organic synthesis of selected active compounds and new derivatives, and development of selected hits to lead compounds. The project will expand marine compound libraries. MAREX innovations will be targeted for industrial product development in order to improve the growth and productivity of European marine biotechnology. MAREX aims at a better understanding of environmentally conscious sourcing of marine biotechnology products and increased public awareness of marine biodiversity and potential. Finally, MAREX is expected to offer novel marine-based lead compounds for European industries and strengthen their product portfolios related to pharmaceutical, nutraceutical, cosmetic, agrochemical, food processing, material and biosensor applications.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-IRSES | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2009-IRSES | Award Amount: 176.40K | Year: 2010

The aim of the present project is to unite, in a cooperative and synergetic way, the work of researchers from 5 European institutions, 2 in Italy (Naples Federico II and Naples Second University) and 3 in Greece (FORTH Heraklion, University of Crete and University of the Aegean), in order to consolidate and definitely establish scientific collaborations with a Third Country (Japan). The focus of the research project will be in mathematical analysis, particularly nonlinear elliptic and parabolic partial differential equations, including applications to problems of particular relevance in various fields in Physics, Biology and Medical Sciences, such as material sciences, chemotaxis, tumour growth, all finalized towards results of international relevance. The marked interdisciplinary features of the proposed researches are expected to greatly benefit of the complementary backgrounds and fields of interests of the participants. This project is motivated by an already existing collaboration between some European members of the project with first class scientist Professor T. Suzuki of Osaka University, as well as with other Japanese mathematicians. We emphasize that the availability of direct interaction among the European institutions and the Third Country has already been partly implemented by Professor Suzukis visiting and lecturing at Naples Federico II University (2007 and 2008) and in Greece (2007) as well as by numerous stages of Italian and Greek participants at Japanese institutions. The collaboration in Japan will mainly take place at Osaka University, where Professor Suzuki will coordinate the activities and supervise the training programme of the European early stage researchers, and at 3 other Japanese universities. The present requested financial support would allow to maintain, reinforce and extend the already existing collaboration, as well as to provide an invaluable training of young European mathematicians at prestigious Japanese research centres.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-ITN | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2011-ITN | Award Amount: 4.13M | Year: 2012

The need for quantitative and fast identification of trace gaseous compounds in complex chemical matrices continuously pushes the limits of analytical chemistry in many areas of relevance to the EU, including food, health, the environment, and security. A relatively new broad-based and rapidly growing analytical technique, proton transfer reaction mass spectrometry (PTR-MS), combines excellent chemical specification with ultra high detection sensitivity in real-time, but is only partially exploited owing to the lack of a focused research programme in terms of its scientific fundamentals and applications, and owing to a lack of an intersectoral and interdisciplinary based forum for the exchange of ideas and best practice to further develop PTR-MS. The demand for PTR-MS is outstripping the supply of highly qualified chemists who cannot only use the technology, but who also have a broad background in analytical chemistry, and are capable of leading multidisciplinary research/commercial activities. There is an urgent need within Europe for the harmonized training of ESRs in analytical chemistry within many sectors and across many disparate scientific disciplines and applications. The overall goal of this multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary ITN is to train the next generation of analytical scientists in the skills necessary for the development and use of PTR-MS and other analytical technologies (including GC-MS, SIFT-MS and IMS) for the detection of trace gaseous compounds. Our vision is to enhance our understanding of the crucial role these chemicals play in many complex chemical environments and the underpinning science needed to develop techniques to address major analytical challenges. The network is intersectoral in nature combining commercial (both manufacturers and end-users), governmental and academic concerns using a range of state-of-the-art analytical techniques, to address a number of topical analytical issues in an interdisciplinary cooperative.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA | Phase: ICT-2013.2.2 | Award Amount: 3.22M | Year: 2013

The European robotics community has grown significantly over the last few years. At the same time public funding enabled the community to become more organised on both the research (EURON) and the industrial (EUROP) side and to develop the currently valid Strategic Research Agenda (SRA).Very recently EURON and EUROP decided to combine their portfolio of activities and member base within a new non-profit organisation, euRobotics AISBL, which intends to engage in a contractual Public-Private Partnership (PPP) with the European Commission (EC). The main players behind this success story have joined in this project to address the most important challenges for the coming three to five years:\n- Professional coordination of technology roadmapping and implementation of innovation activities\n- Fostering collaboration among all stakeholders of European robotics\n- Promoting European robotics\nThis projects ambition is to create sustainable solutions for these challenges, building on the successful instruments the robotics community has already experimented with. These instruments have not yet fully achieved the required goals, partly because of a lack of dedicated, professional support and partly because the challenges have changed as a consequence of the higher ambitions and the larger set of stakeholders to be involved. This will change with the recent founding of euRobotics AISBL and the commitment of both industrial and academic stakeholders to more closely and formally cooperate, but especially through the PPP with the EC. The following activities are planned engaging the whole community:\n- Robotics roadmap coordination\n- Robotics PPP preparation and ramp-up\n- Facilitating robotics innovation\n- Robotics networking\n- Dissemination and outreach\nThese core activities will defragment the community and construct a European robotics industry with sufficient identity and presence to create world leadership in terms of both strategic capability and economic impact.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-ITN | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2011-ITN | Award Amount: 2.83M | Year: 2012

The Marie Curie Initial Training Network SPOT-ITN will establish a multi-site network of early stage and experienced researchers at 9 partner institutions - including 3 from the private sector - in 4 European member countries and Israel to investigate fundamental and applied aspects of thermotolerance mechanisms contributing to the protection of pollen development at increased ambient temperatures. The envisioned joint research program is of broad commercial interest and will be an important contribution to the efforts undertaken world-wide to ensure future stability of food production in view of the prognosticated global climate change. Although the initial focus will be on tomato as an important agricultural crop, the results are expected to become applicable to other cultivated plants in the long run. Based on individual research projects of the young researchers, the main focus of the network will be to perform common, multidisciplinary experiments on a broad variety of heat-sensitive and heat-tolerant tomato genotypes and mutant lines at the molecular, cellular and organismic level with two major objectives: i) to describe the molecular basis of the striking sensitivity of pollen development at higher temperatures and regulation of pollen-specific heat stress response and thermotolerance mechanisms; and ii) to develop BIOMARKERS of POLLEN THERMOTOLERANCE usable in future screening programs to improve breeding of new heat-tolerant cultivars. Besides training of specific research tasks, the multi-disciplinary research program includes advanced methods and high-throughput technologies in plant genetics, molecular and cell biology, physiology, and bioinformatics. In addition, a multitude of opportunities are provided for training complementary skills to broaden the knowledge of the young researchers for developing their future career with comprehensive possibilities in a wide field of research areas in Life Sciences in both, the public and the private sector.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA | Phase: ICT-2009.2.1 | Award Amount: 2.37M | Year: 2010

Over the last few years successful coordination activities have been undertaken within the academic and industrial robotics\ncommunities (EURON and EUROP), but both communities still struggle with overcoming some remaining gaps: the\ncommunity-internal gaps of confusion about terminology, suboptimally coordinated transfer of research visions, technology\nand people, and the limited coordinated communication with both the general public and professional audiences. This\nincludes the popular science media, European Commission, national funding bodies, and representatives from neighbouring\ntechnology and market domains, such as cognitive science, mechatronics, automotive, aerospace, security, computer vision,\nembedded control systems.\nThis projects ambition is to create sustainable solutions to all of the above-mentioned gaps, following a policy of targeted\nstimulation of relevant grass-roots initiatives that both communities have already experimented with during the last couple of\nyears, but that have previously seen little success because of a lack of committed, professional and coordinated support. The\ndriver behind these stimulations will always be the robotics industry (since its needs for innovation and strong positioning in\nthe worldwide robotics market are greatest), but the academic research community will be heavily involved via a system of\nflexible, targeted expert contributions whose short-term benefits are easy to identify and communicate.\nThe following activities are planned: improved industry-academia cooperation by giving more structure to commonly\norganised events (administration, annual meetings, web portal on Robotics in Europe, advanced training, roadmapping,\nand entrepreneurship advocacy) and by coordinated communication to the general public (press releases, visibility at major\nrobotics events worldwide, robotics competitions related to the shared research and development roadmap, laymans\nexplanation of robotics technology in combination with semantic search support on the web portal).

Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: MSCA-ITN-ETN | Phase: MSCA-ITN-2016 | Award Amount: 3.61M | Year: 2017

Though Big Data has become common in many domains nowadays, the challenges to develop efficient and automated mining of the ever increasing data sets by new generations of data scientists are eminent. These challenges span wide swathes of society, business and research. Astronomers with their high-tech observatories are historically at the forefront of this field, but obviously, the impact in e.g. commercial applications, security, environmental monitoring and experimental research is immense. We aim to contribute to this general discussion by training a number of young scientists in the fields of computer science and astronomy, focussing on techniques of automated learning from large quantities of data to answer fundamental questions on the evolution of properties of galaxies. While these techniques will lead to major advances in our understanding of the formation and evolution of galaxies, we will also promote, in collaboration with industry, much more general applications in society, e.g. in medical imaging or remote sensing. We have put together a team of astronomers and computer scientists, from academic and private sector partners, to develop techniques to detect and classify ultra-faint galaxies and galaxy remnants in a deep survey of the Fornax cluster, and use the results to study how galaxies evolve in the dense environment of galaxy clusters. With a team of young researchers we will develop novel computer science algorithms addressing fundamental topics in galaxy formation, such as the huge dark matter fractions inferred by theory, and the lack of detected angular momentum in galaxies. The collaboration is unique - it will develop a platform for deep symbiosis of two radically different strands of approaches: purely data-driven machine learning and specialist approaches based on techniques developed in astronomy. Young scientists trained with such skills are highly demanded both in research and business.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: GV-02-2016 | Award Amount: 5.99M | Year: 2016

The decrease of CO2 & particulates emissions is a main challenge of the automotive sector. European OEMs and automotive manufacturers need new long term technologies, still to be implemented by 2030. Currently, hybrid powertrains are considered as the main trend to achieve clean and efficient vehicles. EAGLE project is to improve energy efficiency of road transport vehicles by developing an ultra-lean Spark Ignition gasoline engine, adapted to future electrified powertrains. This new concept using a conventional engine architecture will demonstrate more than 50% peak brake thermal efficiency while reducing particulate and NOx emissions. It will also reach real driving Euro 6 values with no conformity factor. This innovative approach will consequently support the achievement of long term fleet targets of 50 g/km CO2 by providing affordable hybrid solution. EAGLE will tackle several challenges focusing on: Reducing engine thermal losses through a smart coating approach to lower volumetric specific heat capacity under 1.5 MJ/m3K Reaching ultra-lean combustion (lambda > 2) with very low particulate (down to 10 nm) emission by innovative hydrogen boosting Developing breakthrough ignition system for ultra-lean combustion Investigating a close loop combustion control for extreme lean limit stabilization Addressing and investigating NOx emissions reduction technologies based on a tailor made NOx storage catalyst and using H2 as a reducing agent for SCR. A strong engine modeling approach will allow to predict thermal and combustion performances to support development and assess engine performances prior to single and multi-cylinder test bench application. An interdisciplinary consortium made of nine partners from four different countries (France, Germany, Italy, Spain) will share its cutting-edge know-how in new combustion process, sensing, control, engine manufacturing, ignition system, simulation & modeling, advanced coating, as well as after-treatment systems.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: NMP-19-2015 | Award Amount: 8.03M | Year: 2016

There is an increasing demand for advanced materials with temperature capability in highly corrosive environments for aerospace. Rocket nozzles of solid/hybrid rocket motors must survive harsh thermochemical and mechanical environments produced by high performance solid propellants (2700-3500C). Thermal protection systems (TPS) for space vehicles flying at Mach 7 must withstand projected service temperatures up to 2500C associated to convective heat fluxes up to 15 MWm-2 and intense mechanical vibrations at launch and re-entry into Earths atmosphere. The combination of extremely hot temperatures, chemically aggressive environments and rapid heating/cooling is beyond the capabilities of current materials. Main purpose of C3HARME is to design, develop, manufacture, test and validate a new class of out-performing, reliable, cost-effective and scalable Ultra High Temperature Ceramic Matrix Composites (UHTCMCs) based on C or SiC fibres/preforms enriched with ultra-high temperature ceramics (UHTCs) capable of in-situ repairing damage induced during operation in severe aerospace environments. C3HARME will apply to two main applications: near-ZERO erosion rocket nozzles that must maintain dimensional stability during firing in combustion chambers, and near-ZERO ablation thermal protection systems enabling hypersonic space vehicles to maintain flight performance. C3HARME represents a well-balanced mix of innovative and consolidated technologies, mitigating the level of risk intrinsic in top-notch research and innovation development. C3HARME starts from TRL of 3-4 and focuses on TRL 6 thanks to a strong industrial partnership, including SMEs and large companies. To reach TRL 6, rocket nozzles and TPS tiles with realistic dimensions and shape will be fabricated, assembled into a suitable system, and validated in a relevant ambient (environment centered test). Project results could be easily extended to the energy, medical and/or nuclear environments.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ICT-2011.2.1 | Award Amount: 8.09M | Year: 2011

The ARCAS project proposes the development and experimental validation of the first cooperative free-flying robot system for assembly and structure construction. The project will pave the way for a large number of applications including the building of platforms for evacuation of people or landing aircrafts, the inspection and maintenance of facilities and the construction of structures in inaccessible sites and in the space.\nThe detailed scientific and technological objectives are:\n1)New methods for motion control of a free-flying robot with mounted manipulator in contact with a grasped object as well as for coordinated control of multiple cooperating flying robots with manipulators in contact with the same object (e.g. for precise placement or joint manipulation)\n2)New flying robot perception methods to model, identify and recognize the scenario and to be used for the guidance in the assembly operation, including fast generation of 3D models, aerial 3D SLAM, 3D tracking and cooperative perception\n3)New methods for the cooperative assembly planning and structure construction by means of multiple flying robots with application to inspection and maintenance activities\n4)Strategies for operator assistance, including visual and force feedback, in manipulation tasks involving multiple cooperating flying robots\nThe above methods and technologies will be integrated in the ARCAS cooperative flying robot system that will be validated in the following scenarios: a) Indoor testbed with quadrotors, b) Outdoor scenario with helicopters, c) free-flying simulation using multiple robot arms.\nThe project will be implemented by a high-quality consortium whose partners have already demonstrated the cooperative transportation by aerial robots as well as high performance cooperative ground manipulation. The team has the ability to produce for the first time challenging technological demonstrations with a high potential for generation of industrial products upon project completion.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-SICA | Phase: KBBE-2007-2-5-05 | Award Amount: 7.37M | Year: 2009

MYCORED aims at developing strategic solutions to reduce contamination by mycotoxins of major concern in economically important food and feed chains. The following toxins and commodities are especially considered in the project: aflatoxins, trichothecenes, zearalenone, fumonisins in wheat/maize food and feed chains; ochratoxin A in the grape-wine and wheat chains; and aflatoxins in the dried fruit chain. Novel methodologies, efficient handling procedures and information, dissemination and educational strategies are considered in a context of multidisciplinary integration of know-how and technology to reduce mycotoxins exposure worldwide. Five work-packages (WPs) will develop novel solution driven strategies to reduce both pre-and post-harvest contamination in feed and food chains. They involve: i) optimization of plant resistance and fungicide use; ii) biocontrol to reduce toxigenic fungi in cropping systems, iii) predictive modelling and optimise logistics; iv) novel post-harvest and storage practices and v) application of new food processing technologies. Two horizontal WPs will develop enabling methodologies for i) advanced diagnostics and quantitative detection of toxigenic fungi and ii) rapid and multi-toxin detection of mycotoxins and relevant biomarkers. The project will significantly build on the outcome of several European projects (through most coordinators/partners of FP5 and FP6) on mycotoxins by supporting, stimulating and facilitating education and cooperation with countries having major mycotoxin concerns related to (international) trade and human health. The direct involvement of ICPC countries (Argentina, Egypt, Russia, South Africa, Turkey) and international organizations (CIMMYT,IITA) together with strong alliances with major research institutions in the USA (3 USDA Centers/5 Universities), Australia, Malaysia will strengthen the project through sharing experiences and resources from several past/ongoing mycotoxin projects in a global context.

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

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

Cattani, University of Naples Federico II, Bertini, Cipresso, Kinsky Dal Borgo, Marchetti, Rifici, Santoro, Grassini, Piana, Rossi, Munda and Bottaro | Date: 2011-03-09

An apparatus (1) to prepare a fuel product starting from a waste material of vegetable origin (10) comprises a treatment chamber (20) of tubular shape and defined laterally by a wall (21) at least in part equipped with a plurality of holes (25). The treatment chamber (20) comprises a loading mouth (22) for introducing a predetermined amount of waste material (10), and has a port (30) movable between a closed position (201) and an open position (202). In the treatment chamber (20) a press means (40) operates that is adapted to press the waste material (10), in order to cause the exit of the humidity present inside and to make a dehumidified waste material (15). Once the rate of humidity has been reduced below a predetermined value, the port (30) is brought from the closed position (201) to the open position (202) and the press means (40) pushes the dehumidified product (15) outside of the treatment chamber (20) obtaining a protruding portion (11). This is then cut from the cutting means obtaining a cut portion (19). [Fig. 1]

Verde F.,University of Naples Federico II | Scaglione A.,University of California at Davis
ICASSP, IEEE International Conference on Acoustics, Speech and Signal Processing - Proceedings | Year: 2010

Cooperation diversity schemes employing space-time block coding (STBC) techniques have been proposed for wireless networks to increase network capacity and coverage even when each node is equipped with a single antenna. Such schemes allow several relay stations distributed in space to assist the transmission between a given source-destination pair. A key design problem in cooperative networks is to take advantage from spatial diversity by reducing the amount of signaling and processing overhead as far as possible. In this paper, capitalizing on randomized STBC (RSTBC), a coding method which has been recently developed for decode-and-forward (D&F) relay nodes, a totally decentralized cooperative communication scheme is proposed for amplify-and-forward (A&F) relays, where each relay is unaware of both the effective STBC being employed by the other nodes and the number of cooperating stations. Numerical results are provided to highlight the effectiveness of the proposed scheme in comparison to its D&F counterpart. ©2010 IEEE.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: AAT.2011.4.4-3. | Award Amount: 50.74M | Year: 2011

The project proposal concerns the challenges posed by the physical integration of smart intelligent structural concepts. It addresses aircraft weight and operational cost reductions as well as an improvement in the flight profile specific aerodynamic performance. This concerns material concepts enabling a conformal, controlled distortion of aerodynamically important surfaces, material concepts enabling an active or passive status assessment of specific airframe areas with respect to shape and potential damages and material concepts enabling further functionalities which to date have been unrealizable. Past research has shown the economic feasibility and system maturity of aerodynamic morphing. However, few projects concerned themselves with the challenges arising from the structural integration on commercial aircraft. In particular the skin material and its bonding to the substructure is challenging. It is the aim of this project proposal to demonstrate the structural realizability of individual morphing concepts concerning the leading edge, the trailing edge and the winglet on a full-size external wing by aerodynamic and structural testing. Operational requirements on morphing surfaces necessitate the implementation of an independent, integrated shape sensing system to ensure not only an optimal control of the aerodynamic surface but also failure tolerance and robustness. Developments made for structural health monitoring will be adapted to this task. Similar systems optimized for rapid in-service damage assessment have progressed to a maturity which allows their inclusion in the next generation of aircraft. However, the time consuming application of these sensor systems has to be further improved by integration at the component manufacturing level. The additional benefit of a utilization of these adapted systems for part manufacture process and quality control shall be assessed in SARISTU. Addressing the Nanotechnology aspect of the call, benefits regarding significant damage tolerance and electrical conductivity improvements shall be realized at sub-assembly level.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-TP | Phase: KBBE.2013.3.3-04 | Award Amount: 11.20M | Year: 2013

The INDOX proposal on industrial oxidoreductases aims to provide relevant industrial case stories to demonstrate the efficacy of optimized biocatalysts on targeted reactions, and to establish the processes scalability, sustainability and cost-efficiency versus chemical conversion processes. The chemical industry (specialties excluded) is not yet embracing enzymatic oxidation reactions to a significant extent primarily due to lack of biocatalysts with the required selectivity, availability and compatibility with the rigorous process conditions. Selected industrial oxidation and oxyfunctionalization target reactions form the basis for the INDOX screening and optimization of new biocatalysts, including: i) Intermediates for agrochemicals/APIs; ii) Polymer precursors and functionalized polymers; and iii) Intermediates for dye-stuffs. The project flow comprises: i) Recovery of selective biocatalysts from the groups of heme-peroxidases/peroxygenases, flavo-oxidases and copper-oxidoreductases from fungal genomes and other sources; ii) Improvement of their oxidative activity and stability by protein engineering (using rational design, directed evolution and hybrid approaches combined with computational calculations) to fulfill the operational and catalytic conditions required by the chemical industry; and iii) Optimization of reaction conditions and reactor configurations (including immobilization technologies and new enzymatic cascade reactions). Finally the cost efficiency compared to chemical processing will be evaluated. The INDOX approach is supported by a highly-specialized consortium of SMEs, large companies and research/academic institutions. Production of the new optimized biocatalysts and their introduction into the chemical market will take advantage from the participation of the world-leading company in the sector of industrial enzymes, together with several chemical companies willing to implement the new medium- and large-scale biotransformation processes.

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

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

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: NMP-2009-3.2-1 | Award Amount: 15.99M | Year: 2010

The SYNFLOW vision is the paradigm shift from batch-wise large volume processes in pharmaceuticals, fine chemicals and intermediates production comprising many separate unit operations towards highly integrated but yet flexible catalytic continuous flow processing. For this purpose, SYNFLOW develops a unique integrative approach combining molecular understanding of synthesis and catalysis with engineering science in process design and plant concepts, aiming at an efficiency breakthrough in process development and operation. The SYNFLOW mission is to overcome the traditional way of linear process development providing individual solutions for specific products, and to demonstrate the technological, economic and ecological superiority of truly designing processes by application of advanced chemical and engineering knowledge. The SYNFLOW concept is based on the definition of generic challenges with industrial relevance, represented by Case Studies provided by the industrial consortium members. Catalyst development, studies of the underlying chemical target transformations (synthetic methodology), tailored reaction engineering, conceptual process design and process evaluation interact closely in order to substantiate the SYNFLOW vision. Its success will be demonstrated on a relevant production scale as a reference for the entire European Chemical Industry. The SYNFLOW consortium brings together major industrial producers from the Pharmaceuticals, Fine Chemicals and Intermediates sectors, providers of process technology and technical catalyst supply. A number of high-ranked academic partners ensures the availability of comprehensive expertise for the suggested Case Studies. Dissemination of the results is guaranteed by the participation of DECHEMA and Britest. SYNFLOW presents a holistic approach to central challenges of the European Chemical Industries and therefore a highly promising candidate to fulfill the crucial issues of the NMP-2009-3.2-1 call.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-TP | Phase: KBBE.2011.1.3-04 | Award Amount: 3.91M | Year: 2012

Infections with parasitic worms (nematodes and trematodes) represent a significant economic and welfare burden to the European ruminant livestock industry. The increasing prevalence of anthelmintic resistance means that current control programmes are costly and unsustainable in the long term. Recent changes in the epidemiology, seasonality and geographic distribution of helminth infections have been attributed to climate change. However, other changes in environment (e.g. land use) and in livestock farming, such as intensification and altered management practices, will also have an impact on helminth infections. Sustainable control of helminth infections in a changing world requires detailed knowledge of these interactions. GLOWORM will devise new, sustainable strategies for the effective control of ruminant helminthoses in the face of global change. We will: (1) optimise diagnosis, by developing novel, high-throughput diagnostic tests for mixed helminth infections, sub-clinical infections and anthelmintic resistance, (2) map, monitor and predict the impact of global change on parasite epidemiology, leading to spatial risk maps and improved forecasting of disease, (3) produce predictive models to identify optimal future intervention strategies, (4) identify and mitigate the economic impacts of infections and (5) involve end-users in the production and dissemination of detailed advice for effective worm control. We will work together to develop a panel of innovative technologies and models to monitor and predict changing patterns of infection and disease, optimise the use of anthelmintics to limit the development and spread of drug resistance, and reduce the overall economic impact of helminth infections. GLOWORM will contribute to the continued productivity and profitability of European livestock farming by delivering new tools, strategies and recommendations for the monitoring, surveillance, and sustainable control of helminth infections in grazing livestock.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: HEALTH.2011.2.4.2-2 | Award Amount: 7.95M | Year: 2012

EPIC-CVDs overarching goal is to provide clinicians and policy-makers with a menu of evidence-based options for cost-effective individualised risk assessment that enables the EUs increasingly resource-constrained economies to achieve more personalised predictive medicine in harmony with Europes diverse cultures and healthcare systems. We will achieve this through developing and validating innovative risk scores and efficient screening strategies by studying 75 high priority soluble biomarkers and 215,000 carefully selected genetic variants in the most powerful population-based prospective study ever conducted of incident coronary heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes across 10 diverse European countries. EPIC-CVD will provide the first consideration across Europe of risk scores with information on the interplay of nature and nurture together with biomarkers of lifestyle, biological pathways, vascular injury, and ageing. Our multidisciplinary consortium involves world-leading expertise in population health science, laboratory science (including VITAS, an SME partner, renowned for nutritional biomarker assays), translational science, and implementation science. This rare combination of expertise will enable systematic consideration of the implications of risk scores and screening strategies for predictive accuracy, feasibility, safety, acceptability, and cost-effectiveness. The impact on clinical decision making and clinical outcomes will be demonstrated in a new randomised trial of risk scores in relation to patient-centred outcomes that assess attitudes, behaviours, and biological risk factors. Key stakeholders (eg, healthcare professionals, regulators, industry) will be closely engaged by the project. Policy recommendations mindful of the broader societal implications of targeted screening will be tailored to Europes diverse needs and systematically disseminated to various audiences. This initiative will derive major synergy from related efforts.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: KBBE-2007-2-3-03 | Award Amount: 4.10M | Year: 2008

Functional foods provide a buoyant growth sector and the use of carotenoids is the most dynamic not only as colorants but as food additives. One issue with these products is their instability both on the shelf and upon digestion. Recently, gastric-stable bacterial-derived carotenoid preparations have been discovered by members of this consortium and these 2nd generation carotenoid preparations, and the bacteria that produce them will be studied. Existing prototypes will be developed as potential food additives but an extensive screen for new 2nd generation prototypes will also be made from marine environments. The consortium includes microbiologists, biochemists and food bio-technologists and will determine the identity of new carotenoid preparations and the bacteria that produce them. The nutritional value of these bacteria will be assessed and a risk-benefit assessment made using modern metabolomic technologies as well as traditional toxicology in order to designate the prototypes as QPS (ie, qualified presumption of safety). Bioprocessing of these bacterial carotenoid preparations will eliminate traditional chemical synthesis and the use of organic solvents. Also the delivery system will utilise a synergistic biological matrix making it a sustainable source. The use of these bacteria as colour-nutritional additives will be assessed by process optimisations, colour and texture analysis. The consortium includes 9 partners, including one ICPC and one associated country. Two IND partners, one an SME, will work together to exploit prototypes as additives, colourants and as functional foods. This will include patenting, licensing and the opening of new markets. Both IND partners are looking for new markets in the food additive/functional food sector and this project will enable them to identify new markets. The project will directly impact the food industry by developing new, natural as well as novel food additives and ingredients that can replace synthetic ones.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ENERGY.2012.8.1.1 | Award Amount: 3.82M | Year: 2012

The main objective of the project is the development of several reliable, safe, high efficiency and high capacity heat pumps working with the two most promising natural refrigerants: Hydrocarbons and CO2, together with a set of improved components and auxiliary devices adequate for the efficient and safe use of the two refrigerants. The project aims to reach a higher efficiency (10-20% SPF improvement) and lower Carbon footprint (20% lower TEWI) than the current state of the art HFCs/HFOs or Sorption heat pumps. The costs shall be very similar or slightly higher than the latter systems (10%). The project will also focus on the development of an efficient capacity modulation in order to enhance the integration capability with other renewable sources in the energy systems of Buildings and Industry. In this sense, if the project is successful, it will clearly bring a definitive step forward to overcome the barriers holding back the spread of natural refrigerants by proving that a new generation of heat pumps based on HCs and CO2 is perfectly feasible and commercially competitive. The first objective of the project is the identification of the cases in which the use of Natural refrigerants can lead to cost effective and high efficient solutions with a fast commercial exploitation. The following cases have already been identified for their potential interest: - Hydrocarbons (HCs): air or water to water heat pumps supplying hot water at (40-50C) for heating applications as well as to produce sanitary hot water at 60C. - CO2: heat pump of high capacity to produce sanitary hot water at 60C directly from city water (10-15C). Designs with higher temperatures in the range 70-90C should be also explored. The project involves 6 key industrial partners (component manufacturers and heat pump manufacturers) who will strongly cooperate with the RTD partners in order to achieve the targeted goals as well as to evaluate the necessary costs and measures to successfully bring the developed technology to the market.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA-SA | Phase: INFRA-2007-2.1-01 | Award Amount: 1.17M | Year: 2008

This Design Study aims at implementing a new concept of integrated research infrastructures in Europe for research on agro-ecosystems and natural ecosystems and environment. This infrastructure consists in interfacing three types of platforms: (i)The in situ Long Term Experimental Plateforms which consists in developing experiments for the main type of land use systems (arable crops, grasslands, forest, marchlands, heathlands), where different types of land management are imposed for a long term and where the state variables of the system are monitored for long term in conjunction with the measurement of the environmental fluxes to atmosphere and hydrosphere. (ii)The in vitro ECOTRON equipments where blocks of ecosystems of different size could be introduced within controlled environment. Since feedbacks between the plants and the soil responses take time to establish, experiments often need to last a few years. An alternative use of Ecotrons is to analyse the physiology of blocks of ecosystems which have been subjected in situ for years to various treatments within LTEP platforms. In that case, Ecotrons can be seen as ecological analysers receiving samples for analysis. (iii) The in silico Data base and Modelling platform should complete the system by developing facilities for sharing data bases among European scientific community, and possibilities for coupling experimental with theoretical approaches. This Design Study aims at developing and sharing this ANAEE concept among European research partners in order to (i) specify the needs for such instrument for the scientific stakes on continental biosphere; (ii) convince national strategic research institutions to support such a concept; (iii) inventory the capacities of partners to develop such a network of equipments; and (iv) determine the condition for networking and sharing these infrastructures among different European countries.

The world demographic growth and global climate change are major challenges for human society,hence the need to design new strategies for maintaining high crop yield in unprecedented environmental conditions.The objective of TomGEM is to design new strategies aiming to maintain high yields of fruit and vegetables at harsh temperature conditions, using tomato as a reference fleshy fruit crop.As yield is a complex trait depending on successful completion of different steps of reproductive organ development, including flower differentiation and efficient flower fertilization,TomGEM will use trans-disciplinary approaches to investigate the impact of high temperature on these developmental processes.The core of the project deals with mining and phenotyping a vast range of genetic resources to identify cultivars/genotypes displaying yield stability and to uncover loci/genes controlling flower initiation,pollen fertility and fruit set.Moreover,since high yield and elevated temperatures can be detrimental to quality traits,TomGEM will also tackle the fruit quality issue.The goal is to provide new targets and novel strategies to foster breeding of new tomato cultivars with improved yield.The main strength of TomGEM resides in the use of unique and unexplored genetic resources available to members of the consortium.It gathers expert academic researchers and private actors committed to implement a multi-actor approach based on demand driven innovation.Tomato producers and breeders are strongly involved from design to implementation of the project and until the dissemination of results.TomGEM will provide new targets and novel strategies to foster the breeding of new tomato cultivars with improved yield under suboptimal temperature conditions.TomGEM will translate scientific insights into practical strategies for better handling of interactions between genotype,environment and management to offer holistic solutions to the challenge of increasing food quality and productivity.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: AAT.2008.1.1.1.;AAT.2008.4.1.1. | Award Amount: 7.08M | Year: 2009

DeSiReH focus on both, the numerical design tools and the experimental measurement techniques for cryogenic conditions, with the objective to improve the industrial design process for laminar wings in terms of product quality, efficiency, and development cost reduction. The work focuses on the design of high lift devices. DeSiReH addresses the following quantified objectives which will make a significant contribution to meeting Vision 2020 goals: 1) Reduction of industrial A/C development costs by 5% by reduced and more efficient Wind Tunnel Testing 2) Decrease time-to-market by 5% by improved aerodynamic design turn-around time 3) Improve industrial High-Lift design process efficiency by 15% 4) Reduce A/C drag by 5% by enabling NLF though compatible High-Lift-Design To accomplish these objectives the project is planned for a period of 4 years and a budget of 7.6 Mio. Euro. The consortium consists of 6 industry partner, 7 research establishments, 3 universities, 2 small and medium-sized enterprise and the European Transonic Wind tunnel (ETW). Existing and validated high-fidelity numerical tools are composed to an efficient High-Lift design and optimization process chain in WP1. The strategies and tools developed are applied in WP 2 to the aerodynamic design of a high lift system for the future pointing HARLS wing (High Aspect Ratio Low Sweep) with the constraint to maintain Natural Lamiar Flow at cruise to the best possible extend. WP 3 focuses on the improvement of the experimental measurement technique for cryogenic testing. The objectives here are to enhance the measurement accuracy of the results and to generate the capability to apply different important techniques (e.g. transition measurement & deformation measurement). These techniques are finally applied in the ETW at High-Reynolds-Numbers on the HARLS model equipped with the High-Lift-System, designed in WP2. The final assessment of DeSiReH results is done in WP4 by assessing the numerical

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-CSA-Infra | Phase: INFRA-2008-1.1.2 | Award Amount: 10.72M | Year: 2009

European seismic engineering research suffers from extreme fragmentation of research infrastructures (RI) between countries and limited access to them by the S/T community of earthquake engineering, especially that of Europes most seismic regions. A 23-strong Consortium of the key actors in Europes seismic engineering research (including 3 industrial partners) addresses these problems in a sustainable way via a 4-year programme of activities at an annual cost to the Commission less than 1.35% of the total present value (190m) of the RIs material resources. The scope covers all aspects of seismic engineering testing, from eight Reaction Wall Pseudodynamic (PsD) facilities and ten Shake Table labs, to EUs unique Tester of Bearings or Isolators, its two major Centrifuges and an instrumented Site for wave propagation studies. Transnational Access is offered to a portfolio of world class RIs: EUs largest PsD facility, four diverse Shake Tables and the two Centrifuges. Networking sets up a public distributed database of past, present and future test results, installs distributed testing capabilities at all PsD labs, fostering development of up-and-coming ones at Europes most seismic regions, drafts and applies protocols for qualification of RIs and engages the entire European community of earthquake engineering via the best possible instances: the European Association of Earthquake Engineering, EUs seismic code makers and their national groups, the European Construction Industry, as well as all relevant S/T associations or networks. Joint research engages all labs, exploring and prototyping novel actuators (combination of electro-dynamic and hydraulic ones) for better control of fast tests or special applications, new sensing and instrumentation systems, data assimilation in equipment-specimen models for better test control and optimisation of testing campaigns, as well as experimental studies of soil-structure interaction at all types of testing facilities.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: BSG-SME | Phase: SME-1 | Award Amount: 1.42M | Year: 2008

The preservation of bioactive food ingredients through product processing and storage, and their controlled release in the gastrointestinal tract is yet a major obstacle for the full exploitation of the health potential of many food bioactive components. In addition, conventional microencapsulation solutions often affect the textural sensory properties of the food. The overall objective of the NANOFOOD project is to develop and the validate the efficacy of a new generation of healthy foods based on nanocapsules technology. Tailored nanocapsules able to deliver omega-3 fatty acid and silymarin complex into the lower gut will be designed and produced by a specialized Israeli SME in collaboration with Technion, Haifa. These nanocapsules will be incorporated as bioactive ingredients into dry pasta by an Italian SME and into typical bread products by a Turkish SME. The development and characterization of these products will be supported by food scientists operating in leading research centres. Finally, the efficacy of the developed food products will be assessed by a human clinical trials on patients affected by Intestinal Bowel Disease, where the anti-inflammatory properties of the selected ingredients could be highly beneficial. NANOFOODS project will provide SMEs of the consortium with necessary tools and know-how to introduce in the EU markets foods based on nanoencapsulated bioactive ingredients according to the new European legislation regarding novel healthy foods marketing.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA-SA | Phase: SiS.2012.2.2.1-1 | Award Amount: 4.04M | Year: 2013

Over the last decade a sharp decline in interest and participation in science has been identified in young people across Europe. Should this continue, the capacity to innovate both in industry and research will suffer in the long term. A critical issue in addressing this problem is providing young people with relevant contexts and practical experience of scientific concepts through classroom science. Therefore, the development of Inquiry Based Science Education (IBSE) and active teaching and learning approaches has never been more important. The Chain Reaction project aims to capitalise on a previously successful approach to delivering IBSE in the UK in an attempt to embed IBSE practice within European schools. The key aim is to equip teacher educators to train teachers across twelve countries in the use of IBSE materials and techniques. Each country will adapt materials and techniques for use in their own country, addressing issues of different curricula and cultures as necessary. This will ensure that each partner will have ownership of resources and classroom techniques suitable for their own situation and contexts, but based around the proven principles of IBSE and based on materials that have already been tried and tested as part of the original Pupil Researcher Initiative (PRI) project. Chain Reaction will also establish a European teachers network, aimed at providing support to teachers, sharing experiences and expertise between teachers and training experts. This will help develop the work of the project through delivery, and will also contribute to sustainability in the longer term. The network will aid dissemination of the project resources and outcomes, while enabling peer support both within each year of the project, and across the project as a whole. This will ensure sharing, reflection and discussions of experiences and approaches. The teacher training, materials and instruction given will be delivered via a cascade approach within schools.

