Time filter

Source Type

Padua, Italy

The University of Padua is a premier Italian university located in the city of Padua, Italy. The University of Padua was founded in 1222 as a school of law and was one of the most prominent universities in early modern Europe. It is among the earliest universities of the world and the second oldest in Italy. The University of Padua is one of Italy’s leading universities and ranks in the first position in all the recent ranking of Italian large universities. In 2010 the university had approximately 65,000 students and in 2009 was ranked "best university" among Italian institutions of higher education with more than 40,000 students. Wikipedia.

Neumann W.L.,Miraca Life science Research Institute | Coss E.,University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center | Rugge M.,University of Padua | Genta R.M.,Miraca Life science Research Institute
Nature Reviews Gastroenterology and Hepatology | Year: 2013

Autoimmune gastritis is a chronic progressive inflammatory condition that results in the replacement of the parietal cell mass by atrophic and metaplastic mucosa. A complex interaction of autoantibodies against the parietal cell proton pump and sensitized T cells progressively destroy the parietal cells, inducing hypochlorhydria and then achlorhydria, while autoantibodies against the intrinsic factor impair the absorption of vitamin B 12. The resulting cobalamin deficiency manifests with megaloblastic anaemia and neurological and systemic signs and symptoms collectively known as pernicious anaemia. Previously believed to be predominantly a disease of elderly women of Northern European ancestry, autoimmune gastritis has now been recognized in all populations and ethnic groups, but because of the complexity of the diagnosis no reliable prevalence data are available. For similar reasons, as well as the frequent and often unknown overlap with Helicobacter pylori infection, the risk of gastric cancer has not been adequately assessed in these patients. This Review summarizes the epidemiology, pathogenesis and pathological aspects of autoimmune metaplastic atrophic gastritis. We also provide practical advice for the diagnosis and management of patients with this disease. © 2013 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.

Urciuolo A.,University of Padua
Nature communications | Year: 2013

Adult muscle stem cells, or satellite cells have essential roles in homeostasis and regeneration of skeletal muscles. Satellite cells are located within a niche that includes myofibers and extracellular matrix. The function of specific extracellular matrix molecules in regulating SCs is poorly understood. Here, we show that the extracellular matrix protein collagen VI is a key component of the satellite cell niche. Lack of collagen VI in Col6a1(-/-) mice causes impaired muscle regeneration and reduced satellite cell self-renewal capability after injury. Collagen VI null muscles display significant decrease of stiffness, which is able to compromise the in vitro and in vivo activity of wild-type satellite cells. When collagen VI is reinstated in vivo by grafting wild-type fibroblasts, the biomechanical properties of Col6a1(-/-) muscles are ameliorated and satellite cell defects rescued. Our findings establish a critical role for an extracellular matrix molecule in satellite cell self-renewal and open new venues for therapies of collagen VI-related muscle diseases.

Zaggia A.,University of Padua | Ameduri B.,Charles Gerhardt Institute
Current Opinion in Colloid and Interface Science | Year: 2012

Fluorinated surfactants are exceptional compounds that have found many applications in everyday life. This review focuses on severe issues on the toxicity, persistency and bioaccumulation of these halogenated products, especially perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS), the half-lives of which are several years in human serum. After an introduction on their productions, uses and hazards, this minireview updates non-exhaustive recent strategies of synthesis of original fluorosurfactants that may be potentially non-bioaccumulable. These routes have been devoted on: (i) the preparation of CF 3-X-(CH 2) n-SO 3Na (with X=O, C 6H 4O or N(CF 3) and n=8-12), (ii) the use of fluorinated polyethers (achieved either by oligomerization of hexafluoropropylene oxide (HFPO) or by ring opening cationic oligomerization of fluorinated oxetanes; (iii) the telomerization of vinylidene fluoride (VDF) with 1-iodoperfluoralkanes to produce C nF 2n+1-(VDF) 2-CH 2CO 2R (n=2 or 4, R=H or NH 4), (iv) the radical telomerization of 3,3,3-trifluoropropene (TFP) with isoperfluoropropyliodide to prepare (CF 3) 2CF(TFP) x-R H, and (v) the radical cotelomerization of VDF and TFP, or their controlled radical copolymerization in the presence of either (CF 3) 2CFI or a fluorinated xanthate. In most cases, the surface tensions versus the surfactant concentrations have been assessed. These above pathways led to various highly fluorinated (but yet not perfluorinated) telomers or cooligomers, the chemical changes of which enabled to obtain original surfactants as novel alternatives to PFOA, ammonium perfluorooctanoate (APFO), or PFOS regarded as the PCBs of the XXIst century. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.

Rubini A.,University of Padua
Cytokine | Year: 2010

The end-inspiratory occlusion method was applied in anesthetized, paralyzed, positive pressure-ventilated rats to assess the possible effects of interleukin IL-6 on respiratory mechanics in normal rats. Measurements were made in control rats and in experimental animals before and after IL-6 intraperitoneal administration (15. ng/100. g), including static respiratory system elastance, the resistance to airflow and to the movement of respiratory system tissues, and the resistance due to lung stress-relaxation and mechanical inhomogeneity. Respiratory system hysteresis was also measured, and total mechanical breathing work rate and its elastic and resistive components calculated.Control rats did not exhibit alteration in respiratory mechanics during the observation period (30. min), while the experimental animals showed an increase in resistive pressure dissipations starting 15. min after IL-6 administration. Dose-dependent effects were also investigated.In a rather delayed effect, IL-6 increased the resistance to airflow and to the movement of respiratory system tissues, the resistance due to lung stress-relaxation and mechanical inhomogeneity, and the related resistive mechanical breathing work rate, and left the elastic pressure dissipation unaltered. The mechanisms by which IL-6 may contribute to the airways resistance increase which is seen in different respiratory diseases are likewise discussed. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd.

A major open issue in the design and operation of cable-direct-driven-robots (CDDRs) is ensuring tensile cable forces for any admissible motion of the CDDR. Such a problem is particularly challenging when underconstrained and non-redundant CDDR configurations are considered. In this paper a new and general trajectory planning method is introduced, which has been specifically developed to ensure always positive and bounded cable tensions in underconstrained planar two-degree-of-freedom translational CDDRs. The proposed method translates the typical bilateral force constraints of the cables (i.e. positive and bounded tensions) into constraints on the velocity and acceleration of the CDDR end-effector along the path. Such constraints are computed making use of the robot dynamic model and are then incorporated in a suitable trajectory planning algorithm also yielding the minimum traversal time. The method is explained and validated numerically by applying it to a novel concept of underconstrained hybrid (serial/parallel) CDDR. The results achieved prove that the proposed method may a priori ensure positive and bounded cable tensions along any straight line and circular path. © 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Guidolin D.,University of Padua
Expert Opinion on Therapeutic Targets | Year: 2010

Because of its key role in tumor growth, angiogenesis has become an attractive target for pharmacological therapies. The angiogenic process is regulated by several 'classic' factors among which the most studied are VEGF and fibroblast growth factor-2 (FGF-2). These factors together with their receptors and other molecules involved in their signaling pathways are currently the main target of an extensive array of pharmacological strategies aimed at inhibit angiogenesis. In recent years, however, evidence has accumulated that in addition to the classic factors many other endogenous peptides play an important regulatory role in angiogenesis, especially under pathological conditions. Such a large network of signaling events might offer new possibilities of pharmacological intervention that could be complementary to existing antiangiogenic treatments. In particular, combination therapies could be devised to overcome or delay resistance and minimize side effects. In the last issue of Expert Opinion on Therapeutic Targets, in a paper by Deville et al., the authors focussed their attention on these important topics, and in this context offered a thoughtful analysis about the possible place of the peptide adrenomedullin as a new therapeutic target in future antiangiogenic strategies. © 2010 Informa UK, Ltd.

Sandri M.,University of Padua | Sandri M.,Dulbecco Telethon Institute | Sandri M.,Venetian Institute of Molecular Medicine
FEBS Letters | Year: 2010

Muscle mass represents 40-50% of the human body and, in mammals, is one of the most important sites for the control of metabolism. Moreover, during catabolic conditions, muscle proteins are mobilized to sustain gluconeogenesis in the liver and to provide alternative energy substrates for organs. However, excessive protein degradation in the skeletal muscle is detrimental for the economy of the body and it can lead to death. The ubiquitin-proteasome and autophagy-lysosome systems are the major proteolytic pathways of the cell and are coordinately activated in atrophying muscles. However, the role and regulation of the autophagic pathway in skeletal muscle is still largely unknown. This review will focus on autophagy and discuss its beneficial or detrimental role for the maintenance of muscle mass. © 2010 Federation of European Biochemical Societies.

Lirussi F.,University of Padua
Diabetes/Metabolism Research and Reviews | Year: 2010

Ethnic minorities living in high-income countries usually exhibit a greater risk of developing diabetes along with higher morbidity and mortality rates. We evaluated the effectiveness of interventions to improve glycaemic control in ethnic minority groups. Results of major controlled trials, systematic reviews and meta-analyses were included in the review. Only 1/47 studies addressing diet and exercise interventions reported details on the ethnicity of the studied population. Self-management education was successful if associated with increased self-efficacy; delivered over a longer period; of high intensity; culturally tailored; and when using community educators. Strategies adopted in community-gathering places, family-based,multifaceted, and those tackling the social context were likely to be more effective. A positive relationship was found between social support and self-management behaviour as well as quality of life, but there is little evidence about the impact of organizational changes within health-care services on diabetes control. More research is needed to strengthen the evidence on effective strategies for response to diabetes in ethnic minorities. Also, there is a need to take into account diabetes beliefs and communication difficulties, as well as potential protective factors. Globally, many health-care systems are inadequately equipped to improve diabetes prevention and disease outcomes in these communities. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Plebani M.,University of Padua
Annals of Clinical Biochemistry | Year: 2010

The last few decades have seen a significant decrease in the rates of analytical errors in clinical laboratories. Evidence demonstrates that pre- and post-analytical steps of the total testing process (TTP) are more error-prone than the analytical phase. Most errors are identified in pre-pre-analytic and post-post-analytic steps outside of the laboratory. In a patient-centred approach to the delivery of health-care services, there is the need to investigate, in the TTP, any possible defect that may have a negative impact on the patient. In the interests of patients, any direct or indirect negative consequence related to a laboratory test must be considered, irrespective of which step is involved and whether the error depends on a laboratory professional (e.g. calibration/testing error) or non-laboratory operator (e.g. inappropriate test request, error in patient identification and/or blood collection). Patient misidentification and problems communicating results, which affect the delivery of diagnostic services, are recognized as the main goals for quality improvement. International initiatives aim at improving these aspects. Grading laboratory errors on the basis of their seriousness should help identify priorities for quality improvement and encourage a focus on corrective/preventive actions. It is important to consider not only the actual patient harm sustained but also the potential worst-case outcome if such an error were to reoccur. The most important lessons we have learned are that system theory also applies to laboratory testing and that errors and injuries can be prevented by redesigning systems that render it difficult for all health-care professionals to make mistakes.

Sandri M.,University of Padua | Sandri M.,Dulbecco Telethon Institute | Sandri M.,Venetian Institute of Molecular Medicine
American Journal of Physiology - Cell Physiology | Year: 2010

Loss of muscle mass aggravates a variety of diseases, and understanding the molecular mechanisms that control muscle wasting is critical for developing new therapeutic approaches. Weakness is caused by loss of muscle proteins, and recent studies have underlined a major role for the autophagy-lysosome system in regulating muscle mass. Some key components of the autophagy machinery are transcriptionally upregulated during muscle wasting, and their induction precedes muscle loss. However, it is unclear whether autophagy is detrimental, causing atrophy, or beneficial, promoting survival during catabolic conditions. This review discusses recent findings on signaling pathways regulating autophagy. Copyright © 2010 the American Physiological Society.

Pietrobon D.,University of Padua
Pflugers Archiv European Journal of Physiology | Year: 2010

Mutations in the CACNA1A gene that encodes the pore-forming α1 subunit of human voltage-gated Cav2.1 (P/Q-type) Ca2+ channels cause several autosomaldominant neurologic disorders, including familial hemiplegic migraine type 1 (FHM1), episodic ataxia type 2, and spinocerebellar ataxia type 6 (SCA6). For each channelopathy, the review describes the disease phenotype as well as the functional consequences of the disease-causing mutations on recombinant human CaV2.1 channels and, in the case of FHM1 and SCA6, on neuronal Cav2.1 channels expressed at the endogenous physiological level in knockin mouse models. The effects of FHM1 mutations on cortical spreading depression, the phenomenon underlying migraine aura, and on cortical excitatory and inhibitory synaptic transmission in FHM1 knockin mice are also described, and their implications for the disease mechanism discussed. Moreover, the review describes different ataxic spontaneous cacna1a mouse mutants and the important insights into the cerebellar mechanisms underlying motor dysfunction caused by mutant Cav2.1 channels that were obtained from their functional characterization. © Springer-Verlag 2010.

Migraine is a very common disabling brain disorder with unclear pathogenesis. A subtype of migraine with aura (familial hemiplegic migraine type 1: FHM1) is caused by mutations in CaV2.1 (P/Q-type) Ca2+ channels. This review describes the functional consequences of FHM1 mutations in knockin mouse models carrying the mild R192Q or severe S218L mutations in the orthologous gene. The FHM1 knockin mice show allele dosage-dependent gain-of-function of neuronal P/Q-type Ca2+ current, reflecting activation of mutant channels at lower voltages, and allele dosage- and sex-dependent facilitation of induction and propagation of cortical spreading depression (CSD), the phenomenon that underlies migraine aura. Gain-of-function of neuronal Ca2+ current, facilitation of CSD and post-CSD motor deficits were larger in S218L than R192Q knockin mice, in correlation with the more severe human S218L phenotype. Enhanced cortical excitatory neurotransmission, due to increased action potential-evoked Ca2+ influx and increased probability of glutamate release at pyramidal cell synapses, but unaltered inhibitory neurotransmission at fast-spiking interneuron synapses, were demonstrated in R192Q knockin mice. Evidence for a causative link between enhanced glutamate release and CSD facilitation was obtained. The data from FHM1 mice strengthen the view of CSD as a key player in the pathogenesis of migraine, give insight into CSD mechanisms and point to episodic disruption of excitation-inhibition balance and neuronal hyperactivity as the basis for vulnerability to CSD ignition in migraine. © 2010 The Author. Journal compilation © 2010 The Physiological Society.

Marzari F.,University of Padua
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society | Year: 2014

Planet-planet scattering is a major dynamical mechanism able to significantly alter the architecture of a planetary system. In addition to that, it may also affect the formation and retention of a debris disc by the system. A violent chaotic evolution of the planets can easily clear leftover planetesimal belts preventing the ignition of a substantial collisional cascade that can give origin to a debris disc. On the other end, a mild evolution with limited steps in eccentricity and semimajor axis can trigger the formation of a debris disc by stirring an initially quiet planetesimal belt. The variety of possible effects that planet-planet scattering can have on the formation of debris discs is analysed and the statistical probability of the different outcomes is evaluated. This leads to the prediction that systems which underwent an episode of chaotic evolution might have a lower probability of harbouring a debris disc. © 2014 The Author.

Piccolo S.,University of Padua
Development (Cambridge, England) | Year: 2014

Stefano Piccolo looks back at the life and research of his friend and colleague Yoshiki Sasai. © 2014. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.

Matak I.,University of Zagreb | Rossetto O.,University of Padua | Lackovic Z.,University of Zagreb
Pain | Year: 2014

Unlike most classical analgesics, botulinum toxin type A (BoNT/A) does not alter acute nociceptive thresholds, and shows selectivity primarily for allodynic and hyperalgesic responses in certain pain conditions. We hypothesized that this phenomenon might be explained by characterizing the sensory neurons targeted by BoNT/A in the central nervous system after its axonal transport. BoNT/A's central antinociceptive activity following its application into the rat whisker pad was examined in trigeminal nucleus caudalis (TNC) and higher-level nociceptive brain areas using BoNT/A-cleaved synaptosomal-associated protein 25 (SNAP-25) and c-Fos immunohistochemistry. Occurrence of cleaved SNAP-25 in TNC was examined after nonselective ganglion ablation with formalin or selective denervation of capsaicin-sensitive (vanilloid receptor-1 or TRPV1-expressing) neurons, and in relation to different cellular and neuronal markers. Regional c-Fos activation and effect of TRPV1-expressing afferent denervation on toxin's antinociceptive action were studied in formalin-induced orofacial pain. BoNT/A-cleaved SNAP-25 was observed in TNC, but not in higher-level nociceptive nuclei. Cleaved SNAP-25 in TNC disappeared after formalin-induced trigeminal ganglion ablation or capsaicin-induced sensory denervation. Occurrence of cleaved SNAP-25 in TNC and BoNT/A antinociceptive activity in formalin-induced orofacial pain were prevented by denervation with capsaicin. Cleaved SNAP-25 localization demonstrated toxin's presynaptic activity in TRPV1-expressing neurons. BoNT/A reduced the c-Fos activation in TNC, locus coeruleus, and periaqueductal gray. Present experiments suggest that BoNT/A alters the nociceptive transmission at the central synapse of primary afferents. Targeting of TRPV1-expressing neurons might be associated with observed selectivity of BoNT/A action only in certain types of pain. © 2014 International Association for the Study of Pain. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Pasqualetti F.,University of California at Santa Barbara | Carli R.,University of Padua | Bullo F.,University of California at Santa Barbara
Automatica | Year: 2012

This work presents a distributed method for control centers to monitor the operating condition of a power network, i.e.; to estimate the network state, and to ultimately determine the occurrence of threatening situations. State estimation has been recognized to be a fundamental task for network control centers to operate safely and reliably a power grid. We consider (static) state estimation problems, in which the state vector consists of the voltage magnitude and angle at all network buses. We consider the state to be linearly related to network measurements, which include power flows, current injections, and voltage phasors at some buses. We admit the presence of several cooperating control centers, and we design two distributed methods for them to compute the minimum variance estimate of the state, given the network measurements. The two distributed methods rely on different modes of cooperation among control centers: in the first method an incremental mode of cooperation is used, whereas, in the second method, a diffusive interaction is implemented. Our procedures, which require each control center to know only the measurements and the structure of a subpart of the whole network, are computationally efficient and scalable with respect to the network dimension, provided that the number of control centers also increases with the network cardinality. Additionally, a finite-memory approximation of our diffusive algorithm is proposed, and its accuracy is characterized. Finally, our estimation methods are exploited to develop a distributed algorithm to detect corrupted network measurements. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Toniato A.,University of Padua
Surgeon | Year: 2013

Background: The increasingly widespread use of minimally invasive surgery has allowed surgeons to exploit this approach for malignant adrenal tumors, though its actual role remains debated. The purpose of this study was to ascertain whether minimally-invasive surgery is a safe and effective treatment for adrenal carcinoma and metastases. Methods: Demographic and clinical data were prospectively entered in a computerized endocrine surgery registry for all patients who underwent surgery for adrenal lesions at our institution over a 20-year period (1991-2010). For the purposes of the present study, the registry was queried to identify patients who had minimally-invasive surgery for adrenocortical carcinoma (group 1) or adrenal metastases (group 2). Results: Out of 332 patients undergoing adrenalectomy 25 were operated on for adrenal malignancies: 9 (group 1) had primary adrenal carcinomas and 16 (group 2) had adrenal metastases. Successfully laparoscopic adrenalectomy was performed in 16.6% (1/6) and in 93.3% (14/15) of group 1 and group 2, respectively. The mean operating time was 140 min (range 70-280 min) and 80 min (range 50-180 min) for groups 1 and 2, respectively. The median survival for group 1 was 30 months and Kaplan-Meier life table analysis showed a survival rate of 89%, 25.4% and 12.7% at 1, 3 and 5 years, respectively. The median survival for group 2 was 28 months and Kaplan-Meier life table analysis identified survival rates of 94%, 20.1% and 6.7% at 1, 3 and 5 years, respectively. Conclusions: This study shows that laparoscopic resection is inappropriate for patients with known or suspected adrenocortical carcinoma, while the laparoscopic approach can be justified and is feasible in case of adrenal metastases. © 2013 Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh (Scottish charity number SC005317) and Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland.

Prandoni P.,University of Padua
Expert Opinion on Pharmacotherapy | Year: 2015

Introduction: The initial and long-term administration of low-molecular-weight heparin (LMWH) is now regarded as the treatment of choice for the therapy of patients with cancer-associated venous thromboembolism (CAT). However, LMWH requires daily subcutaneous injections and can induce thrombocytopenia. In recent years, novel direct oral anticoagulants (DOAC) have emerged to potentially replace conventional treatments.Areas covered: The advantages and limitations of conventional approaches for the treatment of CAT are presented and analyzed based on available findings and on recommendations from international guidelines, as is the potential for the DOAC.Expert opinion: LMWH still remains the mainstay of initial and long-term treatment of CAT. Vitamin K antagonists may have a role in patients with inactive cancer and in those with severe renal failure. Whether there is a potential for the DOAC is uncertain. Indeed, most patients with advanced cancer were excluded from the trials addressing their value. Although available findings are encouraging, before implementing them in the routine clinical practice there is the need for dedicated studies in which cancer patients, whichever their severity and prognosis, are allocated to either DOAC or LMWH, which represent the standard of treatment for patients with CAT. © 2015 Taylor & Francis.

Botter G.,University of Padua
Water Resources Research | Year: 2010

This paper investigates the impact of interevent variability of streamflow recession rates on two key streamflow statistics, namely, the equilibrium probability density function (pdf) and the autocorrelation. The relevance of the problem lies in the need to quantify and predict streamflow availability, on the basis of measurable rainfall and landscape attributes, by explicitly incorporating the stochasticity of the underlying climate and transport processes. Novel expressions for the seasonal pdf and the autocorrelation of the daily streamflows are derived by incorporating the randomness of the recession rates into a probabilistic framework where the streamflow fluctuations are explicitly related to the intermittency of the rainfall forcing. The presence of stochastic recession time constants is shown to impact only the third-and higher-order moments of the probability density function of the daily streamflows, without altering the mean and the variance of the pdf. A remarkable effect is instead produced on the correlation structure, which may exhibit long-term persistence even in the presence of a weak randomness of the recession rate. A relevant case study is then discussed to show that incorporating the stochasticity of the recession time constant leads to an improvement of the model ability to capture the behavior of the equilibrium streamflow pdf and of the underlying correlation function. Copyright 2010 by the American Geophysical Union.

Cassani D.,University of Padua | Faedo A.F.,National Institute of Nuclear Physics, Italy
Nuclear Physics B | Year: 2011

We establish a supersymmetric consistent truncation of type IIB supergravity on the T1,1 coset space, based on extending the Papadopoulos-Tseytlin ansatz to the full set of SU(2)×SU(2) invariant Kaluza-Klein modes. The five-dimensional model is a gauged N=4 supergravity with three vector multiplets, which incorporates various conifold solutions and is suitable for the study of their dynamics. By analysing the scalar potential we find a family of new non-supersymmetric AdS5 extrema interpolating between a solution obtained long ago by Romans and a solution employing an Einstein metric on T1,1 different from the standard one. Finally, we discuss some simple consistent subtruncations preserving N=2 supersymmetry. One of them still contains the Klebanov-Strassler solution, and is compatible with the inclusion of smeared D7-branes. © 2010 Elsevier B.V.