The SYMBIOSIS-EU project will bring together 14 partners from 6 EU countries (plus one each from NZ and US) to study meat safety & quality. The overall aim is to identify and quantitatively evaluate practical and easy to use chemical, biochemical and molecular indices and establish their applicability as quality monitors for inspection of meat safety and quality. The project will apply a multidisciplinary system-wide approach relying on converging technologies (bioinformatics, nanotechnology, modelling) to obtain knowledge for meat safety that will be translated into simple devices and practical indicators of quality and safety. The main objectives are (i) to develop and/or validate easy to use chemical/biochemical methods (e.g. biosensors, fluorescence, FT-IR), molecular methods (DNA microarrays), (ii) to develop a suitable software platform for data sharing and integration, (iii) to apply multivariate statistical methods and machine learning (neural networks, fuzzy logic, genetic algorithms) to identify robust multiple compound quality indices, (iv) integration of the sensors and information platform and development of a system to automatically transform data acquired from a sample into a diagnosis of meat safety and quality. The project plan designed to meet these objectives comprises 3 Sections: 1 Microbial status and their major metabolomic, molecular profiling of spoilage bacteria, 2. Development of an easy to use integrated system to monitor meat safety and quality 3. Development of protocols for simple, effective and cheap evaluation of meat quality and safety in industry, based on new indices of quality and safety relying on detection of metabolites by simple sensors, driven by user friendly software that facilitates practical use of the developed methods. The project will be of benefit to the EU meat industry, providing useful tools and fundamental knowledge of the spoilage and hazard. It will also impact on the research and informatics communities.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-TP | Phase: KBBE.2013.1.2-02 | Award Amount: 6.88M | Year: 2014

The project has been conceived to promote the culture of grain legumes in Europe by identifying priority issues currently limiting grain legume cultivation and devising solutions in term of novel varietal development, culture practices, and food uses. LEGATO will develop tools and resources to enable state of the art breeding methodology and to exploit fully the breadth of genetic resources available. The project will focus on a small number of key characters not previously explored in depth and complementary to other ongoing European and national projects. These topics covered include disease and pest resistance, where in addition to marker development for major fungal and viral pathogens, a focus on emerging insect pests is planned. The impact of end-of-season drought and heat stress on the rhizobial symbiosis, and its consequences for plant performance, will be studied. Two characters that can influence grain legume yield, autofertility and number of flowering nodes, will be investigated. The potential for improving legume nutritional and organoleptic quality by identification of desirable traits and innovative selection methods will be investigated. LEGATO will conceive sustainable legume-based cropping systems adapted to different pedoclimatic zones, respecting local constraints. The project has been constructed around the participation of commercial partners including SMEs in the areas of marker development, plant breeding, and legume food processing, who will benefit from the advances made in these areas in LEGATO. Promising legume varieties and cropping systems will be tested at a series of pan-european sites to favour the widest possible take-up in agriculture, and the partners potentially concerned will participate in a stakeholder forum convened regularly during the project.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA-CA | Phase: KBBE.2010.2.6-01 | Award Amount: 1.17M | Year: 2011

The proposed Coordination and support actions (Coordinating, CSA) has the overall objective to disseminate state-of-the-art research results in food safety and quality topics through a series of symposia, expert working group meetings, an online platform with best practise examples and coordination of cooperation and a plan for the preparation of future activities. In addition to the aim of disseminating research results of finalised and current EC funded projects from FP6 and FP7 and other projects focusing on food safety, the consortium will develop strategies and recommendations for European policies (e.g.: food, consumers, research, health, agriculture). The secure handling of food has main impact onto the safety of food products and the European consumers. Furthermore, detailed plans and actions to foster food safety research in Europe are part of the workplan and objectives. The CSA action will pave the way for highly innovative research projects in the field of food safety. FOODSEG will connect research and policy actors in the enlarged European Union and the Candidate countries, in order to fill transitional gaps and achieve a broader network and deeper collaboration between them. The following map gives an overview of the FOODSEG consortium and the very broad network which covers nearly all regions of the enlarged European Union, Candidate countries and also third countries.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-TP | Phase: KBBE.2012.1.2-03 | Award Amount: 7.69M | Year: 2012

BIOFECTOR is an integrated project that develops alternative fertilisation strategies by the use of various bio-effectors (BEs, plant growth promoting microorganisms and natural extraction products). BEs stimulate root growth, solubilise and mineralise sparingly available nutrients, or protect plants from abiotic and biotic stresses. Novel BEs will be isolated, characterized and applied in strategic combination with alternative fertilisation strategies that include organic and low-input farming, use of waste recycling fertilizers, and fertiliser-placement technologies. Bio-effectors addressed comprise fungal strains of Trichoderma, Penicillium and Sebacinales, as well as bacterial strains of Bacillus and Pseudomonades with well-characterized root growth promoting and nutrient solubilising potential. Natural extraction products of seaweed, compost and plant extracts, as well as their purified active compounds are also tested in various combinations. Maize, wheat and tomato are chosen as representative crops. Laboratory and European-wide field experiments assure product adaptation to divers geo-climatic conditions. Viable alternatives to the conventional practice of mineral fertilisation are developed, towards environmental friendly agricultural practice with reduced agrochemical input.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-TP | Phase: KBBE.2013.2.6-01 | Award Amount: 2.57M | Year: 2013

CARODEL aims to valorise the results from the previous FP7 COLORSPORE project, in which initial isolation and characterization work was performed on Bacillus strains producing gastric-stable carotenoids. As the stability in the gastrointestinal tract (GIT), antioxidant activity and bioavailability of particular Bacillus carotenoids was shown to be higher than those of common dietary carotenoids, the conclusions from COLORSPORE provided strong and compelling reasons to support further development and commercialisation of these bacteria-derived carotenoids. CARODEL will therefore focus on the development of an efficient oral delivery strategy of such highly active carotenoids, in combination with evaluation of potential direct health-beneficial (probiotic) activity of the Bacillus delivery vehicle, with the ultimate aim to improve biomarkers associated with (the prevention of) cardiovascular disease (CVD). The relevance of using carotenoids for CVD prevention was recently shown by a positive EFSA opinion on the use of tomato lycopene for maintenance of a healthy blood flow. In practice, effective delivery of the carotenoids to the human body will be compared upon administration as i) vegetative Bacillus cells, ii) Bacillus spores or iii) extracted carotenoids. In parallel, the ability of the Bacillus strain to exert bona fide effects (i.e., effects on the host microbiota, metabolism and immunity) will be investigated using in vitro gut models and in vivo rat studies. Based on this, the best delivery strategy will be selected and validated in a human study, in which carotenoid bioavailability will be validated as well as endpoints related to CVD biomarkers and potential probiotic activity. In combination with a full safety assessment, a proof-of-concept production strategy and development of a business plan, the scientific evidence compiled in this project will provide a framework for efficient further commercialisation of a well-documented Bacillus carotenoid product

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-TP | Phase: KBBE.2013.3.3-04 | Award Amount: 9.11M | Year: 2013

OPTIBIOCAT is a 48 months project aimed at developing biocatalysts based on feruloyl esterases (FAEs) and glucuronoyl esterases (GEs) for production of phenolic fatty- and sugar- esters with antioxidant activity for cosmetic industry, expanding the number/type of industrial biotransformations. Selected FAEs and GEs available within the consortium will be improved for their thermo- and solvent- resistance and substrate specificity by site-directed mutagenesis and directed evolution. Novel enzymes will be discovered by mining for new genes from available genomes. An inventory of novel FAEs and GEs will be developed including 50 fungal and 500 bacterial esterases, 25 site-directed and 20 directed evolved mutants. Enzymatic performances will be optimized to enhance the yield (up to the theoretical yield of 100%) and productivity (up to 0.5-1 g/l/h) of reactions giving the main targeted antioxidants: butyl ferulate, p-coumarate, caffeate, sinapate and 5-O-(trans-feruloyl)-arabinofuranose (using FAEs), glucuronate and benzyl glucuronate (using GEs). FAEs and GEs will be also tested for production of other compounds with improved biological activity and properties of hydrophilicity/hydrophobicity for cosmetic applications. Cost-effective methods will be developed for production of the new biocatalysts, in the g/L scale, and for their technical application to produce antioxidants for cosmetic industry, up to 20L. Enzyme immobilization will increase their recyclability up to ten cycles. The ability of the developed catalysts to work in conditions miming the industrial ones with reduced use of solvents and lower temperature than the chemical routes will be demonstrated. The techno-economic viability and environmental friendliness will be assessed considering a full industrial scale scenario. OPTIBIOCAT involves a highly skilled and multidisciplinary partnership of 16 partners from 8 EU countries, and it is a strongly industry driven project through the participation of 8 SMEs and 1 large company.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA-CA | Phase: NMP-2007-2.1-3;NMP-2007-1.3-5 | Award Amount: 1.46M | Year: 2008

NaPolyNet is a 36-month project involving 16 partners from 10 European countries. The objectives are: 1. to network at regional, national and international level with experts on the characterization of polymer nanostructured materials in the field of packaging, textiles and membranes, bridging the gap between scientific and engineering approaches for the improved understanding of the structure-performance correlation in polymer devices; 2. to facilitate transnational access to important and unique equipment and to train young scientists and SMEs technologists; 3. to harmonize the work necessary for new standards in the field of characterization of polymer nanostructures for packaging, textiles and membranes. NaPolyNet will also focus on latest findings for managing the safety implications of polymer nanostructure along the life-cycle of those products. The activities are grouped into 7 work-packages (WP): After setting up the procedures for managing the project (WP1), the team will map the competences in the different fields of characterization of polymer nanostructures and will set up an European Open Laboratory (EOL) open to outside the consortium partners (WP2) incorporating the best and novel characterization methodologies and expertises. The EOL will be the base of the demonstration activities planned in WP3 and for the activities reported in WP4 that aims at making soon available experimental and theoretical strategies and routines in developing stage at the EOL location. This will allow average trained users of equipment for thermal, structural, morphological, mechanical characterization to produce reliable data on nanostructured materials and correctly interpret them. An International Workshop is planned on processing-structure-dynamics and properties of polymer nanostructures (WP5) in order to further support development and design of intrinsically safe nanomaterials. WP6 is completely dedicated to harmonize the work for preparation of new standards for polymeric nanomaterials characterization. WP7 aims at disseminating, knowledge-transfer and reporting with the purpose of giving the project a significant impact beyond the consortium participants and contributing to overcome barriers to the industrial application of polymer nanostructured materials especially in SMEs.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: AAT.2010.1.1-1.;AAT.2010.1.1-3. | Award Amount: 4.02M | Year: 2010

The objective of AFDAR is to develop, assess and demonstrate new image-based experimental technologies for the analysis of aerodynamic systems and aerospace propulsion components. The main development focus is on new three-dimensional methods based on Particle Image Velocimetry (PIV) to measure the flow field around aircraft components, and on the high-speed version of the planar technique for the analysis in time-resolved regime of transient/unsteady aerodynamic problems. The progress beyond the state of the art with respect to current technologies is summarized by three aimed breakthroughs: 1) three-dimensional volumetric measurements over wings and airfoils; 2) time-resolved measurements and aerodynamic analysis several orders of magnitude faster than today; 3) turbulence characterization in aerodynamics wind-tunnels at resolution orders of magnitude higher than today by Long-Range Micro-PIV. The project ultimately aims to support the design of better aircraft and propulsion systems by enabling the designer to use experimental data during the development cycle of unprecedented completeness and quality. The work also covers the simultaneous application of PIV-based techniques and other methods to determine aeroacoustic noise emissions from airframe and to improve combustion processes to lower NOx, CO2 and soot emissions from engines. The consortium is led by a Dutch Technical University and lists 10 partners including a Russian research Institute and an Australian University. Three industries are involved in this work either as participant or contributing under subcontract and providing testing facilities. As final results of the project, a detailed analysis of the new measurement systems will be delivered and a number of demonstrations will be performed to validate the concepts in industrial environments. Special emphasis is given to the dissemination of results by meetings, publications and workshops.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: SSH.2012.3.1-1 | Award Amount: 7.43M | Year: 2013

The starting point for MOPACT is the ambitious goals set by Horizon 2020 and the European Innovation Partnership Pilot Project on Active and Healthy Ageing (EIPAHA). Our response is ambitious too: we aim to provide the research and practical evidence upon which Europe can make longevity an asset for social and economic development. MOPACT will create a high quality, multi-disciplinary critical mass of leading researchers and, in the closest possible partnership with stakeholders and through a carefully planned iterative process, build a compendium of essential state-of-the-art and foresight intelligence upon which to develop the policy, practice, service and product developments and innovations required to meet the goals of Horizon 2020 and, in particular, the EIPAHA. Active and healthy ageing is the primary focus of MOPACT and it will build on the momentum created by EY2012.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-TP | Phase: HEALTH-2007-1.1-4 | Award Amount: 3.84M | Year: 2009

Deciphering the complexity of chromatin-encoded information is the prerequisite for understanding the regulatory circuits governing development and (patho)physiology. Transcription factors and epigenetic modulators translate chromatin-embedded information in a dynamic and cell/gene context specific manner to orchestrate homeostasis, growth and differentiation. To date, the most powerful and commonly used approach is immunoprecipitation of chemically cross-linked chromatin (XChIP) coupled with single gene or global analysis using DNA tiling arrays (ChIP-chip) or parallel single molecule sequencing (ChIP-seq). At present, serious limitations of the XChIP technology preclude factor-DNA interaction studies at dynamic ranges below minutes. Moreover, conventional XChIP cannot be used to study samples of <106 cells or cell populations within complex biological samples. Based on established proof-of-principle experiments, the multidisciplinary ATLAS consortium will develop novel types of femtosecond (fs) UV tunable lasers to induce highly efficient DNA-protein crosslinking for ChIP analyses with unprecedented precision and reproducibility, and extending the present dynamic time range by order of magnitudes. ATLAS will further validate LaserChIP (LChIP) technologies and integrate them e.g. with manipulation of irradiated (frozen) tissues slices and microfluidic cell sorting systems. Combining LChIP with proximity ligation approaches will facilitate the analyses of cell-selective (epi)genetic programs on small pre-defined cell populations down to the single cell level. Integration of innovative SMEs with physicists, oncologists, biologists, chemists and mathematicians secures efficient introduction and application of LChIP in basic and translational research. This consortium has the technical and commercial expertise as well as the capacities to successfully develop and commercialize laser-based ChIP technologies.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: AAT-2007-4.1-05 | Award Amount: 6.75M | Year: 2008

ACCENT addresses the relevance to the call 7.1: Aeronautics and Air Transport by Improving Cost efficiency and quality of safety critical aircraft engine components. The manufacture of safety critical rotating components in modern aero engines is by nature very conservative. In order to achieve the required engine performance, thermal and mechanical stresses are pushed to the maximum, which in turn leaves the choice of materials to exotic super alloys. These materials are classed as difficult to machine under normal circumstances, but when added to the changes in mechanical properties which occur naturally from part to part, consequently variable and often unpredictable tool life, and the ever present possibility of random and unexpected process anomalies, machining processes can never be fully optimised. Stringent legislative controls are placed on safety critical component manufacture to ensure that parts entering service will function correctly and safely to a declared service life, and in declaring the service life for such a part, the machinability issues stated above have to be taken into consideration. Hence manufacturing process parameters are often reduced or tools are changed early to ensure part surface integrity. The industry method adopted, is to freeze to process following process qualification to first article inspection, and successful part validation via laboratory examination and testing. Once frozen, no changes to process parameters are permitted without time consuming and costly re-validation. ACCENT will allow the European Aero Engine manufacturers to improve their competitiveness by applying adaptive control techniques to the manufacture of their components. Being able to adapt the machining process to the constantly changing tool and component conditions whilst operating in a multi-dimensional approved process window, processes will be optimised to the prevailing conditions and no longer frozen.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ICT-2007.2.2 | Award Amount: 25.84M | Year: 2009

The European robotics industry plays a key role in maintaining our continents industrial base. The robotics industry is strong, but fragmented and dispersed. In the future, cutting-edge technology resulting from top-level research will be the decisive factor for success. Europe not only has a powerful robotics industry, but can also boast superb research. By drawing on these resources, ECHORD aims at producing new knowledge through advancing the state of the art in selected research foci and developing novel technology from which new products can be derived. Within ECHORD, opportunities for knowledge advancement and technology transfer between academia and industry will be created across the whole continent. This will be achieved through the solicitation of focused, small-size RTD projects, so-called experiments, which can be rapidly negotiated, funded and executed. Via these experiments, ECHORD will bring about a large-scale introduction of robotic equipment into research institutions. This is expected to result in both tangible and measurable out-comes in terms of the accelerated development of technologies, as well as the deployment of robotics technology into new scenarios for the direct application of research results. For ECHORD, three such scenarios have been defined: human-robot co-working, hyper flexible cells, and cognitive factories. The foremost purpose of the scenarios is to define an environment that is both scientifically challenging to research institutions and commercially relevant to robot manufacturers.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA-SA | Phase: SiS.2012.2.1.1-1 | Award Amount: 3.19M | Year: 2013

GENOVATE is an action-research project based on the implementation of Gender Equality Action Plans (GEAPs) in six European universities. It brings together a consortium with diverse experience with gender equality mainstreaming approaches, with varying institutional and disciplinary backgrounds and located in different national contexts. All, however, share common challenges for women engaged in research and all have identified three common areas for intervention: (i) recruitment, progression and research support; (ii) working environment, work-life balance and institutional culture, and finally, (iii) the increasingly important domain of standards and diversity in research excellence and innovation. Each partner university will address these areas through their individually tailored GEAPs that will build on existing structures and policies where relevant, or develop new systems and practices where appropriate. This contextualised approach will be supported by an ongoing knowledge-exchange system within the consortium and by ongoing participatory evaluation, both of which will maximise the shared learning of all partners at every step of the process. An ePortfolio system will allow individual experiences, challenges and thoughts to be documented and collated throughout the implementation process and this will inform the main deliverables of the projects: a social model of gender equality implementation and guidelines tailored to different actors and different contexts highlighting the issues, the challenges and the approaches that work. Dissemination of the outcomes will be shaped by a communications strategy for learning within the institutions, within national learning circles with key stakeholders and, internationally, through networking, media and publication activities. The long-term impact of the project will also be felt within the partner universities: the implementation of the GEAPs involves sustainability strategies for each institution to ensure that ther

Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: CSA | Phase: MG-1.6-2014 | Award Amount: 673.32K | Year: 2014

The proposed action is expected to contribute to better meeting the needs of the aerospace sector for highly skilled workforce and to enhance the mobility of aerospace students and professionals across Europe. Taking into consideration the complex skills needed by the aerospace sector, the action will develop the required learning outcomes and competence profiles for aero-engineering curricula and propose the aerospace specific accreditation criteria that would complement the existing European, national or regional accreditation systems for engineering education. The action will be developed in three distinct phases. The first phase is a conception phase. The learning outcomes and procedures will be defined looking at current practices and involving the main stakeholders of the higher education chain, from Universities to Industries and Research Establishments. The result should be a staged accreditation system, thereby gradually enhancing the quality level of the higher education degrees. The second phase is an implementation phase. The identified processes are tested on 6 aerospace curricula, from different EU countries. The third phase is a refinement phase. The results of the testing phase are compared to the expectations and the processes are updated taking into consideration the lessons learned from the testing phase. Suggestions for harmonizing the curricula and simultaneously developing knowledge and emerging technologies as well as facilitating students exchanges across the EU will be proposed. In parallel to the three phases, a dissemination and outreach activity is implemented to diffuse the culture of best practices among the EU higher education courses in the area of aerospace engineering and attract talented students to such studies. The consortium members include representatives of aerospace industry, research establishments and education institutions, participating in the major existing EU networks such as PEGASUS, EASN, ENAEE, EREA and EACP.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-CSA-Infra | Phase: INFRA-2008-1.1.1 | Award Amount: 10.78M | Year: 2009

Mosquitoes transmit a variety of infectious diseases that cause a tremendous burden to public health. Due to climate changes and to the increase in international trade and tourism the threats posed by mosquitoes are increasingly affecting large parts of Europe, causing understandable concerns among the populations of many Member States. Control methods, mainly based on insecticide usage, are struggling to cope with the challenges posed by the biology and ecology of mosquito vectors. INFRAVEC aims at bridging the gap between the recent advances in transgenic technology and its implementation as a novel powerful approach for vector control. To this aim, a large European Infrastructure will be established, in which the coordination of efforts, expertise and facilities provided by the individual research groups and institutions will bolster and considerably expand the overall research capabilities of the research community. INFRAVEC will operate, through a number of Networking, Joint Research, Transnational and Service activities, towards the objective of considerably strengthening research capability in Europe by sharing knowledge, resources and technology. INFRAVEC will mainly focus on Anopheles gambiae, the major vector of malaria, and Aedes albopictus, a viral disease vector that is rapidly spreading through Europe. Four Infrastructure facilities will be integrated in the project: 1) the Genetically Modified mosquito laboratory of Imperial College London; 2) the Mosquito Mass-rearing facility at the Centro Agricoltura ed Ambiente (with the support of the International Atomic Energy Agency); 3) the Bioinformatics facility at EMBLEBI, UK; and 4) the Mosquito Confined Release facility at ISRIM. INFRAVEC will provide a formidable research capability to external users and facilitate the performance of five research projects aimed at utilizing basic knowledge of mosquito genetics and biology in an unprecedented effort to develop novel opportunities for mosquito control.

News Article | December 19, 2016

Accurate measurement of the quantity of microRNAs circulating within the blood is extremely challenging because of their short lengths, similar sequences and low concentration levels. Due to their small number of nucleotides, traditional polymerase chain reaction (PCR) detection methods must necessarily involve a ligation, or linking, step to produce longer complementary DNA strands. Such ligation often produces large biases. Consequently, large volumes of clinical samples typically required to obtain accurate measurements, but few conventional detection systems can handle this directly without proper sample preparation and volume reduction. A team of researchers in Italy from the Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia and the University of Naples Federico II, both in Naples, set out to develop a simple, ultrasensitive fluorescence detection system of in-flow microRNAs that uses spectrally encoded microgels. As the team reports in Biomicrofluidics until now such a multiplexed barcode detection approach has only been performed in time-consuming observation procedures, significantly hindering its possible diagnostic performance. "Our technological achievement rests upon the straightforward implementation of a seemingly real-time, microfluidic-based readout of microRNA sequences of interest, handling down to a few microliters of target volume," explained Filippo Causa, an associate professor of industrial bioengineering in the Department of Chemical, Materials Engineering, and Industrial Production at the University of Naples Federico II. "No previous RNA sequence amplification is required, which reduces evident sources of measurement errors." To do this, the researchers first explored a cost-effective and biocompatible non-Newtonian fluid to create the optimal 3-D alignment of microgels in the center of a square-shaped glass capillary. They then used a simple microfluidic layout to flow the microgel and allow a continuous measurement of the fluorescence signal with several emission wavelengths for the multiplexed barcode detection. "We chose microgels with non-overlapping fluorescence-emitting molecules designed to distinguish spectral barcodes for multiplex analysis ... and to obtain an absolute quantification of microRNA sequences," said Causa. "The precise microgel alignment at various throughput rates and an automatic microRNA sequence intensity normalization in flow gives us an opportunity to obtain reliable measurements, similar to quiescent measurement results, without any fundamental pretreatments of the measurement sample." To prove their concept of this multiplex spectral microgel analysis within a microfluidic flow, the team used "different barcodes corresponding to different emissions at specific wavelengths and the fluorescence intensity of known microRNA concentration," which was measured for calibrations of the specific microRNA being explored. Causa said, "So far, nine different microgel barcodes have been tested in flow with our detection approach, and more codes are being prepared to multiplex it further." As a proof of principle, the team explored microRNA based on its significance to the pathogenesis of various malignant tumors including prostate, gastric, colon, breast and lung cancers. "We were able to specifically detect, count and identify in a quasi-real-time manner hundreds of microgels (~80 microgel particles per minute) at sample volumes of only a few microliters," said Causa. "Our system achieved a microRNA detection limit of 202 femtoMolars in microfluidic flow conditions." Measurements were performed with different microgel barcodes and one in particular focused on specific microRNA targets, demonstrating the specificity of the assay for multiplex measurement conditions. "A microRNA 21 concentration of 0.74 picoMolars was detected in flow, which is consistent with the initial sample concentration level," Causa said. "Out of such fluorescence acquisitions, an absolute quantification of the microRNA 21 concentration level was possible." In terms of applications for the system, since the specific target detection of microgels can be easily tuned, it can be applied to a wide range of different biomarkers thanks to its barcode structure. "Users can also easily adjust its readout speed specifically for any microscopic system," said Causa. "This means that the system will open up new options for biosensing particles within microfluidic devices." Explore further: An inexpensive microfluidic device for rapid point-of-care disease detection gets boost in sensitivity More information: David Dannhauser et al, In-flow real-time detection of spectrally encoded microgels for miRNA absolute quantification, Biomicrofluidics (2016). DOI: 10.1063/1.4967489

News Article | December 19, 2016

Single-stranded, noncoding micro-ribonucleic acids (microRNAs), consisting of 18-23 nucleotides, play a key role in regulating gene expression. Levels of microRNAs circulating within blood can be correlated to different states of diseases such as cancer, neurodegenerative disorders and cardiovascular conditions. Many microRNAs within the blood are encapsulated within exosomes, nanoscale vesicles released by the cells. Accurate measurement of the quantity of microRNAs circulating within the blood is extremely challenging because of their short lengths, similar sequences and low concentration levels. Due to their small number of nucleotides, traditional polymerase chain reaction (PCR) detection methods must necessarily involve a ligation, or linking, step to produce longer complementary DNA strands. Such ligation often produces large biases. Consequently, large volumes of clinical samples typically required to obtain accurate measurements, but few conventional detection systems can handle this directly without proper sample preparation and volume reduction. A team of researchers in Italy from the Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia and the University of Naples Federico II, both in Naples, set out to develop a simple, ultrasensitive fluorescence detection system of in-flow microRNAs that uses spectrally encoded microgels. As the team reports in Biomicrofluidics, from AIP Publishing, until now such a multiplexed barcode detection approach has only been performed in time-consuming observation procedures, significantly hindering its possible diagnostic performance. "Our technological achievement rests upon the straightforward implementation of a seemingly real-time, microfluidic-based readout of microRNA sequences of interest, handling down to a few microliters of target volume," explained Filippo Causa, an associate professor of industrial bioengineering in the Department of Chemical, Materials Engineering, and Industrial Production at the University of Naples Federico II. "No previous RNA sequence amplification is required, which reduces evident sources of measurement errors." To do this, the researchers first explored a cost-effective and biocompatible non-Newtonian fluid to create the optimal 3-D alignment of microgels in the center of a square-shaped glass capillary. They then used a simple microfluidic layout to flow the microgel and allow a continuous measurement of the fluorescence signal with several emission wavelengths for the multiplexed barcode detection. "We chose microgels with non-overlapping fluorescence-emitting molecules designed to distinguish spectral barcodes for multiplex analysis ... and to obtain an absolute quantification of microRNA sequences," said Causa. "The precise microgel alignment at various throughput rates and an automatic microRNA sequence intensity normalization in flow gives us an opportunity to obtain reliable measurements, similar to quiescent measurement results, without any fundamental pretreatments of the measurement sample." To prove their concept of this multiplex spectral microgel analysis within a microfluidic flow, the team used "different barcodes corresponding to different emissions at specific wavelengths and the fluorescence intensity of known microRNA concentration," which was measured for calibrations of the specific microRNA being explored. Causa said, "So far, nine different microgel barcodes have been tested in flow with our detection approach, and more codes are being prepared to multiplex it further." As a proof of principle, the team explored microRNA based on its significance to the pathogenesis of various malignant tumors including prostate, gastric, colon, breast and lung cancers. "We were able to specifically detect, count and identify in a quasi-real-time manner hundreds of microgels (~80 microgel particles per minute) at sample volumes of only a few microliters," said Causa. "Our system achieved a microRNA detection limit of 202 femtoMolars in microfluidic flow conditions." Measurements were performed with different microgel barcodes and one in particular focused on specific microRNA targets, demonstrating the specificity of the assay for multiplex measurement conditions. "A microRNA 21 concentration of 0.74 picoMolars was detected in flow, which is consistent with the initial sample concentration level," Causa said. "Out of such fluorescence acquisitions, an absolute quantification of the microRNA 21 concentration level was possible." In terms of applications for the system, since the specific target detection of microgels can be easily tuned, it can be applied to a wide range of different biomarkers thanks to its barcode structure. "Users can also easily adjust its readout speed specifically for any microscopic system," said Causa. "This means that the system will open up new options for biosensing particles within microfluidic devices."

News Article | December 19, 2016

A team of researchers in Italy developed a cost-effective system to detect in-flow biomolecules in real-time using ultrasensitive fluorescence detection of microRNAs with spectrally encoded microgels WASHINGTON, D.C., December 19, 2016 -- Single-stranded, noncoding micro-ribonucleic acids (microRNAs), consisting of 18-23 nucleotides, play a key role in regulating gene expression. Levels of microRNAs circulating within blood can be correlated to different states of diseases such as cancer, neurodegenerative disorders and cardiovascular conditions. Many microRNAs within the blood are encapsulated within exosomes, nanoscale vesicles released by the cells. Accurate measurement of the quantity of microRNAs circulating within the blood is extremely challenging because of their short lengths, similar sequences and low concentration levels. Due to their small number of nucleotides, traditional polymerase chain reaction (PCR) detection methods must necessarily involve a ligation, or linking, step to produce longer complementary DNA strands. Such ligation often produces large biases. Consequently, large volumes of clinical samples typically required to obtain accurate measurements, but few conventional detection systems can handle this directly without proper sample preparation and volume reduction. A team of researchers in Italy from the Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia and the University of Naples Federico II, both in Naples, set out to develop a simple, ultrasensitive fluorescence detection system of in-flow microRNAs that uses spectrally encoded microgels. As the team reports in Biomicrofluidics, from AIP Publishing, until now such a multiplexed barcode detection approach has only been performed in time-consuming observation procedures, significantly hindering its possible diagnostic performance. "Our technological achievement rests upon the straightforward implementation of a seemingly real-time, microfluidic-based readout of microRNA sequences of interest, handling down to a few microliters of target volume," explained Filippo Causa, an associate professor of industrial bioengineering in the Department of Chemical, Materials Engineering, and Industrial Production at the University of Naples Federico II. "No previous RNA sequence amplification is required, which reduces evident sources of measurement errors." To do this, the researchers first explored a cost-effective and biocompatible non-Newtonian fluid to create the optimal 3-D alignment of microgels in the center of a square-shaped glass capillary. They then used a simple microfluidic layout to flow the microgel and allow a continuous measurement of the fluorescence signal with several emission wavelengths for the multiplexed barcode detection. "We chose microgels with non-overlapping fluorescence-emitting molecules designed to distinguish spectral barcodes for multiplex analysis ... and to obtain an absolute quantification of microRNA sequences," said Causa. "The precise microgel alignment at various throughput rates and an automatic microRNA sequence intensity normalization in flow gives us an opportunity to obtain reliable measurements, similar to quiescent measurement results, without any fundamental pretreatments of the measurement sample." To prove their concept of this multiplex spectral microgel analysis within a microfluidic flow, the team used "different barcodes corresponding to different emissions at specific wavelengths and the fluorescence intensity of known microRNA concentration," which was measured for calibrations of the specific microRNA being explored. Causa said, "So far, nine different microgel barcodes have been tested in flow with our detection approach, and more codes are being prepared to multiplex it further." As a proof of principle, the team explored microRNA based on its significance to the pathogenesis of various malignant tumors including prostate, gastric, colon, breast and lung cancers. "We were able to specifically detect, count and identify in a quasi-real-time manner hundreds of microgels (~80 microgel particles per minute) at sample volumes of only a few microliters," said Causa. "Our system achieved a microRNA detection limit of 202 femtoMolars in microfluidic flow conditions." Measurements were performed with different microgel barcodes and one in particular focused on specific microRNA targets, demonstrating the specificity of the assay for multiplex measurement conditions. "A microRNA 21 concentration of 0.74 picoMolars was detected in flow, which is consistent with the initial sample concentration level," Causa said. "Out of such fluorescence acquisitions, an absolute quantification of the microRNA 21 concentration level was possible." In terms of applications for the system, since the specific target detection of microgels can be easily tuned, it can be applied to a wide range of different biomarkers thanks to its barcode structure. "Users can also easily adjust its readout speed specifically for any microscopic system," said Causa. "This means that the system will open up new options for biosensing particles within microfluidic devices." The article, "In-flow real-time detection of spectrally encoded microgels for miRNA absolute quantification," is authored David Dannhauser, Filippo Causa, Edmondo Battista, Angela M. Cusano, Domenico Rossi and Paolo A. Netti. The article appeared in the journal Biomicrofluidics Dec. 6, 2016 (DOI: 10.1063/1.4967489) and can be accessed at http://aip. . Biomicrofluidics publishes research highlighting fundamental physiochemical mechanisms associated with microfluidic and nanofluidic phenomena as well as novel microfluidic and nanofluidic techniques for diagnostic, medical, biological, pharmaceutical, environmental, and chemical applications. See http://bmf. .

News Article | December 20, 2016

Single-stranded, noncoding micro-ribonucleic acids (microRNAs), consisting of 18 to 23 nucleotides, play a key role in regulating gene expression. Levels of microRNAs circulating within blood can be correlated to different states of diseases such as cancer, neurodegenerative disorders and cardiovascular conditions. Many microRNAs within the blood are encapsulated within exosomes, nanoscale vesicles released by the cells. Accurate measurement of the quantity of microRNAs circulating within the blood is extremely challenging because of their short lengths, similar sequences and low concentration levels. Due to their small number of nucleotides, traditional polymerase chain reaction (PCR) detection methods must necessarily involve a ligation, or linking, step to produce longer complementary DNA strands. Such ligation often produces large biases. Consequently, large volumes of clinical samples typically required to obtain accurate measurements, but few conventional detection systems can handle this directly without proper sample preparation and volume reduction. A team of researchers in Italy from the Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia and the University of Naples Federico II, both in Naples, set out to develop a simple, ultrasensitive fluorescence detection system of in-flow microRNAs that uses spectrally encoded microgels. As the team reports in Biomicrofluidics, from AIP Publishing, until now such a multiplexed barcode detection approach has only been performed in time-consuming observation procedures, significantly hindering its possible diagnostic performance. “Our technological achievement rests upon the straightforward implementation of a seemingly real-time, microfluidic-based readout of microRNA sequences of interest, handling down to a few microliters of target volume,” explains Filippo Causa, an associate professor of industrial bioengineering in the Department of Chemical, Materials Engineering, and Industrial Production at the University of Naples Federico II. “No previous RNA sequence amplification is required, which reduces evident sources of measurement errors.” To do this, the researchers first explored a cost-effective and biocompatible non-Newtonian fluid to create the optimal 3D alignment of microgels in the center of a square-shaped glass capillary. They then used a simple microfluidic layout to flow the microgel and allow a continuous measurement of the fluorescence signal with several emission wavelengths for the multiplexed barcode detection. “We chose microgels with non-overlapping fluorescence-emitting molecules designed to distinguish spectral barcodes for multiplex analysis … and to obtain an absolute quantification of microRNA sequences,” says Causa. “The precise microgel alignment at various throughput rates and an automatic microRNA sequence intensity normalization in flow gives us an opportunity to obtain reliable measurements, similar to quiescent measurement results, without any fundamental pretreatments of the measurement sample.” To prove their concept of this multiplex spectral microgel analysis within a microfluidic flow, the team used “different barcodes corresponding to different emissions at specific wavelengths and the fluorescence intensity of known microRNA concentration,” which was measured for calibrations of the specific microRNA being explored. Causa says, “So far, nine different microgel barcodes have been tested in flow with our detection approach, and more codes are being prepared to multiplex it further.” As a proof of principle, the team explored microRNA based on its significance to the pathogenesis of various malignant tumors including prostate, gastric, colon, breast, and lung cancers. “We were able to specifically detect, count and identify in a quasi-real-time manner hundreds of microgels (~80 microgel particles per minute) at sample volumes of only a few microliters,” says Causa. “Our system achieved a microRNA detection limit of 202 femtoMolars in microfluidic flow conditions.” Measurements were performed with different microgel barcodes and one in particular focused on specific microRNA targets, demonstrating the specificity of the assay for multiplex measurement conditions. “A microRNA 21 concentration of 0.74 picoMolars was detected in flow, which is consistent with the initial sample concentration level,” Causa says. “Out of such fluorescence acquisitions, an absolute quantification of the microRNA 21 concentration level was possible.” In terms of applications for the system, since the specific target detection of microgels can be easily tuned, it can be applied to a wide range of different biomarkers thanks to its barcode structure. “Users can also easily adjust its readout speed specifically for any microscopic system,” says Causa. “This means that the system will open up new options for biosensing particles within microfluidic devices.”

Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: IA | Phase: DRS-03-2015 | Award Amount: 21.10M | Year: 2016

Effective EU support to a large external crisis requires new approaches. In response to this challenge and to identified user and market needs from previous projects, Reaching Out proposes an innovative multi-disciplinary approach that will optimize the efforts, address a wide spectrum of users and maximize market innovation success. This approach results in five main objectives: to 1. Develop a Collaborative Framework, with distributed platforms of functional services, 2. Implement a flexible and open collaborative innovation process involving users and SMEs, suppliers, operators and research organisations, 3. Develop, upgrade and integrate 78 new connectable and interoperable tools, 4. Conduct 5 large scale demonstrations on the field: o health disaster in Africa (Epidemics in Guinea, with strong social and cultural issues), o natural disaster in a politically complex region and a desert environment (Earthquake in the Jordan Valley, led jointly by Jordan, Israel and Palestine), o three global change disasters in Asia targeted at large evacuation and humanitarian support in Bangladesh (long lasting floods, huge storms and associated epidemics,), EU citizen support and repatriation in Shanghai (floods & storm surge), radiological and industrial disasters impacting EU assets in Taiwan (flash floods, landslides, storm surge and chemical and radiological disasters), supported and co-funded by local authorities, 5. Provide recommendations and evaluations for future legal and policy innovations. The project will be conducted under the supervision of senior end-users. It will be performed with flexible and proven procedures by a balanced consortium of users, industry, innovative SMEs, RTO and academia in the EU and the demonstration regions. The main expected impact is to improve external disaster and crisis management efficiency and cost-benefit and increase the EU visibility whilst enhancing EU industry competitiveness and enlarging the market.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CPCSA | Phase: INFRA-2010-1.2.1 | Award Amount: 70.14M | Year: 2010

Scientific research is no longer conducted within national boundaries and is becoming increasing dependent on the large-scale analysis of data, generated from instruments or computer simulations housed in trans-national facilities, by using e Infrastructure (distributed computing and storage resources linked by high-performance networks).\nThe 48 month EGI-InSPIRE project will continue the transition to a sustainable pan-European e-Infrastructure started in EGEE-III. It will sustain support for Grids of high-performance and high-throughput computing resources, while seeking to integrate new Distributed Computing Infrastructures (DCIs), i.e. Clouds, SuperComputing, Desktop Grids, etc., as they are required by the European user community. It will establish a central coordinating organisation,, and support the staff throughout Europe necessary to integrate and interoperate individual national grid infrastructures. will provide a coordinating hub for European DCIs, working to bring existing technologies into a single integrated persistent production infrastructure for researchers within the European Research Area.\nEGI-InSPIRE will collect requirements and provide user-support for the current and new (e.g. ESFRI) users. Support will also be given for the current heavy users as they move their critical services and tools from a central support model to ones driven by their own individual communities. The project will define, verify and integrate within the Unified Middleware Distribution, the middleware from external providers needed to access the e-Infrastructure. The operational tools will be extended by the project to support a national operational deployment model, include new DCI technologies in the production infrastructure and the associated accounting information to help define EGIs future revenue model.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CPCSA | Phase: INFRA-2007-1.2-03 | Award Amount: 49.02M | Year: 2008

A globally distributed computing Grid now plays an essential role for large-scale, data intensive science in many fields of research. The concept has been proven viable through the Enabling Grids for E-sciencE project (EGEE and EGEE-II, 2004-2008) and its related projects. EGEE-II is consolidating the operations and middleware of this Grid for use by a wide range of scientific communities, such as astrophysics, computational chemistry, earth and life sciences, fusion and particle physics. Strong quality assurance, training and outreach programmes contribute to the success of this production Grid infrastructure. \nBuilt on the pan-European network GANT2, EGEE has become a unique and powerful resource for European science, allowing researchers in all regions to collaborate on common challenges. Worldwide collaborations have extended its reach to the benefit of European science.\nThe proposed EGEE-III project has two clear objectives that are essential for European research infrastructures: to expand, optimize and simplify the use of Europes largest production Grid by continuous operation of the infrastructure, support for more user communities, and addition of further computational and data resources; to prepare the migration of the existing Grid from a project-based model to a sustainable federated infrastructure based on National Grid Initiatives. \nBy strengthening interoperable, open source middleware, EGEE-III will actively contribute to Grid standards, and work closely with businesses to ensure commercial uptake of the Grid, which is a key to sustainability. \nFederating its partners on a national or regional basis, EGEE-III will have a structuring effect on the European Research Area. In particular, EGEE-III will ensure that the European Grid does not fragment into incompatible infrastructures of varying maturity. EGEE-III will provide a world class, coherent and reliable European Grid, ensuring Europe remains at the forefront of scientific excellence.

Duntas L.H.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Biondi B.,University of Naples Federico II
Seminars in Thrombosis and Hemostasis | Year: 2011

Subclinical hypothyroidism (SH) is a frequent condition affecting millions of people around the world. Defined by increased thyrotropin-stimulating hormone (TSH) and accompanied by normal thyroid hormone levels, SH reflects a mild tissue hypothyroidism that has been associated with metabolic derangements andalthough this issue is still contentiouspossibly with increased cardiovascular risk. Depending on the degree of TSH elevation, SH has accordingly been associated with hyperlipidemia, arterial hypertension, and cardiovascular disease (CVD), as well as, increasingly, newly emerging CVD risk factors such as serum C-reactive protein and retinol binding protein 4 levels. There have also been reports of abnormalities in glucose metabolism and of hemostatic parameters, mainly underscored by the increased activity of factor VII. This review discusses the results of the latest studies on the various parameters affected by SH while highlighting the need for timely treatment with levothyroxine. © 2011 by Thieme Medical Publishers, Inc.

Cappuccio F.P.,University of Warwick | D'Elia L.,University of Naples Federico II | Strazzullo P.,University of Naples Federico II | Miller M.A.,University of Warwick
Diabetes Care | Year: 2010

OBJECTIVE - To assess the relationship between habitual sleep disturbances and the incidence of type 2 diabetes and to obtain an estimate of the risk. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS - We conducted a systematic search of publications using MEDLINE (1955-April 2009), EMBASE, and the Cochrane Library and manual searches without language restrictions. We included studies if they were prospective with follow-up>3 years and had an assessment of sleep disturbances at baseline and incidence of type 2 diabetes. We recorded several characteristics for each study. We extracted quantity and quality of sleep, how they were assessed, and incident cases defined with different validated methods. We extracted relative risks (RRs) and 95% CI and pooled them using random-effects models. We performed sensitivity analysis and assessed heterogeneity and publication bias. RESULTS - We included 10 studies (13 independent cohort samples; 107,756 male and female participants, follow-up range 4.2-32 years, and 3,586 incident cases of type 2 diabetes). In pooled analyses, quantity and quality of sleep predicted the risk of development of type 2 diabetes. For short duration of sleep (≤5-6 h/night), the RR was 1.28 (95% CI 1.03-1.60, P = 0.024, heterogeneity P = 0.015); for long duration of sleep (>8-9 h/night), the RR was 1.48 (1.13-1.96, P = 0.005); for difficulty in initiating sleep, the RR was 1.57 (1.25-1.97, P < 0.0001); and for difficulty in maintaining sleep, the RR was 1.84 (1.39 -2.43, P < 0.0001). CONCLUSIONS - Quantity and quality of sleep consistently and significantly predict the risk of the development of type 2 diabetes. The mechanisms underlying this relation may differ between short and long sleepers. © 2010 by the American Diabetes Association.

Garofalo M.,Ohio State University | Quintavalle C.,University of Naples Federico II | Romano G.,Fondazione IRCCS SDN | Croce C.M.,Ohio State University | Condorelli G.,University of Naples Federico II
Current Molecular Medicine | Year: 2012

miRNAs are small non-coding RNAs of ~24 nt that can block mRNA translation and/or negatively regulate its stability. There is a large body of evidence that dysregulation of miRNAs is a hallmark of cancer. miRNAs are often aberrantly expressed and their function is linked to the regulation of oncogenes and/or tumor suppressor genes involved in cell signaling pathway. miR-221 and miR-222 are two highly homologous microRNAs, whose upregulation has been recently described in several types of human tumors. miR-221/222 have been considered to act as oncogenes or tumor suppressors, depending on tumor system. Silencing oncomiRs or gene therapy approaches, based on re-expression of miRNAs that are down-regulated in cancer cells, could represent a novel anti-tumor approach for integrated cancer therapy. Here we will review the role of miR-221/222 in cancer progression and their use as prognostic and therapeutic tools in cancer. © 2012 Bentham Science Publishers.

Bimonte G.,University of Naples Federico II | Bimonte G.,National Institute of Nuclear Physics, Italy | Emig T.,University Paris - Sud | Emig T.,Massachusetts Institute of Technology | Kardar M.,Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Physics Letters, Section B: Nuclear, Elementary Particle and High-Energy Physics | Year: 2015

The exact critical Casimir force between periodically deformed boundaries of a 2D semi-infinite strip is obtained for conformally invariant classical systems. Only two parameters (conformal charge, dimension of a boundary changing operator), along with the solution of an electrostatic problem, determine the Casimir force, rendering the theory practically applicable to any shape. The attraction between any two mirror symmetric objects follows directly from our general result. The possibility of purely shape induced reversal of the force, as well as occurrence of stable equilibrium is demonstrated for certain conformally invariant models, including the tricritical Ising model. © 2015 The Authors.

Della Vecchia N.F.,University of Naples Federico II | Avolio R.,CNR Institute of Chemistry and Technology of Polymers | Alfe M.,National Research Council Italy | Errico M.E.,CNR Institute of Chemistry and Technology of Polymers | And 2 more authors.
Advanced Functional Materials | Year: 2013

Rational approaches to engineering polydopamine films with tailored properties for surface coating and functionalization are currently challenged by the lack of detailed information about the polymer structure and the mechanism of buildup. Using an integrated chemical and spectroscopic approach enables the demonstration of: a) a three-component structure of polydopamine, comprising uncyclized (catecholamine) and cyclized (indole) units, as well as novel pyrrolecarboxylic acid moieties; b) remarkable variations in the relative proportions of the cyclized and uncyclized units with starting dopamine concentration; c) the occurrence of oligomer components up to the tetramer level; d) the covalent incorporation of Tris buffer; and e) the role of dopamine quinone as a crucial control point for directing the buildup pathways and tuning the properties. The importance of the uncyclized amine-containing units in polydopamine adhesion is also highlighted. The proper selection of substrate concentration and buffer is thus proposed as a practical means of tailoring polydopamine functionality via control of competing pathways downstream of dopamine quinone. Polydopamine is shown to consist of diverse oligomer components (up to tetramers) including uncyclized catecholamine motifs, 5,6-dihydroxyindole units, and hitherto unrecognized pyrrolecarboxylic acid moieties. Uncyclized amine units prevail with 10 × 10-3 M dopamine, and indoles/pyrroles with a 0.5 × 10-3 M concentration. Covalent incorporation of 50 × 10-3 M Tris is demonstrated. The polydopamine functionality can be tailored via o-quinone as a control point. Copyright © 2013 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

Dainotti A.,Applied Technology Internet | Dainotti A.,University of Naples Federico II | Pescape A.,University of Naples Federico II | Claffy K.C.,Applied Technology Internet
IEEE Network | Year: 2012

Traffic classification technology has increased in relevance this decade, as it is now used in the definition and implementation of mechanisms for service differentiation, network design and engineering, security, accounting, advertising, and research. Over the past 10 years the research community and the networking industry have investigated, proposed and developed several classification approaches. While traffic classification techniques are improving in accuracy and efficiency, the continued proliferation of different Internet application behaviors, in addition to growing incentives to disguise some applications to avoid filtering or blocking, are among the reasons that traffic classification remains one of many open problems in Internet research. In this article we review recent achievements and discuss future directions in traffic classification, along with their trade-offs in applicability, reliability, and privacy. We outline the persistently unsolved challenges in the field over the last decade, and suggest several strategies for tackling these challenges to promote progress in the science of Internet traffic classification. © 2012 IEEE.

Gentile M.,University of Naples Federico II | Straughan B.,Durham University
Nonlinear Analysis: Real World Applications | Year: 2013

Structural stability is studied in the problem of a fluid saturating a porous medium of Forchheimer type when the density of the fluid has a cubic temperature dependence. This problem allows the possibility of resonance between internal layers in thermal convection. In this paper we investigate continuous dependence on the heat source, this source being an important quantity in the resonance problem. © 2012 Published by Elsevier Ltd.

Zarrilli R.,University of Naples Federico II | Pournaras S.,University of Thessaly | Giannouli M.,University of Naples Federico II | Tsakris A.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
International Journal of Antimicrobial Agents | Year: 2013

The rapid expansion of Acinetobacter baumannii clinical isolates exhibiting resistance to carbapenems and most or all available antibiotics during the last decade is a worrying evolution. The apparent predominance of a few successful multidrug-resistant lineages worldwide underlines the importance of elucidating the mode of spread and the epidemiology of A. baumannii isolates in single hospitals, at a country-wide level and on a global scale. The evolutionary advantage of the dominant clonal lineages relies on the capability of the A. baumannii pangenome to incorporate resistance determinants. In particular, the simultaneous presence of divergent strains of the international clone II and their increasing prevalence in international hospitals further support the ongoing adaptation of this lineage to the hospital environment. Indeed, genomic and genetic studies have elucidated the role of mobile genetic elements in the transfer of antibiotic resistance genes and substantiate the rate of genetic alterations associated with acquisition in A. baumannii of various resistance genes, including OXA- and metallo-β-lactamase-type carbapenemase genes. The significance of single nucleotide polymorphisms and transposon mutagenesis in the evolution of A. baumannii has been also documented. Establishment of a network of reference laboratories in different countries would generate a more complete picture and a fuller understanding of the importance of high-risk A. baumannii clones in the international dissemination of antibiotic resistance. © 2012 Elsevier B.V. and the International Society of Chemotherapy.

D'Elia L.,University of Naples Federico II | Barba G.,National Research Council Italy | Cappuccio F.P.,University of Warwick | Strazzullo P.,University of Naples Federico II
Journal of the American College of Cardiology | Year: 2011

Objectives: The objective of this study was to assess the relation between the level of habitual potassium intake and the incidence of cardiovascular disease (CVD). Background: Prospective cohort studies have evaluated the relationship between habitual potassium intake and incidence of vascular disease, but their results have not been not entirely consistent. Methods: We performed a systematic search for prospective studies published, without language restrictions (1966 to December 2009). Criteria for inclusion were prospective adult population study, assessment of baseline potassium intake, assessment of vascular events as outcome, and follow-up of at least 4 years. For each study, relative risks (RRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were extracted and pooled using a random-effect model, weighted for the inverse of the variance. Heterogeneity, publication bias, subgroup, and meta-regression analyses were performed. Results: Eleven studies were identified, providing 15 cohort samples that included 247,510 male and female participants (follow-up 5 to 19 years), 7,066 strokes, 3,058 coronary heart disease (CHD) events, and 2,497 total CVD events. Potassium intake was assessed by 24-h dietary recall (n = 2), food frequency questionnaire (n = 6), or 24-h urinary excretion (n = 3). In the pooled analysis, a 1.64-g (42 mmol) per day higher potassium intake was associated with a 21% lower risk of stroke (RR: 0.79; 95% CI: 0.68 to 0.90; p = 0.0007), with a trend toward lower risk of CHD and total CVD that attained statistical significance after the exclusion of a single cohort, based on sensitivity analysis (RR: 0.93; 95% CI: 0.87 to 0.99; p = 0.03 and RR: 0.74; 95% CI: 0.60 to 0.91; p = 0.0037). Conclusions: Higher dietary potassium intake is associated with lower rates of stroke and might also reduce the risk of CHD and total CVD. These results support recommendations for higher consumption of potassium-rich foods to prevent vascular diseases. © 2011 American College of Cardiology Foundation.

De Matteis G.,University of Chieti Pescara | Brando G.,University of Chieti Pescara | Mazzolani F.M.,University of Naples Federico II
Earthquake Engineering and Structural Dynamics | Year: 2011

This paper deals with experimental tests aimed at assessing the structural performance of pure aluminium shear panels to be employed as passive energy dissipation devices with a bracing type configuration. The AW1050 A H24 is adopted as the basic material. It is an aluminium alloy with a negligible content of impurity, allowing it to be considered as a pure aluminium. In this paper, the results of four full-scale 5thinspacemm thick multi-stiffened square-shaped specimens tested under cyclic diagonal loads and characterized by different slenderness ratios are presented. In order to determine the main resisting mechanisms for different shear strain demands, a careful examination of the experimental evidences is provided. Then, the global performance of tested shear panels is evaluated by the comparison of the obtained hysteretic responses, evidencing the effect of the plate slenderness on the energy dissipation capacity. Finally, a suitable analytical model, which could be useful to implement global dynamic non-linear analysis, is set up in order to interpret the behaviour of shear panels for which the development of premature buckling phenomena is completely inhibited. © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Di Donato C.,Complesso Universitario Of Monte Santangelo | Ricciardi G.,Complesso Universitario Of Monte Santangelo | Ricciardi G.,University of Naples Federico II | Bigi I.I.,University of Notre Dame
Physical Review D - Particles, Fields, Gravitation and Cosmology | Year: 2012

It has been realized for a long time that knowing the η and η ′ wave functions in terms of quark and gluon components probes our understanding of nonperturbative QCD dynamics. Great effort has been given to this challenge, yet no clear picture has emerged even with the most recent KLOE data. We point out which measurements would be most helpful in arriving at a more definite conclusion. A better knowledge of these wave functions will significantly help to disentangle the weight of different decay subprocesses in semileptonic decays of D +, Ds+, and B + mesons. The resulting insights will be instrumental in treating even nonleptonic B transitions involving η and η ′ and their CP asymmetries; thus they can sharpen the case for or against new physics intervening there. © 2012 American Physical Society.

Duntas L.H.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens | Biondi B.,University of Naples Federico II
Thyroid | Year: 2013

Background: There is increasing evidence that changes in thyroid function are associated with obesity, a condition associated with a chronic low-grade state of inflammation. Meanwhile, recent data have disclosed a relation between obesity and thyroid autoimmunity, with the adipocyte hormone leptin appearing to be the key factor linking these two conditions. Summary: Leptin has variably been implicated in thyroid function, while recent findings suggest that leptin resistance may mitigate leptin deficiency and enhance autoimmunity in obese subjects via mechanisms operating independently of thyroid function. The development of resistance to the weight-lowering effects of leptin in obesity might well be initiated by activation of inflammatory signaling, which substantially contributes to the derangement of immune response and propagation of autoimmunity in susceptible individuals. Conclusions: Regulation of inflammasome-derived cytokines in obesity is an important step in controlling the trigger of thyroid autoimmunity. The clarification of the pathways may offer innovative therapeutic targets in obesity and thyroid autoimmunity. © Copyright 2013, Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. 2013.

Ciamarra M.P.,University of Naples Federico II | Sollich P.,King's College London
Soft Matter | Year: 2013

We demonstrate that particles interacting via core-softened potentials exhibit a series of successive density anomalies upon isothermal compression, leading to oscillations in the diffusivity and thermal expansion coefficient, with the latter reaching negative values. These finite-temperature density anomalies are then shown to correspond to zero-temperature high-order jamming crossovers. These occur when particles are forced to come into contact with neighbours in successive coordination shells upon increasing the density. The crossovers induce anomalous behavior of the bulk modulus, which oscillates with density. We rationalize the dependence of these crossovers on the softness of the interaction potential, and relate the jamming crossovers and the anomalous diffusivity via the properties of the vibrational spectrum. © 2013 The Royal Society of Chemistry.

Punzo V.,University of Naples Federico II | Borzacchiello M.T.,European Commission - Joint Research Center Ispra | Ciuffo B.,European Commission - Joint Research Center Ispra
Transportation Research Part C: Emerging Technologies | Year: 2011

Trajectories drawn in a common reference system by all the vehicles on a road are the ultimate empirical data to investigate traffic dynamics. The vast amount of such data made freely available by the Next Generation SIMulation (NGSIM) program is therefore opening up new horizons in studying traffic flow theory. Yet the quality of trajectory data and its impact on the reliability of related studies was a vastly underestimated problem in the traffic literature even before the availability of NGSIM data. The absence of established methods to assess data accuracy and even of a common understanding of the problem makes it hard to speak of reproducibility of experiments and objective comparison of results, in particular in a research field where the complexity of human behaviour is an intrinsic challenge to the scientific method. Therefore this paper intends to design quantitative methods to inspect trajectory data. To this aim first the structure of the error on point measurements and its propagation on the space travelled are investigated. Analytical evidence of the bias propagated in the vehicle trajectory functions and a related consistency requirement are given. Literature on estimation/filtering techniques is then reviewed in light of this requirement and a number of error statistics suitable to inspect trajectory data are proposed. The designed methodology, involving jerk analysis, consistency analysis and spectral analysis, is then applied to the complete set of NGSIM databases. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.

Scalera A.,University of Naples Federico II | Tarantino G.,University of Naples Federico II | Tarantino G.,Italian National Cancer Institute
World Journal of Gastroenterology | Year: 2014

It was estimated that from 2002 to 2008 the risk of developing cancer increased a quarter-fold in men and twofold in women due to excessive BMI. Obesity, metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes mellitus are strictly related and are key pathogenetic factors of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), the most frequent liver disease worldwide. The most important consequence of the "metabolic epidemics" is the probable rise in the incidence of hepatocarcinoma (HCC), and NAFLD is the major causative factor. Adipose tissue is not merely a storage organ where lipids are preserved as an energy source. It is an active organ with important endocrine, paracrine, and autocrine actions in addition to immune functions. Adipocytes produce a wide range of hormones, cytokines, and growth factors that can act locally in the adipose tissue microenvironment and systemically. In this article, the main roles of insulin growth factor (IGF)-1 and IGF-2 are discussed. The role of IGF-2 is not only confined to HCC, but it may also act in early hepato-carcinogenesis, as preneoplastic lesions express IGF-2 mRNA. IGF-1 and IGF-2 interact with specific receptors (IGF-1R and IGF-2R). IGF- 1R is over-expressed in in vitro and in animal models of HCC and it was demonstrated that IGF ligands exerted their effects on HCC cells through IGF-1R and that it was involved in the degeneration of pre-neoplastic lesions via an increase in their mitotic activity. Both IGF-2R and TGFβ, a growth inhibitor, levels are reduced in human HCC compared with adjacent normal liver tissues. Another key mechanism involves peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR)γ. In in vitro studies, PPARγ inhibited various carcinomas including HCC, most probably by regulating apoptosis via the p21, p53 and p27 pathways. Finally, as a clinical consequence, to improve survival, efforts to achieve a "healthier diet" should be promoted by physicians and politicians. © 2014 Baishideng Publishing Group Inc. All rights reserved.

Bimonte G.,University of Naples Federico II | Bimonte G.,National Institute of Nuclear Physics, Italy | Emig T.,University Paris - Sud
Physical Review Letters | Year: 2012

Analytic expressions that describe Casimir interactions over the entire range of separations have been limited to planar surfaces. Here we derive analytic expressions for the classical or high-temperature limit of Casimir interactions between two spheres (interior and exterior configurations), including the sphere-plane geometry as a special case, using bispherical coordinates. We consider both Dirichlet boundary conditions and metallic boundary conditions described by the Drude model. At short distances, closed-form expansions are derived from the exact result, displaying an intricate structure of deviations from the commonly employed proximity force approximation. © 2012 American Physical Society.

Ciuffo B.,European Commission - Joint Research Center Ispra | Punzo V.,European Commission - Joint Research Center Ispra | Punzo V.,University of Naples Federico II
IEEE Transactions on Intelligent Transportation Systems | Year: 2014

In 1997, Wolpert and Macready derived 'No free lunch theorems for optimization.' They basically state that 'the expected performance of any pair of optimization algorithms across all possible problems is identical.' This is to say that there is no algorithm that outperforms the others over the entire domain of problems. In other words, the choice of the most appropriate algorithm depends upon the specific problem under investigation, and a certain algorithm, while providing good performance (both in terms of solution quality and convergence speed) on certain problems, may reveal weak on certain others. This apparently straightforward concept is not always acknowledged by optimization practitioners. A typical example, in the field of traffic simulation, concerns the calibration of traffic models. In this paper, a general method for verifying the robustness of a calibration procedure (suitable, in general, for any simulation optimization) is proposed based on a test with synthetic data. The main obstacle to this methodology is the significant computation time required by all the necessary simulations. For this reason, a Kriging approximation of the simulation model is proposed instead. The methodology is tested on a specific case study, where the effect on the optimization problem of different combinations of parameters, optimization algorithms, measures of goodness of fit, and levels of noise in the data is also investigated. Results show the clear dependence between the performance of a calibration procedure and the case study under analysis and ascertain the need for global solutions in simulation optimization with traffic models. © 2013 IEEE.

Cappuccio F.P.,University of Warwick | Cooper D.,University of Warwick | Delia L.,University of Naples Federico II | Strazzullo P.,University of Naples Federico II | Miller M.A.,University of Warwick
European Heart Journal | Year: 2011

AimsTo assess the relationship between duration of sleep and morbidity and mortality from coronary heart disease (CHD), stroke, and total cardiovascular disease (CVD).Methods and resultsWe performed a systematic search of publications using MEDLINE (19662009), EMBASE (from 1980), the Cochrane Library, and manual searches without language restrictions. Studies were included if they were prospective, follow-up >3 years, had duration of sleep at baseline, and incident cases of CHD, stroke, or CVD. Relative risks (RR) and 95 confidence interval (CI) were pooled using a random-effect model. Overall, 15 studies (24 cohort samples) included 474 684 male and female participants (follow-up 6.925 years), and 16 067 events (4169 for CHD, 3478 for stroke, and 8420 for total CVD). Sleep duration was assessed by questionnaire and incident cases through certification and event registers. Short duration of sleep was associated with a greater risk of developing or dying of CHD (RR 1.48, 95 CI 1.221.80, P < 0.0001), stroke (1.15, 1.001.31, P 0.047), but not total CVD (1.03, 0.931.15, P 0.52) with no evidence of publication bias (P 0.95, P 0.30, and P 0.46, respectively). Long duration of sleep was also associated with a greater risk of CHD (1.38, 1.151.66, P 0.0005), stroke (1.65, 1.451.87, P < 0.0001), and total CVD (1.41, 1.191.68, P < 0.0001) with no evidence of publication bias (P 0.92, P 0.96, and P 0.79, respectively).ConclusionBoth short and long duration of sleep are predictors, or markers, of cardiovascular outcomes. © 2010 The Author.

Cappuccio F.P.,University of Warwick | D'Elia L.,University of Naples Federico II | Strazzullo P.,University of Naples Federico II | Miller M.A.,University of Warwick
Sleep | Year: 2010

Background: Increasing evidence suggests an association between both short and long duration of habitual sleep with adverse health outcomes. Objectives: To assess whether the population longitudinal evidence supports the presence of a relationship between duration of sleep and allcause mortality, to investigate both short and long sleep duration and to obtain an estimate of the risk. Methods: We performed a systematic search of publications using MEDLINE (1966-2009), EMBASE (from 1980), the Cochrane Library, and manual searches without language restrictions. We included studies if they were prospective, had follow-up >3 years, had duration of sleep at baseline, and all-cause mortality prospectively. We extracted relative risks (RR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) and pooled them using a random effect model. We carried out sensitivity analyses and assessed heterogeneity and publication bias. Results: Overall, the 16 studies analyzed provided 27 independent cohort samples. They included 1,382,999 male and female participants (followup range 4 to 25 years), and 112,566 deaths. Sleep duration was assessed by questionnaire and outcome through death certification. In the pooled analysis, short duration of sleep was associated with a greater risk of death (RR: 1.12; 95% CI 1.06 to 1.18; P < 0. 01) with no evidence of publication bias (P = 0.74) but heterogeneity between studies (P = 0.02). Long duration of sleep was also associated with a greater risk of death (1.30; [1.22 to 1.38]; P < 0.0001) with no evidence of publication bias (P = 0.18) but significant heterogeneity between studies (P < 0.0001). Conclusion: Both short and long duration of sleep are significant predictors of death in prospective population studies.

Capozziello S.,University of Naples Federico II | Lazkoz R.,University of the Basque Country | Salzano V.,University of the Basque Country
Physical Review D - Particles, Fields, Gravitation and Cosmology | Year: 2011

We study the possibility of extracting model independent information about the dynamics of the Universe by using cosmography. We intend to explore it systematically, to learn about its limitations and its real possibilities. Here we are sticking to the series expansion approach on which cosmography is based. We apply it to different data sets: Supernovae typeIa (SNeIa), Hubble parameter extracted from differential galaxy ages, gamma ray bursts, and the baryon acoustic oscillations data. We go beyond past results in the literature extending the series expansion up to the fourth order in the scale factor, which implies the analysis of the deceleration q 0, the jerk j 0, and the snap s 0. We use the Markov chain MonteCarlo method (MCMC) to analyze the data statistically. We also try to relate direct results from cosmography to dark energy (DE) dynamical models parametrized by the Chevallier-Polarski-Linder model, extracting clues about the matter content and the dark energy parameters. The main results are: (a)even if relying on a mathematical approximate assumption such as the scale factor series expansion in terms of time, cosmography can be extremely useful in assessing dynamical properties of the Universe; (b)the deceleration parameter clearly confirms the present acceleration phase; (c)the MCMC method can help giving narrower constraints in parameter estimation, in particular for higher order cosmographic parameters (the jerk and the snap), with respect to the literature; and (d)both the estimation of the jerk and the DE parameters reflect the possibility of a deviation from the ΛCDM cosmological model. © 2011 American Physical Society.

Paliathanasis A.,University of Naples Federico II | Paliathanasis A.,Complesso Universitario Of Monte gelo | Tsamparlis M.,National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
Physical Review D - Particles, Fields, Gravitation and Cosmology | Year: 2014

We consider the two scalar field cosmology in a Friedmann Robertson Walker spatially flat spacetime where the scalar fields interact both in the kinetic part and the potential. We apply the Noether point symmetries in order to define the interaction of the scalar fields. We use the point symmetries in order to write the field equations in the normal coordinates, and we find that the Lagrangian of the field equations which admits at least three Noether point symmetries describes linear Newtonian systems. Furthermore, by using the corresponding conservation laws we find exact solutions of the field equations. Finally, we generalize our results to the case of N scalar fields interacting both in their potential and their kinematic part in a flat Friedmann Robertson Walker background. © 2014 American Physical Society.