Giunti C.,National Institute of Nuclear Physics, Italy | Giunti C.,University of Turin | Laveder M.,University of Padua
Physical Review C - Nuclear Physics | Year: 2011

We calculate the statistical significance of the anomalous deficit of electron neutrinos measured in the radioactive source experiments of the GALLEX and SAGE solar neutrino detectors, taking into account the uncertainty of the detection cross section. We found that the statistical significance of the anomaly is ~3.0σ. A fit of the data in terms of neutrino oscillations favors at ~2.7σ short-baseline electron neutrino disappearance with respect to the null hypothesis of no oscillations. © 2011 American Physical Society.

PURPOSE:: To better pathophysiologically characterize macular edema secondary to eye irradiation, analyzing the presence of optical coherence tomography (OCT) hyperreflective spots. METHODS:: Twenty-five consecutive eyes affected by radiation maculopathy, secondary to irradiation for a primary uveal melanoma, without macular involvement in the irradiation field, were consecutively enrolled. All subjects underwent full ophthalmologic examination, including fluorescein angiography, color fundus photography, and spectral domain OCT, even in en face modality. Optical coherence tomography central subfield thickness was stratified into the following 3 categories: <400 μm, 400 to 600 μm, and >600 μm. Spectral domain OCT images were analyzed to measure and localize hyperreflective spots by two independent masked graders. RESULTS:: Hyperreflective spots were documented in all eyes (100%). Hyperreflective spots significantly increased in number according to OCT central subfield thickness (<400 μm, 400–600 μm, >600 μm, P < 0.05). The intergrader agreement was at least substantial for all measurements (intraclass correlation coefficient: 0.80). CONCLUSION:: Spectral domain OCT documents discrete intraretinal reflectivity changes (hyperreflective spots) in all (studied) eyes affected by radiation maculopathy. Hyperreflective spots increase in number with increasing central subfield thickness and could be considered as a new clinical biomarker of intraretinal inflammation in patients affected by macular edema secondary to irradiation for uveal melanoma. © 2016 by Ophthalmic Communications Society, Inc.

Cassania D.,University of Padua | Faedob A.F.,National Institute of Nuclear Physics, Italy
Journal of High Energy Physics | Year: 2011

Under general assumptions, we show that a gravitational theory in d + 1 dimensions admitting an AdS solution can be reduced to a d-dimensional theory containing a Lifshitz solution with dynamical exponent z = 2. Working in a d = 4, N = 2 supergravity setup, we prove that if the AdS background is N = 2 supersymmetric, then the Lifshitz geometry preserves 1/4 of the supercharges, and we construct the corresponding Killing spinors. We illustrate these results in examples from supersymmetric consistent truncations of type IIB supergravity, enhancing the class of known 4-dimensional Lifshitz solutions of string theory. As a byproduct, we find a new AdS4 × S1 × T 1,1 solution of type IIB. © SISSA 2011.

DallAgata G.,University of Padua | Gnecchi A.,National Institute of Nuclear Physics, Italy
Journal of High Energy Physics | Year: 2011

We investigate the existence of supersymmetric static dyonic black holes with spherical horizon in the context of N = 2 U(1) gauged supergravity in four dimensions. We analyze the conditions for their existence and provide the general first-order flow equations driving the scalar fields and the metric warp factors from the asymptotic AdS4 geometry to the horizon. We work in a general duality-symmetric setup, which allows to describe both electric and magnetic gaugings. We also discuss the attractor mechanism and the issue of moduli (de-)stabilization. © SISSA 2011.

Basili M.,University of Siena | Fontini F.,University of Padua
Ecological Economics | Year: 2012

This paper considers the use of a non-edible plant, Jatropha curcas (J. curcas), for the production of biofuel as a substitute for traditional fossil fuel. It is shown that the net energy balance and greenhouse gases (GHGs) balance are positive. The investment value in biofuel from J. curcas is also studied, and both its intrinsic and option values are calculated. A reference case is evaluated, namely, the cultivation of J. curcas as a substitute for conventional fuel in a specific less-developed country, Kenya, that lies in the tropical region where J. curcas grows. The investment is modeled as a perpetual investment call option. It is shown that the Net Present Value is positive for a vast range of discount factors and investment costs, while the option value depends crucially on the parameters of the model. A positive option value points out those cases in which it is optimal to defer the investment even if it entails a positive and possibly high Net Present Value. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.

To define the extent of lymphadenectomy to associate with surgery for pancreatic head cancer. Background: Pancreaticoduodenectomy with extended lymphadenectomy fails to prolong patient survival. Methods: Prospective randomized and nonrandomized controlled trials (RCTs and NRCTs), meta-analyses, retrospective reviews, consensus conferences and pre- and intraoperative diagnoses of lymph node (LN) metastases were retrieved. Standard and extended lymphadenectomies were reviewed, including their effects on postoperative complications, mortality rate and long-term survival. The minimum total number of LN examined (TNLE) for adequate tumor staging, and the incidence of metastasis to each LN station were also considered. A pros and cons analysis was performed on the removal of each LN station. Results: Eleven retrospective studies (2514 patients), five prospective NRCTs (545 patients), and five prospective RCTs (586 patients) described different lymphadenectomies, which obtained similar long-term results. Five meta-analyses showed they did not influence long-term survival. However, N status is an important component of tumor staging. The recommended minimum TNLE is 15. The percent incidence of metastasis to each LN station was calculated considering at least 385 and up to 3725 patients. Preoperative imaging and intraoperative exploration frequently fail to identify metastatic nodes. A pros and cons analysis suggests that lymph node status is better established removing the following LN stations: 6, 8a-p, 12a-b-c, 13a-b, 14a-b-c-d, 16b1, 17a-b. Metastasis to 16b1 LNs significantly worsens prognosis. Their removal and frozen section examination, before proceeding with resection, may contraindicate resection. Conclusion: A standard lymphadenectomy demands an adequate TNLE and removal of the LN stations metastasizing more frequently, without increasing the surgical risk. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd.

De Caro R.,University of Padua
Respiratory physiology & neurobiology | Year: 2013

Functional maturation of the carotid body in the postnatal period relies partly on structural and neurochemical changes, which are reviewed here. Structural changes include changes in cytological composition, and increases in glomic tissue volume, dense-cored granules of type I cells, synapses of type I cells with type II cells and afferent nerve fibres. Vascular volume also increases, but in the same proportion as extravascular volume. During maturation, the carotid body also shows higher density and hypoxic sensitivity of K(+)-channels and an increased hypoxic [Ca(2+)](i) response. Modulation of content and release of catecholamine occurs, together with decreased expression of tyrosine hydroxylase and dopamine β-hydroxylase and increased expression of choline acetyltransferase. Expression of dopamine 2 receptor and nicotinic α3 and α7 receptor subunits increases, and muscarinic M1 receptor protein, nicotinic α4 and β2 receptor subunits and adenosine receptor 1 decrease. Maturation of the carotid body may also be explained with reference to the developmentally regulated expression of trophic factors and their receptors. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Penazzato M.,University of Padua
Cochrane database of systematic reviews (Online) | Year: 2012

In the absence of antiretroviral therapy (ART), over 50% of HIV-infected infants progress to AIDS and death by 2 years of age. However, there are challenges to initiate ART in early life, including the possibility of drug resistance in the context of prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) programs, a paucity of drug choices , uncertain dosing for some medications and long-term toxicities. Key management decisions include when to start ART, what regimen to start, and whether and when to switch or interrupt therapy. This review aims to summarize the currently available evidence on this topic and inform the ART management in HIV-infected children less than 2 years of age. To evaluate 1) when to start ART in young children; 2) what ART to start with, comparing first-line non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NNRTI) and PI-based regimens; and 3) whether and when ART should be stopped or switched from a PI-based regimen to an NNRTI-based regimen. We searched for published studies in the Cochrane HIV/AIDS Review Group Trials Register, The Cochrane Library, Pubmed, EMBASE and CENTRAL. We screened abstracts from relevant conference proceedings and searched for unpublished and ongoing trials in clinical trial registries (ClinicalTrials.gov and the WHO International Clinical Trials Registry Platform). We identified RCTs that recruited perinatally HIV-infected children under 2 years of age without restriction of setting. We rejected trials that did not include children less than 2 years of age, or did not evaluate either timing of ART initiation, choice of drug regimen or treatment switch/interruption strategy. Two reviewers independently applied study selection criteria, assessed study quality and extracted data. Effects were assessed using the hazard ratio (HR) for time-to-event outcomes, relative risk for dichotomous outcomes and weighted mean difference for continuous outcomes. Of 1921 records retrieved, 5 studies were eligible for inclusion in the review, addressing when to start treatment (n=2), what to start (n=2) and whether to switch regimen (n=1). Three ongoing studies that address the question of treatment interruption were also identified.Early infant treatment was associated with a 75% reduction (HR=0.25; 95%CI 0.12-0.51; p=0.0002) in mortality or disease progression in the one trial with sufficient power to address this question. In a smaller trial,median CD4 cell count was not significantly different between early and deferred treatment groups 12 months after ART.Regardless of previous exposure to nevirapine for PMTCT, the hazard for treatment failure was 2.01 (95%CI 1.47, 2.77) times higher in children starting ART with a NVP-based regimen compared to those starting with a LPV/r-based regimen (p<0.0001) with no clear difference in effect by age group. The hazard for virological failure was overall 2.28 (95%CI 1.55, 3.34) times higher for children starting ART with a NVP-based regimen compared to those starting with a LPV/r-based regimen (p=0.0005) with a larger difference in time to virological failure (or death) between the NVP and LPV/r-based regimens when ART was initiated in the first year of life.

Rossi A.,University of Padua
Journal of Physics G: Nuclear and Particle Physics | Year: 2011

The ALICE experiment has measured the D meson production in pp and PbPb collisions at the LHC at √S = 7 and 2.76 TeV and √sNN = 2.76 TeV, respectively, via the exclusive reconstruction of hadronic decay channels. The analyses of the D0 → K?π + and D+ → K? π+?π+ channels will be described and the preliminary results for the D0 and D + nuclear modification factor will be presented. © 2011 IOP Publishing Ltd.

Giunti C.,National Institute of Nuclear Physics, Italy | Giunti C.,University of Turin | Laveder M.,National Institute of Nuclear Physics, Italy | Laveder M.,University of Padua
Physics Letters, Section B: Nuclear, Elementary Particle and High-Energy Physics | Year: 2011

We present an upgrade of the 3 + 1 global fit of short-baseline neutrino oscillation data obtained with the addition of KARMEN and LSND ν e+C 12→N g.s. 12+e - scattering data. We discuss the implications for the measurements of the effective neutrino mass in β-decay and neutrinoless double-β-decay experiments. We find respective predicted ranges of about 0.1-0.7 eV and 0.01-0.1 eV. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.

Salasnich L.,University of Padua
Physical Review C - Nuclear Physics | Year: 2011

We study the Bose-Einstein condensation of fermionic pairs in the uniform neutron matter by using the concept of the off-diagonal long-range order of the two-body density matrix of the system. We derive explicit formulas for the condensate density ρ con and the condensate fraction ρ con/ρ in terms of the scaled pairing energy gap Δ/ε F where ε F is the Fermi energy. We calculate the condensate fraction ρ con/ρ as a function of the density ρ by using previously obtained results for the pairing gap Δ. We find the maximum condensate fraction (ρ con/ρ) max=0.42 at the density ρ=5.3×10 -4 fm -3, which corresponds to the Fermi wave number k F=0.25 fm -1. © 2011 American Physical Society.

Tamburini F.,University of Padua | Thide B.,Swedish Institute of Space Physics | Molina-Terriza G.,Macquarie University | Anzolin G.,ICFO - Institute of Photonic Sciences
Nature Physics | Year: 2011

Kerr black holes are among the most intriguing predictions of Einstein's general relativity theory1,2. These rotating massive astrophysical objects drag and intermix their surrounding space and time, deflecting and phase-modifying light emitted near them. We have found that this leads to a new relativistic effect that imprints orbital angular momentum on such light. Numerical experiments, based on the integration of the null geodesic equations of light from orbiting point-like sources in the Kerr black hole equatorial plane to an asymptotic observer3, indeed identify the phase change and wavefront warping and predict the associated light-beam orbital angular momentum spectra4. Setting up the best existing telescopes properly, it should be possible to detect and measure this twisted light, thus allowing a direct observational demonstration of the existence of rotating black holes. As non-rotating objects are more an exception than a rule in the Universe, our findings are of fundamental importance. © 2011 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.

To establish the incidence and risk factors for progression to high-grade intraepithelial neoplasia (HG-IEN) or Barrett's esophageal adenocarcinoma (BAc) in a prospective cohort of patients with esophageal intestinal metaplasia [(BE)]. BE is associated with an increased risk of BAc unless cases are detected early by surveillance. No consistent data are available on the prevalence of BE-related cancer, the ideal surveillance schedule, or the risk factors for cancer. In 2003, a regional registry of BE patients was created in north-east Italy, establishing the related diagnostic criteria (endoscopic landmarks, biopsy protocol, histological classification) and timing of follow-up (tailored to histology) and recording patient outcomes. Thirteen centers were involved and audited yearly. The probability of progression to HG-IEN/BAc was calculated using the Kaplan-Meier method; the Cox regression model was used to calculate the risk of progression. HG-IEN (10 cases) and EAc (7 cases) detected at the index endoscopy or in the first year of follow-up were considered to be cases of preexisting disease and excluded; 841 patients with at least 2 endoscopies {median, 3 [interquartile range (IQR): 2-4); median follow-up = 44.6 [IQR: 24.7-60.5] months; total 3083 patient-years} formed the study group [male/female = 646/195; median age, 60 (IQR: 51-68) years]. Twenty-two patients progressed to HG-IEN or BAc (incidence: 0.72 per 100 patient-years) after a median of 40.2 (26.9-50.4) months. At multivariate analysis, endoscopic abnormalities, that is, ulceration or nodularity (P = 0.0002; relative risk [RR] = 7.6; 95% confidence interval, 2.63-21.9), LG-IEN (P = 0.02, RR = 3.7; 95% confidence interval, 1.22-11.43), and BE length (P = 0.01; RR = 1.16; 95% confidence interval, 1.03-1.30) were associated with BE progression. Among the LG-IEN patients, the incidence of HG-IEN/EAc was 3.17 patient-years, that is, 6 times higher than in BE patients without LG-IEN. These results suggest that in the absence of intraepithelial neoplastic changes, BE carries a low risk of progression to HG-IEN/BAc, and strict surveillance (or ablative therapy) is advisable in cases with endoscopic abnormalities, LG-IEN or long BE segments.

Skaper S.D.,University of Padua | Di Marzo V.,National Research Council Italy
Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences | Year: 2012

The psychoactive component of the cannabis resin and flowers, delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), was first isolated in 1964, and at least 70 other structurally related 'phytocannabinoid' compounds have since been identified. The serendipitous identification of a G-protein-coupled cannabinoid receptor at which THC is active in the brain heralded an explosion in cannabinoid research. Elements of the endocannabinoid system (ECS) comprise the cannabinoid receptors, a family of nascent lipid ligands, the 'endocannabinoids' and the machinery for their biosynthesis and metabolism. The function of the ECS is thus defined by modulation of these receptors, in particular, by two of the best-described ligands, 2-arachidonoyl glycerol and anandamide (arachidonylethanolamide). Research on the ECS has recently aroused enormous interest not only for the physiological functions, but also for the promising therapeutic potentials of drugs interfering with the activity of cannabinoid receptors. Many of the former relate to stress-recovery systems and to the maintenance of homeostatic balance. Among other functions, the ECS is involved in neuroprotection, modulation of nociception, regulation of motor activity, neurogenesis, synaptic plasticity and the control of certain phases of memory processing. In addition, the ECS acts to modulate the immune and inflammatory responses and to maintain a positive energy balance. This theme issue aims to provide the reader with an overview of ECS pharmacology, followed by discussions on the pivotal role of this system in the modulation of neurogenesis in the developing and adult organism, memory processes and synaptic plasticity, as well as in pathological pain and brain ageing. The volume will conclude with discussions that address the proposed therapeutic applications of targeting the ECS for the treatment of neurodegeneration, pain and mental illness. © 2012 The Royal Society.

Pistollato F.,University of Padua
Current protocols in stem cell biology | Year: 2011

This unit describes a protocol for the surgical collection, isolation, and expansion of regionally defined human glioblastoma multiforme (GBM)-derived cells. Given the important role played by microenvironmental hypoxia in defining cell phenotype and molecular signaling activation, it is important to distinguish between tumor tissues that were originally localized within the partially necrotic tumor core and those located along the peripheral and vascularized areas. The procedures for enzymatic dissociation of GBM tissues and cell culturing under hypoxia described here are optimized to obtain an efficient single-cell suspension and subsequent growth, in an effort to avoid the spontaneous induction of cell commitment normally occurring in long-term cell culture. John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

It was shown in previous papers that in plane problems the elastic tangential stress and the elastic shear stress evaluated at the weld toe or at the root of fillet-welded joints by means of a finite element analysis, with a well-defined pattern of elements, are proportional to the mode I and mode II Notch Stress Intensity Factors (NSIFs), respectively. On the basis of such properties, the so-called Peak Stress Method (PSM) is a simplified, finite element-oriented application of the N-SIF approach to fatigue analysis of fillet-welded joints with un-machined weld seams. In the present paper, the PSM is extended to torsional loading conditions, which induce mode III stresses at the weld toe and at the weld root. First, it is shown that the finite value of the elastic anti-plane shear stress evaluated at the weld toe by means of a finite element analysis is directly proportional to the mode III N-SIF. Afterwards, taking advantage of the strain energy density criterion, an equivalent local stress is derived. Finally, a synthesis of experimental results of fatigue tests on tube-to-flange fillet welded joints subject to torsion loading and failing either from the weld toe or from the weld root is presented. © 2013 International Institute of Welding.

Bellomare F.,University of Padua | Rokni M.,Technical University of Denmark
Renewable Energy | Year: 2013

An interesting source of producing energy with low pollutants emission and reduced environmental impact are the biomasses; particularly using Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) as fuel, can be a competitive solution not only to produce energy with negligible costs but also to decrease the storage in landfills. A Municipal Solid Waste Gasification Plant Integrated with Solid Oxide Fuel Cell (SOFC) and Gas Turbine (GT) has been studied and the plant is called IGSG (Integrated Gasification SOFC and GT). Gasification plant is fed by MSW to produce syngas by which the anode side of an SOFC is fed wherein it reacts with air and produces electricity. The exhausted gases out of the SOFC enter a burner for further fuel combusting and finally the off-gases are sent to a gas turbine to produce additional electricity. Different plant configurations have been studied and the best one found to be a regenerative gas turbine. Under optimized condition, the thermodynamic efficiency of 52% is achieved. Variations of the most critical parameters have been studied and analyzed to evaluate plant features and find out an optimized configuration. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

Pellegrino C.,University of Padua | Vasic M.,Polytechnic of Milan
Composites Part B: Engineering | Year: 2013

Shear strengthening of reinforced concrete (RC) elements with fibre reinforced polymer (FRP) composites is actually a research topic far to be completely solved. Existing shear strength models lead sometimes to overly non-conservative results and need to be validated with a sufficient number of experimental tests. The aim of this work is to assess some common design models for the prediction of the shear capacity of RC beams strengthened with externally bonded FRP composites. The research is based on a wide database collected from recent literature and is mainly focused on the combination of the basic codes for RC structures (without strengthening) with current models for FRP shear strengthened structures. The research significance of this work is due to the lack of information on the performance of the above models when combined with basic codes. Particular attention was dedicated on the consistency of the models for FRP strengthened structures with Eurocode 2 [12], since it assumes a method based on the truss model with variable inclination of the compressed strut. Lastly, some improvements of the model proposed by Pellegrino and Modena [41], which takes into account the interaction between steel and FRP contributions to the shear capacity, are proposed. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Iaccarino L.,University of Padua
Lupus | Year: 2013

Patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) have a higher prevalence of clinical and subclinical atherosclerosis compared with age- and sex-matched controls. Atherosclerosis progression is also accelerated in SLE, and coronary heart disease (CHD) is a major cause of morbidity and mortality. Traditional cardiovascular (CV) risk factors, including hypertension, diabetes mellitus or dyslipidemia, are more prevalent in SLE patients than in the general population, but they cannot fully account for accelerated atherosclerosis in SLE. In fact, a number of nontraditional risk factors have been identified, including disease activity, damage and various treatments. Preventive strategies for CHD are mandatory in SLE patients and should include giving up smoking; performing regular physical activity; managing metabolic abnormalities such as dyslipidemia, insulin resistance, and diabetes; treating persistent disease activity; and minimizing chronic exposure to corticosteroids. Low-dose aspirin, angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, vitamin D supplementation, antimalarials and, when indicated, some immunosuppressants such as mycophenolate mofetil should also be considered.

Pipinato A.,University of Padua
Durability of Bridge Structures | Year: 2013

Existing bridges represent a relevant category of the international cultural heritage, being the evidence of the modern industrial technology. Many of these structures require particular rehabilitation due to design defects, basic elements deterioration, variation of use or intensity change of the imposed loads. With regard to Italy, the historical heritage is rich of significant structures, which played an essential role in the growth of the industrial civilization: the most part of this heritage is represented by bridges, and a large part of the Italian bridges has more than one hundred years. In this paper, a comprehensive overview on practical issues on the assessment of bridge networks are presented in order to evaluate the structural integrity of historical and deteriorated bridges, incorporating code aspects, analytical, mechanical and structural topics.

Cosmi E.,University of Padua
Journal of pregnancy | Year: 2011

Intrauterine growth restriction is a condition fetus does not reach its growth potential and associated with perinatal mobility and mortality. Intrauterine growth restriction is caused by placental insufficiency, which determines cardiovascular abnormalities in the fetus. This condition, moreover, should prompt intensive antenatal surveillance of the fetus as well as follow-up of infants that had intrauterine growth restriction as short and long-term sequele should be considered.