Stanghellini G.,University of Chieti Pescara | Stanghellini G.,University of Santiago de Chile | Rossi R.,University of Naples Federico II
Current Opinion in Psychiatry | Year: 2014

Purpose of Review: Mental disorders are mainly characterized via symptom assessment. Symptoms are state-like macroscopic anomalies of behaviour, experience, and expression that are deemed relevant for diagnostic purposes. An alternative approach is based on the concept of endophenotypes, which are physiological or behavioural measures occupying the terrain between symptoms and risk genotypes. We will critically discuss these two approaches, and later focus on the concept of pheno-phenotype as it is revealed by recent phenomenological research on schizophrenia. Recent Findings: Several studies have been recently published on the schizophrenic pheno-phenotype mainly addressing self-disorders, as well as disorders of time and bodily experience. Summary: The mainstream approach to psychopathological phenotypes is focussed on easy-to-assess operationalizable symptoms. Thinness of phenotypes and simplification of clinical constructs are the consequences of this. Also, this approach has not been successful in investigating the biological causes of mental disorders. An integrative approach is based on the concept of 'endophenotype'. Endophenotypes were conceptualized as a supportive tool for the genetic dissection of psychiatric disorders. The underlying rationale states that disease-specific phenotypes should be the upstream phenotypic manifestation of a smaller genotype than the whole disease-related genotype. Psychopathological phenotypes can also be characterized in terms of pheno-phenotypes. This approach aims at delineating the manifold phenomena experienced by patients in all of their concrete and distinctive features, so that the features of a pathological condition emerge, while preserving their peculiar feel, meaning, and value for the patient. Systematic explorations of anomalies in the patients' experience, for example, of time, space, body, self, and otherness, may provide a useful integration to the symptom-based and endophenotype-based approaches. These abnormal phenomena can be used as pointers to the fundamental alterations of the structure of subjectivity characterizing each mental disorder. © 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

Bimonte G.,University of Naples Federico II | Bimonte G.,National Institute of Nuclear Physics, Italy | Emig T.,University Paris - Sud | Kardar M.,Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Applied Physics Letters | Year: 2012

A widely used method for estimating Casimir interactions [H. B. G. Casimir, Proc. K. Ned. Akad. Wet. 51, 793 (1948)] between gently curved material surfaces at short distances is the proximity force approximation (PFA). While this approximation is asymptotically exact at vanishing separations, quantifying corrections to PFA has been notoriously difficult. Here, we use a derivative expansion to compute the leading curvature correction to PFA for metals (gold) at room temperature. We derive an explicit expression for the amplitude 1 of the PFA correction to the force gradient for axially symmetric surfaces. In the non-retarded limit, the corrections to the Casimir free energy are found to scale logarithmically with distance. For gold, 1 has an unusually large temperature dependence. © 2012 American Institute of Physics.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-ITN | Phase: PEOPLE-2007-1-1-ITN | Award Amount: 3.49M | Year: 2009

The scientific objective of DYNACOP is to obtain a fundamental understanding of the flow behaviour and the dynamics of blends of topologically complex macromolecular fluids and their role in processing and properties of blends. These materials exhibit complex dynamics and rheology and, in many cases, show hierarchical relaxation over many different timescales. This in turn affects the processing and properties of the final materials. In order to rationally design appropriate materials and processes for various technological applications, a rigorous, knowledge based approach is needed. This is especially urgent in the face of current opportunities offered by tailored molecular engineering of polymers at the industrial scale, and the proposed use of these materials in nano-structured composites for smart applications in devices, electronics ad high-performance applications. The training objective of the proposed action is to provide young post-doctoral researchers with the necessary interdisciplinary knowledge and experience in the field of soft materials properties, much needed throughout Europe, which will allow them to address some of the many scientific and technological challenges in the field. This will first and foremost be achieved through a collaborative research program and portfolio of training courses intimately linking industry and academia. To ensure fruitful collaborations, the participating research groups will work around a limited number of model systems; exchange the samples, and apply to them the techniques and/ or theoretical approaches developed in the different laboratories. The research groups are selected in order to obtain the needed synergy, as they have different backgrounds/expertise, in physics, chemical engineering, chemistry and materials science. 6 Very high profile international visiting scientists, bringing their uniques expertise to Europe, will participate in the training and research.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-IRSES | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2013-IRSES | Award Amount: 898.80K | Year: 2014

GREAT will focus on the geotechnical and geological response to the global challenge of climate change. It aims to promote sharing of mitigation and adaptation strategies on a world-wide scale by involving 5 major European institutions and 6 ICPC institutions from three BRICS countries (China, India, and Brazil). The goal is to facilitate access of Europe to research and innovation carried out in emerging economies and, at the same time, to promote Europe as a pole of attraction for research and innovation on a global scale. GREAT will address four major research areas: i) climate resilient geo-infrastructure; ii) carbon-efficient geo-infrastructure; iii) carbon capture and energy extraction using conventional geo-infrastructure; and iv) geological carbon storage and deep geothermal extraction. GREAT will stimulate long-term collaboration between European and BRICS institutions via the secondment of ~50 PhD/Post-doc researchers and ~50 senior members of staff. The seconded PhD/Post-doc researchers will develop mini-projects jointly supervised by senior staff at home and host institution to ensure an effective scientific exchange. These mini-projects are integrated into the overall PhD/Post-doc activities and are anticipated to lead to a substantial number of joint publications. On the other hand, secondment of senior staff members will allow preparing joint proposals to be submitted during the 4-year period of the project. The project will fully exploit the opportunities for collaborative research jointly funded by European and ICPC councils to foster long-term cooperation between European and ICPC institutions. The project will also put in place mechanisms for sustainable networking (i.e. beyond the duration of the project) based on six-monthly virtual workshops, a Facebook portal to facilitate day-to-day interaction in particular between ESRs, and a dedicated Youtube channel for making lectures delivered by senior staff available across the continents.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ICT-2011.2.1 | Award Amount: 11.57M | Year: 2011

Recent progress in physical Human-Robot Interaction (pHRI) showed that active and safe workspace sharing becomes possible in principle. Inspired by these results, SAPHARI will perform a fundamental paradigm shift in robot development in the sense that we place the human as the centre of the entire design. We address all essential aspects of safe, intuitive physical interaction between humans and complex, human-like robotic systems in a strongly interconnected manner. While encompassing safety issues based on biomechanical analysis, human-friendly hardware design, and interaction control strategies, the project will develop and validate perceptive and cognitive key components that enable robots to track, understand and predict human motions in a weakly structured dynamic environment in real-time. Apart from developing the necessary capabilities for interactive autonomy, we will tightly incorporate the human safety also at the cognitive level. This will enable the robots to react or physically interact with humans in a safe and autonomous way. Biomechanical knowledge and biologically motivated variable compliance actuators will be used to design bimanual manipulation systems close to human properties and performance. Planning motions and tasks of such complex systems in real-time require new concepts, including tight coupling of control and planning, that lead to new reactive action generation behaviours. Moreover, self explaining interaction and communication frameworks will be developed to enhance the system usability. The project focuses on two industrial use cases that explicitly require contacts and force exchange in human-robot co-work, as well as on professional service scenarios in hospitals, in which a medical staff and an assisting robot interact closely during daily work. Results of this project are expected to strongly impact all applications where interactive robots can assist humans and release them from dangerous or routine tasks.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: SEC-2013.4.1-2 | Award Amount: 5.21M | Year: 2014

SnowBall is a 5M STREP R&D proposal of 36 months. Its overall objective is to increase preparedness and response capacities of decision-makers, emergency planners and first responders in respect to amplifying hazards in large disasters. SnowBall consists in a deep analysis of cascading effects and development of methods to anticipate them; and in a Decision Support System able to display current crisis monitoring and results of simulated decisions integrating cascading effects, thanks to a data collection system, an Events Log Database, Simulators and a Dashboard. SnowBall innovates in its modular approach to crises, its modelling techniques, its agent-supported coupled grid simulations, its generic Events Log Database and tools to follow public behaviour (Emergency Alert, social networks, mobile application). SnowBall encompasses 8 work packages: 1- Management; 2- Technical supervision; 3- Cascading effects methodology; 4- Event log database; 5- Simulation tool; 6- Crisis Management dashboard; 7 Experimentation; 8- Dissemination and Exploitation. SnowBall comprises 11 partners from 8 countries covering the full competence scope required: 2 industrials (Gedicom - Emergency Alert System; Cofely INEO - Events log database), 2 Research Institutes and 3 Universities focussed on different segments of risks assessment: LUPT-PLINIVS (natural hazards); Fraunhofer EMI (critical infrastructure socio-technical simulation); EMAUG (human behaviour); UCL (public health) and ISMB (cloud, data process, mobile services), 3 end-users (Polish Fire School; Ministry of Interior of Finland represented by ESC; and Hungarian Red Cross) and 1 consultancy (EP). The main expected impacts of SnowBall are a substantial scientific contribution, a fosterer of capacity to face complex crisis situations by better predicting cascading effects and integrating population behaviour in simulations, a contribution to the security of EU citizens; and a commercially viable project contributing to EU competitiveness.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: BBI-RIA | Phase: BBI.R10-2015 | Award Amount: 3.77M | Year: 2016

The BIOrescue project aims to develop and demonstrate a new innovative biorefinery concept based on the cascading use of spent mushroom substrate (SMS) supplemented by wheat straw (and other seasonal underutilised lignocellulosic feedstocks. i.e pruning residues, residual citrus peels and wastes). This new concept will avoid disposal and allow for the production of some biodegradable bio-based products and bioactive compounds that will help to replace the existing ones based on fossil resources. The research will help to expand the business opportunities of the mushroom cultivation farms, and the know-how and business opportunities of all the partners involved. The main innovations are: - Improved methods for the lab-based rapid (NIR) analysis of biomass - Innovative two step fractionation of SMS - Synergic effects for complete SMS glucan hydrolysis - Innovative enzyme immobilisation strategy - Development of highly efficient glucan-enzymes - Novel lignin based nano- and micro-carriers - Biopesticide production from monomeric sugars SMS derived and their packaging into nanocarriers The consortium involved is a representation of some BIC members including a large company (Monaghan Mushrooms) which is leading the proposal and some SMEs (MetGen Oy and CLEA Technologies) and BIC associate members (University of Naples and CENER). Additionally other relevant partners with well-known expertise in their respective areas contribute to the objectives. Among them some research organisations (Imperial College of London and Max Planck Institute of Polymers) and Innovative SMEs (Celignis Limited, Zabala Innovation Consulting, Greenovate Europe and C-TECH Innovation Ltd). The synergies between large industry and SMEs go beyond the scope of this project. There is a lot of potential for collaboration between agricultural industry (Monaghan) and biotechnology (MetGen and CLEA) to provide novel solutions for continuous circular economy in large agriculture-based value-chains.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: HEALTH.2011.1.4-2 | Award Amount: 7.80M | Year: 2012

The concept of THE GRAIL project is the creation of an in vivo, in situ structured bioactive, selectively porous, bioresorbable scaffold that locally regenerates intima growth after endovascular treatment of the obstructed arteries in patients with atherosclerosis. Arterial obstruction due to arteriosclerosis is the cause of a wide spectrum of diseases, disabilities and death, because of induced ischemia in feed arteries of the diseased organs. These organs include the brain (ischemic stroke), the heart , the kidneys, the gastrointestinal tract, the lower limbs (leading to amputations, especially in diabetic patients). The purpose of the in vivo tissue engineered (TE) blood vessel is to offer an alternative treatment for patients affected with this disease: to substitute the actual mechanical, acute oriented rechanneling or by passing of obstructed arteries with a regenerative, physiological, disease solving and long term oriented, approach in the therapy of ischemic cardiovascular disease, compatible with today minimal invasive surgical techniques. This is an unexplored area of approaches of therapy for arterial obstruction by TE technology: the substitution of the diseased arterial intima (atherosclerotic plaque removed) with an absorbable bioactive scaffold, called the synthesized intimal layer (SIL), to be repopulated by resident and circulating patient resident and stem cells. SIL does not intend to stent the artery; conversely it aims to replace the diseased and stiffened area with a soft and compliant intelligent scaffold that becomes reabsorbed once its task is completed , leaving a physiologically responsive regenerated tissue. The project aims to merge the single laboratories ongoing work, coordinate it and finalizing it to bring it through the whole pre clinical process, including the whole regulatory work, the GLP animal pre clinical implants and the design and production of TE device deployment technology.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: AAT-2007-3.3-02;AAT-2007-4.1-01 | Award Amount: 4.26M | Year: 2008

More recent aircraft incidents and accidents have highlighted the existence of icing cloud characteristics beyond the actual certification envelope defined by the JAR/FAR Appendix C, which accounts for an icing envelope characterized by water droplet diameters up to 50 m (so-called cloud droplet). The main concern is the presence of super-cooled large droplets (SLD) such as freezing drizzle, in the range of 40-400 m, or freezing rain, with droplet diameter beyond 400 m. International airworthiness authorities, namely are intending to jointly develop and issue updated regulations for certification in SLD: Appendix X. If implemented, the proposed new rules will require aircraft manufacturers to demonstrate that their product can safely operate in SLD environments. To do so, they will be requested to demonstrate that specific capabilities comply with the new regulation. Compliance has typically involved actual flight into natural icing conditions. Since SLD icing conditions occur less frequently than the current Appendix C icing specifications, it will be difficult and expensive to demonstrate compliance by the use of natural icing flights alone. Therefore, it is expected that a greater reliance will be placed on the use of so-called engineering tools (icing tunnels, tankers & computer codes). The objectives of this proposal are twofold. One objective is to reduce aircraft development cost by improving tools and methods for aircraft design and certification in an icing environment. On the other hand, since the proposal will address the development and validation of Means of Compliance and tools for aircraft icing certification, this research activity will also have a direct impact on aircraft safety, allowing future aircraft to be designed safer with respect to the icing and the SLD environment.

Agency: Cordis | 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: Cordis | 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: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ICT-2007.3.1 | Award Amount: 14.74M | Year: 2008

DOTFIVE is a three-year IP proposal for a very ambitious project focused on advanced RTD activities necessary to move the Silicon/germanium heterojunction bipolar transistor (HBT) into the operating frequency range of 0.5 terahertz (THz) (500 gigahertz GHz) enabling the future development of communication, imaging or radar Integrated Circuits (IC) working at frequencies up to 160 GHz . For a given lithography node bipolar transistors and more recently HBT have always lead the frequency race compared to MOS devices, while offering higher power density and better analogue performances (transconductance, noise, transistor matching).The main objective of this highly qualified consortium is to establish a leadership position for the European semiconductor industry in the area of millimeter wave (mmW) by research and development work on silicon based transistor devices and circuit design capabilities and know-how. SiGe HBT is a key reliable device for applications requiring power > few mW (future MOS limitation) and enabling high density, low cost integration compared to III-V. To achieve the goal DOTFIVE unites a powerful consortium:Seven academic partners for the physics understanding of nanotransistors, simulation, modeling, and characterization (down to few k) of devices; as well as the design and characterization of demonstrator electronic blocks (Low Noise Amplifier, mixers...).Two research institutes in charge of developing novel process modules and transistor structures on silicon wafers, capable of fabricating innovative SiGe HBT concepts.Two industrial companies, capable of producing 250 GHz HBT on silicon, and willing to push their capabilities to 500 GHz by incremental structural and technological improvements utilizing some of the most advanced equipments introduced recently by the CMOS miniaturization race. Two SME capable to deliver to designers, transistor parameter extraction and RF advanced compact models for all the silicon providers above.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: LCE-11-2015 | Award Amount: 5.99M | Year: 2016

WASTE2FUELS aims to develop next generation biofuel technologies capable of converting agrofood waste (AFW) streams into high quality biobutanol. Butanol is one of the most promising biofuels due to its superior fuel properties compared to current main biofuels, bioethanol and biodiesel. In addition to its ability to reduce carbon emissions, its higher energy content (almost 30% more than ethanol), its ability to blend with both gasoline and diesel, its lower risk of separation and corrosion, its resistance to water absorption, allowing it to be transported in pipes and carriers used by gasoline, it offers a very exciting advantage for adoption as engines require almost no modifications to use it. The main WASTE2FUELS innovations include: Development of novel pretreatment methods for converting AFW to an appropriate feedstock for biobutanol production thus dramatically enlarging current available biomass for biofuels production Genetically modified microorganisms for enhancing conversion efficiencies of the biobutanol fermentation process Coupled recovery and biofilm reactor systems for enhancing conversion efficiencies of Acetone-Butanol-Ethanol fermentation Development of new routes for biobutanol production via ethanol catalytic conversion Biobutanol engine tests and ecotoxicological assessment of the produced biobutanol Valorisation of the process by-products Development of an integrated model to optimise the waste-to-biofuel conversion and facilitate the industrial scale-up Process fingerprint analysis by environmental and techno-economic assessment Biomass supply chain study and design of a waste management strategy for rural development By valorising 50% of the unavoidable and undervalorised AFW as feedstock for biobutanol production, WASTE2FUELS could divert up to 45 M tonnes of food waste from EU landfills, preventing 18 M tonnes of GHG and saving almost 0.5 billion litres of fossil fuels.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-TP | Phase: KBBE.2013.1.3-02 | Award Amount: 7.76M | Year: 2014

Global apiculture is facing an unprecedented crisis of increasing parasite pressure and a loss of hon-eybee biodiversity. SMARTBEES unites a team of experts with the necessary skills to build a bright and sustainable future. The SMARTBEES concept is low risk and high impact, using established protocols and state-of-the-art methods. Including world leading researchers from outwith the traditional honeybee sphere (e.g. acarology, genetic breeding and insect immunology). We will identify crucial facets of honeybee resistance to colony losses, Varroa and viruses. We will provide a step-change in the current mechanistic understanding of these traits, and will characterise the genetic background of the resistance mechanisms in honeybees. We will develop breeding strategies to increase the frequencies of these valuable traits in local honeybee populations, considering the variable need of both common and endangered subspecies and local beekeeping practises. Breeding efforts concentrating on very few races may endanger genetic diversity, to avoid this SMARTBEES will promote multiple local breeding efforts, to conserve local resilient populations and will develop molecular tools for describing and safeguarding future populations. SMARTBEES recognizes responsibility to protect our natural honeybee heritage. SMARTBEES will commission extension science, and work in cooperation with stakeholders to attain conservation by utilisation. SMARTBEES will establish a network of apiaries for performance testing, to encourage local uptake of resistant traits. These will be run mainly by beekeepers, thereby improving the local acceptability and dissemination, and support the long-term sustainability of the apicultural sector. SMARTBEES recognises the need to horizon scan for new threats, and the consortium includes the current EU reference laboratory to that end. SMARTBEES is an opportunity to make a lasting difference to the health, resilience and genetic diversity of our honeybees.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: KBBE-2007-2-2-08 | Award Amount: 8.29M | Year: 2009

Dysregulation of lipid homeostasis is related to multiple major global healthcare problems today, including aging, diabetes and cardiovascular disease. It has already been shown that nutritional modulation of lipid homeostasis via direct supplementation, e.g., n-3 fatty acids, or via indirect mechanisms, e.g., dietary polyphenols, has beneficial effects on human health. There is growing evidence that ether phospholipids such as plasmalogens play a central role in mediating the beneficial effects, but the underlying mechanisms are not understood. ETHERPATHS will develop systems biology tools that will facilitate studies of dietary interventions aiming to modulate lipid homeostasis. Specifically, we will develop (1) models that enable studies of gut microbiota and its effect on host cell metabolism, (2) dynamic models of systemic lipid metabolism, and (3) pathway reconstruction methods to study tissue-specific effects of dietary interventions. All models will be optimized in the context of studies of dietary interventions and will be integrated into a sophisticated software platform. In silico strategies will be complemented by multiple experimental approaches, including (1) dietary interventions involving n-3 fatty acids and polyphenols, combined with tracer studies in vitro and in vivo (2) in vitro colon model (3) in vivo germ-free and conventional models of altered lipid metabolism, specifically of plasmalogen deficiency. ETHERPATHS includes academic and industrial partners with combined unique expertise in information technology, bioinformatics, metabolic and physiological modelling, systems engineering, biochemistry, microbiology, lipid metabolism, metabolomics, obesity and metabolic syndrome, and clinical nutrition. We expect the ETHERPATHS tools to be broadly applied in nutrition research, and anticipate that the novel findings generated within the project will be applied for development of new food products for better health.

Agency: Cordis | 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: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: SPA-2007-2.2-02 | Award Amount: 3.63M | Year: 2008

Space activities and applications play an important role in strengthening the competitiveness of Europe by scientific progress in the knowledge-based society, and by providing strategic influence and security. Major successful space missions under European leadership have placed ESA and its Member States, the European science community at the forefront. To continue this path Europe must have independent and competitive access to space. With the ITAR (International Traffic in Arms Regulations) continuing to impede the acquisition of US components, Europe thus needs to develop an assured independent source of propulsion components. Today space craft propulsion relies heavily on toxic and carcinogenic hydrazines as propellants. Hydrazine itself is widely used as monopropellant and MMH and UDMH is used as bipropellant fuel. These propellants are a threat to people and the environment, and handling these toxic propellants impedes costly safety measurers. As new ideas and new technologies emerged in the last years, and as the concerns about both the environment and the handling of carcinogenic propellants significantly increase, the so-called Green Propellants show potential improvements with respect to performance and cost. The goal of this project is thus to select the most promising green liquid propellant candidate/s and to push the propulsion technology to the level needed to prove that Green Propellant technology is feasible and competitive. Research and development on Green Propellants and adjacent propulsion technology in Europe is geographically fragmented and insufficiently funded. With the present consortium, some of the key-players in Europe will harmonize their capabilities to meet this demanding goal.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: MG-1.1-2014 | Award Amount: 8.97M | Year: 2015

AGILE targets multidisciplinary optimization using distributed analysis frameworks. The involvement of many disciplinary analyses ranging up to high levels of fidelity and agile workflow management are considered to be state-of-the-art and starting point for AGILE. Advanced optimization techniques and strategies will be developed in order to exploit available computing systems and to gain faster convergence to optimal solutions. Surrogates, decomposition, robust design and uncertainties, global-local optimization, mixed fidelity optimization and system-of-system optimization are central fields of research. Operating the coupled numerical system and interpreting the high fidelity results requires collaboration of heterogeneous specialists. Techniques for collaboration are the second scientific objective of AGILE using the research on optimization techniques as use case. The interactions between humans and the interactions of the design team with the numerical system both are investigated. Knowledge-enabled information technologies will be developed in order to support the collaboration process constituting the third, outer-most layer of the nested research concept. Novel technologies are iteratively implemented, tested and enhanced. Use cases are realistic overall aircraft design tasks for conventional, strut-braced, box-wing and BWB configurations. The project is set up to proof a speed up of 40% for solving realistic MDO problems compared to todays state-of-the-art. The resulting technologies will be made available; amongst others via an Open MDO Test Suite. Reduced development costs and reduced time to market will enable a more agile way of collaboration and joint development and experimenting on innovative products. AGILE pronounces the collaboration of SME, RES and HES in order to contribute to IND-centred virtual extended enterprises. AGILE considers all pre-existing conventions and will contribute to the CRESCENDO results and dissemination plan.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: KBBE.2010.2.4-02 | Award Amount: 3.92M | Year: 2011

The PROMETHEUS project will help the European food industry reduce consumer exposure to food processing contaminants without affecting food quality or microbiological safety. PROMETHEUS builds on the previous EU projects HEATOX and ICARE. Its aims are (1) to understand the dynamics of formation of major Processing Contaminants, (2) to provide on-line real time methods to monitor reactions leading to contaminant formation, (3) to develop new processing technologies to mitigate contaminants but maintain the safety and sensory properties of the food and (4) to demonstrate scaling the new technologies to the industry level. Foods (infant formulas, biscuits, canned baby foods, and canned fish and vegetables) have been chosen for their nutritional importance. Processing contaminants (acrylamide, 3-monochloropropanediol esters, glycidol esters, furan, hydroxymethylfurfural and carboxymethyllysine) have been chosen for their toxicity, consumer exposure and relevance to the foods. PROMETHEUS will use a novel holistic approach of continuous real-time on-line monitoring of contaminant formation during food processing. Ambient mass spectrometry, fluorescence spectroscopy and image analysis will measure the contaminants simultaneously and allow modelling of the reactions that form contaminants and affect food quality. Innovative processing technologies will be used: vacuum baking, high hydrostatic pressure, ohmic heating, and ingredient microencapsulation. Improvement strategies will be demonstrated at industry level. The PROMETHEUS consortium has 8 research organisations and 6 industrial partners (including 4 SMEs, 1 large company and the European Confederation of Agro Food industries). The project outcome will help to protect the consumer. It will improve the competitiveness of the food industry by anticipating future contamination regulations, and help it to innovate by implementing new technologies in order to better control the safety and overall quality of their products.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA-SA | Phase: SiS-2010- | Award Amount: 1.23M | Year: 2011

The objective of the project is to use art to communicate emotions related to the understanding of nature and to stimulate students create artistic initiatives able to demonstrate commonalities of artistic and scientific fascination. The objective will be pursued according to two strictly related aspects: 1)produce artistic works based on scientific phenomena at a professional level; 2)stimulate students of EC schools to produce their own works and to organize an international competition to prize the best ones. (We consider this a form of very deep and long lasting interactive action that we prefer to the sometimes superficial and ephemeral interactive processes available in some popularization science exhibitions). Practically we intend to realize artistic events based on scientific issues per each of the following artistic disciplines: 1)Modern dance 2)Cinema 3)Contemporary art 4)Imaging 5)Literature The produced art work will be exploited in a double way: a)By presenting them in live events in the different countries involved in the project addressing not only the targeted category of persons (high school students (15-18 years), but also the general public; b)By organizing a competition among the EU high school students for each of the 5 considered discipline (with a consequent interactive process involving potentially thousands of students). The consortium includes several scientists, artists, art critics, film directors, actors, musicians and specialists in science popularization, who will work together to achieve the goals synthetically above reported. The activities will be coordinated by the project leader who is, at the same time, a well known scientist and a person active since long time in several artistic activities. Universities, research institutes, dance schools, museums, theatres will be involved, together with the famous European Synchrotron Radiation Facility which hosts every year thousands scientists, including Nobel price winners.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: EeB.NMP.2013-1 | Award Amount: 5.31M | Year: 2013

ELISSA targets the development and demonstration of nano-enhanced prefabricated lightweight steel skeleton/dry wall systems with improved thermal, vibration/seismic and fire performance, resulting from the inherent thermal, damping and fire spread prevention properties of carefully preselected inorganic nanomaterials (aerogels, VIPs, MMTs, CNT) and NEMS as well as the development of industrially friendly methods for their application. New computational and design tools for energy efficient, safe and sustainable anti-seismic steel frame lightweight buildings, exploiting nanomaterials and fulfilling relevant EU building codes, will be developed. The new ELISSA prefabricated lightweight elements will reach the highest achievable degree of energy efficiency, safety - will be structurally tested and optimized as load bearing elements - and sustainability for steel lightweight buildings through: - Ensuring efficiency and structural integrity under thermal, dynamic and fire loads (due to nanomaterial properties, NEMS and design concept). - Saving materials, energy and time during construction due to construction concept (pre-fabricated elements -resilient construction that doesnt need repair in case of lower seismic action). - Saving energy during building operation due to materials (multi-functional elements with suitable insulation). - Being economic (recycled, re-usable materials, flexibility in architectural design, optimized production-logistics-construction-use chain). The industry driven consortium comprises two major industries, one consortium of industries and four high tech SMEs, specializing in lightweight modular construction, nanomaterials and structural design, complemented by four research partners providing expertise on property assessment, testing and modeling aiming to develop, optimize and validate the ELISSA elements and systems that will enhance structural excellence, human comfort and safety in new and existing buildings.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: BSG-SME | Phase: SME-2012-1 | Award Amount: 1.25M | Year: 2014

In precision engineering, the degradation of the cutting surface (tool wear) has the greatest affect on accuracy and surface finish of machined parts. Tool wear is the greatest single contributor to scrap (waste material). In the surgical products market, cosmetic finish requirements (16RA) placed on the precision engineered parts continue to be raised to new levels. Similarly, in the aerospace industry parts need to be increasingly accurate in order to increase energy efficiency. Through the development of CNC technology tolerances of 1m are now possible. However, SMEs see significant failures in the current technology. Currently, errors associated with tool wear remain uncompensated for and are usually only detected at the end of the machine cycle, by which time the product is scrap. If such monitoring were available, machining parameters could be adjusted to compensate for tool wear, tools could be replaced earlier, machines could be scheduled for down-time and surface finish and dimensional stability would be increased. Such advances would have a strong impact on the efficiency of processes and increase competitive advantage. The specific aim of the project is to develop a robust smart sensor-based system to provide process a feedback loop to both the CNC machine and the operator.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: WASTE-6b-2015 | Award Amount: 5.09M | Year: 2016

A shift towards a more circular economy is crucial to achieve more sustainable and inclusive growth. Our objective is to provide local and regional authorities with an innovative transdisciplinary open source geodesign decision support environment (GDSE) developed and implemented in living labs in six metropolitan areas. The GDSE allows creating integrated, place-based eco-innovative spatial development strategies aiming at a quantitative reduction of waste flows in the strategic interface of peri-urban areas. These strategies will promote the use of waste as a resource, thus support the on-going initiatives of the EC towards establishing a strong circular economy. The identification of such eco-innovative strategies will be based on the integration of life cycle thinking and geodesign to operationalise urban metabolism. Our approach differs from previous UM as we introduce a reversed material flow accounting to collect data accurate and detailed enough for the design of a variety of solutions to place-based challenges. The developed impact and decision models allow quantification and validation of alternative solution paths and therefore promote sustainable urban development built on near-field synergies between the built and natural environments. This will be achieved by quantifying and tracking essential resource flows, mapping and quantification of negative and positive effects of present and future resource flows, and the determination of a set of indicators to inform decision makers concerning the optimization of (re-)use of resources. The GDSE will be open source. With a budget of 5 million, REPAiR funds a consortium rich in experience in waste and resource management, spatial decision support, territorial governance, spatial planning and urban design, and has deep knowledge of the 6 case study areas. REPAiR is supported by a user board, of key stakeholders for the development of CE as well as local authorities, who are heavily involved in the GDSE testing.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: SST.2010.5.2-3. | Award Amount: 4.29M | Year: 2011

Modern manufacturing techniques and logistics require reliable, time sensitive delivery of lower density and higher value goods. This presents a market opportunity for rail freight to grow, partly due to increasing congestion on roads, and mainly due to the need for reliable and environment friendly transport of goods. At the same time, to meet customer requirements, rail freight has to rise to the challenge of needing to be reliable and available, as well as complying with other market demands. Depending on the market segment these may be faster transport time, specialised goods systems, tracking and tracing, greater flexibility, lower prices or premium services. Furthermore in congested situations rail freight may have a competitive advantage compared to other modes of traffic.SPECTRUM will develop a railfreight train that provides a higher speed service for high value, low density and time sensitive goods with the performance characteristics of a passenger train. SPECTRUM takes a longer term, radical and first principles approach to deliver a new railfreight offering that can compete with road and air in the growing sectors of logistics where railfreight has traditionally little to offer. We shall work towards a freight train that: Behaves like a passenger train in terms of speed, acceleration, braking, momentum: allowing full scheduling on urban and sub urban train networks;Has a standardised and universal power supply system for the delivery of power to temperature controlled containers (reefers) in a controllable fashion.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: SPA.2010.1.1-05 | Award Amount: 6.99M | Year: 2011

Taking benefit from the previous and on-going efforts in the GMES context, the DOLPHIN project intends to develop the key technological and operational gap-filling innovations, leading in the mid-term to a full and sustainable operational exploitation of Earth Observation Satellites capabilities in the EU and MS maritime policies applications. DOLPHIN aims at developing new tools providing effective improvements of the state-of-the-art capabilities in Maritime Surveillance with respect to Users real needs in particular through filling their present technological gaps. The identification of these technological gaps is made easier by the fact that the DOLPHIN partners have developed a solid experience through a number of past and on going initiatives, such as LIMES, MARISS, MarCoast, EMSA CSN, in which a wide European Users community in the Maritime Surveillance sector has already taken an active part in identifying application needs and technological gaps. DOLPHIN will respond to the specific Users need, focused on Users missions, through the development of Decision Support Modules (DSM) which will integrate innovative Software Tools, aiming at filling the identified technological gaps according to specific policy-driven requirements and scenarios. Five policy areas have been selected as being in most need of improvement: Border Surveillance, Traffic Safety, Environmental Protection, Fisheries Control and Search and Rescue. Each policy area has categories of users that are quite different, so each policy area will be addressed through a specific DSM. Users will play an important role in the consolidation of the operational scenarios, to ensure that they are significant and representative of the complexity of the requirements. They will also be involved in the validation of the Operational Scenarios, when modules will be integrated in operational Services Chains and their actual effectiveness will be measured on the basis of the given definition.

Vandenberghe L.H.,University of Pennsylvania | Auricchio A.,Telethon Institute of Genetics and Medicine | Auricchio A.,University of Naples Federico II
Gene Therapy | Year: 2012

Vectors derived from adeno-associated virus (AAV) are currently the most promising vehicles for therapeutic gene delivery to the retina. Recently, subretinal administration of AAV2 has been demonstrated to be safe and effective in patients with a rare form of inherited childhood blindness, suggesting that AAV-mediated retinal gene therapy may be successfully extended to other blinding conditions. This is further supported by the great versatility of AAV as a vector platform as there are a large number of AAV variants and many of these have unique transduction characteristics useful for targeting different cell types in the retina including glia, epithelium and many types of neurons. Naturally occurring, rationally designed or in vitro evolved AAV vectors are currently being utilized to transduce several different cell types in the retina and to treat a variety of animal models of retinal disease. The continuous and creative development of AAV vectors provides opportunities to overcome existing challenges in retinal gene therapy such as efficient transfer of genes exceeding AAV's cargo capacity, or the targeting of specific cells within the retina or transduction of photoreceptors following routinely used intravitreal injections. Such developments should ultimately advance the treatment of a wide range of blinding retinal conditions. © 2012 Macmillan Publishers Limited All rights reserved.

Aprea C.,University of Salerno | Maiorino A.,University of Salerno | Mastrullo R.,University of Naples Federico II
Applied Energy | Year: 2011

In this paper, the energy performance of a walk-in cooler working with R22 and its substitute R422D are experimentally studied. The experimental investigation was carried out considering three different operating conditions; in particular, the AHRI standard has been used as reference for operating conditions. All tests were run at steady state conditions and keeping the external air temperature at 35 °C. The experimental analysis allowed the determination of cooling capacity, the electrical power absorbed, the COP and other variables characterizing the working of the plant. The results demonstrated that the cooling capacity for R422D was lower than for R22, while the electrical power absorbed with R422D was higher than that with R22. As consequence, the COP of R422D was lower than that of R22. Furthermore, technical proposals are introduced with the aim of improving the overall performances of those plants, which could be retrofitted with R422D. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.

Colao A.,University of Naples Federico II | Petersenn S.,Center for Endocrine Tumors | Petersenn S.,University of Duisburg - Essen | Newell-Price J.,University of Sheffield | And 7 more authors.
New England Journal of Medicine | Year: 2012

BACKGROUND: Cushing's disease is associated with high morbidity and mortality. Pasireotide, a potential therapy, has a unique, broad somatostatin-receptor-binding profile, with high binding affinity for somatostatin-receptor subtype 5. METHODS: In this double-blind, phase 3 study, we randomly assigned 162 adults with Cushing's disease and a urinary free cortisol level of at least 1.5 times the upper limit of the normal range to receive subcutaneous pasireotide at a dose of 600 μg (82 patients) or 900 μg (80 patients) twice daily. Patients with urinary free cortisol not exceeding 2 times the upper limit of the normal range and not exceeding the baseline level at month 3 continued to receive their randomly assigned dose; all others received an additional 300 μg twice daily. The primary end point was a urinary free cortisol level at or below the upper limit of the normal range at month 6 without an increased dose. Open-label treatment continued through month 12. RESULTS: Twelve of the 82 patients in the 600-μg group and 21 of the 80 patients in the 900-μg group met the primary end point. The median urinary free cortisol level decreased by approximately 50% by month 2 and remained stable in both groups. A normal urinary free cortisol level was achieved more frequently in patients with baseline levels not exceeding 5 times the upper limit of the normal range than in patients with higher baseline levels. Serum and salivary cortisol and plasma corticotropin levels decreased, and clinical signs and symptoms of Cushing's disease diminished. Pasireotide was associated with hyperglycemia-related adverse events in 118 of 162 patients; other adverse events were similar to those associated with other somatostatin analogues. Despite declines in cortisol levels, blood glucose and glycated hemoglobin levels increased soon after treatment initiation and then stabilized; treatment with a glucose-lowering medication was initiated in 74 of 162 patients. CONCLUSIONS: The significant decrease in cortisol levels in patients with Cushing's disease who received pasireotide supports its potential use as a targeted treatment for corticotropin-secreting pituitary adenomas. (Funded by Novartis Pharma; number, NCT00434148.) Copyright © 2012 Massachusetts Medical Society.

Crossley D.,Saint Louis University | Hinderer J.,University of Strasbourg | Riccardi U.,University of Naples Federico II
Reports on Progress in Physics | Year: 2013

This review covers basic theory and techniques behind the use of ground-based gravimetry at the Earth's surface. The orientation is toward modern instrumentation, data processing and interpretation for observing surface, land-based, time-variable changes to the geopotential. The instrumentation side is covered in some detail, with specifications and performance of the most widely used models of the three main types: the absolute gravimeters (FG5, A10 from Micro-g LaCoste), superconducting gravimeters (OSG, iGrav from GWR instruments), and the new generation of spring instruments (Micro-g LaCoste gPhone, Scintrex CG5 and Burris ZLS). A wide range of applications is covered, with selected examples from tides and ocean loading, atmospheric effects on gravity, local and global hydrology, seismology and normal modes, long period and tectonics, volcanology, exploration gravimetry, and some examples of gravimetry connected to fundamental physics. We show that there are only a modest number of very large signals, i.e. hundreds of μGal (10-8 m s-2), that are easy to see with all gravimeters (e.g. tides, volcanic eruptions, large earthquakes, seasonal hydrology). The majority of signals of interest are in the range 0.1-5.0 μGal and occur at a wide range of time scales (minutes to years) and spatial extent (a few meters to global). Here the competing effects require a careful combination of different gravimeter types and measurement strategies to efficiently characterize and distinguish the signals. Gravimeters are sophisticated instruments, with substantial up-front costs, and they place demands on the operators to maximize the results. Nevertheless their performance characteristics such as drift and precision have improved dramatically in recent years, and their data recording ability and ruggedness have seen similar advances. Many subtle signals are now routinely connected with known geophysical effects such as coseismic earthquake displacements, post-glacial rebound, local hydrological mass balances, and detection of non-steric sea level changes. © 2013 IOP Publishing Ltd.