Plebani M.,University of Padua | Favaloro E.J.,Institute of Clinical Pathology and Medical Research ICPMR
Seminars in Thrombosis and Hemostasis | Year: 2013

The chance that errors might jeopardize the quality of testing is inherently present throughout the total testing process, especially in the preanalytical phase. In the coagulation laboratory, as well as in other areas of diagnostic testing, spurious hemolysis, icteria, and lipemia in test samples represent by far the leading diagnostic challenges. Interference in hemostasis testing due to spurious hemolysis is attributed to both analytical and biologic elements, namely high absorbance of cell-free hemoglobin at wavelengths used by optical instrumentation and release of both cytoplasmatic and plasma membrane molecules (e.g., tissue factor, proteases, phospholipids, and ADP) that can spuriously activate blood coagulation and platelets. The interference attributable to hyperbilirubinemia is mostly due to spectral overlap, whereas that of hypertriglyceridemia mainly reflects elements of light scatter and volume displacement as well as direct interference of lipid particles with hemostasis. In practical terms, spurious hemolysis reflects a more generalized process of endothelial and blood cell damage, so that test results on spuriously hemolyzed specimens should be systematically suppressed. The bias attributable to hyperbilirubinemia is less significant using modern coagulometers equipped with dedicated wavelengths (i.e., with readings at 650 nm or above), so that test results in samples with a bilirubin concentration up to 20 mg/dL can still be analytically reliable. The interference observed in lipemic samples is most evident with readings using wavelengths lower than 500 nm and can hence be prevented with readings at 650 nm or above, and/or using higher dilutions of the test sample, or can be abated in high hypertriglyceridemic specimens (i.e., > 1,000 mg/dL) using high speed microcentrifugation or lipid extraction with organic solvents such as fluorine-chlorinated hydrocarbon, or lipid-clearing agents such as LipoClear (StatSpin Inc., Norwood, MA) and n-hexane. Copyright © 2013 by Thieme Medical Publishers, Inc.

Salvi M.,University of Padua
Current Protein and Peptide Science | Year: 2013

Receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs) are cell surface receptors that transmit extracellular signals to the interior of the cell activating multiple signaling cascades: the binding of specific extracellular ligands activates RTKs which act as a scaffold at plasma membrane level for the recruitment and activation of several signaling molecules. A paradigm shift emerged when an alternative direct signaling pathway was discovered: RTKs may move from cell surface to nucleus where they transduce the signals in a direct way. More recently, evidence has accumulated that RTKs may also translocate to mitochondria and regulate their functions, i.e., by altering tyrosine phosphorylation of specific mitochondrial proteins. This latter emerging pathway is here reviewed and discussed. © 2013 Bentham Science Publishers.

Giusto S.,University of Padua | Giusto S.,National Institute of Nuclear Physics, Italy | Russo R.,Queen Mary, University of London
Nuclear Physics B | Year: 2013

We study a particular class of D-brane bound states in type IIB string theory (dubbed "superstrata") that describe microstates of the 5D Strominger-Vafa black hole. By using the microscopic description in terms of open strings we probe these configurations with generic light closed string states and from there we obtain a linearized solution of six-dimensional supergravity preserving four supersymmetries. We then discuss two generalizations of the solution obtained which capture different types of non-linear corrections. By using this construction, we can provide the first explicit example of a superstratum solution which includes the effects of the KK-monopole dipole charge to first order. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.

An unusual case report to stress the complexity of development of identity and intimacy in people with bladder exstrophy. The psychosocial support seems to play a fundamental role to promote self-esteem of abdominal scarring and altered genital appearance. © 2015 Elsevier Inc.

De Marchi M.,University of Padua
Meat Science | Year: 2013

The aim of this study was to test the ability of visible-near infrared (Vis-NIR) reflectance spectroscopy to predict beef quality traits in the slaughterhouse by directly applying a fiber-optic probe on the carcass surface. Carcasses from 230 young bulls and heifers slaughtered in two commercial abattoirs were included in the experiment. Vis-NIR spectra were recorded on an exposed surface of M. gracilis in the abattoirs 4 to 6 and 14 to 16. h post mortem. Traits evaluated were pH, color indexes (L*, a*, b*, H, and SI), cooking loss, and Warner-Bratzler shear force. Prediction models were satisfactory for pH and color indexes, and promising for cooking loss but not for Warner-Bratzler shear force. Results of this work show that Vis-NIR spectroscopy may be a useful tool for on-line prediction of some physical beef quality traits when applied directly on the carcass surface. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

Berto F.,University of Padua | Ayatollahi M.R.,Iran University of Science and Technology
Materials and Design | Year: 2011

The main purpose of this research is to re-analyse experimental results of fracture loads from blunt V-notched samples under mixed mode (I + II) loading considering different combinations of mode mixity ranging from pure modes I to II. The specimens are made of polymethyl-metacrylate (PMMA) and tested at room temperature. The suitability of fracture criterion based on the strain energy density (SED) when applied to these data is checked in the paper. Dealing with notched samples, characterized by different notch angles and notch root radii, the SED criterion used in combination with the concept of local mode I, valid in the proximity of the zone of crack nucleation, permits to provide a simple approximate but accurate equation for the SED in the control volume. This proposal unifies predictions for the experimental results obtained under modes I, II and mixed mode loading. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd.

Manfredini D.,University of Padua
Journal of orofacial pain | Year: 2012

To estimate the contribution of various occlusal features of the natural dentition that may identify self-reported bruxers compared to nonbruxers. Two age- and sex-matched groups of self-reported bruxers (n = 67) and self-reported nonbruxers (n = 75) took part in the study. For each patient, the following occlusal features were clinically assessed: retruded contact position (RCP) to intercuspal contact position (ICP) slide length (< 2 mm was considered normal), vertical overlap (< 0 mm was considered an anterior open bite; > 4 mm, a deep bite), horizontal overlap (> 4 mm was considered a large horizontal overlap), incisor dental midline discrepancy (< 2 mm was considered normal), and the presence of a unilateral posterior crossbite, mediotrusive interferences, and laterotrusive interferences. A multiple logistic regression model was used to identify the significant associations between the assessed occlusal features (independent variables) and self-reported bruxism (dependent variable). Accuracy values to predict self-reported bruxism were unacceptable for all occlusal variables. The only variable remaining in the final regression model was laterotrusive interferences (P = .030). The percentage of explained variance for bruxism by the final multiple regression model was 4.6%. This model including only one occlusal factor showed low positive (58.1%) and negative predictive values (59.7%), thus showing a poor accuracy to predict the presence of self-reported bruxism (59.2%). This investigation suggested that the contribution of occlusion to the differentiation between bruxers and nonbruxers is negligible. This finding supports theories that advocate a much diminished role for peripheral anatomical-structural factors in the pathogenesis of bruxism.

Fabris F.,University of Venice | Zonta C.,University of Padua | Borsato G.,University of Venice | De Lucchi O.,University of Venice
Accounts of Chemical Research | Year: 2011

The formal annulation of three bicylic olefins yields a class of molecules termed benzocyclotrimers (BCTs), which have unusual electronic properties. The bonds in the central aromatic ring, for example, alternate in length: rather than resembling a substituted benzene, a BCT instead evokes comparison to a cyclohexatriene.Forty years have passed since the synthesis of heptiptycene, the first BCT, was reported. In the interim, many methods have been developed for preparing tris-bicycloannulated benzenes. More than thirty different BCTs have so far been reported, with a variety of morphological features and properties. Over the same period, yields have increased from just a few percent to almost quantitative conversion. This improvement in synthetic access has expanded interest beyond the original theoretical considerations (bond-length fixation in aromatics) to functional applications (supramolecular scaffolds). In this Account, we describe the evolution of synthetic approaches to BCTs and their derivatives, as well as the applications that are now being explored for these compounds.Early syntheses of BCTs involved chloroolefins treated with butyl lithium. A strained alkyne intermediate was postulated early on, and was indeed trapped in 1981. Subsequent efforts have focused on improving chemoselectivity by mitigating the drastic conditions required for the generation of the alkyne intermediate. Our introduction of Cu(I) to induce lithium-copper exchange was successful in this regard. Further improvement resulted from the use of bicylic bromo(trimethylstannyl)olefins. In an effort to avoid the toxicity of the tin reagents, the Heck reaction and Pd catalysis have been pursued for cyclotrimerizing bicylic bromo- and iodoolefins.Depending on the symmetry of the starting bicylic olefin, two diastereomers can be obtained in the preparation of a BCT: a syn compound with C3 symmetry and an anti compound with Cs symmetry. Studying the diastereomeric outcome in a variety of synthetic approaches has yielded valuable insight into the cyclotrimerization reaction. Moreover, highly symmetric compounds, such as a D3- symmetric trindane and C3v-symmetric sumanene, have been prepared as BCT derivatives.The structure of BCTs offers a versatile three-dimensional scaffold for studying molecular recognition. Like calixarenes, BCTs form complexes with a variety of guest molecules. Recent developments include the trapping of gases in a hydrogen-bonded dimer and the encapsulation of larger molecules within a covalently linked condensation derivative. Future innovations in this fertile research area will likely include highly functionalized curved aromatics, receptors, and sensors. © 2011 American Chemical Society.

Mathew R.,University of New South Wales | Taubman D.,University of New South Wales | Zanuttigh P.,University of Padua
IEEE Transactions on Image Processing | Year: 2013

Recent work on depth map compression has revealed the importance of incorporating a description of discontinuity boundary geometry into the compression scheme. We propose a novel compression strategy for depth maps that incorporates geometry information while achieving the goals of scalability and embedded representation. Our scheme involves two separate image pyramid structures, one for breakpoints and the other for sub-band samples produced by a breakpoint-adaptive transform. Breakpoints capture geometric attributes, and are amenable to scalable coding. We develop a rate-distortion optimization framework for determining the presence and precision of breakpoints in the pyramid representation. We employ a variation of the EBCOT scheme to produce embedded bit-streams for both the breakpoint and sub-band data. Compared to JPEG 2000, our proposed scheme enables the same the scalability features while achieving substantially improved rate-distortion performance at the higher bit-rate range and comparable performance at the lower rates. © 1992-2012 IEEE.

Rossetto F.,Institute of Communications and Navigation | Zorzi M.,University of Padua
IEEE Transactions on Signal Processing | Year: 2012

In physical layer network coding, it has been argued that performance improvements of a few dBs can be achieved by decoding a linear combination of colliding frames at an intermediate relay. The best results have been achieved by directly decoding the necessary linear combination rather than decoding each of the colliding packets, but so far only rather impractical architectures have been proposed. We explore in this paper a more pragmatic approach, where some important problems have been solved. We show by simulation that the proposed system is able to outperform analog network coding, the only other known practical architecture in this area so far, with substantial gains especially when noise amplification at the relay can be particularly detrimental, for instance when spatial diversity is available or large networks are analyzed. © 2012 IEEE.

Garcia F.S.,University of Campinas | Pomilio J.A.,University of Campinas | Spiazzi G.,University of Padua
IEEE Transactions on Industrial Electronics | Year: 2013

The interleaved double dual boost (IDDB) is a non-isolated step-up dc-dc converter capable of high voltage gain and suitable to high-power applications. In this paper, the modeling and control design of this converter, valid for an arbitrary number of phases, is presented. The developed approach is then applied to a six-phase IDDB, and experimental results are obtained with a prototype operating with an input voltage of 60 V, an output voltage of 360 V, and with a nominal output power of 2.2 kW. The applications of this converter include electrical vehicles and renewable energy conversion. © 1982-2012 IEEE.

Nestola F.,University of Padua
Rendiconti Lincei | Year: 2015

Diamond research plays a key role in earth sciences, as this “special” material is the only one which is able to carry to the surface mineral fragments from the depths of the Earth. This allows us to investigate “almost” directly the deepest regions of our planet, which could not be investigated using other approaches. However, although diamond is one of the most studied materials in geology, we do not yet, with satisfying precision, know at which depth it forms and which really are the diamond–inclusion relationships in terms of syngenesis (diamond and inclusions grew at the same time and in contact) or protogenesis (the inclusion is just a pre-existing material on which diamond nucleated). Both these crucial questions can be “faced” using crystallography, whereas so far diamond has mainly “belonged” to the kingdom of petrology and geochemistry. The use of a combined approach among petrology, crystallography, geochemistry and mineral physics can provide really new inputs to solve the two important questions discussed above. Here, I show how important crystallography and crystallographic methods could be in studying diamonds and their mineral inclusions, opening totally new scenarios in studying the evolution of our complex planet. © 2015, Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei.

Pupilli F.,CNR Institute of Plant Genetics | Barcaccia G.,University of Padua
Journal of Biotechnology | Year: 2012

Apomixis is desirable in agriculture as a reproductive strategy for cloning plants by seeds. Because embryos derive from the parthenogenic development of apomeiotic egg cells, apomixis excludes fertilization in addition to meiotic segregation and recombination, resulting in offspring that are exact replicas of the parent. Introgression of apomixis from wild relatives to crop species and transformation of sexual genotypes into apomictically reproducing ones are long-held goals of plant breeding. In fact, it is generally accepted that the introduction of apomixis into agronomically important crops will have revolutionary implications for agriculture. This review deals with the current genetic and molecular findings that have been collected from model species to elucidate the mechanisms of apomeiosis, parthenogenesis and apomixis as a whole. Our goal is to critically determine whether biotechnology can combine key genes known to control the expression of the processes miming the main components of apomixis in plants. Two natural apomicts, as the eudicot . Hypericum perforatum L. (St. John's wort) and the monocot . Paspalum spp. (crowngrass), and the sexual model species . Arabidopsis thaliana are ideally suited for such investigations at the genomic and biotechnological levels. Some novel views and original concepts have been faced on this review, including (i) the parallel between Y-chromosome and apomixis-bearing chromosome (. e.g., comparative genomic analyses revealed common features as repression of recombination events, accumulation of transposable elements and degeneration of genes) from the most primitive (. Hypericum-type) to the most advanced (. Paspalum-type) in evolutionary terms, and (ii) the link between apomixis and gene-specific silencing mechanisms (. i.e., likely based on chromatin remodelling factors), with merging lines of evidence regarding the role of auxin in cell fate specification of embryo sac and egg cell development in . Arabidopsis. The production of engineered plants exhibiting apomictic-like phenotypes is critically reviewed and discussed. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.

Dehnie S.,BAE Systems | Tomasin S.,University of Padua
IEEE Transactions on Wireless Communications | Year: 2010

CoopMAC has been recently proposed as a possible implementation of cooperation protocols in the medium access control (MAC) layer of a wireless network. However, some nodes may refrain from cooperation for selfish purposes, e.g. in order to save energy, in what is called selfish behavior or misbehavior. This protocol violation worsens other nodes' performance and can be avoided if other nodes detect and punish (e.g. banning from the network) misbehaving nodes. However, fading and interference may prevent nodes from cooperating even if they are willing, therefore it is not trivial to identify misbehaving nodes. In a fading scenario where an automatic repeat request (ARQ) protocol is used, we propose a mechanism that allows to detect misbehaving nodes. Two approaches, either based on the uniformly most powerful (UMP) test or on the sequential probability ratio test (SPRT) are considered. The two techniques are characterized and compared in terms of their average detection delay and resulting network performance. © 2006 IEEE.

Gasparini C.,University of Padua
Proceedings. Biological sciences / The Royal Society | Year: 2013

Recent theory predicts that in species where females tend to mate with the relatively most ornamented males, males may increase their attractiveness to females, and hence mating success, by preferentially associating with females that are surrounded by less ornamented competitors. Despite this prediction, we still lack explicit experimental evidence that males strategically prefer females surrounded by less attractive competitors to maximize their relative attractiveness. In this paper, we provide a comprehensive test of this hypothesis in the guppy (Poecilia reticulata), a species where a female's perception of a male's attractiveness depends on his coloration relative to that of surrounding males. We found that males preferentially associated with females that were surrounded by relatively drab competitors, and that the strength of an individual male's preference was negatively correlated with his level of ornamentation. A series of control experiments made it possible to exclude the potentially confounding effects of male-male competition or social motivations when drawing these conclusions. The ability of males to choose social context to increase their relative attractiveness has important evolutionary consequences, for example, by contributing towards the maintenance of variability in male sexual ornamentation despite the strong directional selection exerted by female preferences.

Marzari F.,University of Padua
Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society | Year: 2014

The dynamics of systems of two and three planets, initially placed on circular and nearly coplanar orbits, is explored in the proximity of their stability limit. The evolution of a large number of systems is numerically computed and their dynamical behaviour is investigated with the frequency map analysis as chaos indicator. Following the guidance of this analysis, it is found that for two-planet systems the dependence of the Hill limit on the planet mass, usually made explicit through Hill's radius parametrization, does not appear to be fully adequate. In addition, frequent cases of stable chaos are found in the proximity of the Hill limit. For threeplanet systems, the usual approach adopted in numerical explorations of their stability, where the planets are initially separated by multiples of the mutual Hill radius, appears too reducing. A detailed sampling of the parameter space reveals that systems with more packed inner planets are stable well within previous estimates of the stability limit. This suggests that a twodimensional approach is needed to outline when three-planet systems are dynamically stable. © 2014 The Author. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society.

The 183W NMR spectra of the lacunary Keggin polyoxotungstate [PW 11O 39] 7- feature noticeable differences according to the counterion (Li or Na). Such differences are modeled by ion pairs where the lacuna is occupied by a Li(H 2O) + or Na(H 2O) + group through relativistic DFT calculation of the tungsten chemical shifts. © 2011 Académie des sciences.

Russo F.P.,University of Padua | Parola M.,University of Turin
Best Practice and Research: Clinical Gastroenterology | Year: 2012

Orthotopic liver transplantation (OLT) represents the only reliable therapeutic approach for acute liver failure (ALF), liver failure associated to end-stage chronic liver diseases (CLD) and non-metastatic liver cancer. The clinical impact of liver failure is relevant because of the still high ALF mortality and the increasing worldwide prevalence of cirrhosis that, in turn, is the main predisposing cause for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Moreover, in the next decade because an increased number of patients reaching end-stage disease and requiring OLT may face a shortage of donor livers. This clinical scenario led several laboratories to explore the feasibility and efficiency of alternative approaches, involving cellular therapy, to counteract liver failure. The present chapter overviews results and concepts emerged from recent experimental and clinical studies in which adult or embryonic hepatocytes, hepatic stem/progenitor cells, induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells as well as extrahepatic stem cells have been used as putative transplantable cell sources. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Polymers are ubiquitous in everyday life, so it is very likely that they may be encountered on a crime scene as well. In order to exploit to the fullest extent the amount of information that these items contain, it is necessary to properly characterise them. The state of the art and the most recent advances in the forensic characterisation of polymeric items are presented. The qualitative and quantitative determination of the formulation is discussed, along with more innovative approaches, that focus on the features directly related to the macromolecular nature of such traces (molecular weight, degree of crystallinity, presence of comonomers, etc.). © 2010 The Royal Society of Chemistry.

Billio M.,University of Venice | Caporin M.,University of Padua
Computational Statistics and Data Analysis | Year: 2010

To model the contemporaneous relationships among Asian and American stock markets, a simultaneous equation system with GARCH errors is introduced. In the estimated residuals, the correlation matrix is analyzed over rolling windows and using a correlation matrix distance, which allows a graphical analysis and the development of a statistical test of correlation movements. Furthermore, a methodology that can be used to identify turmoil periods on a data-driven basis is presented. The previous results are applied in the analysis of the contagion issue between Asian and American stock markets. The results show some evidence of contagion, and the proposed statistics identify, on a data-driven basis, turmoil periods consistent with the ones currently assumed in the literature. © 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Saccomani M.P.,University of Padua
Lecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics) | Year: 2015

The aim of this paper is to show that the two methodologies of testing identifiability of models described by nonlinear differential equations, the structural identifiability, which does not require the use experimental data and the practical non-identifiability, which is a data-based method, can be integrated in the overall identification analysis of the model. The two methodologies are compared on two much quoted biological models, one describing the Escherichia coli system, the other the dynamic behavior of the tumor-suppressor p53. © Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015.

Mucignat-Caretta C.,University of Padua
Journal of Comparative Physiology A: Neuroethology, Sensory, Neural, and Behavioral Physiology | Year: 2010

The accessory olfactory system contributes to the perception of chemical stimuli in the environment. This review summarizes the structure of the accessory olfactory system, the stimuli that activate it, and the responses elicited in the receptor cells and in the brain. The accessory olfactory system consists of a sensory organ, the vomeronasal organ, and its central projection areas: the accessory olfactory bulb, which is connected to the amygdala and hypothalamus, and also to the cortex. In the vomeronasal organ, several receptors-in contrast to the main olfactory receptors-are sensitive to volatile or nonvolatile molecules. In a similar manner to the main olfactory epithelium, the vomeronasal organ is sensitive to common odorants and pheromones. Each accessory olfactory bulb receives input from the ipsilateral vomeronasal organ, but its activity is modulated by centrifugal projections arising from other brain areas. The processing of vomeronasal stimuli in the amygdala involves contributions from the main olfactory system, and results in long-lasting responses that may be related to the activation of the hypothalamic-hypophyseal axis over a prolonged timeframe. Different brain areas receive inputs from both the main and the accessory olfactory systems, possibly merging the stimulation of the two sensory organs to originate a more complex and integrated chemosensory perception. © 2010 Springer-Verlag.

Ghermandi A.,Haifa University | Nunes P.A.L.D.,Marine Economics Research Programme | Nunes P.A.L.D.,University of Padua
Ecological Economics | Year: 2013

This paper examines the welfare dimension of the recreational services of coastal ecosystems. First, we construct a global database of primary valuation studies that focus on recreational benefits of coastal ecosystems. Second, the profile of each of the 253 individual observations is enriched with characteristics of the built coastal environment (accessibility, anthropogenic pressure, human development level), natural coastal environment (presence of protected area, ecosystem type, marine biodiversity), geo-climatic factors (temperature, precipitation), and sociopolitical context. We then propose a meta-analytical framework that is built upon a Geographic Information System (GIS) and allow for the exploration of the spatial dimension of the valued ecosystems, including the role of spatial heterogeneity of the selected meta-regression variables as well as the spatial profile of the transferred values. The empirical outcome results in the first global map of the values of coastal recreation, which may play a crucial role in identifying and ranking coastal area conservation priorities from a socio-economic perspective. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.

Boano F.,Polytechnic University of Turin | Harvey J.W.,U.S. Geological Survey | Marion A.,University of Padua | Packman A.I.,Northwestern University | And 3 more authors.
Reviews of Geophysics | Year: 2014

Fifty years of hyporheic zone research have shown the important role played by the hyporheic zone as an interface between groundwater and surface waters. However, it is only in the last two decades that what began as an empirical science has become a mechanistic science devoted to modeling studies of the complex fluid dynamical and biogeochemical mechanisms occurring in the hyporheic zone. These efforts have led to the picture of surface-subsurface water interactions as regulators of the form and function of fluvial ecosystems. Rather than being isolated systems, surface water bodies continuously interact with the subsurface. Exploration of hyporheic zone processes has led to a new appreciation of their wide reaching consequences for water quality and stream ecology. Modern research aims toward a unified approach, in which processes occurring in the hyporheic zone are key elements for the appreciation, management, and restoration of the whole river environment. In this unifying context, this review summarizes results from modeling studies and field observations about flow and transport processes in the hyporheic zone and describes the theories proposed in hydrology and fluid dynamics developed to quantitatively model and predict the hyporheic transport of water, heat, and dissolved and suspended compounds from sediment grain scale up to the watershed scale. The implications of these processes for stream biogeochemistry and ecology are also discussed. ©2014. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

Rubini A.,University of Padua
Respiratory Physiology and Neurobiology | Year: 2011

The temperature dependence of airway smooth muscle cells and alveolar surfactant activity, and of the elastin stress-strain relationship, suggests that body warming may affect respiratory mechanics in vivo, a possibility that has not yet been investigated. To examine this hypothesis, healthy rats were studied using the end-inflation occlusion method under control conditions and after an infrared lamp was used for body warming. Hysteresis areas, the inspiratory work of breathing, and its elastic and resistive components were also calculated. After body warming, static and dynamic elastance, ohmic airway resistance, mean value of hysteresis, the inspiratory work of breathing, and additional resistance due to pendelluft and stress relaxation were all decreased. These data suggest that body warming reduces the inspiratory work of breathing by improving the elastic and resistive mechanical properties of airways. This effect is evident even for limited temperature variations suggesting that it may occur in the event of spontaneous pathological conditions, such as fever. © 2010 Elsevier B.V.

Prins L.J.,University of Padua
Accounts of Chemical Research | Year: 2015

Conspectus In many origin-of-life scenarios, inorganic materials, such as FeS or mineral clays, play an important role owing to their ability to concentrate and select small organic molecules on their surface and facilitate their chemical transformations into new molecules. However, considering that life is made up of organic matter, at a certain stage during the evolution the role of the inorganic material must have been taken over by organic molecules. How this exactly happened is unclear, and, indeed, a big gap separates the rudimentary level of organization involving inorganic materials and the complex organization of cells, which are the building blocks of life.Over the past years, we have extensively studied the interaction of small molecules with monolayer-protected gold nanoparticles (Au NPs) for the purpose of developing innovative sensing and catalytic systems. During the course of these studies, we realized that the functional role of this system is very similar to that typically attributed to inorganic surfaces in the early stages of life, with the important being difference that the functional properties (molecular recognition, catalysis, signaling, adaptation) originate entirely from the organic monolayer rather than the inorganic support. This led us to the proposition that this system may serve as a model that illustrates how the important role of inorganic surfaces in dictating chemical processes in the early stages of life may have been taken over by organic matter. Here, we reframe our previously obtained results in the context of the origin-of-life question.The following functional roles of Au NPs will be discussed: the ability to concentrate small molecules and create different local populations, the ability to catalyze the chemical transformation of bound molecules, and, finally, the ability to install rudimentary signaling pathways and display primitive adaptive behavior. In particular, we will show that many of the functional properties of the system originate from two features: the presence of metal ions that are complexed in the organic monolayer and the multivalent nature of the system. Complexed metal ions play an important role in determining the affinity and selectivity of the interaction with small molecules, but serve also as regulatory elements for determining how many molecules are bound simultaneously. Importantly, neighboring metal ion complexes also create catalytic pockets in which two metal ions cooperatively catalyze the cleavage of an RNA-model compound. The multivalent nature of the system permits multiple noncovalent interactions with small molecules that enhances the affinity, but is also at the basis of simple signal transduction pathways and adaptive behavior. © 2015 American Chemical Society.

Giunti C.,National Institute of Nuclear Physics, Italy | Laveder M.,University of Padua | Li Y.F.,CAS Institute of High Energy Physics | Long H.W.,Anhui University of Science and Technology
Physical Review D - Particles, Fields, Gravitation and Cosmology | Year: 2013

We present the results of global analyses of short-baseline neutrino oscillation data in 3+1, 3+2 and 3+1+1 neutrino mixing schemes. We show that the data do not allow us to abandon the simplest 3+1 scheme in favor of the more complex 3+2 and 3+1+1 schemes. We present the allowed region in the 3+1 parameter space, which is located at Δm412 between 0.82 and 2.19 eV2 at 3σ. The case of no oscillations is disfavored by about 6σ, which decreases dramatically to about 2σ if the Liquid Scintillating Neutrino Detector (LSND) data are not considered. Hence, new high-precision experiments are needed to check the LSND signal. © 2013 American Physical Society.

Sartori L.,University of Padua
Journal of visualized experiments : JoVE | Year: 2013

This study used the transcranial magnetic stimulation/motor evoked potential (TMS/MEP) technique to pinpoint when the automatic tendency to mirror someone else's action becomes anticipatory simulation of a complementary act. TMS was delivered to the left primary motor cortex corresponding to the hand to induce the highest level of MEP activity from the abductor digiti minimi (ADM; the muscle serving little finger abduction) as well as the first dorsal interosseus (FDI; the muscle serving index finger flexion/extension) muscles. A neuronavigation system was used to maintain the position of the TMS coil, and electromyographic (EMG) activity was recorded from the right ADM and FDI muscles. Producing original data with regard to motor resonance, the combined TMS/MEP technique has taken research on the perception-action coupling mechanism a step further. Specifically, it has answered the questions of how and when observing another person's actions produces motor facilitation in an onlooker's corresponding muscles and in what way corticospinal excitability is modulated in social contexts.

Arni K.,University of Iceland | Campana G.,University of Padua
Attention, Perception, and Psychophysics | Year: 2010

What we have recently seen and attended to strongly influences how we subsequently allocate visual attention. A clear example is how repeated presentation of an object's features or location in visual search tasks facilitates subsequent detection or identification of that item, a phenomenon known as priming. Here, we review a large body of results from priming studies that suggest that a short-term implicit memory system guides our attention to recently viewed items. The nature of this memory system and the processing level at which visual priming occurs are still debated. Priming might be due to activity modulations of low-level areas coding simple stimulus characteristics or to higher level episodic memory representations of whole objects or visual scenes. Indeed, recent evidence indicates that only minor changes to the stimuli used in priming studies may alter the processing level at which priming occurs. We also review recent behavioral, neuropsychological, and neurophysiological evidence that indicates that the priming patterns are reflected in activity modulations at multiple sites along the visual pathways. We furthermore suggest that studies of priming in visual search may potentially shed important light on the nature of cortical visual representations. Our conclusion is that priming occurs at many different levels of the perceptual hierarchy, reflecting activity modulations ranging from lower to higher levels, depending on the stimulus, task, and context-in fact, the neural loci that are involved in the analysis of the stimuli for which priming effects are seen. © 2010 The Psychonomic Society, Inc.

Riva F.,University of Padua
Physics Letters, Section B: Nuclear, Elementary Particle and High-Energy Physics | Year: 2010

We propose a new mechanism for leptogenesis, which is naturally realized in models with a flavor symmetry based on the discrete group A 4, where the symmetry breaking parameter also controls the Majorana masses for the heavy right-handed (RH) neutrinos. During the early universe, for T ≳ TeV, part of the symmetry is restored, due to finite temperature contributions, and the RH neutrinos remain massless and can be produced in thermal equilibrium even at temperatures well below the most conservative gravitino bounds. Below this temperature the phase transition occurs and they become massive, decaying out of equilibrium and producing the necessary lepton asymmetry. Unless the symmetry is broken explicitly by Planck-suppressed terms, the domain walls generated by the symmetry breaking survive till the quark-hadron phase transition, where they disappear due to a small energy splitting between the A 4 vacua caused by the QCD anomaly. © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Lazzarin R.M.,University of Padua
International Journal of Refrigeration | Year: 2014

Many technologies are available to produce solar cooling. The most widespread options are solar thermal driven sorption and photovoltaic driven compression chillers. Sorption chillers can be single or double effect LiBr-H2O water cooled or H2O-NH3 air cooled. The requested temperatures are respectively around 90 °C for the first engine and 160 °C for the other two. The solar section can be realised with flat plate or evacuated tube collectors at a fixed tilt or parabolic trough collectors with a tracking system. The possible solar cooling systems are evaluated during a sunny day and compared with the PV driven system first with respect to the overall system efficiency. Finally the comparison regards also the investment cost for the various systems. Whereas in the past the PV driven system was considered too expensive with respect to the solar thermal, now it is quite comparable above all if the systems are air cooled. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd and IIR. All rights reserved.

Erseghe T.,University of Padua
IEEE Signal Processing Letters | Year: 2012

The alternating direction multiplier method (ADMM) was originally devised as an iterative method for solving convex minimization problems by means of parallelization, and was recently used for distributed processing. This letter proposes a modification of state-of-the-art ADMM formulations in order to obtain a scalable version, well suited for a wide range of applications such as cooperative localization and smart grid optimizations. The resulting algorithm is distributed and scalable, it assures fast convergence speed and robustness to errors. Its performance is tested with an application example based upon cooperative localization. © 2012 IEEE.

Boldrin F.,University of Padua
Nucleic acids research | Year: 2010

Tightly regulated gene expression systems represent invaluable tools for studying gene function and for the validation of drug targets in bacteria. While several regulated bacterial promoters have been characterized, few of them have been successfully used in mycobacteria. In this article we describe the development of a novel repressible promoter system effective in both fast- and slow-growing mycobacteria based on two chromosomally encoded repressors, dependent on tetracycline (TetR) and pristinamycin (Pip), respectively. This uniqueness results in high versatility and stringency. Using this method we were able to obtain an ftsZ conditional mutant in Mycobacterium smegmatis and a fadD32 conditional mutant in Mycobacterium tuberculosis, confirming their essentiality for bacterial growth in vitro. This repressible promoter system could also be exploited to regulate gene expression during M. tuberculosis intracellular growth.

Friso D.,University of Padua
Applied Mathematical Sciences | Year: 2015

A new mathematical procedure was developed to correlate g (the difference between the retort and the coldest point temperatures in canned food at the end of the heating process), fh/U (the ratio of the heating rate index to the sterilizing value), z (the temperature change required for the thermal destruction curve to traverse one log cycle) and Jcc (the cooling lag factor). These are the four heat penetration parameters of 57 Stumbo's tables (18,513 datasets) in canned food. The quantities fh/U, z and Jcc are input variables to determine the g values, which is used in Ball's formula to calculate the heating process time B at constant retort temperature. The new procedure was based on three equations; the first was obtained by the inversion of the function that expresses the process lethality, F, and hence the fh/U parameter. However, the inversion was possible for a sub-domain of the function. The inverse function g = g(fh/U, z, Jcc ) was then extended to the entire domain (10°C ≤ z ≤111°C , fh/U ≥ 0.3 and 0.4 ≤ Jcc ≤ 2 ) using two polynomials (second and third equation) obtained with articulated multiple regressions starting from the Stumbo's datasets. A comparison between the calculated value of g and desired Stumbo's values of g provided the following values: a determination coefficient R2=0.9999, a mean relative error MRE=0.85±0.91% and a mean absolute error MAE=0.06°±0.09°C (0.11°±0.16°F). The results obtained by applying the mathematical procedure of this work, namely the g values using the three equations and the process time B using Ball's formula, closely followed the process time calculated from tabulated Stumbo's g values (root mean square of absolute errors RMS=0.393 min, average absolute error=0.259 min with a standard deviation SD=0.296 min). The high accuracy and simplicity of the procedure proposed here, make it useful in the development of mathematical algorithms for calculating and controlling, by computer, of food thermal processes. These algorithms replace the 57 look-up tables and 18,513 data sets needed in the Stumbo formula method. As such, this work offers a computerized formula method as an alternative to existing computerized numerical methods for this purpose. © 2014 Dario Friso.

Gunduz D.,Imperial College London | Stamatiou K.,Catalonia Technology Center of Telecomunications | Michelusi N.,University of Southern California | Zorzi M.,University of Padua
IEEE Communications Magazine | Year: 2014

From being a scientific curiosity only a few years ago, energy harvesting (EH) is well on its way to becoming a game-changing technology in the field of autonomous wireless networked systems. The promise of long-term, uninterrupted and self-sustainable operation in a diverse array of applications has captured the interest of academia and industry alike. Yet the road to the ultimate network of perpetual communicating devices is plagued with potholes: ambient energy is intermittent and scarce, energy storage capacity is limited, and devices are constrained in size and complexity. In dealing with these challenges, this article will cover recent developments in the design of intelligent energy management policies for EH wireless devices and discuss pressing research questions in this rapidly growing field. © 1979-2012 IEEE.

Nimis P.,University of Padua | Nimis P.,CNR Institute of Geosciences and Earth Resources | Grutter H.,BHP Billiton
Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology | Year: 2010

Mutual relationships among temperatures estimated with the most widely used geothermometers for garnet peridotites and pyroxenites demonstrate that the methods are not internally consistent and may diverge by over 200°C even in well-equilibrated mantle xenoliths. The Taylor (N Jb Min Abh 172:381-408, 1998) two-pyroxene (TA98) and the Nimis and Taylor (Contrib Mineral Petrol 139:541-554, 2000) single-clinopyroxene thermometers are shown to provide the most reliable estimates, as they reproduce the temperatures of experiments in a variety of simple and natural peridotitic systems. Discrepancies between these two thermometers are negligible in applications to a wide variety of natural samples (≤30°C). The Brey and Köhler (J Petrol 31:1353-1378, 1990) Ca-in-Opx thermometer shows good agreement with TA98 in the range 1,000-1,400°C and a positive bias at lower T (up to +90°C, on average, at T TA98 = 700°C). The popular Brey and Köhler (J Petrol 31:1353-1378, 1990) two-pyroxene thermometer performs well on clinopyroxene with Na contents of ~ 0.05 atoms per 6-oxygen formula, but shows a systematic positive bias with increasing Na Cpx (+150°C at Na Cpx = 0.25). Among Fe-Mg exchange thermometers, the Harley (Contrib Mineral Petrol 86:359-373, 1984) orthopyroxene-garnet and the recent Wu and Zhao (J Metamorphic Geol 25:497-505, 2007) olivine-garnet formulations show the highest precision, but systematically diverge (up to ca. 150°C, on average) from TA98 estimates at T far from 1,100°C and at T < 1,200°C, respectively; these systematic errors are also evident by comparison with experimental data for natural peridotite systems. The older O'Neill and Wood (Contrib Mineral Petrol 70:59-70, 1979) version of the olivine-garnet Fe-Mg thermometer and all popular versions of the clinopyroxene-garnet Fe-Mg thermometer show unacceptably low precision, with discrepancies exceeding 200°C when compared to TA98 results for well-equilibrated xenoliths. Empirical correction to the Brey and Köhler (J Petrol 31:1353-1378, 1990) Ca-in-Opx thermometer and recalibration of the orthopyroxene-garnet thermometer, using well-equilibrated mantle xenoliths and TA98 temperatures as calibrants, are provided in this study to ensure consistency with TA98 estimates in the range 700-1,400°C. Observed discrepancies between the new orthopyroxene-garnet thermometer and TA98 for some localities can be interpreted in the light of orthopyroxene-garnet Fe 3+ Partitioning systematics and suggest localized and lateral variations in mantle redox conditions, in broad agreement with existing oxybarometric data. Kinetic decoupling of Ca-Mg and Fe-Mg exchange equilibria caused by transient heating appears to be common, but not ubiquitous, near the base of the lithosphere. © Springer-Verlag 2009.

Mason M.C.,University of Udine | Paggiaro A.,University of Padua
Tourism Management | Year: 2012

This paper analyses the importance of festivalscapes in determining emotions, satisfaction and future behavior of participants at food and wine events. The study applies a structural equation model (SEM) with latent variables to survey responses of visitors to the " Friuli DOC" Italian festival. The main results are that festivalscape and emotions have significant direct effects on satisfaction, which in turn has a significant effect on behavioral intention. The effects of the festivalscape on visitors' future behavior are only indirect and mediated by satisfaction. Thus, in order to enhance their visitors' behavioral intentions, festival organizers should monitor emotions and satisfaction deriving from the subjective perception of exogenous characteristics as food and wine quality, comfort and entertainment. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.

Palatini P.,University of Padua
Current Hypertension Reports | Year: 2013

Resting heart rate is a well recognized marker of autonomic nervous system tone, and in many population studies has been found to be a significant correlate of blood pressure, increased body mass index, and metabolic disturbances. This association is particularly striking in patients with hypertension or diabetes, and cardiovascular morbidity related to high heart rate in these conditions seems to depend mainly on the clustering of these risk factors. The prospective relationship between tachycardia and metabolic abnormalities found in longitudinal studies indicates that the adrenergic overdrive is the cause rather than the consequence of the insulin resistance state. Findings from observational studies and clinical trials have shown that heart rate measured during the follow-up provides prognostic information over and above heart rate measured at baseline, whereas the predictive value of heart rate measured out of the office is still debated. Antihypertensive drugs that decrease blood pressure and heart rate through a reduction of the sympathetic outflow may be more beneficial in clinical situations characterized by heightened sympathetic activity associated to insulin resistance. © 2013 Springer Science+Business Media New York.

De Angelis F.,University of Perugia | Armelao L.,University of Padua
Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics | Year: 2011

We report on the first principles computational modeling of the electronic and optical properties of ZnO nanosystems. 1D, 2D and 3D ZnO nanostructures with different characteristic size are examined and their lowest optical transition energies are calculated by hybrid TDDFT to investigate the effect of quantum confinement on the optical properties of the systems. For a realistic 3D nanoparticle model we evaluate the influence of oxygen vacancies, including relaxation of the excited states, on the photoluminescence process. The results are in quantitative agreement with experimental data, indicating that neutral oxygen vacancies are likely at the origin of green emission in the ZnO nanostructure. The calculated emission process corresponds to radiative decay from a long-living triplet state, in agreement with the experimental evidence of ∼μs emission lifetime and with the results of optically detected magnetic resonance experiments. © the Owner Societies 2011.

Guseo R.,University of Padua
Energy Policy | Year: 2011

Crude oil, natural gas liquids, heavy oils, deepwater oils, and polar oils are non-renewable energy resources with increasing extraction costs. Two major definitions emerge: regular or 'cheap' oil and non-conventional or 'heavy' oil. Peaking time in conventional oil production has been a recent focus of debate. For two decades, non-conventional oils have been mixed with regular crude oil. Peaking time estimation and the rate at which production may be expected to decline, following the peak, are more difficult to determine. We propose a two-wave model for world oil production pattern and forecasting, based on the diffusion of innovation theories: a sequential multi-Bass model. Historical well-known shocks are confirmed, and new peaking times for crude oil and mixed oil are determined with corresponding depletion rates. In the final section, possible ties between the dynamics of oil extraction and refining capacities are discussed as a predictive symptom of an imminent mixed oil peak in 2016. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.

Macor A.,University of Padua | Avella F.,Stazione Sperimentale per i Combustibili | Faedo D.,Stazione Sperimentale per i Combustibili
Applied Energy | Year: 2011

Two Euro 3 commercial trucks fuelled with a 30% v/v biodiesel/diesel fuel blend (B30) and pure diesel fuel were tested in laboratory under the standard driving conditions (UDC and EUDC driving cycles) and the CADC " URBAN" test cycle, in order to evaluate the fuel consumption, regulated (CO, HC, NO. x, PM) and unregulated emissions (aldehydes and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons).After substitution of diesel fuel with B30 the following results were observed.The fuel economy increased proportionally to the deficit of the fuel heating value; so the average efficiency of the engine can be considered almost unchanged.In partial disagreement with the literature data, CO and HC emissions showed a slight increase, whereas NO. x emissions did not vary. It must be noted that these variations did not pass the statistical significance test.On the contrary, PM, soot fraction and particle number showed a significant reduction; furthermore, nearly 90% of the emitted particles had an aerodynamic diameter less than 0.1 μm.The formaldehyde emission markedly increased for both vehicles, whereas acetaldehyde emissions showed ambiguous trends. Since the remaining aldehydes were under the instrumental detection limit, the ozone formation potential analysis with B30 showed a raise almost proportional to the formaldehyde emission increase.Moreover the lightest and most abundant PAHs species (3-4 benzene rings) showed high increases even if to different extent for the two vehicles. The species with 4-5 rings (such as benzo(a)pyrene) showed a net reduction, often under the instrumental limit. Finally, the carcinogenic risk evaluation of PAHs exhibited a clear toxicity reduction, specially in the cold start cycle, when the catalytic converter's efficiency was not fully reached. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.

Longo G.A.,University of Padua
International Journal of Refrigeration | Year: 2012

This paper presents the experimental heat transfer coefficients and pressure drop measured during vaporisation of the new low Global Warming Potential (GWP) refrigerant HFO1234yf inside a Brazed Plate Heat Exchanger (BPHE): the effects of heat flux, mass flux, saturation temperature (pressure) and outlet conditions are investigated. The heat transfer coefficients show great sensitivity to heat flux and outlet conditions and weak sensitivity to saturation temperature (pressure). The frictional pressure drop shows a linear dependence on the kinetic energy per unit volume of the refrigerant flow and therefore a quadratic dependence on refrigerant mass flux. The saturated boiling experimental heat transfer coefficients are reproduced by two well-known equations for nucleate boiling, Cooper (1984) and Gorenflo (1993), with reasonable agreement. The heat transfer and pressure drop measurements are complemented with IR thermography analysis in order to quantify the portion of the heat transfer surface affected by vapour super-heating. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd and IIR. All rights reserved.

Valentini L.,University of Padua
Journal of Applied Crystallography | Year: 2013

The MATLAB program RieCalc, developed for the quantitative phase analysis of hydrating cement pastes, is presented. Rietveld refined data obtained from in situ X-ray diffraction measurements are used as input and loaded by means of a simple graphical user interface. Time-resolved phase fractions are rescaled by a mass balance method, which calculates the amounts of amorphous phases (calcium silicate hydrate and capillary water) present in the system. Furthermore, RieCalc calculates theoretical curves that simulate those obtained from isothermal calorimetry measurements. © 2013 International Union of Crystallography Printed in Singapore - all rights reserved.

This paper focuses on Holocene deposits of the Firenze alluvial plain (Northern Apennines, Italy) and deals with the sedimentary features of chute channels draining the down-river edges of the meander neck formed by 70 to 100m wide and 1 to 1·5m deep sinuous channels. Two main types of chute channels have been recognized. Type 1 is represented by 3 to 6m wide and 0·5 to 1m deep straight channels filled with mud aggregates overlying a basal gravel lag made of reworked caliches. These channels drained the point bar top during floods, and are thought to have been initiated as small rills when a shallow flow overpassed the downstream side of the point bar. Type 2 channels, 3 to 6m wide and 1 to 1·5m deep, are moderately to highly sinuous and filled with well-stratified sand and gravels sourced from nearby rocky highlands. Type 2 channels were connected to the main river channel also during the base flow stage. The transition from Type 1 to Type 2 channels is documented and is interpreted as the result of the meander cut-off process. Type 1 chute channels represent the early stage of the cut-off phase, when a headcut is incised on the down-river edges of the meander neck. The headcut migrates up-river across the meander neck during floods, when fast currents shape the chute channels into a straight route. The transition from Type 1 into Type 2 channels is linked to the connection of the up-river migrating headcut with the main channel and the termination of the cut-off process. At this stage, the cut-off channel is drained permanently and receives bedload from the main channel. The progressive shaping of the newly formed channel will convert it into the main channel and lead to the formation of an oxbow lake in the abandoned meander branch. Development of chute channels in the Firenze alluvial plain is thought to have heralded a decrease in sinuosity of the main channels, triggered by a climate-driven increase in water discharge. © 2010 The Author. Journal compilation © 2010 International Association of Sedimentologists.