Guida M.,University of Salerno | Penta F.,University of Naples Federico II
Structural Safety | Year: 2010

The aim of the present paper is to bring arguments in favour of Bayesian inference in the context of fatigue testing. In fact, life tests play a central role in the design of mechanical systems, as their structural reliability depends in part on the fatigue strength of material, which need to be determined by experiments. The classical statistical analysis, however, can lead to results of limited practical usefulness when the number of specimens on test is small. Instead, despite the little attention paid to it in this context, Bayes approach can potentially give more accurate estimates by combining test data with technological knowledge available from theoretical studies and/or previous experimental results, thus contributing to save time and money. Hence, for the case of steel alloys, a discussion about the usually available technological knowledge is presented and methods to properly formalize it in the form of prior credibility density functions are proposed. Further, the performances of the proposed Bayesian procedures are analysed on the basis of simulation studies, showing that they can largely outperform the conventional ones at the expense of a moderate increase of the computational effort. © 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Di Martino F.,University of Naples Federico II | Loia V.,University of Salerno | Sessa S.,University of Naples Federico II
Fuzzy Sets and Systems | Year: 2011

We present a prediction method based on Fuzzy transforms for forecasting problems and we compare it with the well known Wang-Mendel's one. Another comparison is made on the Local Linear Wavelet Neural Network method via forecasting time series. We apply these concepts to a Mackey-Glass chaotic time series and to the monthly NAO climatic index time series. © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Bucci O.M.,University of Naples Federico II | Gennarelli C.,University of Salerno
International Journal of Antennas and Propagation | Year: 2012

An overview of the application of the band-limitation properties and nonredundant sampling representations of electromagnetic fields to NF-FF transformations is presented. The progresses achieved by applying them to data acquired on conventional NF scanning surfaces are discussed, outlining the remarkable reduction in the number of needed NF samples and measurement time. An optimal sampling interpolation expansion for reconstructing the probe response on a rotational scanning surface from a non-redundant number of its samples is also discussed. A unified theory of the NF-FF transformations with spiral scannings, which allow a remarkable reduction of the measurement time, is then reviewed by describing a sampling representation of the voltage on a quite arbitrary rotational surface from its nonredundant samples collected on a proper spiral wrapping it. Some numerical and experimental results assessing the effectiveness of the considered NF-FF transformations are shown too. © 2012 Ovidio M. Bucci and Claudio Gennarelli.

Doulgeraki A.I.,Agricultural University of Athens | Ercolini D.,University of Naples Federico II | Villani F.,University of Naples Federico II | Nychas G.J.E.,Agricultural University of Athens
International Journal of Food Microbiology | Year: 2012

The spoilage of raw meat is mainly due to undesired microbial development in meat during storage. The type of bacteria and their loads depend on the initial meat contamination and on the specific storage conditions that can influence the development of different spoilage-related microbial populations thus affecting the type and rate of the spoilage process. This review focuses on the composition of raw meat spoilage microbiota and the influence of storage conditions such as temperature, packaging atmosphere and use of different preservatives on the bacterial diversity developing in raw meat. In addition, the most recent tools used for the detection and identification of meat microbiota are also reviewed. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.

Capozziello S.,University of Naples Federico II | Capozziello S.,Compl University Of Monte gelo | Lobo F.S.N.,University of Lisbon | Mimoso J.P.,University of Lisbon
Physics Letters, Section B: Nuclear, Elementary Particle and High-Energy Physics | Year: 2014

We consider generalized energy conditions in modified theories of gravity by taking into account the further degrees of freedom related to scalar fields and curvature invariants. The latter are usually recast as generalized geometrical fluids that have different meanings with respect to the standard matter fluids generally adopted as sources of the field equations. More specifically, in modified gravity the curvature terms are grouped in a tensor Hab and a coupling g(Ψi) that can be reorganized in effective Einstein field equations, as corrections to the energy-momentum tensor of matter. The formal validity of such inequalities does not assure some basic requirements such as the attractive nature of gravity, so that the energy conditions have to be considered in a wider sense. © 2014 Elsevier B.V.

Barretta R.,University of Naples Federico II | Feo L.,University of Salerno | Luciano R.,University of Cassino and Southern Lazio
Composite Structures | Year: 2015

Torsion of linearly elastic isotropic beams, with both cross-sectional and axial inhomogeneities, is analyzed. Twist (rate of torsional rotation along the beam axis) and warping of cross-sections are not uniform if arbitrary axial variations of elastic properties are considered. Composite beams undergoing nonuniform torsion are commonly investigated by finite and boundary element methods. New closed-form solutions are found in the present paper, by detecting axial distributions of longitudinal and shear moduli inducing an axially uniform warping field. The warping is evaluated by S. aint-V. enant beam theory, while twist and axial distribution of shear moduli are inversely proportional. Coordinate-free expressions of displacement, normal and shear stress fields are given for simply and multiply connected cross-sections. Exact solutions are obtained for elliptic and equilateral triangle beams, by assuming exponentially graded longitudinal and shear moduli. New benchmarks for numerical analyses are thus also provided. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.

Catuogno L.,University of Salerno | Galdi C.,University of Naples Federico II
International Journal of Information Security | Year: 2014

Graphical passwords are a promising research branch, but implementation of many proposed schemes often requires considerable resources (e.g., data storage, high quality displays) making difficult their usage on small devices, such as old-fashioned ATM terminals. Furthermore, most of the time, such schemes lack a careful security analysis. In this paper, we analyze the security and usability for an authentication mechanism that can be instantiated as a graphical password scheme. We model the information an adversary might extract by analyzing the transcripts of authentication sessions as a boolean formula. Our experiments show that the time needed by a passive adversary to extract the user secret in the last presented protocol grows exponentially in the system parameter, giving evidence of the security of the proposed scheme. © 2014, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.

Wells Jr. S.A.,U.S. National Cancer Institute | Santoro M.,University of Naples Federico II
Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism | Year: 2014

Context: Thyroid cancer is usually cured by timely thyroidectomy; however, the treatment of patients with advanced disease is challenging because their tumors are mostly unresponsive to conventional therapies. Recently, the malignancy has attracted much interest for two reasons: The dramatic increase in its incidence over the last three decades, and the discovery of the genetic mutations or chromosomal rearrangements causing most histological types of thyroid cancer. Objective: This update reviews the molecular genetics of thyroid cancer and the clinical trials evaluating kinase inhibitors (KIs) in patients with locally advanced or metastatic disease. The update also reviews studies in other malignancies, which have identified mechanisms of efficacy, and also resistance, to specific KIs. This information has been critical both to the development of effective second-generation drugs and to the design of combinatorial therapeutic regimens. Finally, the update addresses the major challenges facing clinicians who seek to develop more effective therapy for patients with thyroid cancer. Results: PubMed was searched from January 2000 to November 2013 using the following terms: thyroid cancer, treatment of thyroid cancer, clinical trials in thyroid cancer, small molecule therapeutics, kinase inhibitors, and next generation sequencing. Conclusions: A new era in cancer therapy has emerged based on the introduction of KIs for the treatment of patients with liquid and solid organ malignancies. Patients with thyroid cancer have benefited from this advance and will continue to do so with the development of drugs having greater specificity and with the implementation of clinical trials of combined therapeutics to overcome drug resistance. © 2014 by the Endocrine Society.

Montuori N.,University of Naples Federico II | Ragno P.,University of Salerno
Chemical Immunology and Allergy | Year: 2014

Blood vessels connect all districts of the body and allow blood oxygen and nutrients to reach every cell in the organism. Dysregulation of blood vessel formation or functionality is the origin of a large number of diseases. During new vessel formation, endothelial cells degrade their basement membrane, migrate into the interstitial matrix and proliferate. Migrating endothelial cells need to be polarized, to focus at their leading edge the proteolytic machinery, which is essential for extracellular matrix degradation; thus, proteases and their receptors play a crucial role in angiogenesis. The urokinase-mediated plasminogen activation system is a complex system of serine proteases strongly involved in angiogenesis. The plasminogen activation system includes plasminogen/plasmin, activators, inhibitors and cell receptors. In the last decades, a large body of evidence has clearly indicated that the role of this system is not limited to extracellular matrix proteolysis but can contribute to all phases of the angiogenic process. © 2014 S. Karger AG, Basel.

Mastrullo R.,University of Naples Federico II | Renno C.,University of Salerno
Applied Thermal Engineering | Year: 2010

In this paper the model of a heat pump whose evaporator operates as a photovoltaic collector, is studied. The energy balance equations have been used for some heat pump components, and for each layer of the photovoltaic evaporator: covering glaze, photovoltaic modules, thermal absorber plate, refrigerant tube and insulator. The model has been solved by means of a program using proper simplifications. The system input is represented by the solar radiation intensity and the environment temperature, that influence the output electric power of the photovoltaic modules and the evaporation power. The model results have been obtained referring to the photovoltaic evaporator and the plant operating as heat pump, in terms of the photovoltaic evaporator layers temperatures, the refrigerant fluid properties values in the cycle fundamental points, the thermal and mechanical powers, the efficiencies that characterize the plant performances from the energy, exergy and economic point of view. This study allows to realize a thermoeconomic comparison between a photovoltaic heat pump and a traditional heat pump under the same working conditions.© 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Basile F.,University of Salerno | Chiacchio P.,University of Salerno | De Tommasi G.,University of Naples Federico II
Automatica | Year: 2012

This paper deals with the problem of diagnosability of a fault after the firing of a finite number events (i.e.; K-diagnosability). This problem corresponds to diagnosability of a fault within a finite delay in the context of discrete event systems. The main contribution of this paper is a necessary and sufficient condition for K-diagnosability of bounded nets. The proposed approach exploits the mathematical representation of Petri nets and the Integer Linear Programming optimization tool. In particular no specific assumptions are made on the structure of the net induced by the unobservable transitions, since the proposed approach permits to detect also the undiagnosability due to the presence of unobservable cycles. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Procaccini C.,CNR Institute Experimental Endocrinology and Oncology Gaetano Salvatore | Galgani M.,CNR Institute Experimental Endocrinology and Oncology Gaetano Salvatore | De Rosa V.,CNR Institute Experimental Endocrinology and Oncology Gaetano Salvatore | Matarese G.,CNR Institute Experimental Endocrinology and Oncology Gaetano Salvatore | Matarese G.,University of Naples Federico II
Trends in Immunology | Year: 2012

Disorders such as obesity and type 2 diabetes have been linked to immune dysfunction, raising the possibility that metabolic alterations can be induced by or be a consequence of alterations in immunological tolerance. Here, we describe how intracellular metabolic signalling pathways can 'sense' host energy/nutritional status, and in response, modulate regulatory T (Treg) cell function. In particular, we focus on mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) signalling, and how stimuli such as nutrients and leptin activate mTOR in an oscillatory manner to determine Treg cell proliferation status. We propose that metabolic changes such as nutritional deprivation or overload could dictate the characteristics of the Treg cell compartment and subsequent downstream immune reactions. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.

Pagano M.,University of Naples Federico II | Pagano M.,Imperial College London | Pica G.,University of Salerno
Economic Policy | Year: 2012

How does finance affect employment and inter-industry job reallocation? We present a model that predicts that financial development (i) increases employment and/or labour productivity and wages, with a smaller impact at high levels of the equilibrium wage and financial development; (ii) may induce either more or less reallocation of jobs depending on whether shocks to profit opportunities or to cash flow predominate; (iii) amplifies the output and employment losses in crises, firms that rely most on banks for liquidity being hit the hardest. Testing these predictions on international industry-level data for 1970-2003, we find that standard measures of financial development are indeed associated with greater employment growth, although only in non-OECD countries, and are not correlated with labour productivity or real wage growth. Moreover, they correlate negatively with inter-industry dispersion of employment growth. Finally, there is some evidence of a 'dark side' of financial development, in that during banking crises employment grows less in the industries that are more dependent on external finance and those located in the more financially developed countries. © CEPR, CES, MSH, 2012.

Sorbino G.,University of Salerno | Nicotera M.V.,University of Naples Federico II
Engineering Geology | Year: 2013

Rainfall-induced flow landslides in coarse-grained soils pose significant threats to populations and structures due to their high velocities, long travel distance and the absence of definite warning signs during the pre-failure stage. The triggering phase of these phenomena is frequently related to rainfall events which significantly reduce matric suction in the shallower soil layers. In this paper the processes leading to the onset of such phenomena are illustrated and some observations on their modelling are briefly recalled. The failure stage at different scales is then modelled with reference to a case study from southern Italy which draws on high-quality experimental data sets from extensive in situ and laboratory investigation. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.

De Riccardis F.,University of Salerno | Izzo I.,University of Salerno | Montesarchio D.,University of Naples Federico II | Tecilla P.,University of Trieste
Accounts of Chemical Research | Year: 2013

The ion-coupled processes that occur in the plasma membrane regulate the cell machineries in all the living organisms. The details of the chemical events that allow ion transport in biological systems remain elusive. However, investigations of the structure and function of natural and artificial transporters has led to increasing insights about the conductance mechanisms.Since the publication of the first successful artificial system by Tabushi and co-workers in 1982, synthetic chemists have designed and constructed a variety of chemically diverse and effective low molecular weight ionophores. Despite their relative structural simplicity, ionophores must satisfy several requirements. They must partition in the membrane, interact specifically with ions, shield them from the hydrocarbon core of the phospholipid bilayer, and transport ions from one side of the membrane to the other. All these attributes require amphipathic molecules in which the polar donor set used for ion recognition (usually oxygens for cations and hydrogen bond donors for anions) is arranged on a lipophilic organic scaffold. Playing with these two structural motifs, donor atoms and scaffolds, researchers have constructed a variety of different ionophores, and we describe a subset of interesting examples in this Account.Despite the ample structural diversity, structure/activity relationships studies reveal common features. Even when they include different hydrophilic moieties (oxyethylene chains, free hydroxyl, etc.) and scaffolds (steroid derivatives, neutral or polar macrocycles, etc.), amphipathic molecules, that cannot span the entire phospholipid bilayer, generate defects in the contact zone between the ionophore and the lipids and increase the permeability in the bulk membrane. Therefore, topologically complex structures that span the entire membrane are needed to elicit channel-like and ion selective behaviors. In particular the alternate-calix[4]arene macrocycle proved to be a versatile platform to obtain 3D-structures that can form unimolecular channels in membranes. In these systems, the selection of proper donor groups allows us to control the ion selectivity of the process. We can switch from cation to anion transport by substituting protonated amines for the oxygen donors.Large and stable tubular structures with nanometric sized transmembrane nanopores that provide ample internal space represent a different approach for the preparation of synthetic ion channels. We used the metal-mediated self-assembly of porphyrin ligands with Re(I) corners as a new method for producing to robust channel-like structures. Such structures can survive in the complex membrane environment and show interesting ionophoric behavior.In addition to the development of new design principles, the selective modification of the biological membrane permeability could lead to important developments in medicine and technology. © 2013 American Chemical Society.

Ben-Elia E.,University of the West of England | Di Pace R.,University of Salerno | Bifulco G.N.,University of Naples Federico II | Shiftan Y.,Technion - Israel Institute of Technology
Transportation Research Part C: Emerging Technologies | Year: 2013

Advanced Travel Information Systems (ATISs) are designed to assist travellers in making better travel choices by providing pre-trip and en-route information such as travel times on the relevant alternatives. Travellers' choices are likely to be sensitive to the accuracy of the provided information in addition to travel time uncertainty. A route-choice experiment with 36 participants, involving 20 repetitions under three different levels of information accuracy was conducted to investigate the impact of information accuracy. In each experiment respondents had to choose one of three routes (risky, useless and reliable). Provided information included descriptive information about the average estimated travel times for each route, prescriptive information regarding the suggested route and experiential feedback information about the actual travel times on all routes. Aggregate analysis using non-parametric statistics and disaggregate analysis using a mixed logit choice model were applied. The results suggest decreasing accuracy shifts choices mainly from the riskier to the reliable route but also to the useless alternative. Prescriptive information has the largest behavioural impact followed by descriptive and experiential feedback information. Risk attitudes also seem to play a role. The implications for ATIS design and future research are further discussed. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.

Ianniruberto G.,University of Naples Federico II | Brasiello A.,University of Salerno | Marrucci G.,University of Naples Federico II
Macromolecules | Year: 2012

It is known that polystyrene melts behave anomalously in fast elongational flows insofar as the steady-state elongational viscosity keeps decreasing with increasing stretching rate ε, without showing the typical upturn at ετ R ≈ 1, with τ R the Rouse time. The authors have recently suggested that such an anomalous behavior might be due to a decrease of the monomeric friction coefficient brought about by alignment of the Kuhn segments of the polymer to the stretching direction. Here we perform a quantitative analysis of such a possibility by first determining from existing stress-optical data how such a reduction should correlate to the order parameter of the Kuhn segments and then by performing nonequilibrium molecular dynamics (NEMD) simulations over a sequence of styrene oligomers. We have used NEMD not only to obtain diffusion coefficients of those oligomers but also, for what seems to be the first time, friction coefficients. Indeed, it is well-known that the Einstein relationship linking friction to diffusion does not hold true far from equilibrium. The friction coefficients so obtained correlate to the order parameter of the monomers in much the same way as in the polymeric case, and by increasing the length (or mass) of the oligomer, they appear to approach a similar characteristic curve. © 2012 American Chemical Society.

Carteni A.,University of Naples Federico II | Luca S.D.,University of Salerno
Simulation Modelling Practice and Theory | Year: 2012

In this paper different microscopic discrete event simulation models for a container terminal are presented. The focus is on the best approach to adopt to simulate handling activity time duration and on which level of detail should be pursued with respect to different planning horizons that a decision maker have to face. The models share the same logical architecture but differ in the approaches pursued to estimate handling activity time duration. Terminal operations were broken down into elementary activities pursuing a level of disaggregation not usual in the literature; time duration of each elementary handling activity was modelled through a stochastic approach, distinguishing container type; validation was carried out with respect to different planning horizons (real-time/short-term, long-term) through the definition of local and global indicators and a before-and-after analysis. Modelling issues are discussed for tactical and strategic planning, and operational guidelines are given. © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

D'Ischia M.,University of Naples Federico II | Napolitano A.,University of Naples Federico II | Ball V.,University of Strasbourg | Ball V.,French Institute of Health and Medical Research | And 2 more authors.
Accounts of Chemical Research | Year: 2014

Polydopamine (PDA), a black insoluble biopolymer produced by autoxidation of the catecholamine neurotransmitter dopamine (DA), and synthetic eumelanin polymers modeled to the black functional pigments of human skin, hair, and eyes have burst into the scene of materials science as versatile bioinspired functional systems for a very broad range of applications. PDA is characterized by extraordinary adhesion properties providing efficient and universal surface coating for diverse settings that include drug delivery, micro fluidic systems, and water-treatment devices. Synthetic eumelanins from dopa or 5,6-dihydroxyindoles are the focus of increasing interest as UV-absorbing agents, antioxidants, free radical scavengers, and waterdependent hybrid electronic-ionic semiconductors. Because of their peculiar physicochemical properties, eumelanins and PDA hold considerable promise in nanomedicine and bioelectronics, as they are biocompatible, biodegradable, and exhibit suitable mechanical properties for integration with biological tissues. Despite considerable similarities, very few attempts have so far been made to provide an integrated unifying perspective of these two fields of technology-oriented chemical research, and progress toward application has been based more on empirical approaches than on a solid conceptual framework of structure-property relationships. The present Account is an attempt to fill this gap. Following a vis-à-vis of PDA and eumelanin chemistries, it provides an overall view of the various levels of chemical disorder in both systems and draws simple correlations with physicochemical properties based on experimental and computational approaches. The potential of large-scale simulations to capture the macroproperties of eumelanin-like materials and their hierarchical structures, to predict the physicochemical properties of new melanin-inspired materials, to understand the structure-property-function relationships of these materials from the bottom up, and to design and optimize materials to achieve desired properties is illustrated. The impact of synthetic conditions on melanin structure and physicochemical properties is systematically discussed for the first time. Rational tailoring strategies directed to critical control points of the synthetic pathways, such as dopaquinone, DAquinone, and dopachrome, are then proposed, with a view to translating basic chemical knowledge into practical guidelines for material manipulation and tailoring. This key concept is exemplified by the recent demonstration that varying DA concentration, or using Tris instead of phosphate as the buffer, results in PDA materials with quite different structural properties. Realizing that PDA and synthetic eumelanins belong to the same family of functional materials may foster unprecedented synergisms between research fields that have so far been apart in the pursuit of tailorable and marketable materials for energy, biomedical, and environmental applications. (Chemical Equation Presented). © 2014 American Chemical Society.

Iolascon A.,University of Naples Federico II | Esposito M.R.,CEINGE Biotecnologie Avanzate | Russo R.,University of Naples Federico II
Haematologica | Year: 2012

Congenital dyserythropoietic anemias belong to a group of inherited conditions characterized by a maturation arrest during erythropoiesis with a reduced reticulocyte production in contrast with erythroid hyperplasia in bone marrow. The latter shows specific morphological abnormalities that allowed for a morphological classification of these conditions mainly represented by congenital dyserythropoietic anemias types I and II. The identification of their causative genes provided evidence that these conditions have different molecular mechanisms that induce abnormal cell maturation and division. Some altered proteins seem to be involved in the chromatin assembly, such as codanin-1 in congenital dyserythropoietic anemia I. The gene involved in congenital dyserythropoietic anemia II, the most frequent form, is SEC23B. This condition seems to belong to a group of diseases attributable to defects in the transport of newly synthesized proteins from endoplasmic reticulum to the Golgi. This review will analyze recent insights in congenital dyserythropoietic anemias types I and II. It will also attempt to clarify the relationship between mutations in causative genes and the clinical phenotype of these conditions. © 2012 Ferrata Storti Foundation.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: HEALTH-2007-2.4.1-6 | Award Amount: 4.18M | Year: 2008

From many perspectives our concept of the process of metastasis is inadequate and needs to be revised. In particular, the potential impact of recent ideas about the cellular basis of tumor growth (cancer stem cells) and the establishment by remote tumors of special permissive microenvironments in target organs prior to metastasis (metastatic niches) remains to be explored. In the TuMIC project we will use novel experimental approaches to integrate these newly emerging principles and ideas with the different hypotheses that have until now tried to explain the process of metastasis. Specifically we aim to understand how cancer stem cells behave in and contribute to metastasis, and how networks and pathways that are known to regulate metastasis affect their properties. Further objects are to determine how a permissive microenvironment for metastasis formation is established in given organs, how this contributes to determining patterns of metatasis, and how these microenvironments interact with cancer stem cells. These studies will facilitate the development of an improved and more accurate concept about the process of metastasis. In turn, this will have fundamental ramifications for the way in which novel anti-cancer therapies are designed, and most importantly should provide important new insights into how cancer and in particular metastatic disease can be successfully treated. With this in mind we will also perform preclinical studies that build on TuMIC findings with the aim of developing novel anti-cancer therapies.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: FoF-ICT-2011.7.4 | Award Amount: 6.39M | Year: 2011

In all industrial sectors, Non Destructive Evaluation techniques play a critical role for ensuring structures reliability, plant safety and increasingly also for ensuring quality and efficiency of products and processes. The emerging use of numerical simulation is a major trend in the field with tremendous potential benefits in terms of costs reduction, enhanced diagnosis reliability and consequently increased competitiveness. Today strong industrial needs exist for efficient NDE simulation tools which SIMPOSIUM aims at fulfilling. The project objective is to provide in a single software platform numerical models specifically designed to respond to manufacturers applications. The project will address both flaw detection and material characterization methods. Particular effort will be put on challenging modelling of material features, complex geometries of parts and complex defects. The models will be i) based on multi-scale and multi-physics approach, ii) capable to exchange data with CAD design software, mechanical codes, material models. Emphasis will be put on efficient coupling strategies based on hybrid semi-analytical / numerical approaches. Such strategies will be made possible by the development of software platform tools allowing communication between codes developed by different partners. Particular attention will be paid to the validation of the models codes challenging modelling of material features, complex geometries of parts and defects. SIMPOSIUM, will have significant impacts at the different stages of NDE practice: Design and implementation of emerging NDE techniques, reliability assessment and performance demonstration, training of NDE staff. By reducing the cost linked to inspections, making possible virtual testing at the earliest stages of the part design, SIMPOSIUM will significantly contribute to improve time-to-production, time-to-market and competitiveness. Last it will confirm the leading position of Europe in the field of NDE simulation.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ICT-2007.2.1 | Award Amount: 8.12M | Year: 2008

The DEXMART project is focused on artificial systems reproducing smart sensory-motor human skills, which operate in unstructured real-world environments. The emphasis is on manipulation capabilities achieved by dexterous and autonomous, and also human aware dual-arm/hand robotic systems. The goal is to allow a dual-arm robot including two multi-fingered redundant hands to grasp and manipulate the same objects used by human beings. The objects shall be allowed to have different shape, dimension and weight. The manipulation will take place in an unsupervised, robust and dependable manner so as to allow the robot to safely cooperate with humans for the execution of given tasks. The robotic system has to possess the ability to autonomously decide between different manipulation options. It has to properly and quickly react to unexpected situations and events as well as understand changes in the behaviour of humans cooperating with it. Moreover, in order to act in a changing scenario, the robot should be able to acquire knowledge by learning new action sequences so as to create a consistent and comprehensive manipulation knowledge base through an actual reasoning process. The possibility to exploit the high power-to-weight ratio of smart materials and structures will be explored aimed at the design of new hand components (finger, thumb, wrist) and sensors that will pave the way for the next generation of dexterous robotic hands.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-TP | Phase: KBBE.2012.3.2-01 | Award Amount: 8.15M | Year: 2012

Marine organisms, in particular sponges and their associated microorganisms, are an inexhaustible source of novel bioactive (lead) compounds for biomedical application. Industrial exploitation of this natural resource using traditional approaches is, however, hampered, with a few exceptions, by unsolvable supply problems - despite of numerous efforts in the past. Therefore, there is, very likely, only one way: to start from the genes encoding the bioproducts, or their biosynthetic pathways, to sustainably obtain the active molecules in sufficient amounts. The aim of the presented industry-driven integrating project is to combine the knowledge in marine genomics, chemogenetics and advanced chemistry to produce recombinantly prepared novel secondary metabolite (lead) compounds and analogous from them, as well as pharmacologically active peptides, and to bring them up to the pre-clinical, and hopefully also to the clinical studies. This ambitious approach is based on breakthrough discoveries and the results of previous successful EU projects of members of the applying consortium, including European leaders (or worldwide leaders) in marine (sponge) genomics, metagenomics (polyketide synthase clusters), combinatorial biosynthesis and marine natural product chemistry/structure elucidation. This multidisciplinary project, driven by high-tech genomics-based SMEs with dedicated interest in bringing marine-biotechnology-derived products to the market, will also involve the discovery and sustainable production of bioactive molecules from hitherto unexploited extreme environments, such as hydrothermal vents and deep-sea sources, and the expression/scale-up of unique enzymes/proteins of biomedical and biotechnological interest. The molecular-biology-based strategies developed in this project for a sustainable exploitation of aquatic molecular biodiversity will further strengthen the international position and effectiveness of European (SME-based) blue biotechnology industry.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: AAT.2008.1.3.2. | Award Amount: 5.91M | Year: 2009

COSMA aims to develop engineering criteria for aircraft design and operations in order to reduce the annoyance within airport communities due to aircraft exterior noise. By today, such criteria do not exist since aircraft noise engineering has historically focused on achieving ever lower noise levels for individual events and at close distance from the runway. Within the frame of a unique approach, COSMA will - improve the understanding of noise annoyance effects due to aircraft in the airport surrounding community through field studies and dedicated psychometric testing - use these findings in setting up optimised aircraft noise shapes - develop techniques for a realistic synthesis aircraft noise around airports - validate the optimised aircraft noise shapes and their associated engineering guidelines - put in place an efficient knowledge management for design practices and scientific information on aircraft exterior noise annoyance effects Through this comprehensive workplan, COSMA will ensure optimum exploitation of the scientific research results by reducing noise annoyance at source (whether by technological or operational means) through an improved understanding of the effects of aircraft noise in the airport surrounding community. Under the technical guidance of industry experts, COSMA will integrate contributions from research organisations and SMEs, bringing together the multi-disciplinary background that is required for achieving the project objectives. COSMA is involving 21 partners from 9 different countries: Germany, France, UK, Netherlands, Sweden, Italy, Belgium, Portugal and Hungary.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: ERC-COG | Phase: ERC-CoG-2015 | Award Amount: 1.99M | Year: 2016

The scope of LIFE is to offer a complete set of archaeological and environmental data to be used to investigate Late Roman settlements along frontier desert areas and to reconstruct the underlying strategy to control the empires desert edges. The case study is the chain of Late Roman fortified settlements that punctuate the Kharga Oasis (Egypts Western Desert), that in the Fourth Century represented a portion of the southern boundary of the empire. All these sites, located in a remote and harsh environment, share the same architectural features and are endowed with similar agricultural installations, thus suggesting the existence of a highly motivated large-scale strategy of occupation of the region. A detailed study of Umm al-Dabadib, the best-preserved site, will produce a consistent set of criteria to be applied to the analysis of its less-preserved companions. In turn, a comprehensive study of these self-contained and self-sufficient settlements with a strong military flavour will allow a reconstruction of the Late Roman strategy of control over the desert routes that met in this oasis, and will offer an important contribution to the debate on the defence of the empires borders in the historical period from Diocletian to Constantine and beyond to the end of the Fourth Century. The sites will be studied using a combination of classic and innovative investigation techniques: 3D survey of the architectural remains, archaeological excavation of specific portions of both the built-up areas and the agricultural systems, archaeobotanical analyses, ceramic studies, analyses of satellite images, all carried out within the wider frame of an environmental study of the area and a historical analysis of the textual sources. The dissemination will take place both through the usual channels (publications on paper) and through an innovative information system accessible to scholars all over the world, which will fully exploit the potential of the latest survey technique.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: SPA-2007-2.2-02 | Award Amount: 3.06M | Year: 2009

Nowadays, chemical propulsion is based on solid (launch applications like first stage booster) or liquid technologies (upper stage engines). Complementary, hybrid propulsion technology, as defined in ORPHEE (Operational Research Project on Hybrid Engine in Europe), appears as a new generation of advanced space transportation system. Engines based on this innovative propulsion concept provide advantages like thrust performance, throttling (thrust modulation), versatility (easy adaptation to various configurations), simplicity, safety. which significantly reduce the global engine cost. It will help to consolidate the long term sustainability and ensure a technology needed by the European propulsion space community to remain independent. Hybrid propulsion principle is based on the injection of a liquid oxidizer into the engine combustion chamber where it reacts with a solid fuel to generate hot gases providing the thrust. Enlarge the burning surface is the current proposed solution to reach the needed performance level. It dramatically increases the solid grain volume and the engine weight, limiting the applications. The regression rate is a key parameter controlling the solid fuel grain design. Its increase is a very attractive solution to reduce the grain volume. The main objectives of ORPHEE are to increase versatility of space propulsion system, ensure significant increase performance of hybrid engine, improve solid fuel technological maturity from TRL 1 to 3 and gather European skills on hybrid propulsion and ensure European access to space In near future, the availability of new hybrid engines will allow the access to new space transportation missions and to obtain significant costs reduction. It will consolidate the knowledge on this innovative technology, allowing the European space community to become non dependant. It may be considered as a competitive propulsion solution to be implemented in future space agencies roadmaps.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ICT-2009.2.1 | Award Amount: 3.61M | Year: 2010

The goal of the AIRobots project is to develop a new generation of aerial service robots capable to support human beings in all those activities which require the ability to interact actively and safely with environments not constrained on ground but, indeed, freely in air. The step forward with respect to the classical field of aerial robotics is to realize aerial vehicles able to accomplish a large variety of applications, such as inspection of buildings and large infrastructures, sample picking, aerial remote manipulation, etc.The starting point is an aerial platform whose aeromechanical configuration allows the vehicle to interact with the environment in a non-destructive way and to hover close to operating points. Rotary-wing aerial vehicles with shrouded propellers represent the basic airframes which will be then equipped with appropriate robotic end-effectors and sensors in order to transform the aerial platform into an aerial service robot, a system able to fly and to achieve robotic tasks. Advanced automatic control algorithms will be conceived to govern the aerial platform which will be remotely supervised by the operator with the use of haptic devices. Particular emphasis will be given to develop advanced human-in-the-loop and autonomous navigation control strategies relying upon a cooperative and adaptive interaction between the on-board automatic control and the remote operator. Force and visual feedback strategies will be investigated in order to transform the aerial platform in a flying hand suitable for aerial manipulation.The consortium is composed of four academic groups and an SME with the role of end-user and evaluator of the project outcomes. Prototypes of aerial service robots will be developed and tested on experimental setups which will be constructed in order to reproduce typical industrial scenarios for which aerial inspection robotics can be beneficial (docking, cleaning, inspection and repairing of infrastructures, payload lifting, etc.).

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: ENV.2007. | Award Amount: 1.80M | Year: 2008

Since a long time vulnerability is a key concept in disaster literature. Nevertheless the majority of studies and grants have been allocated to hazards related research, neglecting the influence of vulnerability of exposed systems on the death toll and losses in case of natural or man made disasters. There is the need to better identify and measure also the ability of menaced and affected communities and territorial systems to respond. This is the starting point of the ENSURE project. The overall objective of ENSURE is to structure vulnerability assessment model(s) in a way that different aspects of physical, systemic, social and economic vulnerability will be integrated as much as possible in a coherent framework. The ENSURE approach starts from the recognition that for all considered hazards most of damages and most of vulnerabilities arise from the territory, including artefacts, infrastructures and facilities. They may well represent its material skeleton: physical vulnerability is therefore entirely contained at a territorial level. Other vulnerabilities, such as systemic, economic and social have interactions with the territory, but cannot be entirely determined at a territorial level. The project will start by assessing the state of the art in different fields related to various vulnerability aspects as they have been tackled until today in Europe and internationally. The core of the project consists in integrated models comprising already existing models to assess vulnerability and develop new ones for those aspects that have been neglected until now. The research objective is therefore to achieve progress with respect to each individual sector of vulnerability and to enhance the capability of assessing interconnections among them in a dynamic way, identifying driving forces of vulnerability, that make communities change for the good or for the worse as far as their ability to cope with extreme events is concerned.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: FoF.NMP.2011-5 | Award Amount: 10.49M | Year: 2011

The goal of zero defect manufacturing encompasses both short and long term perspectives. The short term perspective is to develop and implement a real time process control system that eliminates the production of any faulty component due to variances in materials, components and process properties. The long term perspective is to minimize all failures by continuous optimizing of the production process and the manufacturing system. A framework of an Intelligent Fault Correction and self Optimizing Manufacturing system (IFaCOM) will be developed, which can become a general framework for manufacturing equipment and processes for different industrial branches. In this framework it is proposed to extend the use of closed loop control to all vital parameters of a component or product. In todays manufacturing it is still the case that many vital parameters are controlled indirectly, thus creating a larger variability in the output than acceptable within the zero-defect paradigm. The project will create a basic understanding of the method of direct closed loop control of vital parameters and apply this control principle both to single operations and to the entire part manufacturing process in order to eliminate the propagation of defects along the process stages. The principles can be extended to processes where the input material has too large variability leading to high defect rates in production. This involves both the development of suitable measurement and monitoring techniques of the input condition of components as well as development of the necessary actuation methods and mechanisms to implement the necessary control actions. To establish and continuously improve the closed loop methods and to extend them over the entire process chain of part manufacturing, the control models must be upgraded in accordance with the increased insight in the operations that can be obtained by analysis of large amounts of data available from multiple sensors both in the manufacturin

Matarese G.,University of Naples Federico II | Procaccini C.,University of Naples Federico II | De Rosa V.,University of Naples Federico II | Horvath T.L.,Yale University | La Cava A.,University of California at Los Angeles
Trends in Molecular Medicine | Year: 2010

Studies to understand the pathogenesis of obesity have revealed mediators that are responsible for the control of food intake and metabolism at the hypothalamic level. However, molecular insight explaining the link between obesity and low-degree chronic inflammation remains elusive. The adipocyte-derived hormone leptin, and thereby the nutritional status, could control immune self-tolerance by affecting regulatory T (Treg) cell responsiveness and function. Furthermore, resident Treg cells, which are capable of modulating metabolism and glucose homeostasis, are abundant in adipose tissue. Here, we provide an update on recent findings relating Treg cells to obesity and discuss how the intricate network of interactions among leptin, Treg cells and adipose tissue might provide new strategies for therapeutic interventions. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Gallo M.,University of Sannio | Montella B.,University of Naples Federico II | D'Acierno L.,University of Naples Federico II
Transportation Research Part C: Emerging Technologies | Year: 2011

In this paper we examine the transit network design problem under the assumption of elastic demand, focusing on the problem of designing the frequencies of a regional metro. In this problem, investments in transit services have appreciable effects on modal split. Neglecting demand elasticity can lead to solutions that may not represent the actual objectives of the design. We propose four different objective functions that can be adopted to assume demand as elastic, considering the costs of all transportation systems (car, bus and rail) as well as the external costs, and we define the constraints of the problem. Heuristic and meta-heuristic solution algorithms are also proposed. The models and algorithms are tested on a small network and on a real-scale network. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.