Guarnieri M.,University of Padua
IEEE Industrial Electronics Magazine | Year: 2012

Vacuum tubes exploit the thermionic emission of electrons, which was first observed in 1880 by Thomas Alva Edison (18471931) and his engineers while testing incandescent light bulbs with carbon filaments. After installing the first commercial power stations and distribution systems, Edison went back and detected the current emitted by the hot filament that was received at a plate electrode. Edison registered a patent for this in 1884 (one of the 1,093 patents he registered) so that the leading Welsh engineer William Preece (18341913) described the phenomenon as the Edison effect in 1885. However, Edison, dubbed the Wizard of Menlo Park, neither understood the phenomenon, presuming it to be a current of charged carbon particles, nor pursued its technical and commercial exploitations. If he had recognized that the current in the vacuum between the hot filament and plate was due to negatively charged particles far smaller than atoms, he might have also been known as the father of electronics. Instead, more than 20 years went by before practical developments were made. © 2012 IEEE.

Gerdol M.,University of Trieste | Venier P.,University of Padua | Pallavicini A.,University of Trieste
Developmental and Comparative Immunology | Year: 2015

C1q domain-containing (C1qDC) proteins are regarded as important players in the innate immunity of bivalve mollusks and other invertebrates and their highly adaptive binding properties indicate them as efficient pathogen recognition molecules. Although experimental studies support this view, the molecular data available at the present time are not sufficient to fully explain the great molecular diversification of this family, present in bivalves with hundreds of C1q coding genes. Taking advantage of the fully sequenced genome of the Pacific oyster Crassostrea gigas and more than 100 transcriptomic datasets, we: (i) re-annotated the oyster C1qDC loci, thus identifying the correct genomic organization of 337 C1qDC genes, (ii) explored the expression pattern of oyster C1qDC genes in diverse developmental stages and adult tissues of unchallenged and experimentally treated animals; (iii) investigated the expansion of the C1qDC gene family in all major bivalve subclasses.Overall, we provide a broad description of the functionally relevant features of oyster C1qDC genes, their comparative expression levels and new evidence confirming that a gene family expansion event has occurred during the course of Bivalve evolution, leading to the diversification of hundreds of different C1qDC genes in both the Pteriomorphia and Heterodonta subclasses. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.

Strobbia C.,WesternGeco | Cassiani G.,University of Padua
Geophysics | Year: 2011

Surface-wave methods are quite popular for site characterization in geotechnical earthquake engineering. Among these techniques, a particular role is taken by passive methods for their ability to yield information on the low-frequency range and consequently on large depths. One such passive method, the refraction microtremors (ReMi) technique, has been proposed as a simple alternative to 2D-array techniques to estimate surface-wave dispersion by using linear arrays of geophones. The technique owes its name to the use of widely available instruments also adopted for seismic refraction. The basic hypotheses underlying ReMi are that noise is distributed isotropically in azimuth or is aligned exactly with the array. These conditions often are not met, and in most cases they are not verified because such analysis requires an accurate approach to data processing that is rarely applied. We have developed an algorithm that verifies ReMi's basic hypotheses by analyzing experimental data. In addition, we have proposed an algorithm to identify the lowest apparent velocity on the ReMi spectra, thus avoiding interpretation problems. © 2011 Society of Exploration Geophysicists.

Loregian A.,University of Padua
Cellular and molecular life sciences : CMLS | Year: 2014

Influenza viruses are major human pathogens responsible for respiratory diseases affecting millions of people worldwide and characterized by high morbidity and significant mortality. Influenza infections can be controlled by vaccination and antiviral drugs. However, vaccines need annual updating and give limited protection. Only two classes of drugs are currently approved for the treatment of influenza: M2 ion channel blockers and neuraminidase inhibitors. However, they are often associated with limited efficacy and adverse side effects. In addition, the currently available drugs suffer from rapid and extensive emergence of drug resistance. All this highlights the urgent need for developing new antiviral strategies with novel mechanisms of action and with reduced drug resistance potential. Several new classes of antiviral agents targeting viral replication mechanisms or cellular proteins/processes are under development. This review gives an overview of novel strategies targeting the virus and/or the host cell for counteracting influenza virus infection.

Tomasin S.,University of Padua
IEEE Communications Letters | Year: 2011

In a wireless network adopting a cooperative decode and forward protocol, malicious nodes may not forward packets when requested. In this letter we propose to exploit cooperation also to detect malicious nodes. Each node monitors other nodes' transmissions and apply an adaptive quickest detection (AQD) technique to form an opinion, which is however affected by channel fading. In order to reduce false alarms, opinions are merged with a consensus algorithm at a fusion center, which then blocks malicious nodes. The possibility that malicious nodes report false opinions in order to avoid of being detected is taken into account in the design of the consensus algorithm. © 2011 IEEE.

Longo G.A.,University of Padua
Experimental Thermal and Fluid Science | Year: 2011

This paper investigates the effect of vapour super-heating on hydrocarbon refrigerant 600a (Isobutane), 290 (Propane) and 1270 (Propylene) condensation inside a brazed plate heat exchanger.Vapour super-heating increases heat transfer coefficient with respect to saturated vapour, whereas no effect was observed on pressure drop.The super-heated vapour condensation data shows the same trend vs. refrigerant mass flux as the saturated vapour condensation data, but with higher absolute values. A transition point between gravity controlled and forced convection condensation has been found for a refrigerant mass flux around 15-18kgm -2s -1 depending on refrigerant type. The super-heated vapour heat transfer coefficients are from 5% to 10% higher than those of saturated vapour under the same refrigerant mass flux.The experimental heat transfer coefficients have been compared against Webb (1998) model for forced convection condensation of super-heated vapour: the mean absolute percentage deviation between the experimental and calculated data is ±18.3%.HC-1270 shows super-heated vapour heat transfer coefficient 5% higher than HC-600a and 10-15% higher than HC-290 together with total pressure drops 20-25% lower than HC-290 and 50-66% lower than HC-600a under the same mass flux. © 2011 Elsevier Inc.

Burra P.,University of Padua
Journal of Hepatology | Year: 2012

The outcome of liver transplantation is usually reported in terms of graft and patient survival, medical and surgical complications, and quality of life, but when it comes to transplanted adolescents such conventional parameters are unable to give a full account of their life with a new liver, and their transition from adolescence to adulthood is a time when they are particularly vulnerable. Adolescents with liver transplants have excellent survival rates, over 80% of them surviving more than 10 years. Graft loss is most often associated with complications such as chronic rejection, hepatic artery thrombosis, and biliary complications. Calcineurin inhibitors may have various side effects, including hypertension and nephrotoxicity. Liver-transplanted adolescents are also exposed to viral infections, among which Epstein-Barr virus is very common and associated with the onset of post-transplant lymphoproliferative disorders. Growth retardation may also be an issue in some liver transplant recipients. Future studies will determine the best way to assess the functional immune status of adolescents with a transplanted liver with a view to ensuring the best treatment to induce tolerance without the complications of excessive immunosuppression. Schooling may be disrupted due to adolescent transplant recipients' poor adherence. Non-adherence is associated with a poor medical outcome. Both physical and psychosocial functioning is reportedly lower among young liver transplant recipients than in the general population. © 2011 European Association for the Study of the Liver. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Ntogramatzidis L.,Curtin University Australia | Ferrante A.,University of Padua
Systems and Control Letters | Year: 2010

In this paper we consider the matrix Riccati differential equation (RDE) that arises from linear-quadratic (LQ) optimal control problems. In particular, we establish explicit closed formulae for the solution of the RDE with a terminal condition using particular solutions of the associated algebraic Riccati equation. We discuss how these formulae change as assumptions are progressively weakened. An application to LQ optimal control is briefly analysed. © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Romero-Gomez M.,University of Seville | Montagnese S.,University of Padua | Jalan R.,University College London
Journal of Hepatology | Year: 2015

Hepatic encephalopathy in a hospitalized cirrhotic patient is associated with a high mortality rate and its presence adds further to the mortality of patients with acute-on-chronic liver failure (ACLF). The exact pathophysiological mechanisms of HE in this group of patients are unclear but hyperammonemia, systemic inflammation (including sepsis, bacterial translocation, and insulin resistance) and oxidative stress, modulated by glutaminase gene alteration, remain as key factors. Moreover, alcohol misuse, hyponatremia, renal insufficiency, and microbiota are actively explored. HE diagnosis requires exclusion of other causes of neurological, metabolic and psychiatric dysfunction. Hospitalization in the ICU should be considered in every patient with overt HE, but particularly if this is associated with ACLF. Precipitating factors should be identified and treated as required. Evidence-based specific management options are limited to bowel cleansing and non-absorbable antibiotics. Ammonia lowering drugs, such as glycerol phenylbutyrate and ornithine phenylacetate show promise but are still in clinical trials. Albumin dialysis may be useful in refractory cases. Antibiotics, prebiotics, and treatment of diabetes reduce systemic inflammation. Where possible and not contraindicated, large portalsystemic shunts may be embolized but liver transplantation is the most definitive step in the management of HE in this setting. HE in patients with ACLF appears to be clinically and pathophysiologically distinct from that of acute decompensation and requires further studies and characterization. © 2014 European Association for the Study of the Liver.

Agostini C.,University of Padua
Respiratory Medicine | Year: 2010

A number of recently published results have suggested the possibility of using stem cells to regenerate lung tissue. Several groups have developed various animal models employing haematopoietic stem cells, mesenchymal and endothelial progenitors, and embryonic cells, in which it has been possible to ameliorate the diseased lung. Despite these stimulating in vivo results a number of questions are pending before stem cell derivatives can be used in human lung disorders. This brief review will examine encouraging data that suggest the possibility of using stem cells in the therapy of lung diseases. In parallel, controversial findings are reviewed indicating that caution should be recommended before proposing to utilize stem cells in human lung diseases. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Ferlin A.,University of Padua
Human reproduction (Oxford, England) | Year: 2013

What are the relationships between telomere lengths in leukocytes and sperm, sperm count and parents' age at conception in a group of apparently healthy subjects of the same age? Sperm telomere length (STL) is related to sperm count, it is lower in oligozoospermic than in normozoospermic men and it is directly related to parents' age at conception. Leukocyte telomere length (LTL) decreases with age but STL increases and offspring of older fathers tend to have longer leukocyte telomeres. Only one study analyzed STL in relation to male fertility, and reported shorter telomeres in infertile versus fertile men. No data have been reported on STL in relation to parents' age at conception. Prospective study conducted from January to December 2012 of 18-19-year-old high school students. The volunteers were 81 apparently healthy subjects, including 61 with normozoospermia and 20 with idiopathic oligozoospermia. Leukocyte and sperm telomere length were measured by real-time PCR. Data were analyzed for determining the relationships between LTL, STL, sperm count and parents' age at conception. Sperm and leukocyte telomere length were strongly correlated, but STL was significantly longer. A significant positive correlation between STL and total sperm number was found. STL was significantly lower in oligozoospermic than in normozoospermic men. Finally, we found a significant positive relationship between maternal age and both leukocyte and sperm telomere length and a significant positive relation between paternal age and STL in the offspring. The relative contributions of mothers' and fathers' ages to their offspring's telomere length could not be determined because of the high correlation between paternal and maternal ages. Although consistent with previous findings, this is the first study on telomere length in oligo- and normozoospermic men and included a relatively low number of subjects. Our study was also restricted to young (18-19 year old) men, so future studies should determine whether our findings can be generalized to men at ages typically encountered at fertility centers. Future studies should also try to determine the possible effect of abstinence time and frequency of ejaculation with STL. Our study sheds new light on the association between STL and sperm count and on the inheritance of telomere length (in leukocytes and sperm) in relation to the parents' age at conception. Additional studies are needed to confirm these observations, to clarify if the association between shorter STL and damaged spermatogenesis represents a pathophysiological link, and to determine the effect on offspring telomere length of assisted reproduction techniques performed on couples of advanced age or where the man is oligozoospermic. This work was supported by the Italian Ministry of University and Research (grant no. 2009AMPA9C to C.F.) and Padova University (grant 2010 to A.D.R.). The authors have no competing interests to declare.

Ferrante A.,University of Padua | Ntogramatzidis L.,Curtin University Australia
Automatica | Year: 2014

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the role that the so-called constrained generalized Riccati equation plays within the context of continuous-time singular linear-quadratic (LQ) optimal control. This equation has been defined following the analogy with the discrete-time setting. However, while in the discrete-time case the connections between this equation and the linear-quadratic optimal control problem has been thoroughly investigated, to date very little is known on these connections in the continuous-time setting. This note addresses this point. We show, in particular, that when the continuous-time constrained generalized Riccati equation admits a solution, the corresponding linear-quadratic problem admits an impulse-free optimal control. We also address the corresponding infinite-horizon LQ problem for which we establish a similar result under the additional constraint that there exists a control input for which the cost index is finite. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Lovison A.,University of Padua
Journal of Global Optimization | Year: 2013

Extending the notion of global search to multiobjective optimization is far than straightforward, mainly for the reason that one almost always has to deal with infinite Pareto optima and correspondingly infinite optimal values. Adopting Stephen Smale's global analysis framework, we highlight the geometrical features of the set of Pareto optima and we are led to consistent notions of global convergence. We formulate then a multiobjective version of a celebrated result by Stephens and Baritompa, about the necessity of generating everywhere dense sample sequences, and describe a globally convergent algorithm in case the Lipschitz constant of the determinant of the Jacobian is known. © 2012 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.

Boeckxstaens G.E.,Catholic University of Leuven | Zaninotto G.,University of Padua | Richter J.E.,University of South Florida
The Lancet | Year: 2014

Achalasia is a rare motility disorder of the oesophagus characterised by loss ofenteric neurons leading to absence of peristalsis and impaired relaxation of the lower oesophageal sphincter. Although its cause remains largely unknown, ganglionitis resulting from an aberrant immune response triggered by a viral infection has been proposed to underlie the loss of oesophageal neurons, particularly in genetically susceptible individuals. The subsequent stasis of ingested food not only leads to symptoms of dysphagia, regurgitation, chest pain, and weight loss, but also results in an increased risk of oesophageal carcinoma. At present, pneumatic dilatation and Heller myotomy combined with an anti-refl ux procedure are the treatments of choice and have comparable success rates. Per-oral endoscopic myotomy has recently been introduced as a new minimally invasive treatment for achalasia, but there have not yet been any randomised clinical trials comparing this option with pneumatic dilatation and Heller myotomy.

Zarrella A.,University of Padua | Pasquier P.,Ecole Polytechnique de Montreal
Applied Thermal Engineering | Year: 2015

A range of analytical and numerical models is available to investigate the thermal behaviour of vertical ground heat exchangers, both in the short- and long-term. However, most of them ignore the thermal effects of weather at ground level that affect the upper part of boreholes. Furthermore, few models look at the integrated simulation of a ground source heat pump system for both the borehole field and heat pump. Consequently, a limited number of applications to real cases are available for designers. This paper shows a study to assess the effects of both axial heat transfer in boreholes and the weather at ground level on the fluid temperature in the boreholes, as well as on the energy efficiency of the heat pump. To this purpose, long-term analysis of two ground source heat pump systems was conducted over ten years by means of a detailed numerical simulation tool. The systems were for two office buildings with unbalanced load profiles in Canada and Italy. These case studies were analyzed as they were being designed, then the influence of the borehole arrangement and borehole length was also investigated. The simulation results show that axial heat transfer affects fluid temperature in the boreholes and the seasonal energy efficiency of the whole system more than the weather. Moreover, when the load profile is unbalanced, neglecting the effect of weather does not always ensure a conservative design of the borehole field. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Prandoni P.,University of Padua
Nature Reviews Cardiology | Year: 2014

New findings published in 2013 strongly support the use of novel oral anticoagulants in the treatment of thromboembolic disorders. These drugs have been shown to have a more-favourable benefit-to-risk profile than older compounds, enabling their use from the start of treatment and in the whole spectrum of clinical presentations. © 2014 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.

Fadini G.P.,University of Padua | Fadini G.P.,Venetian Institute of Molecular Medicine
Diabetologia | Year: 2014

Traditionally, the development of diabetic complications has been attributed to the biochemical pathways driving hyperglycaemic cell damage, while reparatory mechanisms have been long overlooked. A more comprehensive view of the balance between damage and repair suggests that an impaired regenerative capacity of bone marrow (BM)-derived cells strongly contributes to defective re-endothelisation and neoangiogenesis in diabetes. Although recent technological advances have redefined the biology and function of endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs), interest in BM-derived vasculotropic cells in the setting of diabetes and its complications remains high. Several circulating cell types of haematopoietic and non-haematopoietic origin are affected by diabetes and are potentially involved in the pathobiology of chronic complications. In addition to classical EPCs, these include circulating (pro-)angiogenic cells, polarised monocytes/macrophages (M1 and M2), myeloid calcifying cells and smooth muscle progenitor cells, having disparate roles in vascular biology. In parallel with the study of elusive progenitor cell phenotypes, it has been recognised that diabetes induces a profound remodelling of the BM stem cell niche. The alteration of circulating (progenitor) cells in the BM is now believed to be the link among distant end-organ complications. The field is rapidly evolving and interest is shifting from specific cell populations to the complex network of interactions that orchestrate trafficking of circulating vasculotropic cells. © 2013 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.

Rigobello M.P.,University of Padua
Methods in enzymology | Year: 2010

Mitochondrial thioredoxin reductase (TrxR2) maintains thioredoxin (Trx2) in a reduced state and plays a critical role in mitochondrial and cellular functions. TrxR2 has been identified in many different tissues and can be purified to homogeneity from whole organs and isolated mitochondria. Here we describe the detailed steps required to purify this enzyme. A different initial procedure is needed, according to whether purification starts from whole organs or from isolated and purified mitochondria. In the first case, acid precipitation is a critical preliminary step to separate mitochondrial thioredoxin reductase from the cytosolic isoform. Preparation involves ammonium sulfate fractionation, heating, and freeze/thaw cycles, followed by chromatographic passages involving DEAE-Sephacel, 2',5'-ADP-Sepharose 4B affinity, and omega-Aminohexyl-Sepharose 4B columns. The 2',5'-ADP-Sepharose 4B affinity step can be repeated to remove any contaminating glutathione reductase completely. Although several methods are available to detect the activity of this enzyme, reduction of DTNB is an easy and inexpensive test that can be applied not only to the highly purified enzyme but also to lysed mitochondria, provided non-TrxR2-dependent reaction rates are subtracted. TrxR2, like TrxR1, can be inhibited by several different and chemically unrelated substances, usually acting on the C-terminal containing the cysteine-selenocysteine active site. Many of these inhibitors react preferentially with the reduced form of the C-terminal tail. This condition can be evaluated by estimating enzyme activity after removal of the inhibitor by gel filtration of the enzyme preincubated in oxidizing or reducing conditions. Inhibition of thioredoxin reductase has important consequences for cell viability and can lead to apoptosis. Inhibition of TrxR2 causes large production of hydrogen peroxide, which diffuses from the mitochondrion to the cytosol and is responsible for most of the signaling events observed. Methods to measure hydrogen peroxide in isolated mitochondria or cultured cells are described. Copyright (c) 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Fernandes A.P.,Karolinska Institutet | Gandin V.,University of Padua
Biochimica et Biophysica Acta - General Subjects | Year: 2015

Background With cancer cells encompassing consistently higher production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and with an induced antioxidant defense to counteract the increased basal ROS production, tumors have a limited reserve capacity resulting in an increased vulnerability of some cancer cells to ROS. Based on this, oxidative stress has been recognized as a tumor-specific target for the rational design of new anticancer agents. Among redox modulating compounds, selenium compounds have gained substantial attention due to their promising chemotherapeutic potential. Scope of review This review aims in summarizing and providing the recent developments of our understanding of the molecular mechanisms that underlie the potential anticancer effects of selenium compounds. Major conclusions It is well established that selenium at higher doses readily can turn into a prooxidant and thereby exert its potential anticancer properties. However, the biological activity of selenium compounds and the mechanism behind these effects are highly dependent on its speciation and the specific metabolic pathways of cells and tissues. Conversely, the chemical properties and the main molecular mechanisms of the most relevant inorganic and organic selenium compounds as well as selenium-based nanoparticles must be taken into account and are discussed herein. General significance Elucidating and deepening our mechanistic knowledge of selenium compounds will help in designing and optimizing compounds with more specific antitumor properties for possible future application of selenium compounds in the treatment of cancer. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled Redox regulation of differentiation and de-differentiation. © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

The aim of this study was to propose the survival analysis technique as a statistical approach for the analysis of rennet coagulation time (RCT) able to make use of coagulating and noncoagulating (NC) milk information in order to estimate potential sources of variations that affects RCT. A total of 1,025 Italian Holstein-Friesian cows (HF; progeny of 54 sires) and 1,234 Brown Swiss cows (BS; progeny of 58 sires) reared in 34 and 38 herds, respectively, were milk-sampled once. Rennet coagulation time was analyzed with a semiparametric proportional hazard model (i.e., a Cox model), with the NC samples considered as censored records. Furthermore, a different censoring scenario, with a new end point at 18. min, was considered after the rearrangement of the time space originally used for the observation of RCT. The percentage of NC samples was almost 10% for HF and 3.5% for BS cows in in the 31. min set, whereas it increased to 44 and 24.9%, respectively, in the 18. min set. Estimated hazard ratios indicated that the most important factors affecting the coagulation process were herd, days in milk, casein number, and milk acidity (expressed in terms of titratable acidity) for both HF and BS, whereas the SCS was relevant only for BS. The survival model seems to be particularly suitable for this analysis, as it can properly account for censored and uncensored records and appropriately use all available information. Moreover, this methodology allows us to rearrange the time space used for the observation of RCT and to define alternative traits (i.e., RCT with an end point at 18. min). Our restriction of the time space and the increased percentage of censored records did not highlight any substantial differences in terms of the risk of coagulating with respect to the traditional 31. min testing time. Although further research is needed to investigate the effect of these sources of variation on cheese yield, our results indicate that casein number, acidity, and SCS may be used as indicator traits for enhancing the technological properties of bovine milk. © 2013 American Dairy Science Association.

Desnuelle C.,University of Nice Sophia Antipolis | Salviati L.,University of Padua
Current Opinion in Neurology | Year: 2011

Purpose of Review: The first reports published in 2010 on enzyme replacement therapy in late-onset Pompe disease (LOPD) allow us now to stand back and adapt the strategies. In the meantime, substantial progress has been made in basic and applied research on animal models to enhance the efficacy of treatments. This brief review highlights the new concepts in a contemporary approach. Recent Findings: Interest in LOPD rose since its acknowledgement as a treatable myopathy. New insights from extensive analysis of injurious mechanisms resulted, over the past years, in the development of enzyme replacement therapy and a better understanding of its limits. Summary: It seems reasonable to consider Pompe disease as a large spectrum of a single ubiquitous lysosomal disease resulting from an enzyme defect, more severe in newborns because of rapid cardiopulmonary and hepatic failures, with a much better prognosis when symptomatic after 12 months. This late-onset form demands therapy to avoid progressive motor disability and pulmonary insufficiency. Diagnosis is easy to confirm through rapid and reliable biochemical tests with sampling of blood dots on filter paper. When started early, treatment would avoid serious irrevocable damage to cells. Increasing precocity of diagnosis and efficacy of treatments are the core challenges for the next few years. © 2011 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

Sulpizio S.,University of Trento | Colombo L.,University of Padua
Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology | Year: 2013

We examined the development of stress assignment in reading Italian aloud. We investigated frequency effects as a marker of the use of item-specific lexical knowledge in assigning stress together with stress dominance and stress neighbourhood (the number of words sharing both stress and ending) as markers of distributional information regarding properties of the lexicon extracted from spoken language. We tested second- and fourth-graders in a reading-aloud experiment including high- and low-frequency words and nonwords. Results show that despite the regularity of orthography-phonology mappings in Italian and the predominant use of phonological recoding procedures, item-specific lexical knowledge is also used, even by beginning readers. The frequency effect was significant and did not increase with age, while stress errors on low-frequency words decreased with increasing grade. Stress neighbourhood increasingly affected stress assignment on nonwords with older children. Taken together, our findings show that both item-specific knowledge and general information about stress distribution are relevant in children's reading, suggesting the simultaneous use of both lexical and sublexical information. Moreover, as the reading system develops, and knowledge about the relative distribution of stress neighbourhood increases, larger grain-size units are also exploited. © 2013 The Experimental Psychology Society.

Melucci M.,University of Padua
IEEE Transactions on Knowledge and Data Engineering | Year: 2016

Information Retrieval (IR) is concerned with indexing and retrieving documents including information relevant to a user's information need. Relevance Feedback (RF) is a class of effective algorithms for improving Information Retrieval (IR) and it consists of gathering further data representing the user's information need and automatically creating a new query. In this paper, we propose a class of RF algorithms inspired by quantum detection to re-weight the query terms and to re-rank the document retrieved by an IR system. These algorithms project the query vector on a subspace spanned by the eigenvector which maximizes the distance between the distribution of quantum probability of relevance and the distribution of quantum probability of non-relevance. The experiments showed that the RF algorithms inspired by quantum detection can outperform the state-of-the-art algorithms. © 2015 IEEE.

De Stavola L.,University of Padua
The International journal of oral & maxillofacial implants | Year: 2013

The aim of this case series is to propose an approach to help maintain autogenous bone grafts. This is done by applying a collagen membrane (CM) and anorganic bovine bone (ABBM) at the time of implant surgery, rather than at the time of ridge augmentation, to avoid volume loss after implants are inserted. Ten patients with severe horizontal bone atrophy were consecutively enrolled in this study. A staged approach was chosen for implant placement following horizontal ridge augmentation. A block graft was harvested from the retromolar area and secured to the recipient site with fixation screws; contour overbuilding was avoided. The width of the ridge was measured before and after horizontal augmentation. After 4 months of healing, implants were inserted, the augmented site was relined with ABBM, and CM was applied to prevent bone volume loss. Another 4 months later, at the time of abutment placement, cone beam computed tomography was performed to quantify the end result. The mean horizontal ridge width prior to treatment was 2.1 ± 0.5 mm. Mean postsurgical crest width was 6.9 ± 0.5 mm. After the 4-month healing period, the mean alveolar crest width was 6.6 ± 0.6 mm. At the time of abutment connection, the mean width of the regenerated ridge, as measured on three-dimensional cone beam images, was 7.7 ± 0.8 mm. Minimal bone loss occurred in unprotected autogenous bone grafts with respect to alveolar bone contour (0.25 ± 0.29 mm). After the implants were inserted, no further remodeling/resorption occurred with sites treated by ABBM and CM relining; moreover, an additional increase in alveolar crest width was evident. The nonresorbable ABBM osseointegrated clinically and radiologically, preventing bone loss prior to implant loading. This layer appeared to maintain the regenerated crest volume.

Bellazzini B.,CEA Saclay Nuclear Research Center | Bellazzini B.,University of Padua | Csaki C.,Cornell University | Serra J.,Cornell University
European Physical Journal C | Year: 2014

For the closing article in this volume on supersymmetry, we consider the alternative options to SUSY theories: we present an overview of composite Higgs models in light of the discovery of the Higgs boson. The small value of the physical Higgs mass suggests that the Higgs quartic is likely loop generated; thus models with tree-level quartics will generically be more tuned. We classify the various models (including bona fide composite Higgs, little Higgs, holographic composite Higgs, twin Higgs and dilatonic Higgs) based on their predictions for the Higgs potential, review the basic ingredients of each of them, and quantify the amount of tuning needed, which is not negligible in any model. We explain the main ideas for generating flavor structure and the main mechanisms for protecting against large flavor violating effects, and we present a summary of the various coset models that can result in realistic pseudo-Goldstone Higgses. We review the current experimental status of such models by discussing the electroweak precision, flavor, and direct search bounds, and we comment on the UV completions of such models and on ways to incorporate dark matter. © 2014 The Author(s).

Mero A.,University of Padua | Campisi M.,Fidia Farmaceutici SpA
Polymers | Year: 2014

Hyaluronic acid (HA) has currently several therapeutic applications: in ophthalmology, osteoarthritis, wound healing, tissue regeneration, postoperative anti-adhesion and anesthetic medicine. In the last ten years, it has also been successfully investigated in the field of drug delivery, in the form of conjugates or hydrogel depot systems. HAylation, the covalent conjugation of HA to bioactive molecules, allows the overcoming of disadvantages associated with some pharmaceuticals, such as insolubility, instability and fast kidney clearance. These issues can be addressed also by covalent attachment of polyethylene glycol (PEGylation), but HA has the relevant advantages of biodegradability, high loading and specific targeting. In this review, the novel HA derivatives and the latest advances in HA-based drug delivery with a particular focus on the chemistry of conjugation will be discussed. Although, so far, there are no HA-drug conjugates on the market, several derivatives are presently under clinical investigation, and the promising results encourage further investigations and the exploitation of this versatile polysaccharide. © 2014 by the authors.

Pasut G.,University of Padua
Polymers | Year: 2014

Polyethylene glycol (PEG) at the moment is considered the leading polymer for protein conjugation in view of its unique properties, as well as to its low toxicity in humans, qualities which have been confirmed by its extensive use in clinical practice. Other polymers that are safe, biodegradable and custom-designed have, nevertheless, also been investigated as potential candidates for protein conjugation. This review will focus on natural polymers and synthetic linear polymers that have been used for protein delivery and the results associated with their use. Genetic fusion approaches for the preparation of protein-polypeptide conjugates will be also reviewed and compared with the best known chemical conjugation ones. © 2014 by the authors.

Manzetti S.,Fjordforsk A.S. Midtun | Manzetti S.,Uppsala University | Ghisi R.,University of Padua
Marine Pollution Bulletin | Year: 2014

Antibiotics have been used as medical remedies for over 50. years and have recently emerged as new pollutants in the environment. This review encompasses the fate of several antibiotics in the environment, including sulfonamides, nitrofurans, terfenadines, cephalosporins and cyclosporins. It investigates the cycle of transfer from humans and animals including their metabolic transformation. The results show that antibiotic metabolites are of considerable persistence and are localized to ground-water and drinking water supplies. Furthermore, the results also show that several phases of the cycle of antibiotics in the environment are not well understood, such as how low concentrations of antibiotic metabolites in the diet affect humans and animals. This review also shows that improved wastewater decontamination processes are remediating factors for these emerging pollutants. The results obtained here may help legislators and authorities in understanding the fate and transformation of antibiotics in the environment. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.

Corsini E.M.,University of Padua
Memorie della Societa Astronomica Italiana - Journal of the Italian Astronomical Society | Year: 2011

The dynamics of a barred galaxy depends on the angular velocity or pattern speed of its bar. Indeed, it is related to the location of corotation where gravitational and centrifugal forces cancel out in the rest frame of the bar. The only direct method for measuring the bar pattern speed is the Tremaine-Weinberg technique. This method is best suited to the analysis of the distribution and kinematics of the stellar component in absence of significant star formation and patchy dust obscuration. Therefore, it has been mostly used for early-type barred galaxies. The main sources of uncertainties on the directly-measured bar pattern speeds are discussed. There are attempts to overcome the selection bias of the current sample of direct measurements by extending the application of the Tremaine-Weinberg method to the gaseous component. Furthermore, there is a variety of indirect methods which are based on the analysis of the gas distribution and kinematics. They have been largely used to measure the bar pattern speed in late-type barred galaxies. Nearly all the bars measured with direct and indirect methods end close to their corotation radius, i.e., they are as rapidly rotating as they can be. © SAIt 2011.

Berto F.,University of Padua
Advances in Materials Science and Engineering | Year: 2014

Brittle failure of components weakened by cracks and notches is a topic of active and continuous research. It is a key topic for all researchers who face the problem of fracture of materials under different loading conditions and deals with a large number of applications in different engineering fields. This topic is significant in all the cases where intrinsic defects of materials or geometrical discontinuities give rise to localized stress concentration which, in brittle materials, may generate a crack leading to catastrophic failure or to a shortening of the assessed structural life. Whereas cracks are viewed as unpleasant entities in most engineering materials, U- and V-notches of different acuities are sometimes deliberately introduced in design and manufacturing of structural components. The main aim of the present contribution is to present a short review of some local approaches applicable near stress raisers both sharp and blunt allowing the reader to have an update state of the art for the considered criteria. © 2014 F. Berto.

de Bernard M.,University of Padua | Josenhans C.,Hannover Medical School
Helicobacter | Year: 2014

Helicobacter pylori relies on multiple colonization and virulence factors to persist in the human stomach for life. In addition, these factors can be modulated and vary to suit the ever-changing environment within the host individual. This article outlines the novel developments in this field of research during the past year, highlighting the cag pathogenicity island, VacA, γ-glutamyl-transpeptidase as well as including recent advances in protein structure, bacteria-host interaction, and the role of stomach microbiota. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

Rubini A.,University of Padua
Respiration; international review of thoracic diseases | Year: 2010

BACKGROUNDS: The effects of acute blood volume expansion (BVE) on the respiratory mechanics of normal animals have been not extensively studied. The subject is of both theoretical and practical interest since BVE is a frequent medical intervention, and the associated increase in cardiac output may occur in different physiopathological situations. OBJECTIVES: To describe the changes in the parameters of respiratory mechanics occurring as an effect of acute BVE and the related increase in cardiac output. Methods: We applied the end-inflation occlusion method in normal, positive pressure-ventilated rats to measure the respiratory mechanics under control and BVE conditions. RESULTS: Under BVE conditions, we found a statistically significant increase in static respiratory system elastance (E(st,rs)), ohmic airway resistance plus resistance of respiratory system tissues to movement (R(min,rs)), and overall resistance including pendelluft and stress relaxation effects (R(max,rs)). Under BVE conditions, the resistive component due to sole stress relaxation and pendelluft (R(visc,rs)) increased almost significantly while a significant increment in mean respiratory system hysteresis surface area (Hy(rs)) was also found. CONCLUSIONS: Increasing pulmonary blood flow by BVE increases the mechanical work of breathing because of the effects on E(st,rs), R(min,rs) and R(max,rs), and because of the increase in Hy(rs). Copyright 2009 S. Karger AG, Basel.

Pillonetto G.,University of Padua | De Nicolao G.,University of Pavia
Automatica | Year: 2010

This paper describes a new kernel-based approach for linear system identification of stable systems. We model the impulse response as the realization of a Gaussian process whose statistics, differently from previously adopted priors, include information not only on smoothness but also on BIBO-stability. The associated autocovariance defines what we call a stable spline kernel. The corresponding minimum variance estimate belongs to a reproducing kernel Hilbert space which is spectrally characterized. Compared to parametric identification techniques, the impulse response of the system is searched for within an infinite-dimensional space, dense in the space of continuous functions. Overparametrization is avoided by tuning few hyperparameters via marginal likelihood maximization. The proposed approach may prove particularly useful in the context of robust identification in order to obtain reduced order models by exploiting a two-step procedure that projects the nonparametric estimate onto the space of nominal models. The continuous-time derivation immediately extends to the discrete-time case. On several continuous- and discrete-time benchmarks taken from the literature the proposed approach compares very favorably with the existing parametric and nonparametric techniques. © 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Longo G.A.,University of Padua
International Journal of Refrigeration | Year: 2010

This paper presents the heat transfer coefficients and pressure drop measured during HC-600a, HC-290 and HC-1270 saturated vapour condensation inside a brazed plate heat exchanger: the effects of refrigerant mass flux, saturation temperature (pressure) and fluid properties are investigated. The heat transfer coefficients show weak sensitivity to saturation temperature (pressure) and great sensitivity to refrigerant mass flux and fluid properties. A transition point between gravity controlled and forced convection condensation has been found for a refrigerant mass flux around 15-18 kg m-2 s-1. In the forced convection condensation region the heat transfer coefficients show a 35-40% enhancement for a 60% increase of the refrigerant mass flux. The frictional pressure drop shows a linear dependence on the kinetic energy per unit volume of the refrigerant flow. HC-1270 shows heat transfer coefficients 5% higher than HC-600a and 10-15% higher than HC-290, together with frictional pressure drop 20-25% lower than HC-290 and 50-66% lower than HC-600a. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd and IIR. All rights reserved.

In the last decade, a range of new remote-sensing techniques has led to a dramatic increase in terrain information, providing new opportunities for a better understanding of Earth surface processes based on geomorphic signatures. Technologies such as airborne and terrestrial lidar (Light Detection and Ranging) to obtain high-resolution topography have opened avenues for the analysis of landslides, hillslope and channellization processes, river morphology, active tectonics, volcanic landforms and anthropogenic signatures on topography. This review provides an overview of the recent flourishing literature on high-resolution topographic analyses, underlining their opportunities and critical issues such as their limitations. The goal is to provide answers to questions such as what kind of processes can be analyzed through high-resolution topographic data and how to do it. The review focuses on two different environments: natural and engineered landscapes. In both contexts, high-resolution topography offers opportunities to better understand geomorphic processes from topographic signatures. Particular attention is given to engineered landscapes in which the direct anthropic alteration of processes is significant. The last part of the review discusses future challenges. © 2014 Elsevier B.V.

An understanding of the processes and environmental conditions governing spatial variation in reproductive performance of plants can provide important information about the factors characterizing plant community structure and influencing fitness in natural plant populations, especially in the context of climate and land use change. In this study, 60 mountain populations of Dactylis glomerata distributed along a fertilization regime in varying grassland hay meadows were evaluated. Variations in field management, climate, soil fertility, vegetation structure, population density and species richness on reproductive performance were examined. The results indicated that field management and soil nutrient availability are the main variables influencing population density and reproductive output of D. glomerata. Moreover, the results show the effect of temperature on seed mass and resource investment in reproduction. Climate and soil change suggest a morphological differentiation of reproductive traits: (i) individuals grown on sites with higher soil nutrient availability or nutrient supply have larger inflorescences with a greater number and heavier seeds; (ii) individuals grown on warmer sites have heavier seeds. We conclude that if the climate warms and increases land use intensification in hay meadows in the Alps, this will have a pronounced positive impact on the reproductive performance of D. glomerata. Moreover, it can be hypothesized that the migration potential of D. glomerata towards higher altitudes may be likely in the near future in response to accelerated climate change. © 2011 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

Buodo G.,University of Padua
Child psychiatry and human development | Year: 2013

This study investigated whether the parenting stress-child externalizing behavior link is moderated by children's emotional reactivity, as indexed by skin conductance responses (SCRs). Participants were 61 children aged 9-12 years and their mothers. Mothers completed measures of parenting stress and their children's externalizing symptoms; children also reported on their externalizing behavior. Children's SCRs were assessed during the viewing of standardized pleasant, unpleasant, and neutral pictures. Cluster analysis on SCRs identified two groups, labeled Lower SCRs and Higher SCRs. Regression analyses indicated that among children with lower SCRs, those exposed to increased parenting stress reported more externalizing symptoms, whereas those who experienced low parenting stress reported similar rates of externalizing problems as children with higher SCRs. No effect of parenting stress emerged for children with higher SCRs. Findings suggest that higher parenting stress renders children with lower, as opposed to higher, SCRs to emotional stimuli more vulnerable to externalizing problems.

Sandri M.,University of Padua | Sandri M.,Venetian Institute of Molecular Medicine | Sandri M.,National Research Council Italy | Sandri M.,McGill University
Nature Cell Biology | Year: 2012

Nutrient deprivation and other stress stimuli elicit metabolic changes (such as the induction of autophagy and activation of FOXO transcription factors) that help an organism adapt to stressful conditions. A link between these stress response pathways is revealed by the finding that FOXO3 upregulates the expression of glutamine synthetase to promote glutamine accumulation, inhibit mTOR signalling and promote autophagy. © 2012 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.

Katsonis N.,MESA Institute for Nanotechnology | Lacaze E.,French National Center for Scientific Research | Ferrarini A.,University of Padua
Journal of Materials Chemistry | Year: 2012

The helical organization of cholesteric liquid crystals is omnipresent in living matter. Achieving control over the structure of the cholesteric helix consequently holds great potential for developing stimuli-responsive materials matching the level of sophistication of biological systems. In particular, inversion of a cholesteric helix is associated with inversion of the circular polarization of the light it reflects. While control over the cholesteric period has been thoroughly investigated, reports on helix inversion are scarcer. Predicting which systems display helix inversion also remains a challenge because of the subtle balance of contributions underlying this phenomenon. Here we provide an overview on recent advances in controlling and understanding helix inversion in cholesteric liquid crystals. © 2012 The Royal Society of Chemistry.

Lin Y.,University of Padua
Nuclear Physics B | Year: 2010

It is a common believe that, if the tri-bimaximal mixing (TBM) pattern is explained by vacuum alignment in an A4 model, only a very small reactor angle, say θ13 ∼ O (λC 2) being λC ≡ θC the Cabibbo angle, can be accommodated. This statement is based on the assumption that all the flavon fields acquire VEVs at a very similar scale and the departures from exact TBM arise at the same perturbation level. From the experimental point of view, however, a relatively large value θ13 ∼ O (λC) is not yet excluded by present data. In this paper, we propose a seesaw A4 model in which the previous assumption can naturally be evaded. The aim is to describe a θ13 ∼ O (λC) without conflicting with the TBM prediction for θ12 which is rather close to the observed value (at λC 2 level). In our model the deviation of the atmospherical angle from maximal is subject to the sum-rule: sin2 θ23 ≈ 1 / 2 + sqrt(2) / 2 cos δ sin θ13 which is a next-to-leading order prediction of our model. © 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Mocellin S.,University of Padua
The Cochrane database of systematic reviews | Year: 2013

Interferon alpha is the only agent approved for the postoperative adjuvant treatment of high-risk cutaneous melanoma. However, the survival advantage associated with this treatment is unclear, especially in terms of overall survival. Thus, adjuvant interferon is not universally considered a gold standard treatment by all oncologists. To assess the disease-free survival and overall survival effects of interferon alpha as adjuvant treatment for people with high-risk cutaneous melanoma. We searched the following databases up to August 2012: the Cochrane Skin Group Specialised Register, CENTRAL in The Cochrane Library (2012, issue 8), MEDLINE (from 2005), EMBASE (from 2010), AMED (from 1985), and LILACS (from 1982). We also searched trials databases in 2011, and proceedings of the ASCO annual meeting from 2000 to 2011. We checked the reference lists of selected articles for further references to relevant trials. We included only randomised controlled trials (RCTs) comparing interferon alpha to observation (or any other treatment) for the postoperative (adjuvant) treatment of patients with high-risk skin melanoma, that is, people with regional lymph node metastasis (American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC) TNM (tumour, lymph node, metastasis) stage III) undergoing radical lymph node dissection, or people without nodal disease but with primary tumour thickness greater than 1 mm (AJCC TNM stage II). Two authors extracted data, and a third author independently verified the extracted data. The main outcome measure was the hazard ratio (HR), which is the ratio of the risk of the event occurring in the treatment arm (adjuvant interferon) compared to the control arm (no adjuvant interferon). The survival data were either entered directly into Review Manager (RevMan) or extrapolated from Kaplan-Meier plots and then entered into RevMan. Based on the presence of between-study heterogeneity, we applied a fixed-effect or random-effects model for calculating the pooled estimates of treatment efficacy. Eighteen RCTs enrolling a total of 10,499 participants were eligible for the review. The results from 17 of 18 of these RCTs, published between 1995 and 2011, were suitable for meta-analysis and allowed us to quantify the therapeutic efficacy of interferon in terms of disease-free survival (17 trials) and overall survival (15 trials). Adjuvant interferon was associated with significantly improved disease-free survival (HR (hazard ratio) = 0.83; 95% CI (confidence interval) 0.78 to 0.87, P value < 0.00001) and overall survival (HR = 0.91; 95% CI 0.85 to 0.97; P value = 0.003). We detected no significant between-study heterogeneity (disease-free survival: I2 statistic = 16%, Q-test P value = 0.27; overall survival: I2 statistic = 6%; Q-test P value = 0.38).Considering that the 5-year overall survival rate for TNM stage II-III cutaneous melanoma is 60%, the number needed to treat (NNT) is 35 participants (95% CI = 21 to 108 participants) in order to prevent 1 death. The results of subgroup analysis failed to answer the question of whether some treatment features (i.e. dosage, duration) might have an impact on interferon efficacy or whether some participant subgroups (i.e. with or without lymph node positivity) might benefit differently from interferon adjuvant treatment.Grade 3 and 4 toxicity was observed in a minority of participants: In some trials, no-one had fever or fatigue of Grade 3 severity, but in other trials, up to 8% had fever and up to 23% had fatigue of Grade 3 severity. Less than 1% of participants had fever and fatigue of Grade 4 severity. Although it impaired quality of life, toxicity disappeared after treatment discontinuation. The results of this meta-analysis support the therapeutic efficacy of adjuvant interferon alpha for the treatment of people with high-risk (AJCC TNM stage II-III) cutaneous melanoma in terms of both disease-free survival and, though to a lower extent, overall survival. Interferon is also valid as a reference treatment in RCTs investigating new therapeutic agents for the adjuvant treatment of this participant population. Further investigation is required to select people who are most likely to benefit from this treatment.