Ascione F.,University of Naples Federico II | Bianco N.,University of Naples Federico II | de' Rossi F.,University of Sannio | Turni G.,Freelance | Vanoli G.P.,University of Sannio
Applied Energy | Year: 2013

Several studies show the potential benefits achievable by recurring to roof vegetation. Really, little literature investigates the economic feasibility of such solution. The paper verifies utility of green roofs, under environmental and energy point of views, by considering all the aspects that influence their performances. With reference to several climates, intensity of rainfalls, needs of irrigation and kind of building use, a large parametric analysis evaluates the technical and economical feasibility of green roofs applied to a modern office building, considering various vegetations and different external coatings. The scarce amount of rainfall - and thus the irrigation cost - can nullify the savings in energy demand for air-conditioning. Moreover, even if green roofs show satisfactory performance if monthly rainfalls do not imply significant additional watering - the economic investigation shows scarce convenience for well-insulated buildings, above all if the higher initial cost of a green roof, compared to traditional roofing coating, is computed. Finally, cool roofs, by means of high-reflective and high-emissive coatings, are suitable solutions in warm climates, strongly improving the summer performances, with low extra costs for installation and maintenance. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.

Ascione F.,University of Sannio | Bellia L.,University of Naples Federico II | Capozzoli A.,Polytechnic University of Turin
Applied Energy | Year: 2013

In the museum environment, the temporal stability and the spatial uniformity of the indoor microclimatic parameters are necessary primarily for the correct artwork conservation and then for the occupant thermal comfort. Therefore, a HVAC system is usually necessary. This paper above all emphasizes the integration of Building Energy Performance Simulation (BEPS) and Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) codes. This coupled numerical approach can provide accurate information about both the HVAC system energy request and the indoor microclimatic control (temporal and spatial distribution of the parameters). Then, a case study concerning a typical museum exhibition room is examined. The annual energy request for three types of all-air system, as well as the temporal variation of indoor temperature and relative humidity, is evaluated by means of a BEPS code. Energy savings can be obtained using a system with desiccant wheel (11%) or enthalpy wheel (9%), compared to the base system. As regards indoor relative humidity control, this is more critical for summer conditions, and the best performance is obtained by the system with desiccant wheel. Then, the spatial microclimatic control is analyzed by means of a CFD analysis, for various thermal load conditions and different air diffusion xequipments. The best performances are obtained by using the swirling (vortex) diffusers; also the perimetrical stripes of slot diffusers show satisfactory performances. Finally, in order to evaluate the ability of air diffusion equipments to assure good ventilation effectiveness, an analysis of the mean age of air is carried out too. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.

Agarwal N.,University of Utah | Di Lorenzo G.,University of Naples Federico II | Sonpavde G.,University of Alabama at Birmingham | Bellmunt J.,Dana-Farber Cancer Institute | Bellmunt J.,University of the Sea
Annals of Oncology | Year: 2014

The therapeutic landscape of metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC) has been revolutionized by the arrival of multiple novel agents in the past 2 years. Immunotherapy in the form of sipuleucel-T, androgen axis inhibitors, including abiraterone acetate and enzalutamide, a chemotherapeutic agent, cabazitaxel, and a radiopharmaceutical, radium-223, have all yielded incremental extensions of survival and have been recently approved. A number of other agents appear promising in early studies, suggesting that the armamentarium against castrate-resistant prostate cancer is likely to continue to expand. Emerging androgen pathway inhibitors include androgen synthesis inhibitors (TAK700), androgen receptor inhibitors (ARN-509, ODM-201), AR DNA binding domain inhibitors (EPI-001), selective AR downregulators or SARDs (AZD-3514), and agents that inhibit both androgen synthesis and receptor binding (TOK-001/galeterone). Promising immunotherapeutic agents include poxvirus vaccines and CTLA-4 inhibitor (ipilimumab). Biologic agents targeting the molecular drivers of disease are also being investigated as single agents, including cabozantinib (Met and VEGFR2 inhibitor) and tasquinimod (angiogenesis and immune modulatory agent). Despite the disappointing results seen from studies evaluating docetaxel in combination with other agents, including GVAX, anti-angiogentic agents (bevacizumab, aflibercept, lenalinomide), a SRC kinase inhibitor (dasatinib), endothelin receptor antagonists (atrasentan, zibotentan), and high-dose calcitriol (DN-101), the results from the trial evaluating docetaxel in combination with the clusterin antagonist, custirsen, are eagerly awaited. New therapeutic hurdles consist of discovering new targets, understanding resistance mechanisms, the optimal sequencing and combinations of available agents, as well as biomarkers predictive for benefit. Novel agents targeting bone metastases are being developed following the success of zoledronic acid and denosumab. Finally, all of these modalities do not appear curative, suggesting that clinical trial enrollment and a better understanding of biology remain of paramount importance. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the European Society for Medical Oncology. All rights reserved.

Di Iorio B.,Ospeda le A. Landolfi di Solofra | Bellasi A.,Ospedale SantOrsola Malpighi | Russo D.,University of Naples Federico II
Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology | Year: 2012

Background and objectives: Dietary phosphorous overload and excessive calcium intake from calcium-containing phosphate binders promote coronary artery calcification (CAC) that may contribute to high mortality of dialysis patients. CAC has been found in patients in early stages of nondialysis-dependent CKD. In this population, no study has evaluated the potential role of phosphorus binders onmortality. This study aimed to evaluate all-causemortality as the primary end point in nondialysis-dependent CKD patients randomized to different phosphate binders; secondary end pointswere dialysis inception and the composite end point of all-causemortality and dialysis inception. Design, setting, participants, & measurements: This is a randomized, multicenter, nonblinded pilot study. Consecutive outpatients (n=212; stage 3-4 CKD) were randomized to either sevelamer (n=107) or calcium carbonate (n=105). Phosphorus concentrationwasmaintained between 2.7 and 4.6 mg/dl for patientswith stage 3-4 CKD and between 3.5 and 5.5 mg/dl for patients with stage 5 CKD. The CAC score was assessed by computed tomography at study entry and after 6, 12, 18, and 24 months. All-cause mortality, dialysis inception, and the composite end point were recorded for up to 36 months. Results: In patients randomized to sevelamer, all-cause mortality and the composite end point were lower; a nonsignificant trend was noted for dialysis inception. Conclusions: Sevelamer provided benefits in all-cause mortality and in the composite end point of death or dialysis inception but not advantages in dialysis inception. Larger studies are needed to confirm these results. © 2012 by the American Society of Nephrology.

Izzo A.A.,University of Naples Federico II | Sharkey K.A.,Hotchkiss Brain Institute
Pharmacology and Therapeutics | Year: 2010

Cannabis has been used to treat gastrointestinal (GI) conditions that range from enteric infections and inflammatory conditions to disorders of motility, emesis and abdominal pain. The mechanistic basis of these treatments emerged after the discovery of Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol as the major constituent of Cannabis. Further progress was made when the receptors for Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol were identified as part of an endocannabinoid system, that consists of specific cannabinoid receptors, endogenous ligands and their biosynthetic and degradative enzymes. Anatomical, physiological and pharmacological studies have shown that the endocannabinoid system is widely distributed throughout the gut, with regional variation and organ-specific actions. It is involved in the regulation of food intake, nausea and emesis, gastric secretion and gastroprotection, GI motility, ion transport, visceral sensation, intestinal inflammation and cell proliferation in the gut. Cellular targets have been defined that include the enteric nervous system, epithelial and immune cells. Molecular targets of the endocannabinoid system include, in addition to the cannabinoid receptors, transient receptor potential vanilloid 1 receptors, peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor alpha receptors and the orphan G-protein coupled receptors, GPR55 and GPR119. Pharmacological agents that act on these targets have been shown in preclinical models to have therapeutic potential. Here, we discuss cannabinoid receptors and their localization in the gut, the proteins involved in endocannabinoid synthesis and degradation and the presence of endocannabinoids in the gut in health and disease. We focus on the pharmacological actions of cannabinoids in relation to GI disorders, highlighting recent data on genetic mutations in the endocannabinoid system in GI disease. © 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Serpieri R.,University of Sannio | Rosati L.,University of Naples Federico II
Journal of the Mechanics and Physics of Solids | Year: 2011

The paper illustrates a biphasic formulation which addresses the dynamic response of fluid saturated porous biphasic media at finite deformations with no restriction on the compressibility of the fluid and of the solid skeleton. The proposed model exploits four state fields of purely kinematic nature: the displacements of the solid phase, the velocity of the fluid, the density of the fluid and an additional macroscopic scalar field, termed effective Jacobian, associated with the effective volumetric deformation of the solid phase. The governing equations are characterized by the property of being all expressed in the reference configuration of the solid phase and by the property of employing only work-conjugate variables, thus avoiding the use of a total Cauchy stress tensor. In particular, the set of governing equations includes a momentum balance equation associated with the effective Jacobian field. This equation, differently from the closure-equations proposed by other authors which express a saturation constraint or a porosity balance, is derived as a stationarity condition on account of a least-action variational principle. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Saccone G.,University of Naples Federico II | Berghella V.,Thomas Jefferson University
American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology | Year: 2015

Objective The objective of the study was to evaluate the efficacy of antibiotic prophylaxis in women with term or near-term premature rupture of membranes. Study Design Searches were performed in MEDLINE, OVID, Scopus,, the PROSPERO International Prospective Register of Systematic Reviews, EMBASE,, MEDSCAPE, and the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials with the use of a combination of key words and text words related to antibiotics, premature rupture of membranes, term, and trials from inception of each database to September 2014. We included all randomized trials of singleton gestations with premature rupture of membranes at 36 weeks or more, who were randomized to antibiotic prophylaxis or control (either placebo or no treatment). The primary outcomes included maternal chorioamnionitis and neonatal sepsis. A subgroup analysis on studies with latency more than 12 hours was planned. Before data extraction, the review was registered with the PROSPERO International Prospective Register of Systematic Reviews (registration number CRD42014013928). The metaanalysis was performed following the Preferred Reporting Item for Systematic Reviews and Meta-analyses statement. Results Women who received antibiotics had the same rate of chorioamnionitis (2.7% vs 3.7%; relative risk [RR], 0.73, 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.48-1.12), endometritis (0.4% vs 0.9%; RR, 0.44, 95% CI, 0.18-1.10), maternal infection (3.1% vs 4.6%; RR, 0.48, 95% CI, 0.19-1.21), and neonatal sepsis (1.0% vs 1.4%; RR, 0.69, 95% CI, 0.34-1.39). In the planned subgroup analysis, women with latency longer than 12 hours, who received antibiotics, had a lower rate of chorioamnionitis (2.9% vs 6.1%; RR, 0.49, 95% CI, 0.27-0.91) and endometritis (0% vs 2.2%; RR, 0.12, 95% CI, 0.02-0.62) compared with the control group. Conclusion Antibiotic prophylaxis for term or near-term premature rupture of membranes is not associated with any benefits in either maternal or neonatal outcomes. In women with latency longer than 12 hours, prophylactic antibiotics are associated with significantly lower rates of chorioamnionitis by 51% and endometritis by 88%. © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Ascione F.,University of Sannio | Bellia L.,University of Naples Federico II | Minichiello F.,University of Naples Federico II
Renewable Energy | Year: 2011

The European Energy Efficiency Building Directive 2002/91/CE, as well as other acts and funding programs, strongly promotes the adoption of passive strategies for buildings, in order to achieve indoor thermal comfort conditions above all in summer, so reducing or avoiding the use of air conditioning systems.In this paper, the energy performances achievable using an earth-to-air heat exchanger for an air-conditioned building have been evaluated for both winter and summer. By means of dynamic building energy performance simulation codes, the energy requirements of the systems have been analysed for different Italian climates, as a function of the main boundary conditions (such as the typology of soil, tube material, tube length and depth, velocity of the air crossing the tube, ventilation airflow rates, control modes). The earth-to-air heat exchanger has shown the highest efficiency for cold climates both in winter and summer.The possible coupling of this technology with other passive strategies has been also examined. Then, a technical-economic analysis has been carried out: this technology is economically acceptable (simple payback of 5-9 years) only in the cases of easy and cheap moving earth works; moreover, metallic tubes are not suitable.Finally, considering in summer a not fully air-conditioned building, only provided with diurnal ventilation coupled to an earth-to-air heat exchanger plus night-time ventilation, the possible indoor thermal comfort conditions have been evaluated. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.

Zhou Z.-F.,CAS Shanghai Institute of Materia Medica | Menna M.,University of Naples Federico II | Cai Y.-S.,CAS Shanghai Institute of Materia Medica | Guo Y.-W.,CAS Shanghai Institute of Materia Medica
Chemical Reviews | Year: 2015

This Review provides a comprehensive overview of acetylenes/polyacetylenes isolated from marine algae and invertebrates, focusing on the isolation, structural characterization, and classification of more than 600 acetylenic molecules. It also highlights the structural diversity generated in this unique class of marine natural products and their potential in drug discovery. The acetylenic molecules described in this review have been divided into five sections on the basis of their biological sources for a better clearness and ease for readers. The structures have been divided into three main classes considering that the main differences between polyacetylenes' structures are the chain length and the functional groups and that acetylenes with 15 carbons are the most common in marine organisms.

Graziano G.,University of Sannio | Merlino A.,University of Naples Federico II | Merlino A.,CNR Institute of Biostructure and Bioimaging
Biochimica et Biophysica Acta - Proteins and Proteomics | Year: 2014

Halophilic proteins are stable and function at high salt concentration. Understanding how these molecules maintain their fold stable and avoid aggregation under harsh conditions is of great interest for biotechnological applications. This mini-review describes what is known about the molecular determinants of protein halotolerance. Comparisons between the sequences of halophilic/non-halophilic homologous protein pairs indicated that Asp and Glu are significantly more frequent, while Lys, Ile and Leu are less frequent in halophilic proteins. Homologous halophilic and non-halophilic proteins have similar overall structure, secondary structure content, and number of residues involved in the formation of H-bonds. On the other hand, on the halophilic protein surface, a decrease of nonpolar residues and an increase of charged residues are observed. Particularly, halophilic adaptation correlates with an increase of Asp and Glu, compensated by a decrease of basic residues, mainly Lys, on protein surface. A thermodynamic model, that provides a reliable explanation of the salt effect on the conformational stability of globular proteins, is presented. © 2014 Elsevier B.V.

Saccone G.,University of Naples Federico II | Suhag A.,Thomas Jefferson University | Berghella V.,Thomas Jefferson University
American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology | Year: 2015

We sought to evaluate the efficacy of maintenance tocolysis with 17-alpha-hydroxyprogesterone caproate (17P) compared to control (either placebo or no treatment) in singleton gestations with arrested preterm labor (PTL), in a metaanalysis of randomized trials. Electronic databases (MEDLINE, OVID, Scopus,, and the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials) were searched from 1966 through July 2014. Key words included "progesterone," "tocolysis," "preterm labor," and "17-alpha-hydroxyprogesterone caproate." We performed a metaanalysis of randomized trials of singleton gestations with arrested PTL and treated with maintenance tocolysis with either 17P or control. Primary outcome was preterm birth (PTB) <37 weeks. This metaanalysis was performed following the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Metaanalyses (PRISMA) statement. The protocol was registered with PROSPERO (registration no: CRD42014013473). Five randomized trials met inclusion criteria, including 426 women. Women with a singleton gestation who received 17P maintenance tocolysis for arrested PTL had a similar rate of PTB <37 weeks (42% vs 51%; relative risk [RR], 0.78; 95% confidence intervals [CI], 0.50-1.22) and PTB <34 weeks (25% vs 34%; RR, 0.60; 95% CI, 0.28-1.12) compared to controls. Women who received 17P had significantly later gestational age at delivery (mean difference, 2.28 weeks; 95% CI, 1.46-13.51), longer latency (mean difference, 8.36 days; 95% CI, 3.20-13.51), and higher birthweight (mean difference, 224.30 g; 95% CI, 70.81-377.74) as compared to controls. Other secondary outcomes including incidences of recurrent PTL, neonatal death, admission to neonatal intensive care unit, neonatal respiratory distress syndrome, bronchopulmonary dysplasia, intraventricular hemorrhage, necrotizing enterocolitis, and neonatal sepsis were similar in both groups. Maintenance tocolysis with 17P after arrested PTL is not associated with prevention of PTB compared to placebo or no treatment in a metaanalysis of the available randomized trials. As 17P for maintenance tocolysis is associated with a significant prolongation of pregnancy, and significantly higher birthweight, further research is suggested. © 2015 Elsevier Inc.

Stabile A.,University of Sannio | Capozziello S.,University of Naples Federico II | Capozziello S.,Compl University Of Monte gelo
Physical Review D - Particles, Fields, Gravitation and Cosmology | Year: 2013

We investigate the possibility of explaining theoretically the galaxy rotation curves by a gravitational potential in total absence of dark matter. To this aim an analytic fourth-order theory of gravity, nonminimally coupled with a massive scalar field, is considered. Specifically, the interaction term is given by an analytic function f(R,φ), where R is the Ricci scalar and φ is the scalar field. The gravitational potential is generated by a pointlike source and compared with the so-called Sanders's potential that can be exactly reproduced in this case. This result means that the problem of dark matter in spiral galaxies could be fully addressed by revising general relativity at galactic scales and requiring further gravitational degrees of freedom instead of new material components that have not been found up to now. © 2013 American Physical Society.

Albanese S.,University of Naples Federico II | Cicchella D.,University of Sannio
Elements | Year: 2012

Modern cities are affected by multiple sources of contamination and pollution, the effects of which overlap in space and time. Toxic metal contamination, organic pollution, smog, acid rain, and greenhouse gas accumulation are the most widespread legacies of an often uncontrolled growth that has deeply changed the geochemical character of the urban environment over the last four millennia. Even though progress has changed human habits and positively infl uenced the quality of city life, the past is frequently a hidden source of environmental problems with the potential to affect the health of current and future urban residents.

Lorito M.,University of Naples Federico II | Woo S.L.,University of Naples Federico II | Harman G.E.,Cornell University | Monte E.,Centro Hispano Luso Of Investigaciones Agrarias Ciale
Annual Review of Phytopathology | Year: 2010

Structural and functional genomics investigations are making an important impact on the current understanding and application of microbial agents used for plant disease control. Here, we review the case of Trichoderma spp., the most widely applied biocontrol fungi, which have been extensively studied using a variety of research approaches, including genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, metabolomics, etc. Known for almost a century for their beneficial effects on plants and the soil, these fungi are the subject of investigations that represent a successful case of translational research, in which 'omics-generated novel understanding is directly translated in to new or improved crop treatments and management methods. We present an overview of the latest discoveries on the Trichoderma expressome and metabolome, of the complex and diverse biotic interactions established in nature by these microbes, and of their proven or potential importance to agriculture and industry. © 2010 by Annual Reviews. All rights reserved.

Fontana N.,University of Sannio | Giugni M.,University of Naples Federico II | Portolano D.,University of Naples Federico II
Journal of Water Resources Planning and Management | Year: 2012

During the past few years, issues concerning sustainable management of water distribution systems have attracted interest through an integrated policy aimed at reducing leakage through a pressure management strategy. Pressure reducing valves (PRVs) are often used in water networks to prevent the downstream hydraulic grade from exceeding a set value, although they must be adequately located to maximize their effectiveness. In recent years, the application of turbines or pumps operating as turbines (PATs) appeared as an alternative and sustainable solution to control network pressure and produce energy. In the present paper, PRVs and PATs were used within a district in a Naples' water distribution network and showed large potential revenues and an attractive capital payback period. © 2012 American Society of Civil Engineers.

Saccone G.,University of Naples Federico II | Berghella V.,Thomas Jefferson University
American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology | Year: 2015

The purpose of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of omega-3 supplementation for the prevention of recurrent preterm birth (PTB) in asymptomatic singleton gestations with previous PTB. We searched fish oil, long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids, pregnancy, and omega-3 in MEDLINE, OVID, Scopus,, the PROSPERO International Prospective Register of Systematic Reviews, EMBASE, and the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials from inception of each database to December 2014 with no limit for language. In addition the reference lists of all identified articles were examined to identify studies that were not captured by electronic searches. We performed a metaanalysis of randomized controlled trials of asymptomatic singleton gestations with previous PTB who were assigned randomly to prophylactic omega-3 supplementation vs control (either placebo or no treatment). The primary outcome was predefined as PTB at <37 weeks of gestation. The pooled results were reported as relative risk (RR) with 95% confidence interval (95% CI). The protocol of this review was registered with PROSPERO (registration number: CRD42015016371). Two randomized controlled trials that included 1080 women were analyzed. The mean gestational age at randomization was approximately 134 days in both groups (mean difference, 0.01 days; 95% CI, -0.13 to 0.14). Women who received omega-3 had similar rates of PTB at <37 weeks of gestation (34.5% vs 39.8%; RR, 0.81; 95% CI, 0.59-1.12) and PTB at <34 weeks of gestation (12.0% vs 15.4%; RR, 0.62; 95% CI, 0.26-1.46) compared with control subjects. The omega-3 groups had a statistically significantly longer latency (mean difference, 2.10 days; 95% CI, 1.98-2.22) and higher birthweight (mean difference, 102.52 g; 95% CI, 20.09-184.95) compared with control subjects; the other secondary outcomes (which included gestational age at delivery, spontaneous PTB at <37 and 34 weeks of gestation, admission to the intensive care unit, intraventricular hemorrhage, necrotizing enterocolitis, sepsis, and perinatal death) were similar. Omega-3 supplementation during pregnancy does not prevent recurrent PTB in asymptomatic singleton gestations with previous PTB. The benefits in longer latency and higher birth weight may deserve further study. © 2015 Elsevier Inc.

Saccone G.,Thomas Jefferson University | Saccone G.,University of Naples Federico II | Berghella V.,Thomas Jefferson University | Berghella V.,University of Naples Federico II
Obstetrics and Gynecology | Year: 2015

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the efficacy of omega-3 in reducing the incidence of preterm birth. DATA SOURCES: Searches were performed in MEDLINE, OVID, Scopus,, the PROSPERO International Prospective Register of Systematic Reviews, EMBASE, and the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials with the use of a combination of keywords related to "fish oil," "pregnancy," and "omega-3." METHODS OF STUDY SELECTION: We included all randomized controlled trials of asymptomatic women with singleton gestations who were randomized to prophylactic treatment with either omega-3 supplementation or control (either placebo or no treatment). Exclusion criteria included trials in women with multiple gestations, intrauterine growth restriction, gestational hypertension or preeclampsia at randomization, prior preterm birth, and trials with polyunsaturated fatty acids as control. TABULATION, INTEGRATION, AND RESULTS: Nine randomized trials including 3,854 eligible women were identified. Women who received omega-3 had a similar rate of preterm birth before 37 weeks of gestation compared with women in the control group (7.7% compared with 9.1%, respectively; relative risk 0.90, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.72-1.11). There were no significant differences in birth weight, neonatal intensive care unit admission, necrotizing enterocolitis, sepsis, or perinatal death in the omega-3 compared with control groups, respectively. There were no significant differences in the subgroup analyses, except for the rate of perinatal death, which was lower (0.3% compared with 1.2%; relative risk 0.27, 95% CI 0.09-0.80) in the women who received omega-3 before 21 weeks of gestation and in trials with low risk of bias (0.3% compared with 1.0%; relative risk 0.28, 95% CI 0.09-0.89) compared with women in the control group. However, in no randomized controlled trial was perinatal death the primary outcome. CONCLUSION: Omega-3 supplementation during pregnancy does not reduce the incidence of preterm birth or improve neonatal outcome. © 2015 by The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

Suhag A.,Thomas Jefferson University | Saccone G.,University of Naples Federico II | Berghella V.,Thomas Jefferson University
American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology | Year: 2015

Objective We sought to evaluate the efficacy of maintenance tocolysis with vaginal progesterone compared to control (placebo or no treatment) in singleton gestations with arrested preterm labor (PTL) in a metaanalysis of randomized controlled trials. Study Design Searches were performed in MEDLINE, OVID, Scopus,, and the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials with the use of a combination of key words and text words related to "progesterone," "tocolysis," and "preterm labor" from 1966 through November 2014. We included all randomized trials of singleton gestations that had arrested PTL and then were randomized to maintenance tocolysis treatment with either vaginal progesterone or control (either placebo or no treatment). All published randomized studies on progesterone tocolysis were carefully reviewed. Exclusion criteria included maintenance tocolysis in women with preterm premature rupture of membrane, maintenance tocolysis with 17-alpha-hydroxyprogesterone caproate, and maintenance tocolysis with oral progesterone. The summary measures were reported as relative risks (RRs) with 95% confidence interval (CI). The primary outcome was preterm birth (PTB) <37 weeks. Results Five randomized trials, including 441 singleton gestations, were analyzed. Women who received vaginal progesterone maintenance tocolysis for arrested PTL had a significantly lower rate of PTB <37 weeks (42% vs 58%; RR, 0.71; 95% CI, 0.57-0.90; 3 trials, 298 women). Women who received vaginal progesterone had significantly longer latency (mean difference 13.80 days; 95% CI, 3.97-23.63; 4 trials, 368 women), later gestational age at delivery (mean difference 1.29 weeks; 95% CI, 0.43-2.15; 4 trials, 368 women), lower rate of recurrent PTL (24% vs 46%; RR, 0.51; 95% CI, 0.31-0.84; 2 trials, 122 women), and lower rate of neonatal sepsis (2% vs 7%; RR, 0.34; 95% CI, 0.12-0.98; 4 trials, 368 women). Conclusion Maintenance tocolysis with vaginal progesterone is associated with prevention of PTB, significant prolongation of pregnancy, and lower neonatal sepsis. However, given the frequent lack of blinding and the generally poor quality of the trials, we do not currently suggest a change in clinical care of women with arrested PTL. We suggest instead well-designed placebo-controlled randomized trials to confirm the findings of our metaanalysis. © 2015 Elsevier Inc.

Vitale S.,University of Naples Federico II | Ciarcia S.,University of Naples Federico II | Ciarcia S.,University of Sannio
Tectonophysics | Year: 2013

Temporal controls such as sedimentation ages, in foredeep and wedge-top basins, combined with information about stratigraphic and metamorphic evolution, ages and characterization of magmatic rocks, deep structures, burial and exhumation histories, allowed us to obtain kinematic estimations of the southern Apennines/Calabria-Peloritani Terrane system evolution from the Late Oligocene to Recent. Calculated thrust front velocities suggest to subdivide the orogenic evolution in main five kinematic stages characterized by different velocity trends. Nine kinematic complexes (from A to I), i.e. sets of tectonic units deformed in the same time range, are determined according to foredeep ages. These complexes, bounded by main regional thrust faults, encompass one or more tectonic sub-units and successions of different paleoenvironment domains. Paleogeographic evolution model indicates, according to available paleomagnetic data, a counterclockwise rotation, with a mean angle of 60°, for the Apennine Platform carbonates, whereas a mean angle of 20° for the eastern sector of the Apennine Platform and western side of Apulian Platform. Shortening estimations for the Apennine successions show values ranging between 55% and 88% and a linear best fit indicating an increase from 60% (NW sector) to ca. 90% (SE sector). Such high values are consistent with a deformation dominated by a thin-skinned tectonics, on the contrary, the low value of 28% calculated for Mt. Alpi suggests an exhumation ruled by high-angle deep-seated structures characterized by limited displacements. Tectonic vergences, referred to Middle-Late Miocene, Late Miocene and Pliocene-Middle Pleistocene, when restored, indicate an average eastward tectonic transport. Finally, tectonic evolution is summarized in eleven schematic cross sections and corresponding paleogeographic maps. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.

Iolascon A.,CEINGE | Iolascon A.,University of Naples Federico II | Heimpel H.,University of Ulm | Wahlin A.,Umeå University | And 2 more authors.
Blood | Year: 2013

The congenital dyserythropoietic anemias (CDAs) are hereditary disorders characterized by distinct morphologic abnormalities of marrow erythroblasts. The unveiling of the genes mutated in the major CDA subgroups (I-CDAN1 and II-SEC23B) has now been completed with the recent identification of the CDA III gene ( KIF23). KIF23 encodes mitotic kinesin-like protein 1, which plays a critical role in cytokinesis, whereas the cellular role of the proteins encoded by CDAN1 and SEC23B is still unknown. CDA variants with mutations in erythroid transcription factor genes (KLF1 and GATA-1 ) have been recently identified. Molecular diagnosis of CDA is now possible in most patients. © 2013 by The American Society of Hematology.

Saccone G.,University of Naples Federico II | Berghella V.,Thomas Jefferson University
American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology | Year: 2015

The aim of this study was to evaluate the risk of cesarean and any maternal and perinatal effects of a policy induction of labor in uncomplicated full-term singleton gestations. Searches were performed in an electronic database with the use of a combination of text words related to "induction" and "cesarean section" from inception of each database through December 2014. We included all randomized controlled trials of uncomplicated singleton gestations at full term (ie, between 39 weeks 0/7 days and 40 weeks 6/7 days) with intact membranes randomized to induction of labor or control (ie, expectant management). The primary outcome was the incidence of cesarean delivery. The summary measures were reported as risk ratio (RR) with 95% confidence interval (CI). Five randomized controlled trials, including 844 women, were analyzed. Full-term vertex singleton gestations receiving induction of labor had similar incidence of cesarean delivery compared to controls (9.7% vs 7.5%; RR, 1.25; 95% CI, 0.75-2.08). Rates of spontaneous (75.9% vs 80.2%; RR, 0.95; 95% CI, 0.87-1.02) and operative (13.1% vs 10.6%; RR, 1.22; 95% CI, 0.83-1.81) vaginal delivery were also similar. Induction was associated with similar rates of chorioamnionitis (9.6% vs 8.0%; RR, 1.17; 95% CI, 0.38-3.39), but statistically significantly less blood loss (mean difference -57.59 mL; 95% CI, -83.96 to -31.21) compared to controls. Regarding neonatal outcomes, induction was associated with a significantly lower rate of meconium-stained amniotic fluid (4.0% vs 13.5%; RR, 0.32; 95% CI, 0.18-0.57) and significantly lower mean birthweight (mean difference -135.51 g; 95% CI, -205.24 to -65.77) compared to control group. Induction of labor at full term in uncomplicated singleton gestations is not associated with increased risk of cesarean delivery and has overall similar outcomes compared to expectant management. © 2015 Elsevier Inc.

Gargiulo N.,University of Naples Federico II | Pepe F.,University of Sannio | Caputo D.,University of Naples Federico II
Journal of Colloid and Interface Science | Year: 2012

Samples of porous, foam-like TUD (Technische Universität Delft)-1 mesoporous silica were functionalized with polyethylenimine and were used as a substrate for CO 2 adsorption. Produced solids were characterized by means of electron microscopy, thermogravimetric analysis, and N 2 adsorption/desorption at 77K, in order to prove that polymer chains efficiently filled the pores of functionalized samples. CO 2 adsorption isotherms on polyethylenimine-containing TUD-1 were evaluated at T=298, 313, 328, and 348K for pressures up to 100kPa by means of a volumetric technique. The CO 2 adsorption capacity proved to be significantly dependent on temperature, with the highest capacity encountered at T=348K. The experimental data for CO 2 adsorption were satisfactorily described by means of the Langmuir isotherm, and the dependence of the isosteric heat on the fractional coverage of the adsorbent was evaluated by means of the van't Hoff equation, showing values in the order of 80kJ/mol for a fractional coverage of about 50%. © 2011 Elsevier Inc.