Secchi S.,CNR Institute of Neuroscience | Schrefler B.A.,University of Padua
International Journal of Fracture | Year: 2012

We present a method for the simulation of 3-D hydraulic fracturing in fully saturated porous media. The discrete fracture(s) is driven by the fluid pressure. A cohesive fracture model is adopted where the fracture follows the face of the elements around the fracture tip which is closest to the normal direction of the maximum principal stress at the fracture tip. No predetermined fracture path is needed. This requires continuous updating of the mesh around the crack tip to take into account the evolving geometry. The updating of the mesh is obtained by means of an efficient mesh generator based on Delaunay tessellation. The governing equations are written in the framework of porous media mechanics theory and are solved numerically in a fully coupled manner. An examples dealing with a concrete dam is shown. © 2012 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

Camperio Ciani A.,University of Padua | Pellizzari E.,GEA
PLoS ONE | Year: 2012

A variety of social, developmental, biological and genetic factors influence sexual orientation in males. Thus, several hypotheses have attempted to explain the sustenance of genetic factors that influence male homosexuality, despite decreased fecundity within the homosexuals. Kin selection, the existence of maternal effects and two forms of balancing selection, sexually antagonistic selection and overdominance, have been proposed as compensatory mechanisms for reduced homosexual fecundity. Here, we suggest that the empirical support for kin selection and maternal effects cannot account for the low universal frequency and stability of the distribution of homosexuals. To identify the responsible compensatory mechanism, we analyzed fecundity in 2,100 European female relatives, i.e., aunts and grandmothers, of either homosexual or heterosexual probands who were matched in terms of age, culture and sampling strategy. Female relatives were chosen to avoid the sampling bias of the fraternal birth order effect, which occurs when indirectly sampling mothers though their homosexual sons. We observed that the maternal aunts and grandmothers of homosexual probands were significantly more fecund compared with the maternal aunts and maternal grandmothers of the heterosexual probands. No difference in fecundity was observed in the paternal female lines (grandmothers or aunts) from either of the two proband groups. Moreover, due to the selective increase in maternal female fecundity, the total female fecundity was significantly higher in homosexual than heterosexual probands, thus compensating for the reduced fecundity of homosexuals. Altogether, these data support an X-linked multi-locus sexually antagonistic hypothesis rather than an autosomal multi-locus overdominance hypothesis. © 2012 Camperio Ciani, Pellizzari.

Matone M.,University of Padua | Volpato R.,ETH Zurich
Nuclear Physics B | Year: 2010

We explicitly show how the chiral superstring amplitudes can be obtained through factorisation of the higher genus chiral measure induced by suitable degenerations of Riemann surfaces. This powerful tool also allows to derive, at any genera, consistency relations involving the amplitudes and the measure. A key point concerns the choice of the local coordinate at the node on degenerate Riemann surfaces that greatly simplifies the computations. As a first application, starting from recent ansätze for the chiral measure up to genus five, we compute the chiral two-point function for massless Neveu-Schwarz states at genus two, three and four. For genus higher than three, these computations include some new corrections to the conjectural formulae appeared so far in the literature. After GSO projection, the two-point function vanishes at genus two and three, as expected from space-time supersymmetry arguments, but not at genus four. This suggests that the ansatz for the superstring measure should be corrected for genus higher than four. © 2010 Elsevier B.V.

Scarpa M.,Cleveland Clinic | Scarpa M.,University of Padua | Stylianou E.,Cleveland Clinic
Inflammatory Bowel Diseases | Year: 2012

The purpose of this review is to introduce the exciting field of epigenetics and to describe how it could explain the mechanisms by which environmental changes induce pathological gene expression and determine cell phenotype and function in IBD. We outline how epigenetics research in the context of a variety of clinical conditions, but mainly in cancer, has begun to define the role of multiple combinations of modifications to chromatin, diverse families of enzymes, and non-coding RNAs in determining transcriptional outcomes. These findings are applicable to understanding the context-specific events that underlie the expression of genes in diseases like IBD and have the potential to reveal new targets for improved IBD therapy. The current status of epigenetics-based therapies is also summarized. (Inflamm Bowel Dis 2012) Copyright © 2012 Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America, Inc.

Kim S.-J.,University of Minnesota | Dall'Anese E.,University of Padua | Giannakis G.B.,University of Minnesota
IEEE Journal on Selected Topics in Signal Processing | Year: 2011

A cooperative cognitive radio (CR) sensing problem is considered, where a number of CRs collaboratively detect the presence of primary users (PUs) by exploiting the novel notion of channel gain (CG) maps. The CG maps capture the propagation medium per frequency from any point in space and time to each CR user. They are updated in real-time using Kriged Kalman filtering (KKF), a tool with well-appreciated merits in geostatistics. In addition, the CG maps enable tracking the transmit-power and location of an unknown number of PUs, via a sparse regression technique. The latter exploits the sparsity inherent to the PU activities in a geographical area, using an ℓ1-norm regularized, sparsity-promoting weighted least-squares formulation. The resulting sparsity-cognizant tracker is developed in both centralized and distributed formats, to reduce computational complexity and memory requirements of a batch alternative. Numerical tests demonstrate considerable performance gains achieved by the proposed algorithms. © 2011 IEEE.

Baron W.H.,University of Padua | Baron W.H.,National Institute of Nuclear Physics, Italy
Physical Review D - Particles, Fields, Gravitation and Cosmology | Year: 2015

We discuss the construction of gaugings in recent models of E7 extended geometries, focusing on the two inequivalent SL(8) truncations of the theory. In these sectors the conditions for the generation of gaugings in the 36, 36′, 420 and 420′ representations of E7(7) can be compactly expressed in terms of objects which are in the fundamental representation of SL(8), making the search of solutions simpler. We present a no-go theorem showing that neither of these truncations lead to the new SO(8) dyonic gaugings, at least if the so-called section conditions are implemented. We also show that these truncations can be used to obtain the generalized twist of the seven-sphere, leading to the electric SO(8) gaugings. © 2015 American Physical Society.

Di Summa M.,University of Padua
Operations Research Letters | Year: 2015

An all-different constraint on some discrete variables imposes the condition that no two variables take the same value. A linear-inequality description of the convex hull of solutions to a system of all-different constraints is known under the so-called inclusion property: the convex hull is the intersection of the convex hulls of each of the all-different constraints of the system. We give a short proof of this result, which in addition shows the total dual integrality of the linear system. © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

The main aim of this article is to review and discuss two particular topics of statistical process monitoring: the need for a nonparametric approach to Phase I analysis and the use of variable selection-based control charts in multivariate Phase II monitoring. After discussing a number of critical issues related to these topics, I present recently proposed solutions and summarize several research problems that require further investigation. © 2015 Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.

ABSTRACT: The aldosterone–renin ratio is the most popular test for the case detection of primary aldosteronism, which entails the most common, albeit overlooked, form of endocrine secondary hypertension. A major hindrance to the clinical use of the aldosterone–renin ratio depends on the difficulty of achieving the calculation of this ratio, given that laboratories provide plasma aldosterone in different units of measurement, and renin is measured as plasma renin activity or direct active renin. We have therefore developed an App, which can be downloaded from the ESH website and the Apple store, to assist practising physicians in performing this calculation. Our hope is that this simple tool will help in increasing the detection rate of primary aldosteronism and ultimately the long-term cure of many hypertensive patients. Copyright © 2016 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.

Salasnich L.,University of Padua | Malomed B.A.,Tel Aviv University
Physical Review A - Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics | Year: 2013

We consider a binary Bose-Einstein condensate with linear and nonlinear interactions between its components, which emulate the spinor system with spin-orbit (SO) and Rabi couplings. For a relatively dense condensate, one-dimensional coupled equations with the nonpolynomial nonlinearity of both repulsive and attractive signs are derived from the three-dimensional Gross-Pitaevskii equations. Profiles of modes confined in an external potential under the action of the self-repulsion, and self-trapped solitons in the case of the self-attraction, are found in a numerical form and by means of analytical approximations. In the former case, the interplay of the SO and Rabi couplings with the repulsive nonlinearity strongly distorts shapes of the trapped modes, adding conspicuous sidelobes to them. In the case of the attractive nonlinearity, the most essential result is reduction of the collapse threshold under the action of the SO and Rabi couplings. © 2013 American Physical Society.

Giordan M.,University of Padua
Statistics in Biosciences | Year: 2014

The presence of different batches is routinely observed in microarray studies and is well known that non-biological variability potentially confounding biological differences is commonly related to such batches. The removal of these undesired effects for a non-biased inference is often accomplished either with normalization methods that do not take into account all the available information, or with models that rely on strong parametric assumptions. We have developed a new method for the batch effects removal, named ber, which is based on a two-stage procedure for the estimation of location and scale parameters. Batch effects and biological differences are estimated using a regression approach and bagging, therefore mild distributional assumptions are required. We have compared ber with other commonly employed methods and we have shown that ber can bring to a higher power in detecting differentially expressed genes. The application of ber to a real microarray study led to interpretable biological results. The method is implemented in the R package ber, available through CRAN repository. © 2013 International Chinese Statistical Association.

Rascio N.,University of Padua | Navari-Izzo F.,University of Pisa
Plant Science | Year: 2011

The term "hyperaccumulator" describes a number of plants that belong to distantly related families, but share the ability to grow on metalliferous soils and to accumulate extraordinarily high amounts of heavy metals in the aerial organs, far in excess of the levels found in the majority of species, without suffering phytotoxic effects. Three basic hallmarks distinguish hyperaccumulators from related non-hyperaccumulating taxa: a strongly enhanced rate of heavy metal uptake, a faster root-to-shoot translocation and a greater ability to detoxify and sequester heavy metals in leaves. An interesting breakthrough that has emerged from comparative physiological and molecular analyses of hyperaccumulators and related non-hyperaccumulators is that most key steps of hyperaccumulation rely on different regulation and expression of genes found in both kinds of plants. In particular, a determinant role in driving the uptake, translocation to leaves and, finally, sequestration in vacuoles or cell walls of great amounts of heavy metals, is played in hyperaccumulators by constitutive overexpression of genes encoding transmembrane transporters, such as members of ZIP, HMA, MATE, YSL and MTP families. Among the hypotheses proposed to explain the function of hyperaccumulation, most evidence has supported the "elemental defence" hypothesis, which states that plants hyperaccumulate heavy metals as a defence mechanism against natural enemies, such as herbivores. According to the more recent hypothesis of "joint effects", heavy metals can operate in concert with organic defensive compounds leading to enhanced plant defence overall.Heavy metal contaminated soils pose an increasing problem to human and animal health. Using plants that hyperaccumulate specific metals in cleanup efforts appeared over the last 20 years. Metal accumulating species can be used for phytoremediation (removal of contaminant from soils) or phytomining (growing plants to harvest the metals). In addition, as many of the metals that can be hyperaccumulated are also essential nutrients, food fortification and phytoremediation might be considered two sides of the same coin. An overview of literature discussing the phytoremediation capacity of hyperaccumulators to clean up soils contaminated with heavy metals and the possibility of using these plants in phytomining is presented. © 2010 Elsevier Ireland Ltd.

Martucci L.,University of Padua
Journal of High Energy Physics | Year: 2015

Abstract: We identify the low-energy Kähler potential of warped F-theory/IIB flux compactifications whose light spectrum includes universal, Kähler, axionic and mobile D3-brane moduli. The derivation is based on four-dimensional local superconformal symmetry and holomorphy of brane instanton contributions and it reproduces and generalises previous partial results. We compute the resulting kinetic terms, which show their explicit dependence on the warping. The Kähler potential satisfies the no-scale condition and produces, at leading order in the large volume expansion, a specific correction to the unwarped Kähler potential. © 2015, The Author(s).

Matone M.,University of Padua
Nuclear Physics B | Year: 2016

The generating functional for scalar theories admits a representation which is dual with respect to the one introduced by Schwinger, interchanging the role of the free and interacting terms. It maps ∫V(δJ) and JΔJ to δϕc Δδϕc and ∫V(ϕc), respectively, with ϕc=∫JΔ and Δ the Feynman propagator. Comparing the Schwinger representation with its dual version one gets a little known relation that we prove to be a particular case of a more general operatorial relation. We then derive a new representation of the generating functional T[ϕc]=W[J] expressed in terms of covariant derivatives acting on 1 [Formula presented] where [Formula presented]. The dual representation, which is deeply related to the Hermite polynomials, is the key to express the generating functional associated to a sum of potentials in terms of factorized generating functionals. This is applied to renormalization, leading to a factorization of the counterterms of the interaction. We investigate the structure of the functional generator for normal ordered potentials and derive an infinite set of relations in the case of the potential [Formula presented]. Such relations are explicitly derived by using the Faà di Bruno formula. This also yields the explicit expression of the generating functional of connected Green's functions. © 2016 The Author(s)

Guarnieri M.,University of Padua
Proceedings of the IEEE | Year: 2016

Inspired by the celebration of the year of light in 2015, this article considers the long lasting interaction among man, vision and light. © 1963-2012 IEEE.

Turolla R.,University of Padua | Turolla R.,University College London | Zane S.,University College London | Watts A.L.,University of Amsterdam
Reports on Progress in Physics | Year: 2015

Magnetars are the strongest magnets in the present universe and the combination of extreme magnetic field, gravity and density makes them unique laboratories to probe current physical theories (from quantum electrodynamics to general relativity) in the strong field limit. Magnetars are observed as peculiar, burst-active x-ray pulsars, the anomalous x-ray pulsars (AXPs) and the soft gamma repeaters (SGRs); the latter emitted also three 'giant flares', extremely powerful events during which luminosities can reach up to 1047erg s-1 for about one second. The last five years have witnessed an explosion in magnetar research which has led, among other things, to the discovery of transient, or 'outbursting', and 'low-field' magnetars. Substantial progress has been made also on the theoretical side. Quite detailed models for explaining the magnetars' persistent x-ray emission, the properties of the bursts, the flux evolution in transient sources have been developed and confronted with observations. New insight on neutron star asteroseismology has been gained through improved models of magnetar oscillations. The long-debated issue of magnetic field decay in neutron stars has been addressed, and its importance recognized in relation to the evolution of magnetars and to the links among magnetars and other families of isolated neutron stars. The aim of this paper is to present a comprehensive overview in which the observational results are discussed in the light of the most up-to-date theoretical models and their implications. This addresses not only the particular case of magnetar sources, but the more fundamental issue of how physics in strong magnetic fields can be constrained by the observations of these unique sources. © 2015 IOP Publishing Ltd.

The integration of silver and gold nanoparticles with graphene is frequently sought for the realization of hybrid materials with superior optical, photoelectric and photocatalytic performances. A crucial aspect for these applications is how the surface plasmon resonance of metal nanoparticles is modified after assembly with graphene. Here, we used the discrete dipole approximation method to study the surface plasmon resonance of silver and gold nanoparticles in the proximity of a graphene flake or embedded in graphene structures. Surface plasmon resonance modifications were investigated for various shapes of metal nanoparticles and for different morphologies of the nanoparticle-graphene nanohybrids, in a step-by-step approach. Calculations show that the surface plasmon resonance of Ag nanoparticles is quenched in nanohybrids, whereas either surface plasmon quenching or enhancement can be obtained with Au nanoparticles, depending on the configuration adopted. However, graphene effects on the surface plasmon resonance are rapidly lost already at a distance of the order of 5 nm. These results provide useful indications for characterization and monitoring the synthesis of hybrid nanostructures, as well as for the development of hybrid metal nanoparticle/graphene nanomaterials with desired optical properties. © the Owner Societies 2016.

This paper is the review of the Consensus Document on Intermittent Claudication of the Central European Vascular Forum (CEVF), published in 2008, and and shared with the North Africa and Middle East Chapter of International Union of Angiology and the Mediterranean League of Angiology and Vascular Surgery. The Document presents suggestions for general practitioners and vascular specialists for more precise and appropriate management of PAD, particularly of intermittent claudication, and underlines the investigations that should be required by GPs and what the GP should expect from the vascular specialist (angiologist, vascular surgeon). The idea of the Faculty is to produce a short document, which is an easy reference in daily clinical practice, both for the GPs and vascular specialists.

Valcher M.E.,University of Padua | Misra P.,Wright State University
Systems and Control Letters | Year: 2014

The aim of this paper is to address consensus and bipartite consensus for a group of homogeneous agents, under the assumption that their mutual interactions can be described by a weighted, signed, connected and structurally balanced communication graph. This amounts to assuming that the agents can be split into two antagonistic groups such that interactions between agents belonging to the same group are cooperative, and hence represented by nonnegative weights, while interactions between agents belonging to opposite groups are antagonistic, and hence represented by nonpositive weights. In this framework, bipartite consensus can always be reached under the stabilizability assumption on the state-space model describing the dynamics of each agent. On the other hand, (nontrivial) standard consensus may be achieved only under very demanding requirements, both on the Laplacian associated with the communication graph and on the agents' description. In particular, consensus may be achieved only if there is a sort of "equilibrium" between the two groups, both in terms of cardinality and in terms of the weights of the "conflicting interactions" amongst agents. © 2014 Elsevier B.V.

Teza G.,University of Padua
Journal of Computing in Civil Engineering | Year: 2014

Thermal images mosaicking, registration, and analysis (THIMRAN) is a new MATLAB toolbox proposed for processing data provided by infrared thermography (IRT). The toolbox is able to perform a contactless recognition of damage of a large body like a masonry/concrete wall or a rock cliff, leading to useful information for health state evaluation and/or hazard assessment. In an IRT measurement session, a series of thermal images are acquired throughout one or more heating/cooling diurnal cycles. The proposed approach relies on evaluation of the time history of the thermal contrast related to one or more thermal transients. This is an extension to large bodies of a method currently used in laboratory nondestructive testing. The toolbox contains all the necessary functions for a complete IRT-based evaluation of a large body: (1) preliminary image processing (mosaicking, or stitching, and registration); (2) computation of thermal contrast for each image; and (3) damage recognition by means of pixel-by-pixel comparison of thermal images registered into the same reference frame. The toolbox is available as Supplemental Data of this paper. THIMRAN was applied to two case studies, i.e., a leaning bell tower and a rock cliff, which are also described. © 2014 American Society of Civil Engineers.

Plauschinn E.,University of Padua | Plauschinn E.,National Institute of Nuclear Physics, Italy
Nuclear Physics B | Year: 2015

We study collective T-duality transformations along one, two and three directions of isometry for the three-sphere with H-flux. Our aim is to obtain new non-geometric backgrounds along lines similar to the example of the three-torus. However, the resulting backgrounds turn out to be geometric in nature. To perform the duality transformations, we develop a novel procedure for non-abelian T-duality, which follows a route different compared to the known literature, and which highlights the underlying structure from an alternative point of view. © 2015 The Author.

Valcher M.E.,University of Padua | Misra P.,Wright State University
IEEE Transactions on Automatic Control | Year: 2014

In this note we consider a supervisory control scheme that achieves either asymptotic stability or consensus for a group of homogenous agents described by a positive state-space model. Each agent is modeled by means of the same SISO positive state-space model, and the supervisory controller, representing the information exchange among the agents, is implemented via a static output feedback. Necessary and sufficient conditions for the asymptotic stability, or the consensus of all agents, are derived under the positivity constraint. © 1963-2012 IEEE.

Faccio M.,University of Padua
International Journal of Advanced Manufacturing Technology | Year: 2014

One of the significant challenges in operating a mix-model assembly system is the feeding of parts to the productive units. In order to avoid production loss, assembly systems require uninterrupted availability of components to feed workstations. On the other hand, the feeding of assembly components has to be performed in a way that minimises the related costs. In the past, the feeding system most widely used was so-called 'line storage' in which the components were stored along the assembly stations in large quantities and were periodically refilled by the central warehouse. Following just-in-time principles, nowadays, assembly system feeding is undertaken by supermarkets, as in decentralised storage areas close to the assembly lines. From such kinds of warehousing, a growing number of manufacturers are adopting two other feeding strategies: the kanban system, which continuously refills the assembly stations through the pull kanban system, or the kitting system, in which kits of components are prepared and delivered following the product through the assembly stations. This paper aims to quantitatively analyse and compare these two recent feeding strategies, considering the production mix variation and the assembled models variety influence. Moreover, kanban-kitting feeding policy and the related optimization issues are considered as hybrid. The findings from an industrial case study and a simulation analysis are also reported. Finally, a decision-making tool that defines a series of 'convenience areas' for the different feeding policies is provided. © 2014 Springer-Verlag London.

Matone M.,University of Padua
Journal of High Energy Physics | Year: 2015

Abstract: A simple algorithm, which exploits the associativity of the BCH formula, and that can be generalized by iteration, extends the remarkable simplification of the BakerCampbell-Hausdorff (BCH) formula, recently derived by Van-Brunt and Visser. We show that if [X, Y] = uX + vY + cI, [Y, Z] = wY + zZ + dI, and, consistently with the Jacobi identity, [X, Z] = mX + nY + pZ + eI, then (Formula presented.) where a, b, c and d are solutions of four equations. In particular, the Van-Brunt and Visser formula (Formula presented.) extends to cases when [X, Z] contains also elements different from X and Z. Such a closed form of the BCH formula may have interesting applications both in mathematics and physics. As an application, we provide the closed form of the BCH formula in the case of the exponentiation of the Virasoro algebra, with SL2(ℂ) following as a subcase. We also determine three-dimensional subalgebras of the Virasoro algebra satisfying the Van-Brunt and Visser condition. It turns out that the exponential form of SL2(ℂ) has a nice representation in terms of its eigenvalues and of the fixed points of the corresponding Möbius transformation. This may have applications in Uniformization theory and Conformal Field Theories. © 2015, The Author(s).

Short lasting headaches related to activity or cough are rare, particularly in childhood, and can be difficult to diagnose, especially in young children who are not able to describe their symptoms. In the literature there are few data on this topic in adults and the paediatric cases reported are even more rare. We present the clinical history of a 7-year-old child and a 3-year-old child both diagnosed as having activity-related headaches, characterized by sudden onset of short lasting (few seconds) attacks, that were triggered by cough or exercise. There were no accompanying symptoms and the neurological examination was normal in both cases. Brain magnetic resonance imaging showed, in the first case, a cerebellar pilocytic astrocytoma and, in the second case, a Chiari 1 malformation. Both cases received an early diagnosis, were surgically treated and had a good prognosis at follow-up. When headache has a recent onset, it presents suddenly, and it is triggered by strain, even with normal neurological examination, neuroimaging is mandatory in order to exclude secondary headaches, especially in children.

Skaper S.D.,University of Padua
Methods in Molecular Biology | Year: 2012

The neurotrophins are a family of closely related proteins that were first identified as survival factors for sympathetic and sensory neurons and have since been shown to control a number of aspects of survival, development, and function of neurons in both the central and peripheral nervous systems. Limiting quantities of neurotrophins during development control the numbers of surviving neurons to ensure a match between neurons and the requirement for a suitable density of target innervation. Biological effects of each of the four mammalian neurotrophins are mediated through activation of one or more of the three members of the tropomyosin-related kinase (Trk) family of receptor tyrosine kinases (TrkA, TrkB, and TrkC). In addition, all neurotrophins activate the p75 neurotrophin receptor, a member of the tumor necrosis factor receptor superfamily. Neurotrophin engagement of Trk receptors leads to activation of Ras, phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase, phospholipase C-γ1, and signaling pathways controlled through these proteins, including the mitogen-activated protein kinases. Neurotrophin availability is required into adulthood, where they control synaptic function and plasticity and sustain neuronal cell survival, morphology, and differentiation. This chapter will provide an overview of neurotrophin biology, their receptors, and signaling pathways. © 2012 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.