Ascione F.,University of Naples Federico II | Bianco N.,University of Naples Federico II | De Masi R.F.,University of Sannio | de' Rossi F.,University of Sannio | Vanoli G.P.,University of Sannio
Applied Energy | Year: 2014

With reference to building applications, recent scientific literature shows good potential in reducing cooling loads by means of phase change materials (PCMs), integrated in the building exterior envelope.This paper proposes a deepening, by investigating if these dynamic components could contribute in reducing building cooling demand in Mediterranean climates. An office building is analyzed, with reference to the entire cooling season (from May 1st to September 30th), in reliable conditions as regards building use, and thus internal gains, occupancy, activation of cooling systems.More in detail, through hourly energy simulation, the achievable cooling energy savings have been calculated, with reference to a well-insulated massive building, refurbished by means of addition of PCM plaster on the inner side of the exterior envelope. Five Mediterranean climates have been taken into account: Ankara (Turkey), Athens (Greece), Naples (Italy), Marseille (France), Seville (Spain). The studies regarded the influences of the phase change temperature, thickness of the PCM wallboard and location of the PCM layer.Beyond the evaluation of the absolute savings of primary energy requests for cooling, the energy saving rate and the not-overheating time have been calculated, respectively by considering an air conditioned building and a naturally ventilated building with free-running indoor temperatures.Starting from the achieved results, through the values of the proposed indicators, this paper would suggest information useful for proper design and selection of phase change materials for building applications. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

De Lisa E.,University of Naples Federico II | Paolucci M.,University of Sannio | Di Cosmo A.,University of Naples Federico II
Journal of Neuroendocrinology | Year: 2012

Oestradiol plays crucial roles in the mammalian brain by modulating reproductive behaviour, neural plasticity and pain perception. The cephalopod Octopus vulgaris is considered, along with its relatives, to be the most behaviourally advanced invertebrate, although the neurophysiological basis of its behaviours, including pain perception, remain largely unknown. In the present study, using a combination of molecular and imaging techniques, we found that oestradiol up-regulated O. vulgaris gonadotrophin-releasing hormone (Oct-GnRH) and O. vulgaris oestrogen receptor (Oct-ER) mRNA levels in the olfactory lobes; in turn, Oct-ER mRNA was regulated by NMDA in lobes involved in learning and motor coordination. Fluorescence resonance energy transfer analysis revealed that oestradiol binds Oct-ER causing conformational modifications and nuclear translocation consistent with the classical genomic mechanism of the oestrogen receptor. Moreover, oestradiol triggered a calcium influx and cyclic AMP response element binding protein phosphorylation via membrane receptors, providing evidence for a rapid nongenomic action of oestradiol in O. vulgaris. In the present study, we demonstrate, for the first time, the physiological role of oestradiol in the brain lobes of O. vulgaris involved in reproduction, learning and motor coordination. © 2011 The Authors. Journal of Neuroendocrinology © 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

Di Sarno L.,University of Sannio | Manfredi G.,University of Naples Federico II
Soil Dynamics and Earthquake Engineering | Year: 2010

This paper assesses the seismic performance of typical reinforced concrete (RC) existing framed structures designed for gravity loads only. The sample two-storey structural system exhibits high vulnerability, i.e. low lateral resistance and limited translation ductility; hence an effective strategy scheme for seismic retrofitting was deemed necessary. Such a scheme comprises buckling restrained braces (BRBs) placed along the perimeter frames of the multi-storey building. The adopted design approach assumes that the global response of the inelastic framed structure is the sum of the elastic frame (primary system) and the system comprising perimeter diagonal braces (secondary system); the latter braces absorb and dissipate a large amount of hysteretic energy under earthquake ground motions. Comprehensive nonlinear static (pushover) and dynamic (response history) analyses were carried out for both the as-built and retrofitted structures to investigate the efficiency of the adopted intervention strategy. A set of seven code-compliant natural earthquake records was selected and employed to perform inelastic response history analyses at serviceability (operational and damageability limit states, OLS and DLS) and ultimate limit states (life safety and collapse prevention limit states, LSLS and CPLS). Both global and local lateral displacements are notably reduced after the seismic retrofit of the existing system. In the as-built structure, the damage is primarily concentrated at the second floor (storey mechanism); the computed interstorey drifts are 2.43% at CPLS and 1.92% at LSLS for modal distribution of lateral forces. Conversely, for the retrofitted system, the estimated values of interstorey drifts (d/h) are halved; the maximum d/h are 0.84% at CPLS (along the Y-direction) and 0.65% at LSLS (yet along the Y-direction). The values of the global overstrength Ω vary between 2.14 and 2.54 for the retrofitted structure; similarly, the translation ductility γΔ-values range between 2.07 and 2.36. The response factor (R- or q-factor) is on average equal to 5.0. It is also found that, for the braced frame, under moderate-to-high magnitude earthquakes, the average period elongation is about 30%, while for the existing building the elongation is negligible (lower than 5%). The inelastic response of the existing structure is extremely limited. Conversely, BRBs are effective to enhance the ductility and energy dissipation of the sample as-built structural system. Extensive nonlinear dynamic analyses showed that more than 60% of input seismic energy is dissipated by the BRBs at ultimate limit states. The estimated maximum axial ductility of the braces is about 10; the latter value of translation ductility is compliant with BRBs available on the market. At DLS, the latter devices exhibit an elastic behaviour. It can thus be concluded that, under moderate and high magnitude earthquakes, the damage is concentrated in the added dampers and the response of the existing RC framed structure (bare frame) is chiefly elastic. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd.

Angrisani G.,University of Sannio | Minichiello F.,University of Naples Federico II | Roselli C.,University of Sannio | Sasso M.,University of Sannio
Applied Energy | Year: 2012

The advantages of desiccant-based air conditioning systems, compared to conventional ones based on the dehumidification by cooling, have been highlighted in many research papers. The energy saving and the reduction of the environmental impact are higher when the desiccant material is regenerated by using "free" thermal energy (for example, waste heat from cogenerators or solar energy). Further investigation on the performance of the desiccant wheel is useful: therefore, in this paper, an experimental analysis on this component is presented, with particular attention to the variation of the performance as a function of the process and regeneration air flow rates. The desiccant material is regenerated by means of low-temperature thermal energy (about 65 °C) from a microcogenerator. Both the experimental results obtained by the authors and the data provided by the manufacturer have been used to calculate some performance parameters, and a satisfactory agreement has been obtained. The performance parameters have been evaluated as a function of the regeneration temperature, the inlet process air humidity ratio and temperature and the ratio between the regeneration and process air flow rates, in both the cases of fixed regeneration temperature and fixed regeneration thermal power: the results show that higher influence on the dehumidification process is due to the regeneration temperature rather than to the regeneration air flow rate. Moreover, the process air humidity ratio and regeneration temperature influence the desiccant wheel performance more than the process air temperature. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-CSA-Infra | Phase: INFRA-2011-1.1.15. | Award Amount: 11.05M | Year: 2011

Enhancing biomass utilization without risking its sustainability is a European energy priority, and can be linked to targets for curbing greenhouse gas emissions by 20% by 2020 and 50% by 2050: enhanced energy security and integration with other industrial sectors, such as agriculture, also play a role. Improved use of biofuels and products in advanced biomass conversion units and biorefineries are seen as a key element in achieving this goal. In recent years leading industrial nations have established facilities in which their researchers have addressed the challenges associated with the production of biofuels and the establishment of bio-refineries. There remains fragmentation in terms of access to high-level experimental equipment necessary for achieving significant advances in this field. The BRISK initiative will integrate networking activities to foster a culture of co-operation between the participants in the project, and the scientific communities benefiting from access to the research infrastructures, with the pursuit of joint research activities, and facilitate transnational access by researchers to one or more infrastructures among those operated by participants in a coordinated way so as to improve the overall services available to the research communities with interests in these fields.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA-SA | Phase: AAT.2010.7-6.;AAT.2010.7-9. | Award Amount: 18.99K | Year: 2010

The European Turbomachinery Conference is the only scientific event in the EU covering in depth all fluid dynamics and thermodynamics aspects of turbomachinery design and operation. Its objectives are to enhance excellence in this field, to address and improve the technological level and competitiveness of turbomachinery design products and their operation as part of propulsion systems and energy conversion processes. EUROTURBO 9 is the ninth in a series of bi-annual conferences started for the first time in Erlangen (Germany) in 1995. This conference will be of prime interest to researchers, design engineers, users of turbomachinery components and to students being trained in presentation and discussion of their first scientific results. The conference is intended to be a primary driver for technology transfer across Europe in this field through the presentatiion of the latest developments and best practices. It is also intended to enhance cross-fertilization between the aeronautical fields, found in the edge of turbomachinery technology today and all other fields using turbomachines. The conference is also seen as an integrating element between the Western and the Eastern European countries and as an additional mean to foster collaboration in turbomachinery research at a European level. Finally, this conference is seen as an ideal forum to relate and disseminate the results of research projects funded by the European Commission. Therefore, a support for this conference of less than 15 % of the total budget is requested from the Commission.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: MSCA-ITN-ETN | Phase: MSCA-ITN-2014-ETN | Award Amount: 3.12M | Year: 2015

Based on an international team derived from the COST action BM1003 (, 2011-2014) and thus relying on consolidated group interactions and synergies and on a unique combination of chemistry, biology, biophysics, biochemistry and pharmacology expertise, the TOLLerant project aims to gain information on molecular aspects of TLR4 activation and signaling by using synthetic and natural compounds and nanoparticles that interact selectively with some components (mainly MD-2 and CD14) of the TRL4 recognition system. TLR4 is an emerging molecular target related to an impressively broad spectrum of modern day disorders still lacking specific pharmacological treatment. These include autoimmune disorders, chronic inflammations, allergies, asthma, infectious and CNS diseases and cancer. The short-term scientific objective is to develop novel, non-toxic, synthetic and natural TLR4 modulators (agonists or antagonists) and to assess their therapeutic potential on animal models of TLR4-related acute and chronic pathologies that still lack efficient pharmacological treatment. The long-term scientific objective is to develop a new generation of innovative, TLR4-based therapeutics, to be used as vaccine adjuvants, anti-sepsis agents, and anti-inflammatory agents to treat chronic inflammations (allergy, asthma). The training programme will provide Early Stage Researchers (ESR) with broad competences, experience and skills in the cutting-edge, inter-disciplinary research in the field of chemical biology related to the molecular mechanisms of innate immunity and inflammation. During the training, the young researchers will be supported by senior scientists to cultivate their scientific, entrepreneurial and inter-cultural mindset. The non-academic sector will be committed to provide ESRs with entrepreneurship and company management skills, in order to enhance their employability by the private sector or even to motivate them to create own start-up companies.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: MSCA-RISE | Phase: MSCA-RISE-2015 | Award Amount: 909.00K | Year: 2016

EXCHANGE-Risk is an Intersectoral/International Research and Innovation staff exchange scheme between academia and the industry in Europe and North America focusing on mitigating Seismic Risk of buried steel pipeline Networks that are subjected to ground-imposed permanent deformations. It also aims at developing a Decision Support System for the Rapid Pipeline Recovery to minimize the time required for inspection and rehabilitation in case of a major earthquake. EXCHANGE-Risk involves novel hybrid experimental and numerical work of the soil-pileline system at a pipe, pipeline and network level integrated with innovative technologies for rapid pipe inspection. The outcome of the project is a series of well targeted exchanges between the partners (involving more than 30 early stage and experienced researchers) within a well defined framework of innovation that ensures transfer of knowledge between the academia and the industry, Europe and North America as well wide dissemination of the methodologies and tools developed to the engineering community.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: JTI-CP-ARTEMIS | Phase: SP1-JTI-ARTEMIS-2010-3 | Award Amount: 3.20M | Year: 2011

Despite the considerable research and important advances of the Wireless Sensor Networks (WSN) field, large scale application of the technology is still hindered by technical, complexity and cost issues. Ongoing R&D projects are addressing the shortcomings by focusing on energy harvesting, middleware, network intelligence, standardization, network reliability, adaptability and scalability. These are among the most prominent issues preventing a wider adoption of WSN-based solutions by system integrators and end users. WSN deployment, testing, and maintenance are still challenging the WSN wider use. This project will address the above WSN challenges by developing an integrated platform for smart environments that will comprise a middleware for heterogeneous wireless technologies as well as an integrated engineering tool for quick system development, a planning tool and a commissioning & maintenance tool for expert and non-expert users. This project will build two demonstrators in order to evaluate the impact of the developed middleware and the tools. The first application demonstrator will be an outdoor parking application where WSN will detect free parking slots in an outdoor parking and guide the drivers to reach them, park their car and enter automatically in the system all relevant information. The second application demonstrator will be system where WSN will measure the air quality and noise, light, and electromagnetic levels on city streets to assist the understanding of wide area dynamics and the City Managers decision making process. This project will contribute to the development of a multi-domain architecture and to provide strategic input to enhance other ARTEMIS application-oriented Sub-Programmes. To further increase the value for the field, most of the project development will be released under a suitable open source license for mutual benefit and to foster academic research and know how to transfer to industry. Approved by ARTEMIS-JU on 15/11/2011 Updates approved for JUGA Amendment No. 1 by ARTEMIS-JU on 24/09/2013. Updates approved for JUGA Amendment No. 2 by ARTEMIS-JU on 12/06/2014. Updates approved for JUGA Amendment No. 3 by ECSEL-JU on 4/12/2014. Updates approved for JUGA Amendment No.4 by ECSEL-JU on 04/03/2015.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-IRSES | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2009-IRSES | Award Amount: 171.00K | Year: 2011

The main objective of the project proposed is to establish the framework of an extended and continuous research staff exchange between E.U. institutions and the Mid-America Earthquake Centre and other advanced US centres, in order to promote the transfer of knowhow with respect to the application of the most advanced experimental and numerical analysis approaches (i.e. geographically distributed hybrid multi-platform experimentation) currently available in the U.S. for the study of complex soil-structure interaction effects in seismic design and assessment of bridges. This is made feasible by a sequel of well-planned research staff visits, the organization of focused research workshops, as well as by the preparation and performance of two geographically distributed (in the US and EU) joint hybrid experiments as a means to ensure knowledge transfer and maximize the impact of human mobility. It is believed that the partnership of EXCHANGE-SSI can bridge the existing technological gap between US and the EU, permit the effective networking of existing infrastructure and as such, it can create the momentum required (and currently missing) for long-lasting integrated high level joint EU-US research on common problems related to the use of hybrid experimentation for soil-bridge interaction studies.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA-SA | Phase: AAT.2008.7.0.7.;AAT.2008.7.0.9. | Award Amount: 23.70K | Year: 2008

The European Turbomachinery Conference is the only scientific event within the EU covering in depth all fluid dynamics and thermodynamics aspects of turbomachinery design and operation. Its objectives are to enhance excellence in this field, to address and improve the technological level and competitiveness of turbomachinery design products and their operation as part of propulsion systems and energy conversion processes. EUROTURBO 8, is the eighth in a series of bi-annual conferences started for the first time in 1995 in Erlangen (Germany). This conference will be of primary interest to researchers, design engineers, users of turbomachinery components and to students being trained in presentation and discussion of their first scientific results. The conference is intended to be a primary driver for technology transfer across Europe in this field through the presentation of the latest developments and best practices. It is also intended to enhance cross-fertilization between the aeronautical field, found in the edge of turbomachinery technology today and all other fields using turbomachines. The conference is also seen as an integrating element between the Western and Eastern European countries and as an additional mean to foster collaboration in turbomachinery research at a European level. Finally, this conference is seen as an ideal forum to relate and disseminate the results of research projects funded by the European Commission. Therefore, support for this conference of about 22 % of the total budget is requested from the Commission.

News Article | November 8, 2016

NAPLES, ITALY, November 08, 2016-- Dr. Giulio Tarro 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.Beginning in 1966, Dr. Tarro's illustrious 50-year career has been comprised of notable achievements in virology, microbiology, and immunology. After earning an MD from the University of Naples Federico II, Dr. Tarro became an assistant in medical pathology at his alma mater. He then became a research fellow at the National Research Council, and by the fellowship's end, he was an assistant professor of research pediatrics and a research associate in the division of virology and cancer research at the University of Cincinnati College's Medicine and Children's Hospital. Further, he taught oncologic virology and microbiology and immunology at the University of Naples Federico II's College of Medicine and School of Specialization and was the chief of the virology division at D. Cotugno Hospital Infectious Diseases. Dr. Tarro had also obtained a postgraduate degree in nervous diseases and a Ph.D. in virology. He went on to become the research chief for the National Research Council.Dr. Tarro's academic and professional achievements continued to overlap as the decades passed, with each accomplishment earning the virologist more national and international recognition than the last. Following his Ph.D., Dr. Tarro earned a postgraduate degree in medical and biological sciences from Roman Academy, an honorary degree in medicine from Pro-Deo State University, an honorary degree in immunology from St. Theodora Academy, an honorary degree in bioethics from Constantinian University, an honorary Master of Science in biomedical technology from Assam University, and an honorary degree in social sciences from Bonakè University. At the same time, he became the president of the ethic committee and the head of the diagnostic laboratories in the department of infectious diseases at D. Cotugno Hospital. At last, in 2006, he retired.Prior to Dr. Tarro's retirement, he held an abundance of career-related positions. He was on the National Committee on Health and was the science coordinator of extracorporeal hyperthermia in HCV patients at First Circle Medical. To remain abreast of industry advancements, Dr. Tarro maintained affiliations with the International League of Doctors against Vivisection, the Italian Society Immuno-Oncology, and the American Association for Cancer Research.For his remarkable accomplishments, Dr. Tarro has been featured in the 32nd through 37th editions of Who's Who in Finance and Business, the 48th through 70th editions of Who's Who in America, the 1st through 8th editions of Who's Who in Medicine and Healthcare, the 1st through 12th editions of Who's Who in Science and Engineering, and the 10th through 33rd editions of Who's Who in the World.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

Bimonte G.,University of Naples Federico II | Bimonte G.,National Institute of Nuclear Physics, Italy
Physical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics | Year: 2015

Isoelectronic differential force measurements provide a unique opportunity to probe controversial features of the thermal Casimir effect that are still much debated in the current literature. Isolectronic setups offer two major advantages over conventional Casimir setups. On the one hand, they are immune from electrostatic forces caused by potential patches on the plates surfaces that plague present Casimir experiments, especially for separations in the micron range. On the other hand, they can strongly enhance the discrepancy between alternative theoretical models that have been proposed to estimate the thermal Casimir force for metallic and magnetic surfaces. Thanks to these two features, isoelectronic differential experiments should allow one to establish conclusively which among these models correctly describes the thermal Casimir force. © 2015 American Physical Society.

Russo G.,University of Naples Federico II | di Bernardo M.,University of Naples Federico II | di Bernardo M.,University of Bristol | Sontag E.D.,Rutgers University
PLoS Computational Biology | Year: 2010

This paper addresses the problem of providing mathematical conditions that allow one to ensure that biological networks, such as transcriptional systems, can be globally entrained to external periodic inputs. Despite appearing obvious at first, this is by no means a generic property of nonlinear dynamical systems. Through the use of contraction theory, a powerful tool from dynamical systems theory, it is shown that certain systems driven by external periodic signals have the property that all their solutions converge to a fixed limit cycle. General results are proved, and the properties are verified in the specific cases of models of transcriptional systems as well as constructs of interest in synthetic biology. A self-contained exposition of all needed results is given in the paper. © 2010 Russo et al.

Andreotti A.,University of Naples Federico II | Pierno A.,University of Naples Federico II | Rakov V.A.,University of Florida
IEEE Transactions on Power Delivery | Year: 2013

Andreotti (2009, 2013) have presented analytical solutions for the evaluation of voltages induced on lossless, single-, and multi-conductor lines for the case of infinite-conductivity ground and both step and linearly rising currents moving without attenuation and at a constant speed along a vertical lightning channel. These solutions were derived in an exact way (i.e., no approximations were introduced in their derivation). In this paper (Part I), the previous work is extended to the case of lossy ground. In the companion paper (Part II), the results obtained using this new formulation are compared with those given by other formulas/solutions found in the literature. © 1986-2012 IEEE.

Muck W.,University of Naples Federico II | Muck W.,National Institute of Nuclear Physics, Italy
European Physical Journal C | Year: 2013

We describe the electromagnetic field by the massless limit of a massive vector field in the presence of a Coulomb gauge fixing term. The gauge fixing term ensures that, in the massless limit, the longitudinal mode is removed from the spectrum and only the two transverse modes survive. The system, coupled to a classical conserved current, is quantized in the canonical formalism. The classical field configurations due to time-independent electric charges and currents are represented by coherent states of longitudinal and transverse photons, respectively. The occupation number in these states is finite. In particular, the number of longitudinal photons bound by an electric charge q is given by N=q 2/(16πh{stroke}). © 2013 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg and Società Italiana di Fisica.

Cringoli G.,University of Naples Federico II | Rinaldi L.,University of Naples Federico II | Maurelli M.P.,University of Naples Federico II | Utzinger J.,Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute
Nature Protocols | Year: 2010

Accurate diagnosis of parasitic infections is of pivotal importance for both individual patient management and population-based studies, such as drug efficacy trials and surveillance of parasitic disease control and elimination programs, in both human and veterinary public health. In this study, we present protocols for the FLOTAC basic, dual and double techniques, which are promising new multivalent, sensitive, accurate and precise methods for qualitative and quantitative copromicroscopic analysis. These various methods make use of the FLOTAC apparatus, a cylindrical device with two 5-ml flotation chambers, which allows up to 1 g of stool to be prepared for microscopic analysis. Compared with currently more widely used diagnostic methods for parasite detection in animals (e.g., McMaster and Wisconsin techniques) and humans (e.g., Kato-Katz and ether-based concentration techniques), the FLOTAC techniques show higher sensitivity and accuracy. All FLOTAC techniques can be performed on fresh fecal material as well as preserved stool samples, and require approximately 12-15 min of preparation time before microscopic analysis. © 2010 Nature Publishing Group.

Bimonte G.,University of Naples Federico II | Bimonte G.,National Institute of Nuclear Physics, Italy
Physical Review Letters | Year: 2014

We describe a Casimir apparatus based on a differential force measurement between a Au-coated sphere and a planar slab divided in two regions, one of which is made of high-resistivity (dielectric) Si, and the other of Au. The crucial feature of the setup is a semitransparent plane parallel conducting overlayer, covering both regions. The setup offers two important advantages over existing Casimir setups. On one hand, it leads to a large amplification of the difference between the Drude and the plasma prescriptions that are currently used to compute the thermal Casimir force. On the other hand, thanks to the screening power of the overlayer, it is in principle immune from electrostatic forces caused by potential patches on the plates surfaces, that plague present large distance Casimir experiments. If a semitransparent conductive overlayer with identical patch structure over the Au-Si regions of the plate can be manufactured, similar to the opaque overlayers used in recent searches of non-Newtonian gravitational forces based on the isoelectronic technique, the way will be paved for a clear observation of the thermal Casimir force up to separations of several microns, and an unambiguous discrimination between the Drude and the plasma prescriptions. © 2014 American Physical Society.

Nicodemi M.,University of Naples Federico II | Pombo A.,Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine
Current Opinion in Cell Biology | Year: 2014

Understanding the mechanisms that control chromosome folding in the nucleus of eukaryotes and their contribution to gene regulation is a key open issue in molecular biology. Microscopy and chromatin-capture techniques have shown that chromatin has a complex organization, which dynamically changes across organisms and cell types. The need to make sense of such a fascinating complexity has prompted the development of quantitative models from physics, to find the principles of chromosome folding, its origin and function. Here, we concisely review recent advances in chromosome modeling, focusing on a recently proposed framework, the Strings & Binders Switch (SBS) model, which recapitulates key features of chromosome organization in space and time. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.

Devastato A.,University of Naples Federico II | Devastato A.,National Institute of Nuclear Physics, Italy
Physics Letters, Section B: Nuclear, Elementary Particle and High-Energy Physics | Year: 2014

We discuss the possibility to extend the spectral action up to energy close to the Planck scale, taking also into account the gravitational effects given by graviton exchange. Including this contribution in the theory, the coupling constant unification is not compromised but is shifted to the Planck scale rendering all gauge couplings asymptotically free. In the scheme of noncommutative geometry, the gravitational effects change the main standard model coupling constants, leading to a restriction of the free parameters of the theory compatible with the Higgs and top mass prediction. We also discuss consequences for the neutrino mass and the see-saw mechanism. © 2014 The Author.

Gruber C.,Free University of Berlin | Luongo O.,University of Naples Federico II | Luongo O.,National Institute of Nuclear Physics, Italy | Luongo O.,National Autonomous University of Mexico
Physical Review D - Particles, Fields, Gravitation and Cosmology | Year: 2014

Cosmography is used in cosmological data processing in order to constrain the kinematics of the universe in a model-independent way, providing an objective means to evaluate the agreement of a model with observations. In this paper, we extend the conventional methodology of cosmography employing Taylor expansions of observables by an alternative approach using Padé approximations. Due to the superior convergence properties of Padé expansions, it is possible to improve the fitting analysis to obtain numerical values for the parameters of the cosmographic series. From the results, we can derive the equation of state parameter of the universe and its first derivative and thus acquire information about the thermodynamic state of the universe. We carry out statistical analyses using observations of the distance modulus of type 1a supernovae, provided by the union 2.1 compilation of the supernova cosmology project, employing a Markov chain Monte Carlo approach with an implemented Metropolis algorithm. We compare the results of the original Taylor approach to the newly introduced Padé formalism. The analyses show that experimental data constrain the observable universe well, finding an accelerating universe and a positive jerk parameter. We demonstrate that the Padé convergence radii are greater than standard Taylor convergence radii, and infer a lower limit on the acceleration of the universe solely by requiring the positivity of the Padé expansion. We obtain fairly good agreement with the Planck results, confirming the ΛCDM model at small redshifts, although we cannot exclude a dark energy density varying in time with negligible speed of sound. © 2014 American Physical Society.

Bimonte G.,University of Naples Federico II | Bimonte G.,National Institute of Nuclear Physics, Italy
Physical Review Letters | Year: 2014

We describe a Casimir setup consisting of two aligned sinusoidally corrugated Ni surfaces, one of which is "hidden" by a thin opaque layer of gold with a flat exposed surface. The gold layer acts as a low-pass filter that allows for a clean observation of the controversial thermal Casimir force between the corrugations, with currently available Casimir apparatuses. The proposed scheme of measurement, based on the phase-dependent modulation of the Casimir force, requires no electrostatic calibrations of the apparatus, and is unaffected by uncertainties in the knowledge of the optical properties of the surfaces. This scheme should allow for an unambiguous discrimination between alternative theoretical prescriptions that have been proposed in the literature for the thermal Casimir effect. © 2014 American Physical Society.

Bimonte G.,University of Naples Federico II | Bimonte G.,National Institute of Nuclear Physics, Italy
Physical Review A - Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics | Year: 2011

The possibility of making precise predictions for the Casimir force is essential for the theoretical interpretation of current precision experiments on the thermal Casimir effect with metallic plates, especially for submicron separations. For this purpose it is necessary to estimate very accurately the dielectric function of a conductor along the imaginary frequency axis. This task is complicated in the case of ohmic conductors because optical data do not usually extend to sufficiently low frequencies to permit an accurate evaluation of the standard Kramers-Kronig integral used to compute ε(iξ). By making important improvements to the results of a previous paper by the author, it is shown that this difficulty can be resolved by considering suitable weighted dispersion relations, which strongly suppress the contribution of low frequencies. The weighted dispersion formulas presented in this paper permit us to estimate accurately the dielectric function of ohmic conductors for imaginary frequencies, on the basis of optical data extending from the IR to the UV, with no need for uncontrolled data extrapolations toward zero frequency that are necessary with standard Kramers-Kronig relations. Applications to several sets of data for gold films are presented to demonstrate the viability of the dispersion formulas presented in this paper. © 2011 American Physical Society.

Iannuzzi D.,University of Naples Federico II | Tricoli P.,University of Birmingham
IEEE Transactions on Power Electronics | Year: 2012

This paper suggests a novel energy management control algorithm for metro trains based on speed measurement and acceleration estimation. The aim of the control is to recover in a supercapacitor (SC) storage device the maximum energy regenerated during train electrical braking and to limit the contact line peak current. The energy management control is integrated with the motor drive control, since discharge and charge of SC are connected to motoring and braking operations of the train. The algorithm is based on two nested loops on voltage and current of SC. The voltage and current references are calculated on the basis of the estimation of the train inertial force and acceleration, taking into account the power losses of the system. A simplified mathematical model of the whole electrical drive has been developed and the main features of the control strategy have been presented. Numerical simulations show the efficacy of suggested control and the energy saving obtained for metro trains. Experimental tests made on an electromechanical simulator fully confirm theoretical results. © 2011 IEEE.

Boucenna S.M.,National Institute of Nuclear Physics, Italy | Morisi S.,University of Naples Federico II | Vicente A.,University of Valencia
Physical Review D - Particles, Fields, Gravitation and Cosmology | Year: 2016

Motivated by what is possibly the first sign of new physics seen at the LHC, the diphoton excess at 750 GeV in ATLAS and CMS, we present a model that provides naturally the necessary ingredients to explain the resonance. The simplest phenomenological explanation for the diphoton excess requires a new scalar state, X(750), as well as additional vectorlike (VL) fermions introduced in an ad-hoc way in order to enhance its decays into a pair of photons and/or increase its production cross section. We show that the necessary VL quarks and their couplings can emerge naturally from a complete framework based on the SU(3)L - U(1)X gauge symmetry. © 2016 American Physical Society.

Bimonte G.,University of Naples Federico II | Bimonte G.,National Institute of Nuclear Physics, Italy
Physical Review A - Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics | Year: 2015

The thermal Casimir-Lifshitz force between two bodies held at different temperatures displays striking features that are absent in systems in thermal equilibrium. The manifestation of this force has been observed so far only in Bose-Einstein condensates close to a heated substrate, but never between two macroscopic bodies. Observation of the thermal Casimir-Lifshitz force out of thermal equilibrium with conventional Casimir setups is very difficult because for experimentally accessible separations the thermal force is small compared to the zero-temperature quantum Casimir force unless prohibitively large temperature differences among the plates are considered. We describe an apparatus that allows for direct observation of the thermal force out of equilibrium for submicron separations and for moderate temperature differences between the plates. © 2015 American Physical Society. ©2015 American Physical Society.

Muck W.,University of Naples Federico II | Muck W.,National Institute of Nuclear Physics, Italy
Physical Review D - Particles, Fields, Gravitation and Cosmology | Year: 2011

The Polyakov loop of an operator in the antisymmetric representation in N=4 supersymmetric Yang-Mills theory on spacial R3 is calculated, to leading order in 1/N and at large 't Hooft coupling, by solving the saddle point equations of the corresponding quantum impurity model. Agreement is found with previous results from the supergravity dual, which is given by a D5-brane in an asymptotically AdS5×S5 black brane background. It is shown that the azimuth angle, at which the dual D5-brane wraps the S5, is related to the spectral asymmetry angle in the spectral density associated with the Green's function of the impurity fermions. Much of the calculation also applies to the Polyakov loop on spacial S3 or H3. © 2011 American Physical Society.

Ciccarelli F.,University of Naples Federico II | Iannuzzi D.,University of Naples Federico II | Tricoli P.,University of Birmingham
Transportation Research Part C: Emerging Technologies | Year: 2012

New generation of rapid transit trains requires a more effective energy management for the reduction of energy consumption during the journey. Rapid transit trains can benefit substantially form aboard electric storage devices for the recuperation of the kinetic energy during braking and the limitation of power supplier current during acceleration. This paper proposes a control strategy for aboard supercapacitors integrated with motor drive control. The voltage and current references for supercapacitors are related to the actual train speed and calculated on the basis of train inertial forces and supercapacitors state of charge. The proposed control strategy is very useful for obtaining good performances also with not predefined speed cycles. Therefore, the control strategy has been verified on a generic traction cycle via numerical simulations and experimental tests, made on an expressly built electromechanical simulator. The results obtained point out that the proposed control is capable of achieving energy saving and reducing considerably the voltage surge at the overhead contact line during train braking. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.

Bimonte G.,University of Naples Federico II | Bimonte G.,National Institute of Nuclear Physics, Italy
Physical Review A - Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics | Year: 2010

Recent advances in experimental techniques now permit measurement of the Casimir force with unprecedented precision. To achieve a comparable precision in the theoretical prediction of the force, it is necessary to accurately determine the electric permittivity of the materials constituting the plates along the imaginary frequency axis. The latter quantity is not directly accessible to experiments, but it can be determined via dispersion relations from experimental optical data. In the experimentally important case of conductors, however, a serious drawback of the standard dispersion relations commonly used for this purpose is their strong dependence on the chosen low-frequency extrapolation of the experimental optical data, which introduces a significant and not easily controllable uncertainty in the result. In this paper we show that a simple modification of the standard dispersion relations, involving suitable analytic window functions, resolves this difficulty, making it possible to reliably determine the electric permittivity at imaginary frequencies using solely experimental optical data in the frequency interval where they are available, without any need for uncontrolled data extrapolations. © 2010 The American Physical Society.

Gentile S.,Mental Health Center Cava Of Tirreni | Gentile S.,University of Naples Federico II
Expert Opinion on Drug Safety | Year: 2015

Until 2005, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), the class of antidepressants most frequently used in clinical practice, had been deemed devoid of any teratogenic effects. However, in recent years several concerns have been raised about their reproductive safety, including: disturbed fetal development, increased rates of congenital anomalies, increased risks of neonatal complications, neuro-motor delay and even autism. Specific concerns are also arising about the safety of SSRIs for infants breastfed by mothers who take such medications in puerperium. Such considerations have led to the 'bad reproductive reputation' of SSRIs, whose utilization during pregnancy and breastfeeding is deemed incautious. Specific reproductive problems also involve tricyclic antidepressants, especially clomipramine. Thus, any conclusion about what antidepressant should be considered the safest during pregnancy must be stated and read with great caution. However, the risks associated with pharmacological treatment must be balanced with the effects of untreated antenatal maternal depression on the mother-fetus dyad, which are likely to be devastating. During puerperium, it is mandatory to weigh the risks to the infant of antidepressant exposure through breast milk against the disadvantage of not receiving mother's milk and being exposed to a relapse of maternal mood symptoms (which may also have tragic consequences for the patient). © 2015 Informa UK, Ltd.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: MSCA-ITN-ETN | Phase: MSCA-ITN-2016 | Award Amount: 3.93M | Year: 2017

Train2Target is a multidisciplinary European Training Network built to address the challenge of the discovery of alternative antimicrobials. Innovative strategies to deliver a next generation of drugs are urgently needed. The alarming threats and spread of multi-drug resistant bacteria is currently leaving clinicians with very limited options to combat infections especially those from Gram-negative pathogens. The Train 2Target research programme focuses on the assembly of the well-known bacterial cell envelope from a new perspective. Indeed it aims to inhibit novel targets in envelope biogenesis by altering the function and misbalancing the coordination of envelope assembly machines, which build and assemble the Gram-negative bacterial envelope. A wide variety of chemical classes and compounds sources will be screened using innovative biochemical, biophysical and genetic assays to identify valuable hit scaffolds to be optimized into druggable leads. The high quality and credibility of our consortium is ensured by a strong interdisciplinary academia-industry partnership to encompass different complementary expertise ranging from microbiology, bacterial genetics, biochemistry, cell imaging, structural biology, biophysics and chemical synthesis. Our 9 academic groups are all renowned leaders in the cell envelope biogenesis field, whereas the complementary 5 SMEs and 3 Industry partners are specialised in drug discovery and development of novel anti-infective drugs. This unique combination of scientific excellence and industrial know-how in drug discovery covers the entire process from the design to the implementation of innovative antibacterial strategies and lead identification. Train2Target also represents a unique research platform to train 15 Early Stage Researchers and equip them with the necessary scientific and transferable skills that will make them highly competitive for both top European research institutions and the pharma/biotech job market.

Fiorino, Simonetti, University of Naples Federico II and Bertogli | Date: 2010-01-13

A process for cold-painting laser engravings applied on a slab cladding element (1), comprising following stages: depositing an insulating substance (2) on the in-view surface (1a); engraving a decoration (3) on the in-view surface (1a) by means of a laser (4); laying a colouring substance (5) on the in-view surface (1a); spreading a colouring substance (5) on the in-view surface (1a); and removing the colouring substance (5).

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ICT-2007.1.1 | Award Amount: 4.08M | Year: 2008

PHYDYAS proposes an advanced physical layer, using filter bank-based multicarrier (FBMC) transmission, for the new concepts in radiocommunications: dynamic access spectrum management (DASM) and cognitive radio. It shows that the performance and operational flexibility of systems are enhanced by exploiting the spectral efficiency of filter banks and the independence of sub-channels. Combining with offset quadrature amplitude modulation (OQAM), no cyclic prefix is needed, all the radiated power is used and gains in maximum throughput compared to OFDM are achieved. Robustness to Doppler and jammers is obtained and new functionalities are possible. The high resolution spectrum analysis capability is exploited for DASM and cognitive radio and a single device can do spectrum sensing and reception simultaneously.\nResearch in signal processing is carried out to complete the knowledge in filter banks for transmission and satisfy requirements of new radio systems: fast initialization, optimum transmit-receive processing for single and multiple antenna (MIMO) systems, scalability. Research in communications concerns dynamic access and cross-layer aspects, and compatibility with OFDM. In cognitive radio, research deals with radio scene analysis and channel identification and the impact of the independence of sub-channels on transmit power control and dynamic spectrum management. A simulation software is developed for a typical WiMAX configuration and scenario and performance comparison with OFDM is carried out. A real time soft/hardware demonstrator is built to complete simulation results and show efficient architectures.\nThe expected impact of PHYDYAS is the migration of wireless systems to a physical layer that is more efficient and better responds to the needs of dynamic access and cognitive radio. The consortium consists of leading academic research groups across Europe, teamed with world leading companies in infrastructures, circuit design and instrumentation.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP-SICA | Phase: SiS-2009- | Award Amount: 1.20M | Year: 2010

A number of findings from research in science education are well known and broadly accepted. They refer e.g. to inquiry based, learning by doing, social dimension of learning, active learning, diversity of learning styles, based on individual, cultural, ethnic, gender-related factors. For researchers working side by side with school teachers, it is everyday experience to see how difficult it is to receive indications coming from research and transform them into teaching practice: there are cultural barriers, preparation barriers, time and resource constraints. TRACES will promote transformative research activities and investigate the factors that contribute to the research-practice gap and identify innovative policies in science education that can contribute to fill that gap. It will do so through both desk and field research, in a cyclic process of analysis, action, reflection. In particular, we are interested in looking at the effectiveness of research based science teaching in taking account of learners diversities in terms on individual, cultural, ethnic, linguistic, gender-related factors.

Turra D.,University of Cordoba, Spain | Lorito M.,University of Naples Federico II
Current Protein and Peptide Science | Year: 2011

Serine protease inhibitors (PIs) are a large and complex group of plant proteins. Members of the Potato type I (Pin1) and II (Pin2) proteinase inhibitor families are among the first and most extensively characterized plant PIs. Many insects and phytopathogenic microorganisms use intracellular and extracellular serine proteases playing important roles in pathogenesis. Plants, however, are able to fight these pathogens through the activation of an intricate defence system that leads to the accumulation of various PIs, including Pin1 and Pin2. Several transgenic plants over-expressing members of the Pin1 and Pin2 families have been obtained in the last twenty years and their enhanced defensive capabilities demonstrated against insects, fungi and bacteria. Furthermore, plants genetically engineered with Pin1 and Pin2 showed altered regulation of different physiological processes (e.g., dehydratation response, programmed cell death, growth, trichome density and branching), supporting an endogenous role in various plant species in addition to the well established defensive one. This review summarizes the current knowledge about Pin1 and Pin2 structure, the role of these proteins in plant defence and physiology, and their potential exploitation in biotechnology. © 2011 Bentham Science Publishers Ltd.

Bertotti G.,INRIM - Istituto Nazionale di Ricerca Metrologica | Serpico C.,University of Naples Federico II | Mayergoyz I.D.,University of Maryland University College
Physical Review Letters | Year: 2013

A single-domain nanomagnet is a basic example of a system where relaxation from high to low energy is probabilistic in nature even when thermal fluctuations are neglected. The reason is the presence of multiple stable states combined with extreme sensitivity to initial conditions. It is demonstrated that for this system the probability of relaxing from high energies to one of the stable magnetization orientations can be tuned to any desired value between 0 and 1 by applying a small transverse magnetic field of appropriate amplitude. In particular, exact analytical predictions are derived for the conditions under which the probability of reaching one of the stable states becomes exactly 0 or 1. Under these conditions, magnetization relaxation is totally insensitive to initial conditions, and the final state can be predicted with certainty, a feature that could be exploited to devise novel magnetization switching strategies or novel methods for the measurement of the magnetization damping constant. © 2013 American Physical Society.

Di Minno M.N.D.,University of Naples Federico II | Dentali F.,University of Insubria | Lupoli R.,University of Naples Federico II | Ageno W.,University of Insubria
Circulation | Year: 2014

BACKGROUND - : Antithrombin deficiency, defined by antithrombin levels of <70%, is a major thrombophilic condition associated with an increased risk of venous thromboembolism (VTE). No prospective data are available about the risk of recurrent VTE associated with mildly decreased antithrombin levels (70-80%). METHODS AND RESULTS - : Consecutive patients with a first VTE were stratified according to functional antithrombin levels (<70%, 70-80%, >80%) and were followed up for a mean of 8.70 years to assess the incidence of VTE recurrence. A total of 823 patients (mean age, 48.3 years; 41.9% male) were enrolled. Recurrent VTE occurred in 253 patients (3.53% per patient-year). With stratification for antithrombin levels, VTE recurrence occurred in 19 patients with antithrombin levels <70% (5.90% per patient-year), in 20 patients with antithrombin levels 70% to 80% (5.35% per patient-year), and in 214 patients with antithrombin levels >80% (3.31% per patient-year). After adjustment for major VTE risk factors and for anticoagulation duration, the risk of VTE recurrence was significantly higher in patients with antithrombin levels <70% (hazard ratio, 3.48; 95% confidence interval, 2.16-5.61) and antithrombin levels 70% to 80% (hazard ratio, 2.40; 95% confidence interval, 1.51-3.80) compared with patients with antithrombin levels >80%. When the population was stratified according to the presence or absence of major risk factors for the index event, the association remained significant only in patients with unprovoked VTE. CONCLUSIONS - : The presence of mild antithrombin deficiency (70-80% antithrombin) in patients with unprovoked VTE is associated with a significantly increased risk of recurrence and should be taken into account when the duration of secondary prevention is determined. © 2013 American Heart Association, Inc.

Capozziello S.,University of Naples Federico II | Vignolo S.,University of Genoa
Annalen der Physik (Leipzig) | Year: 2010

Torsion and curvature could play a fundamental role in explaining cosmological dynamics. f(R)-gravity with torsion is an approach aimed to encompass in a comprehensive scheme all the Dark Side of the Universe (Dark Energy and Dark Matter). We discuss the field equations in empty space and in presence of perfect fluid matter taking into account the analogy with the metric-affine formalism. The result is that the extra curvature and torsion degrees of freedom can be dealt under the standard of an effective scalar field of fully geometric origin. The initial value problem for such theories is also discussed. © 2010 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co.

Di Leva F.S.,Italian Institute of Technology | Novellino E.,University of Naples Federico II | Cavalli A.,Italian Institute of Technology | Cavalli A.,University of Bologna | And 3 more authors.
Nucleic Acids Research | Year: 2014

Specific guanine-rich regions in human genome can form higher-order DNA structures called G-quadruplexes, which regulate many relevant biological processes. For instance, the formation of G-quadruplex at telomeres can alter cellular functions, inducing apoptosis. Thus, developing small molecules that are able to bind and stabilize the telomeric G-quadruplexes represents an attractive strategy for antitumor therapy. An example is 3-(benzo[d]thiazol-2- yl)-7-hydroxy-8-((4-(2-hydroxyethyl)piperazin-1-yl)methyl)-2H-chromen-2-one (compound 1), recently identified as potent ligand of the G-quadruplex [d(TGGGGT)]4 with promising in vitro antitumor activity. The experimental observations are suggestive of a complex binding mechanism that, despite efforts, has defied full characterization. Here, we provide through metadynamics simulations a comprehensive understanding of the binding mechanism of 1 to the G-quadruplex [d(TGGGGT)]4. In our calculations, the ligand explores all the available binding sites on the DNA structure and the free-energy landscape of the whole binding process is computed. We have thus disclosed a peculiar hopping binding mechanism whereas 1 is able to bind both to the groove and to the 3' end of the G-quadruplex. Our results fully explain the available experimental data, rendering our approach of great value for further ligand/DNA studies. © 2014 The Author(s) 2014.

Messori L.,University of Florence | Merlino A.,CNR Institute of Neuroscience | Merlino A.,University of Naples Federico II
Dalton Transactions | Year: 2014

A crystallographic study of the adduct formed between hen egg white lysozyme (HEWL) and NAMI-A, an established ruthenium(iii) anticancer agent in clinical trials, is presented here. The X-ray structure reveals that NAMI-A coordinates the protein, as a naked ruthenium ion, at two distinct sites (namely Asp101 or Asp119) after releasing all its original ligands (DMSO, imidazole and Cl-). Structural data of the HEWL/NAMI-A adduct are compared with those previously obtained for the HEWL adduct of AziRu, a NAMI-A analogue bearing a pyridine in place of imidazole. The present results further support the view that NAMI-A exerts its biological effects acting as a classical "prodrug" first undergoing activation and then causing extensive metalation of relevant protein targets. It is also proposed that the original Ru-ligands, although absent in the final adduct, play a major role in directing the ruthenium center to its ultimate anchoring site on the protein surface. This journal is © the Partner Organisations 2014.

Esposito R.,University of Naples Federico II | Martelli F.,University of Florence | De Nicola S.,CNR Institute of Neuroscience
Optics Letters | Year: 2014

We have developed a theoretical model for photon migration through scattering media in the presence of an absorbing in homogeneity. A closed-form solution for the average diffuse intensity has been obtained through an iterative approximation scheme of the steady-state diffusion equation. The model describes absorbing defects in a wide range of values. Comparisons with the results of Monte Carlo simulations show that the error of the model is lower than 3% for size inclusion lower than 4 mm and absorption contrast up to the threshold value of the "black defect." The proposed model provides a tractable mathematical basis for diffuse optical and photoacoustic tomographic reconstruction techniques. © 2014 Optical Society of America.

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

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

Messori L.,University of Florence | Merlino A.,University of Naples Federico II
Inorganic Chemistry | Year: 2014

The crystal structure of the main adduct formed in the reaction between cisplatin and bovine pancreatic ribonuclease is reported here. Notably, in both of the protein molecules present in the asymmetric unit, platinum(II) binding takes place exclusively at the level of Met29. In one of the two molecules, the Gln28 side chain completes the platinum coordination sphere, anchoring the cisplatin fragment to the protein in a bidentate fashion. These results contain interesting implications for understanding the biological chemistry of this important drug. © 2014 American Chemical Society.

Lombardi F.,ETH Zurich | Herrmann H.J.,ETH Zurich | Herrmann H.J.,Federal University of Ceará | Perrone-Capano C.,University of Naples Federico II | And 2 more authors.
Physical Review Letters | Year: 2012

Neuronal avalanches, measured in vitro and in vivo, exhibit a robust critical behavior. Their temporal organization hides the presence of correlations. Here we present experimental measurements of the waiting time distribution between successive avalanches in the rat cortex in vitro. This exhibits a nonmonotonic behavior not usually found in other natural processes. Numerical simulations provide evidence that this behavior is a consequence of the alternation between states of high and low activity, named up and down states, leading to a balance between excitation and inhibition controlled by a single parameter. During these periods, both the single neuron state and the network excitability level, keeping memory of past activity, are tuned by homeostatic mechanisms. © 2012 American Physical Society.

Ercolini D.,University of Naples Federico II | De Filippis F.,University of Naples Federico II | La Storia A.,University of Naples Federico II | Iacono M.,Roche Holding AG
Applied and Environmental Microbiology | Year: 2012

Intermediates of production of two batches of traditional mozzarella cheese were analyzed by culture-independent pyrosequencing. The quantitative distribution of taxa within the samples suggested that thermophilic lactic acid bacteria from the natural starter were mainly responsible for the fermentation, while microorganisms found in raw milk did not develop during fermentation. © 2012, American Society for Microbiology.

Montemurro F.,Piedmont Oncology Foundation Institute for Cancer Research and Treatment | Di Cosimo S.,Fondazione IRCCS Instituto Nazionale dei Tumori | Arpino G.,University of Naples Federico II
Annals of Oncology | Year: 2013

Recent data show a significant benefit from combining an anti-HER-2 agent with endocrine therapy in HER2-positive and hormone receptor (HR)-positive metastatic breast cancer. However, as the clinical outcomes achieved by these combinations do not favourably match those with chemotherapy, clinicians still perceive HER2-positive breast cancer as an homogeneous group and consider chemotherapy with anti-HER2 agents as the preferred treatment option, regardless of the HR status. Indeed, in HR-positive HER2-positive tumours, chemotherapy with anti-HER2 agents is the backbone of treatment, while endocrine therapy is commonly used in sequence when HR and HER2 are co-expressed rather than as a real alternative. Emerging biological and clinical data challenge this paradigm, suggesting that HER2-positive tumours are rather heterogeneous that HRs co-expression may account for part of this heterogeneity and, finally, that chemotherapy may represent an overtreatment in selected cases. The present review aims to summarise the biological features of HER2-positive breast cancer according to HR status, the role of the bi-directional cross-talk between HER2 and HR pathways on resistance development to anti-HER2 and endocrine therapy, and finally, the novel therapeutic strategies, including but not limited to chemotherapy, targeting these two pathways. © The Author 2013. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the European Society for Medical Oncology All rights reserved.

Krifka S.,University of Regensburg | Spagnuolo G.,University of Naples Federico II | Schmalz G.,University of Regensburg | Schweikl H.,University of Regensburg
Biomaterials | Year: 2013

Dental composite resins are biomaterials commonly used to aesthetically restore the structure and function of teeth impaired by caries, erosion, or fracture. Residual monomers released from resin restorations as a result of incomplete polymerization processes interact with living oral tissues. Monomers like triethylene glycol dimethacrylate (TEGDMA) or 2-hydroxylethyl methacrylate (HEMA) are cytotoxic via apoptosis, induce genotoxic effects, and delay the cell cycle. Monomers also influence the response of cells of the innate immune system, inhibit specific odontoblast cell functions, or delay the odontogenic differentiation and mineralization processes in pulp-derived cells including stem cells. These observations indicate that resin monomers act as environmental stressors which inevitably disturb regulatory cellular networks through interference with signal transduction pathways. We hypothesize that an understanding of the cellular mechanisms underlying these phenomena will provide a better estimation of the consequences associated with dental therapy using composite materials, and lead to innovative therapeutic strategies and improved materials being used at tissue interfaces within the oral cavity. Current findings strongly suggest that monomers enhance the formation of reactive oxygen species (ROS), which is most likely the cause of biological reactions activated by dental composites and resin monomers. The aim of the present review manuscript is to discuss adaptive cell responses to oxidative stress caused by monomers. The particular significance of a tightly controlled network of non-enzymatic as well as enzymatic antioxidants for the regulation of cellular redox homeostasis and antioxidant defense in monomer-exposed cells will be addressed. The expression of ROS-metabolizing antioxidant enzymes like superoxide dismutase (SOD1), glutathione peroxidase (GPx1/2), and catalase in cells exposed to monomers will be discussed with particular emphasis on the role of glutathione (GSH), which is the major non-enzymatic antioxidant. The causal relationship between vital cell functions like the regulation of cell survival or cell death in monomer-treated cell cultures and the availability of GSH will be highlighted. We will also consider the influence of monomer-induced oxidative stress on central signal transduction pathways including mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPK) ERK1/2, p38, and JNK as well as the stress-activated transcription factors downstream Elk-1, ATF-2, ATF-3, and cJun. Finally, we address signaling pathways originating from monomer-induced DNA damage including the activation of ATM (ataxia-telangiectasia mutated), Chk2, p53, p21, and H2AX. The understanding of the mechanisms underlying adaptive cell responses will stimulate a constructive debate on the development of smart dental restorative materials which come into contact with oral tissues and effective strategies in dental therapy. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

Messori L.,University of Florence | Marzo T.,University of Florence | Merlino A.,University of Naples Federico II
Chemical Communications | Year: 2014

The X-ray structure of the adduct formed between oxaliplatin and the model protein hen egg white lysozyme is reported here. The structure is compared with those of cisplatin and carboplatin derivatives, previously solved. Relevant changes are highlighted among these crystal structures that are suggestive of significant differences in the reactivity of platinum drugs with this protein; possible biological implications are discussed. This journal is © the Partner Organisations 2014.

Bolton-Maggs P.H.B.,University of Manchester | Langer J.C.,University of Toronto | Iolascon A.,University of Naples Federico II | King M.-J.,NHS Blood and Transplant
British Journal of Haematology | Year: 2012

Guidelines on hereditary spherocytosis (HS) published in 2004 (Bolton-Maggs et al, 2004) are here replaced to reflect changes in current opinion on the surgical management, (particularly the indications for concomitant splenectomy with cholecystectomy in children with mild HS, and concomitant cholecystectomy with splenectomy in those with asymptomatic gallstones). Further potential long term hazards of splenectomy are now recognised. Advances have been made in our understanding of the biochemistry of the red cell membrane which underpins the choice of tests. Biochemical assays of membranes proteins and genetic analysis may be indicated (rarely) to diagnose atypical cases. The diagnostic value of the eosin-5-maleimide (EMA) binding test has been validated in a number of studies with understanding of its limitations. © 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

Tiwary P.,ETH Zurich | Tiwary P.,University of Lugano | Limongelli V.,University of Lugano | Limongelli V.,University of Naples Federico II | And 4 more authors.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America | Year: 2015

The ability to predict the mechanisms and the associated rate constants of protein-ligand unbinding is of great practical importance in drug design. In this work we demonstrate how a recently introduced metadynamics-based approach allows exploration of the unbinding pathways, estimation of the rates, and determination of the rate-limiting steps in the paradigmatic case of the trypsin-benzamidine system. Protein, ligand, and solvent are described with full atomic resolution. Using metadynamics, multiple unbinding trajectories that start with the ligand in the crystallographic binding pose and end with the ligand in the fully solvated state are generated. The unbinding rate koff is computed from the mean residence time of the ligand. Using our previously computed binding affinity we also obtain the binding rate kon. Both rates are in agreement with reported experimental values. We uncover the complex pathways of unbinding trajectories and describe the critical ratelimiting steps with unprecedented detail. Our findings illuminate the role played by the coupling between subtle protein backbone fluctuations and the solvation by water molecules that enter the binding pocket and assist in the breaking of the shielded hydrogen bonds. We expect our approach to be useful in calculating rates for general protein-ligand systems and a valid support for drug design.

Bopp D.,University of Zürich | Saccone G.,University of Naples Federico II | Beye M.,Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf
Sexual Development | Year: 2014

Recent studies in a representative selection of holometabolous insects suggest that, despite diversity at the instructive level, the signal-relaying part of the sex-determining pathway is remarkably well conserved. In principle, it is composed of the transformer gene (tra), which acts as a common binary switch that transduces the selected sexual fate, female when ON, male when OFF, to the downstream effector doublesex(dsx) that controls overt sexual differentiation. An interesting recurrent feature is that tra is switched ON in the early zygote by maternally provisioned tra activity. Different male-determining signals evolved, which prevent maternal activation of zygotic tra to allow for male development. In some species, where lack of maternal activation leaves tra in the OFF state, novel female-determining signals were deployed to activate zygotic tra. It appears that both the instructive end of the pathway upstream of tra as well as the executive end downstream of dsx are primary targets of evolutionary divergence, while the transduction part seems less prone to changes. We propose that this is a feature shared with many other signaling cascades that regulate developmental fates. © 2013 S. Karger AG, Basel.

Bercioux D.,Donostia International Physics Center | Bercioux D.,Ikerbasque | Bercioux D.,Free University of Berlin | Lucignano P.,CNR Institute of Neuroscience | Lucignano P.,University of Naples Federico II
Reports on Progress in Physics | Year: 2015

In this review article we describe spin-dependent transport in materials with spin-orbit interaction of Rashba type. We mainly focus on semiconductor heterostructures, however we consider topological insulators, graphene and hybrid structures involving superconductors as well. We start from the Rashba Hamiltonian in a two dimensional electron gas and then describe transport properties of two- and quasi-one-dimensional systems. The problem of spin current generation and interference effects in mesoscopic devices is described in detail. We address also the role of Rashba interaction on localisation effects in lattices with nontrivial topology, as well as on the Ahronov-Casher effect in ring structures. A brief section, in the end, describes also some related topics including the spin-Hall effect, the transition from weak localisation to weak anti localisation and the physics of Majorana fermions in hybrid heterostructures involving Rashba materials in the presence of superconductivity. © 2015 IOP Publishing Ltd.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: MSCA-RISE | Phase: MSCA-RISE-2015 | Award Amount: 1.17M | Year: 2016

This Project is placed in the scientific context of Uncertainty Quantification (UQ) in Ocean Circulation Models (OCMs). The principal objective of the Project is to establish a long-lasting collaboration, to provide a possibility for transfer of knowledge, to enable exchanges of research personnel, and to create an intercontinental network in the area of oceanographic Data Assimilation (DA). The focus is on the improvement of the numerical algorithms of computational science environments able to exploit the high performance that will be available at the exascale. The main expected scientific result of the Project will be the design and development of scalable approaches to DA based on domain decomposition methods, communication avoiding algorithms, and hybrid parallel implementations on multiprocess/multi-thread paradigms, for 4-dimensional Variational (4DVar) DA models designed for efficient use in OCMs in real time. The new algorithms will be implemented and tested in the Regional Ocean Modeling System (ROMS), which is a most popular framework in which a 4DVar model has been developed, and validated using data collected in the enclosed and semi enclosed seas, such as West Africa/Angola, Mediterranean, North Sea and Caspian sea. The expertise of the consortium partners is mutually complementary, and encompasses the development of numerical models and scalable algorithms for DA (UNINA, ANL), the study of various observed and predicted data in real applications (ICL) that are coupled with the development and the implementation of these methods in ROMS 4DVar (UCSC, UNINA) to be tested on emerging supercomputers (BSC-CNS). Realization of the Project will strengthen the scientific potential of DA models integrated in OCMs and will contribute to the sustainable development in participating Partner Countries. Ethical issues of the research will be duly addressed.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: PHC-03-2015 | Award Amount: 6.00M | Year: 2016

We hypothesize that inappropriate thyroid hormone action in target cells is a common mechanism underlying susceptibility to age-related degenerative diseases and co-morbidities. Although regulation of systemic thyroid status is well understood and underpins treatment of common thyroid disease, it is only in the last decade that the importance of local regulation of thyroid hormone action in tissue development, homeostasis and repair has been identified. During evolution, this complex temporal and cell-specific regulation has been optimized for development and reproductive fitness but NOT for ageing. Humans with their exceptional longevity are thus exposed to a prolonged period of suboptimal local thyroid hormone action. Consistent with this, thyroid status is a continuous variable within the population that is related to fracture risk, muscle mass and cognitive decline. Moreover, in healthy longevity thyroid status is characterized by thyroid stimulating hormone in the upper half of the reference range. In these studies, we will determine how local regulation of thyroid hormone action controls tissue homeostasis and repair, whilst its dysregulation is a common mechanism underlying chronic disease development during ageing. We focus on osteoporosis, osteoarthritis, neurodegeneration and sarcopenia as paradigm age-related, degenerative disorders. Using cutting-edge technology, we will (i) identify thyroid hormone dependent biomarkers for disease susceptibility in bone, cartilage, central nervous system and skeletal muscle, (ii) manipulate cell-specific thyroid hormone action in these tissues and (iii) develop cell-type specific modulators of thyroid hormone action. THYRAGE integrates cross-disciplinary expertise from clinical and basic scientists, endocrinologists, neuroscientists, gerontologists, and industry-based peptide scientists. These studies will identify and validate novel strategies for prevention and treatment of chronic age-related degenerative disease.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: H2020 | Program: MSCA-RISE | Phase: MSCA-RISE-2015 | Award Amount: 774.00K | Year: 2016

The aim of this project is to bring together subject matter experts from the academic and non-academic sectors to develop three new categories of quaternary ammonium salts to be used as catalysts for the cost-efficient and green manufacture of high value active pharmaceutical ingredients. In order to achieve this objective the proposal brings together 3 partners with complementary skills: University of Naples(UNIN): experts in the preparation and purification of cyclic peptides. Experts in solid phase synthesis and immobilisation of peptides on solid support. KelAda Pharmachem: Phase transfer catalysis/organo catalysis/scale-up of chemical processes University of Linz(JKU Linz): experts in design of new ammonium salts and optimisation of enantioselective phase transfer catalyses. We have broken this proposal into the following separate Work Packages: WP1. Preparation of new designer ammonium salts [WP leader: Kelada] WP2. Preparation of cyclic peptide based ammonium salts [WP leader: UNINA] WP3. Evaluation of new ammonium salt catalysts prepared through WP1 [WP JKULinz] WP4. Evaluation of new Ammonium salt catalysts prepared through WP2[WP leader: UNINA] WP5. Application of Ammonium salts to drug production [WP leader: Kelada] WP6. Scale up of key steps or the manufacture of drugs [WP leader: Kelada] WP 7. Management, Communication & Dissemination [WP leader: KelAda] The above WPs will be undertaken via a series of interlinked secondment of researchers between consortium partners and will be complemented by a series of training and other initiatives to facilitate interdisciplinary and intersectoral knowledge sharing and exchange.

Telecom Italia and University of Naples Federico II | Date: 2013-12-30

It is disclosed a method for associating a new node with a wireless personal area communication network, said communication network comprising a number of nodes. The method comprises: providing, among the nodes of the communication network, a configuration node; operating the configuration node to allow association of the new node with the network; operating the other nodes to disallow association of the new node with the network; and at the configuration node, upon reception of a request from the new node to join the network, sending to the new node a network key at a reduced transmit power.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-IRSES | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2013-IRSES | Award Amount: 121.80K | Year: 2013

The goal of the PolyMed project is to develop a lasting collaboration between top class research teams in Europe and the US/Canada that fosters progress in the broad area of organic bioelectronics through progress in materials science. This will be realized via a cross-European, trans-continental network. Such a network is required as materials science is a discipline that has emerged first from a convergence of chemistry and physics, but has also recently embraced biological sciences, gaining cues from biological processes for design of novel materials. The PolyMed network will be a key driver for materials science through rapid identification and development of novel applications for existing and new materials, and will advance technological processes by building in enhanced capabilities in devices made from these materials; for example for sensing biological events or indeed acting as surrogates in case of biological dysfunction, i.e. in prosthetics. The combined expertise in PolyMed is essential to achieve a transformative impact.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: ERC-AG | Phase: ERC-AG-PE1 | Award Amount: 600.00K | Year: 2009

Isoperimetric and Sobolev inequalities are the best known examples of geometric-functional inequalities. In recent years the PI and collaborators have obtained new and sharp quantitative versions of these and other important related inequalities. These results have been obtained by the combined use of classical symmetrization methods, new tools coming from mass transportation theory, deep geometric measure tools and ad hoc symmetrizations. The objective of this project is to further develop thes techniques in order to get: sharp quantitative versions of Faber-Krahn inequality, Gaussian isoperimetric inequality, Brunn-Minkowski inequality, Poincar and Sobolev logarithm inequalities; sharp decay rates for the quantitative Sobolev inequalities and Polya-Szeg inequality.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-IRSES | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2012-IRSES | Award Amount: 205.80K | Year: 2013

In the last 30 years the financial systems have grown enormously: new financial instruments have been introduced, intermediaries have expanded their activity well beyond their possibility, exposure to risk has increased almost in every country. The effect of this anomalous expansion of the financial system has been an increase in the perceived systemic risk and more instability. Because of this, finance seems to have become suddenly dangerous and detrimental for growth. And despite the large body of past evidences, many have started to argue that financial development is no longer a positive factor for capital accumulation. Though it is hard to conceive a radical change in the established theory which has highlighted the benefits for the economy accruing from a developed financial system, these events have put forward the need to redefine the role of finance and financial innovation in allocating real resources. By pivoting on four main issues, the objective of the research is indeed to provide an answer to crucial questions that have emerged from recent event: 1. Inequality: The increase in inequality in many countries is thought to have been caused by an abnormal increase in the financial sector. Does finance exacerbate income inequality? To what extent? Or rather easy access to credit reduces poverty, as it has been argued by orthodox theory? 2. Inefficiency: By favoring some industries and sectors more than others, does an excess of growth in the financial system cause misallocation of resources? Does financial growth cause an excess in public spending? 3. Instability: Does the abnormal growth of the financial sector cause instability? Is this instability amplified in a monetary union? Can more stringent regulation and stronger coordination reduce the impact of financial cycle on the economy? 4. Growth and Development: Is finance and financial development really good for growth? To what extent financial development can spur growth and capital accumulation?

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA-SA | Phase: INCO.2011-7.1 | Award Amount: 2.53M | Year: 2011

The CLIM-AMAZON project aims at increasing the visibility and scientific excellence of the long-term Brazilian-French scientific activities supported by the current Laboratoire Mixte International Observatoire des Changements Environnementaux (LMI-OCE), a joint laboratory between the Geosciences Institute of the Federal University of Brasilia (UnB, Brazil) and the Institut de Recherche pour le Dveloppement (IRD, France). The objective is to open the LMI-OCE to new participating researchers from EU-Member states and Associated Countries together with the Brazilian researchers in order to maximize the initial investment of France to benefit the whole European Union. This will be achieved through the increase of the already strong existing analytical facilities of UnB to develop new approaches in the geological and environmental research in the Amazon region, a world-class example for climate research. The expansion of the research activities of LMI-OCE to new EU researchers will occur by means of scientific meetings, visits of experienced EU scientists, PhD and Post-doc calls open to students from EU Universities and of new projects proposing to do research in Brazil about erosion, the long-term history of sedimentary load transport by the Amazon River and its interaction with Atlantic Ocean. The scientific collaboration between EU/MS and Brazil within the framework of CLIM-AMAZON will have a strong impact in terms of establishment of an international laboratory based in Brazil (UnB) and also for our understanding of global transport processes involved in the world largest tropical river basin. It will also consolidate the successful cooperation between South American and European countries under the Observatoire de Recherches en Environnement sur lHydrologie du Bassin Amazonien (ORE-HYBAM) project.

Luzzatto L.,University of Florence | Seneca E.,University of Naples Federico II
British Journal of Haematology | Year: 2014

That primaquine and other drugs can trigger acute haemolytic anaemia in subjects who have an inherited mutation of the glucose 6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD) gene has been known for over half a century: however, these events still occur, because when giving the drug either the G6PD status of a person is not known, or the risk of this potentially life-threatening complication is under-estimated. Here we review briefly the genetic basis of G6PD deficiency, and then the pathophysiology and the clinical features of drug-induced haemolysis; we also update the list of potentially haemolytic drugs (which includes rasburicase). It is now clear that it is not good practice to give one of these drugs before testing a person for his/her G6PD status, especially in populations in whom G6PD deficiency is common. We discuss therefore how G6PD testing can be done reconciling safety with cost; this is once again becoming of public health importance, as more countries are moving along the pathway of malaria elimination, that might require mass administration of primaquine. Finally, we sketch the triangular relationship between malaria, antimalarials such as primaquine, and G6PD deficiency: which is to some extent protective against malaria, but also a genetically determined hazard when taking primaquine. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: SST.2011.1.1-2. | Award Amount: 3.47M | Year: 2011

The emission of exhaust gases from ships has been recognised as a main source of pollution causing a significant exposure risk to people living close to harbours or coastal areas. In spite of the large contribution to air pollution by maritime transport, this sector has remained largely unregulated until now. The adoption of the new restrictive IMO emission regulations requires modification of the entire commercial fleet that has to be retrofitted with innovative solutions. The aim of this project is to create a novel, modular, on-board, after-treatment unit that combines different sub-units, each of which is optimized to remove a specific primary pollutant (SOx, NOx, PM including BC, VOC, and CO). This new integrated retrofit system will reduce the environmental footprint of existing and new ships well below the limits imposed by the current and envisaged future regulations, while giving EU marine industry a competitive edge. The system must be designed to avoid or minimise the use of external chemicals, and promote the use of reliable and robust technologies to allow easy maintenance and fast retrofit. The proposal considers the use of innovative processes for the treatment of each pollutant: i) a new concept of Electrostatic Seawater Scrubbing to capture submicron PM, SO2 and other water soluble compounds and ii) an innovative Non Thermal Plasma Reactor, using Electron Beam and Microwave, to remove NOx, VOC and CO. It is envisaged that these two processes are sufficient to successfully remove all gaseous pollutants from ship exhaust. However, if needed, in the final stage, state-of-the-art Selective Catalytic Reduction or NOx Storage Reduction will be implemented for residual NOx removal. The system will also include innovative processes to purify scrubber wash water before discharging into the sea without harming marine life. The outcome of this work programme will yield a technology demonstrator, which will be validated by an independent organisation.

Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ICT-2011.3.1 | Award Amount: 12.28M | Year: 2012

DOTSEVEN is a 3.5 year IP proposal for a very ambitious R&D project targeting the development of Silicon Germanium (SiGe) Heterojunction Bipolar Transistor (HBT) technologies with cut-off frequencies (fmax) of around 700 GHz. Special attention will be paid to clearly demonstrate the capabilities and benefits of this technology with benchmark circuits and advanced system applications in the 0.1 to 1 THz range like THz imaging and sensing, wireless Gb/s communications and millimeter-wave radar.\nFor a given lithography node, HBTs provide much higher cut-off frequencies compared to CMOS transistors while offering higher power density and better analog performance. SiGe HBT technology and SiGe HBT enhanced CMOS (SiGe BiCMOS) are key enablers for demanding mm-wave systems requiring more than a few Watts of RF output power (which limits the applicability of even very advanced CMOS) and also offer high integration levels at low cost which precludes expensive and less integrated III-V solutions.\n10 out of the 12 DOTSEVEN participants were already partnering in the predecessor FP7 project DOTFIVE which succeeded for the first time to push fmax of SiGe HBTs (at room temperature) into the 500 GHz region thus setting a new world-wide benchmark. Triggered by the impressive DOTFIVE results, several activities in the rest of the world already have started to catch up or even surpass our achievements.\nThe main objective of the highly qualified and motivated DOTSEVEN consortium is therefore to significantly expand the successful work of DOTFIVE, to further strengthen Europes leading edge position in SiGe HBT technology and modeling as well as SiGe enabled mm-wave applications and to stay significantly ahead of non-European competition. A powerful and success-proven consortium has been set-up to achieve these goals. It consists of 5 industrial partners (including 3 SMEs) and 9 well distinguished academic research institutes spread all over Europe.

News Article | December 12, 2016

Sophia Antipolis, 12 December 2016: European experts have called for frail patients to have tailored cardiac rehabilitation programmes in a paper published today in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology.1 The call to action comes from the Cardiac Rehabilitation Section of the European Association of Preventive Cardiology (EAPC), which is a registered branch of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC). Frailty is a vulnerable state in older people. It is common, occurring in 30-50% of people over 75 years of age. Patients have low physiological reserves and their organs do not function at full capacity. They use a greater proportion of their reserves to survive and small events can lead to deterioration, disability, cardiovascular events, and death. "In frail patients, a minor illness or intervention that would not cause problems in younger adults can initiate a series of consequences that may be very serious," said lead author Professor Carlo Vigorito, Professor of Internal Medicine, University of Naples Federico II, Italy. "The trigger could be influenza, a diagnostic angiogram, removal of a colon polyp, or being admitted to hospital." Frailty has important prognostic significance, and predicts poorer outcome in those with coronary artery disease or heart failure, and after cardiac surgery or transcatheter aortic valve replacement. Cardiac rehabilitation programmes aim to prevent second heart attacks or other cardiovascular complications in patients with heart problems. They include exercise, education on healthy lifestyle, and control of risk factors such as high cholesterol and high blood pressure. About one-third of patients referred for cardiac rehabilitation are older than 75 years - frailty may therefore be fairly common in this population but it is not systematically assessed. The authors recommend that health professionals running cardiac rehabilitation programmes should: The paper recommends two methods for assessing frailty that are quick and easy to perform. "They can be used by any health professional, such as a cardiologist, nurse, allied health professional or medical student, and contribute to a broader evaluation of the patient," said Professor Vigorito. Cardiac rehabilitation programmes can be tailored to frailty level in a number of ways. Standard programmes are based on endurance exercise but frail patients usually have sarcopenia (reduction of skeletal muscle mass and strength) and are more likely to benefit from strength exercises. When patients are able to walk they could start endurance exercise. Nutrition is a more important part of rehabilitation in frail patients than in younger, fitter patients. Medications need extra attention due to iatrogenic risk. Professor Vigorito said: "We hope that designing specific cardiac rehabilitation interventions for frail patients will reduce levels of disability, improve functional capacity and quality of life, and reduce length of hospitalisation or hospital readmission." SOURCES OF FUNDING: The authors received no financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article. DISCLOSURES: The authors declared no potential conflicts of interest with respect to the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article. 1Vigorito C, et al. Frailty and cardiac rehabilitation: A call to action from the EAPC Cardiac Rehabilitation Section. European Journal of Preventive Cardiology. 2016. DOI: 10.1177/2047487316682579 About the European Society of Cardiology The European Society of Cardiology brings together health care professionals from more than 120 countries, working to advance cardiovascular medicine and help people lead longer, healthier lives. About the European Association of Preventive Cardiology The European Association of Preventive Cardiology (EAPC) is a registered branch of the ESC. Its mission is to promote excellence in research, practice, education and policy in cardiovascular health, primary and secondary prevention. About the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology European Journal of Preventive Cardiology is the world's leading preventive cardiology journal, playing a pivotal role in reducing the global burden of cardiovascular disease.

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