Greggio E.,University of Padua
Biochemical Society Transactions | Year: 2012

Interest in studying the biology of LRRK2 (leucine-rich repeat kinase 2) started in 2004 when missense mutations in the LRRK2 gene were linked to an inherited form of Parkinson's disease with clinical and pathological presentation resembling the sporadic syndrome. LRRK2 is a complex molecule containing domains implicated in protein interactions, as well as kinase and GTPase activities. The observation that the common G2019S mutation increases kinase activity in vitro suggests that altered phosphorylation of LRRK2 targets may have pathological outcomes. Given that protein kinases are ideal targets for drug therapies, much effort has been directed at understanding the role of LRRK2 kinase activity on disease onset. However, no clear physiological substrates have been identified to date, indicating that much research is still needed to fully understand the signalling pathways orchestrated by LRRK2 and deregulated under pathological conditions. ©The Authors Journal compilation ©2012 Biochemical Society.

Arpi E.,University of Padua | Ferrari F.,University of Modena and Reggio Emilia
Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology | Year: 2013

The behaviour problems of children born preterm at school age are well known, but there have been few studies on the behaviour problems of preterm-born infants during infancy and at preschool age. Fourteen cohort studies published in PubMed and PsycINFO between 2000 and 2012 were reviewed with a focus on the type, occurrence, comorbidity, stability, prediction, perinatal, social, and relational risk factors for behaviour problems of preterm-born children in infancy (0-2y) and at preschool age (3-5y). The relational risk factor was considered in an additional four papers. Very-preterm, very-low-birthweight, and moderately-preterm children, in both age groups, show more behaviour problems than term-born comparison children even after perinatal and social risk factors and cognitive performance have been controlled for. Poor social/interactive skills, poor behavioural and emotional self-regulation, emotional difficulties, and reduced attention are the most common behaviour problems. Behaviour problems in infancy are predictive of later behaviour problems and they should be included in follow-up programmes. © The Authors. © 2013 Mac Keith Press.

Pozzobon N.,University of Padua | Pozzobon N.,National Institute of Nuclear Physics, Italy
Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research, Section A: Accelerators, Spectrometers, Detectors and Associated Equipment | Year: 2013

Over the next decade, several upgrades in the LHC and its injector chain will eventually increase the luminosity by up to a factor of 10 compared to the original design figure of 1034 cm-2 s-1. In order to cope with the large number of interactions per bunch crossing, a novel tracking system for the CMS experiment will be designed and built. The new tracker will also provide information to the Level 1 trigger decision, in order to improve the ability of selecting interesting physics channels in a higher density environment. The CMS collaboration is developing a novel module concept ("pT-module"), where signals from two closely spaced sensors are correlated in the front-end electronics, to select pairs of hits compatible with particle pT above a certain threshold. Selected pairs of hits, called "track stubs", represent between 5% and 10% of the overall data rate: such a reduction factor enables the data processing at Level 1. Two main types of pT-modules are being developed, one based on strip sensors, and the other coupling a strip sensor with a pixelated sensor, which provides also precise information in the z coordinate. The main features of the pT-module options under development are reviewed, as well as the benchmark results from simulation studies. © 2013 CERN.

Background Two indicators of a clade's success are its diversity (number of included species) and its disparity (extent of morphospace occupied by its members). Many large genera show high diversity with low disparity, while others such as Euphorbia and Drosophila are highly diverse but also exhibit high disparity. The largest genera are often characterized by key innovations that often, but not necessarily, coincide with their diagnostic apomorphies. In terms of their contribution to speciation, apomorphies are either permissive (e.g. flightlessness) or generative (e.g. nectariferous spurs). Scope Except for Drosophila, virtually no genus among those with the highest diversity or disparity includes species currently studied as model species in developmental genetics or evolutionary developmental biology (evo-devo). An evo-devo approach is, however, potentially important to understand how diversity and disparity could rapidly increase in the largest genera currently accepted by taxonomists. The most promising directions for future research and a set of key questions to be addressed are presented in this review. Conclusions From an evo-devo perspective, the evolution of clades with high diversity and/or disparity can be addressed from three main perspectives: (1) evolvability, in terms of release from previous constraints and of the presence of genetic or developmental conditions favouring multiple parallel occurrences of a given evolutionary transition and its reversal; (2) phenotypic plasticity as a facilitator of speciation; and (3) modularity, heterochrony and a coupling between the complexity of the life cycle and the evolution of diversity and disparity in a clade. This simple preliminary analysis suggests a set of topics that deserve priority for scrutiny, including the possible role of saltational evolution in the origination of high diversity and/or disparity, the predictability of morphological evolution following release from a former constraint, and the extent and the possible causes of a positive correlation between diversity and disparity and the complexity of the life cycle. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Annals of Botany Company.

Rosenson R.S.,Mount Sinai School of Medicine | Fioretto P.,University of Padua | Dodson P.M.,Heart of England Foundation Trust
Atherosclerosis | Year: 2011

Aim: Population studies suggest a link between albuminuria, reduced glomerular filtration rate (GFR) and retinopathy and macrovascular events in type 2 diabetes. The aim of this review was to investigate whether this association extended to the presence of any diabetic microvascular complication. Method and results: PUBMED was searched from 1999 to 2010 using the terms 'albuminuria', 'nephropathy', 'chronic kidney disease', 'estimated GFR', 'retinopathy', 'autonomic neuropathy', 'peripheral neuropathy', or 'microvascular' and 'cardiovascular disease', 'stroke', 'coronary heart disease' or 'peripheral vascular disease' and 'type 2 diabetes' and MESH equivalents. Prospective studies with at least 200 type 2 diabetes subjects that evaluated hard cardiovascular endpoints were selected. In 25 studies (n=54,117) included in the review there was evidence of an association between microvascular complications (notably retinopathy or nephropathy) and cardiovascular events. Diabetic retinopathy was associated with ~1.7-fold increased risk for cardiovascular events, and albuminuria or reduced GFR associated with ~two-fold increased risk for cardiovascular events. In the presence of more than one complication, this risk was accentuated. These associations remained even after adjustment for conventional cardiovascular risk factors, diabetes duration and glycaemic control. These data suggest that similar mechanisms may be relevant to the pathogenesis of both micro- and macrovascular disease in type 2 diabetes. It is likely that endothelial dysfunction, low-grade inflammation and rheological abnormalities are common mechanistic denominators. Conclusions: This review highlights the association between micro- and macrovascular disease in type 2 diabetes, underlining the importance of early detection of microangiopathy for vascular risk assessment in type 2 diabetes. © 2011 Elsevier Ireland Ltd.

Milani S.,University of Padua
IEEE Transactions on Image Processing | Year: 2011

In the H.264/AVC FRExt coder, the coding performance of Intra coding significantly overcomes the previous still image coding standards, like JPEG2000, thanks to a massive use of spatial prediction. Unfortunately, the adoption of an extensive set of predictors induces a significant increase of the computational complexity required by the rate-distortion optimization routine. The paper presents a complexity reduction strategy that aims at reducing the computational load of the Intra coding with a small loss in the compression performance. The proposed algorithm relies on selecting a reduced set of prediction modes according to their probabilities, which are estimated adopting a belief-propagation procedure. Experimental results show that the proposed method permits saving up to of the coding time required by an exhaustive rate-distortion optimization method with a negligible loss in performance. Moreover, it permits an accurate control of the computational complexity unlike other methods where the computational complexity depends upon the coded sequence. © 2010 IEEE.

Sandri M.,Venetian Institute of Molecular Medicine | Sandri M.,CNR Institute of Neuroscience | Sandri M.,University of Padua | Robbins J.,The Heart Institute
Journal of Molecular and Cellular Cardiology | Year: 2014

In general, in most organ systems, intracellular protein homeostasis is the sum of many factors, including chromosomal state, protein synthesis, post-translational processing and transport, folding, assembly and disassembly into macromolecular complexes, protein stability and clearance. In the heart, there has been a focus on the gene programs that are activated during pathogenic processes, but the removal of damaged proteins and organelles has been underappreciated as playing an important role in the pathogenesis of heart disease. Proteotoxicity refers to the adverse effects of damaged or misfolded proteins and even organelles on the cell. At the cellular level, the ultimate outcome of uncontrolled or severe proteotoxicity is cell death; hence, the pathogenic impact of proteotoxicity is maximally manifested in organs with no or very poor regenerative capability such as the brain and the heart. Evidence for increased cardiac proteotoxicity is rapidly mounting for a large subset of congenital and acquired human heart disease. Studies carried out in animal models and in cell culture have begun to establish both sufficiency and, in some cases, the necessity of proteotoxicity as a major pathogenic factor in the heart. This dictates rigorous testing for the efficacy of proteotoxic attenuation as a new strategy to treat heart disease. This review article highlights some recent advances in our understanding of how misfolded proteins can injure and are handled in the cell, examining the emerging evidence for targeting proteotoxicity as a new therapeutic strategy for heart disease. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled "Protein Quality Control, the Ubiquitin Proteasome System, and Autophagy.". © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

Burisch J.,Copenhagen University | Jess T.,Statens Serum Institute | Martinato M.,University of Padua | Lakatos P.L.,Semmelweis University
Journal of Crohn's and Colitis | Year: 2013

Inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) are chronic disabling gastrointestinal disorders impacting every aspect of the affected individual's life and account for substantial costs to the health care system and society. New epidemiological data suggest that the incidence and prevalence of the diseases are increasing and medical therapy and disease management have changed significantly in the last decade. An estimated 2.5-3. million people in Europe are affected by IBD, with a direct healthcare cost of 4.6-5.6. bn Euros/year. Therefore, the aim of this review is to describe the burden of IBD in Europe by discussing the latest epidemiological data, the disease course and risk for surgery and hospitalization, mortality and cancer risks, as well as the economic aspects, patients' disability and work impairment. © 2013 European Crohn's and Colitis Organisation.

Trevisan S.,University of Padua
Plant signaling & behavior | Year: 2012

Stress responses depend on the correct regulation of gene expression. The discovery that abiotic as well as biotic stresses can regulate miRNA levels, coupled with the identification and functional analyses of stress-associated genes as miRNA targets, provided clues about the vital role that several miRNAs may play in modulating plant resistance to stresses. Nitrogen availability seriously affects crops productivity and environment and the understanding of the miRNA-guided stress regulatory networks should provide new tools for the genetic improvement of nitrogen use efficiency of crops. A recent study revealed the potential role of a number of nitrate-responsive miRNAs in the maize adaptation to nitrate fluctuations. In particular, results obtained suggested that a nitrate depletion might regulate the expression of genes involved in the starvation adaptive response, by affecting the spatio-temporal expression patterns of specific miRNAs.

Berto F.,University of Padua
International Journal of Fatigue | Year: 2012

The present technical note is aimed to provide a closed form expression for the microstructural support factor and for the fictitious notch radius in plates weakened by V-notches with root end-holes. Taking advantage of some recent closed form expressions for the stress distributions due to V-notches with end holes the fictitious notch rounding approach is applied here to mode 3 loading. The factor s for the V-notch with end holes is found to be strongly influenced by the opening angle and the new values are compared with the previous solution available in the literature and dealing with blunt V-notches. To validate the new expressions a comparison is carried out between the theoretical stress concentration factor (SCF) obtained from a rounded V-notch with a fictitiously enlarged end hole (of radius ρ f) and the effective stress concentration factor obtained by integrating the relevant stress over the microstructural characteristic length (MCL), ρ, in a pointed V-notch. A sound agreement is found from the comparison. The range of validity of the present equations are limited to linear elasticity or in those cases where the plastic zone is very small with respect to the MCL of the material. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Tessari P.,University of Padua
Journal of Nephrology | Year: 2015

Nitric oxide (NO) is a gas with biological and regulatory properties, produced from arginine by the way of nitric oxide synthases (NOS), and with a very short half-life (few seconds). A “coupled” NOS activity leads to NO generation, whereas its uncoupling produces the reactive oxygen species peroxynitrite (ONOO−). Uncoupling is usually due to inflammation, oxidative stress, decreased cofactor availability, or excessive NO production. Competitive inhibitors of NO production are post-translationally methylated arginine residues in proteins, which are constantly released into the circulation. NO availability is altered in many clinical conditions associated with vascular dysfunction, such as diabetes mellitus. The kidney plays an important role in body NO homeostasis. This article provides an overview of current literature, on NO production/availability, with a focus on diabetic nephropathy. In diabetes, NO availability is usually decreased (with exception of the early, hyper filtration phase of nephropathy in Type 1 diabetes), and it could constitute a factor of the generalized vasculopathy present in diabetic nephropathy. NO generation in Type 2 diabetes with nephropathy is inversely associated with the dimethyl-arginine concentrations, which are therefore important modulators of NO synthesis independently from the classic stimulatory pathways (such as the insulin effect). A disturbed NO metabolism is present in diabetes associated with nephropathy. Although modulation of NO production is not yet a common therapeutical strategy, a number of yet experimental compounds need to be tested as potential interventions to treat the vascular dysfunction and nephropathy in diabetes, as well as in other diseased states. Finally, in diabetic nephropathy NO deficiency may be associated to that of hydrogen sulfide, another interesting gaseous mediator which is increasingly investigated. © 2014, Italian Society of Nephrology.

Martucci L.,University of Padua
Journal of High Energy Physics | Year: 2014

A variant of the topological twist, involving SL(2, ℤ) dualities and hence named topological duality twist, is introduced and explicitly applied to describe a U(1) N = 4 super Yang-Mills theory on a Kähler space with holomorphically space-dependent coupling. Three-dimensional duality walls and two-dimensional chiral theories naturally enter the formulation of the duality twisted theory. Appropriately generalized, this theory is relevant for the study of Euclidean D3-brane instantons in F-theory compactifications. Some of its properties and implications are discussed. © 2014 The Author(s).

We present a new scheme to include the van der Waals (vdW) interactions in approximated Density Functional Theory (DFT) by combining the quantum harmonic oscillator model with the maximally localized Wannier function technique. With respect to the recently developed DFT/vdW-WF2 method, also based on Wannier Functions, the new approach is more general, being no longer restricted to the case of well separated interacting fragments. Moreover, it includes higher than pairwise energy contributions, coming from the dipole-dipole coupling among quantum oscillators. The method is successfully applied to the popular S22 molecular database, and also to extended systems, namely graphite and H 2 adsorbed on the Cu(111) metal surface (in this case metal screening effects are taken into account). The results are also compared with those obtained by other vdW-corrected DFT schemes. © 2013 AIP Publishing LLC.

Parpaiola A.,University of Padua
The International journal of periodontics & restorative dentistry | Year: 2013

This report presents early clinical experiences with the treatment of a consecutive cohort of 89 patients who received 125 prostheses supported by 205 milled abutments. Abutments were fabricated using unique computer-aided design software to deliver both titanium and zirconia abutments based on idealized values for tooth dimensions and emergence profiles as well as on a scan of the proposed definitive prosthesis.

Porzionato A.,University of Padua
Anatomical record (Hoboken, N.J. : 2007) | Year: 2012

The University of Padua is one of the most ancient in the world, being founded in 1222, and the most important anatomists of the XVI, XVII, and XVIII centuries studied and taught here. Probably, the first professor of anatomy and surgery was Bruno da Longobucco (c. 1200-c. 1286), who had previously studied at the Salerno School of Medicine. While professor in Padua, Andreas Vesalius (1514-1564) published De Humani Corporis Fabrica (1543), which is considered as the birth of the modern anatomy. Following professors were Realdo Colombo (c. 1516-1559), Gabriel Fallopius (1523-1562), Hieronymus Fabricius ab Aquapendente (1533-1619), Iulius Casserius (1552-1616), Johann Wesling (1598-1649), and Johann Georg Wirsung (1589-1643). Many other foreign scholars studied in the University of Padua, such as Thomas Linacre (c. 1460-1524), the founder of the Royal College of Physicians, Werner Rolfinck (1599-1673), and Olof Rudbeck (1630-1702), who created anatomical theatres in Germany and Sweden, respectively, on the basis of the Paduan model. The anatomy of the XVII century characteristically widened the scope of its enquiry to function, as in the Exercitatio Anatomica De Motu Cordis et Sanguinis in Animalibus (1628) by William Harvey (1578-1657). Further evolution was then given by the anatomy in the XVIII century, which tried to correlate alterations of structure with clinical symptoms. The most important anatomist of this century is Giovanni Battista Morgagni (1682-1771), whose masterpiece De Sedibus et Causis Morborum per Anatomen Indagatis (1761) is a landmark contribution that is viewed as the beginning of modern pathologic anatomy. This year falls the 300th anniversary of Morgagni's inaugural lecture on medical education, Nova Institutionum Medicarum Idea (1712), which is still relevant in its effort to stress the importance of a deep knowledge of all the preclinical and clinical aspects of medical science. Copyright © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

The measurement of heavy-flavour production and nuclear modification factor in heavy-ion collisions provides insights into the mechanisms of parton energy loss in the hot and dense medium formed in these collisions. ALICE results on heavy-flavour decay electrons and muons and on D mesons are presented. © 2014 CERN.

Wulzer A.,University of Padua
Nuclear Physics B | Year: 2014

I describe a novel covariant formulation of massive gauge theories in which the longitudinal polarization vectors do not grow with the energy. Therefore in the present formalism, differently from the ordinary one, the energy and coupling power-counting is completely transparent at the level of individual Feynman diagrams, with obvious advantages both at the conceptual and practical level.Since power-counting is transparent, the high-energy limit of the amplitudes involving longitudinal particles is immediately taken, and the Equivalence Theorem is easily demonstrated at all orders in perturbation theory. Since the formalism makes the Equivalence Theorem self-evident, and because it is based on a suitable choice of the gauge, we can call it an "Equivalent Gauge". © 2014 The Author.

In its original formulation the Peak Stress Method (PSM) was adopted to assess the fatigue strength when only mode I stresses are singular (for example at the toe of fillet-welds) or significant (for example at the root of load-carrying fillet welded cruciforms). Nevertheless in welded lap joints and cover plates both mode I and mode II stresses are singular at the weld root, where fatigue cracks are likely to initiate. In the present paper the PSM is extended to mode II loading conditions and then an equivalent peak stress is derived, which is used to assess either weld toe or weld root fatigue failures. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.

PEGylation of biological proteins, defined as the covalent conjugation of proteins with polyethylene glycol (PEG), leads to a number of biopharmaceutical improvements, including increased half-life, increased solubility and reduced aggregation, and reduced immunogenicity. Since their introduction in 1990, PEGylated proteins have significantly improved the management of various chronic diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and Crohn's disease. Certolizumab pegol is the only PEGylated anti-tumour necrosis factor (TNF)-α agent. It is a PEGylated, humanised, antigen-binding fragment of an anti-TNF monoclonal antibody. Unlike other anti-TNF agents, it has no crystallisable fragment (Fc) domain. Because of its novel structure, certolizumab pegol may have a different mechanism of action to the other anti-TNF agents, and also has different pharmacodynamic properties, which could possibly translate to a different safety profile. Pharmacodynamic studies have shown that certolizumab pegol binds to TNF with a higher affinity than adalimumab and infliximab. Certolizumab pegol is also more potent at neutralising soluble TNF-mediated signalling than adalimumab and infliximab, and has similar or lesser potency to etanercept. Certolizumab pegol does not cause detrimental in vitro effects such as degranulation, loss of cell integrity, apoptosis, complement-dependent cytotoxicity and antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity. Certolizumab pegol may also penetrate more effectively into inflamed arthritic tissue than other anti-TNF agents, and is not actively transported across the placenta during pregnancy. Pharmacokinetic studies in healthy volunteers demonstrated that single intravenous and subcutaneous doses of certolizumab pegol had predictable pharmacokinetics. The pharmacokinetics of certolizumab pegol in patients with RA and Crohn's disease were consistent with pharmacokinetics in healthy volunteers. © 2014 Springer International Publishing Switzerland.

Palmieri L.,University of Padua
Proceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering | Year: 2014

The steady increase of bandwidth demand in worldwide communications has revived the interest about multimode optical bers and their use in spatial division multiplexed systems. Roughly speaking, in these systems transmission capacity is increased by using modes as separate channels, resorting to either special ber with negligible mode coupling, or to MIMO technology to compensate mode dispersion. In this framework, understanding the mechanisms that originate mode coupling is of crucial importance, for it would lead to the development of more accurate propagation models and optimized ber designs. The paper analyzes the most common sources of mode coupling and their e ects. © 2014 Copyright SPIE.

Naon D.,Venetian Institute of Molecular Medicine | Scorrano L.,Venetian Institute of Molecular Medicine | Scorrano L.,University of Padua
Biochimica et Biophysica Acta - Molecular Cell Research | Year: 2014

The interface between mitochondria and the endoplasmic reticulum is emerging as a crucial hub for calcium signalling, apoptosis, autophagy and lipid biosynthesis, with far reaching implications in cell life and death and in the regulation of mitochondrial and endoplasmic reticulum function. Here we review our current knowledge on the structural and functional aspects of this interorganellar juxtaposition. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Calcium Signaling In Health and Disease. Guest Editors: Geert Bultynck, Jacques Haiech, Claus W. Heizmann, Joachim Krebs, and Marc Moreau. © 2014 Elsevier B.V.

Rasola A.,CNR Institute of Neuroscience | Rasola A.,University of Padua | Neckers L.,Urologic | Picard D.,University of Geneva
Trends in Cell Biology | Year: 2014

Many tumors undergo a dramatic metabolic shift known as the Warburg effect in which glucose utilization is favored and oxidative phosphorylation is downregulated, even when oxygen availability is plentiful. However, the mechanistic basis for this switch has remained unclear. Recently several independent groups identified tumor necrosis factor receptor-associated protein 1 (TRAP1), a mitochondrial molecular chaperone of the heat shock protein 90 (Hsp90) family, as a key modulator of mitochondrial respiration. Although all reports agree that this activity of TRAP1 has important implications for neoplastic progression, data from the different groups only partially overlap, suggesting that TRAP1 may have complex and possibly contextual effects on tumorigenesis. In this review we analyze these recent findings and attempt to reconcile these observations. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.

Pedersen M.G.,University of Padua | Pedersen M.G.,Lund University
Biophysical Journal | Year: 2010

Electrical activity in pancreatic β-cells plays a pivotal role in glucose-stimulated insulin secretion by coupling metabolism to calcium-triggered exocytosis. Mathematical models based on rodent data have helped in understanding the mechanisms underlying the electrophysiological patterns observed in laboratory animals. However, human β-cells differ in several aspects, and in particular in their electrophysiological characteristics, from rodent β-cells. Hence, from a clinical perspective and to obtain insight into the defects in insulin secretion relevant for diabetes mellitus, it is important to study human β-cells. This work presents the first mathematical model of electrical activity based entirely on published ion channel characteristics of human β-cells. The model reproduces satisfactorily a series of experimentally observed patterns in human β-cells, such as spiking and rapid bursting electrical activity, and their response to a range of ion channel antagonists. The possibility of Human Ether-a-Go-Go-related- and leak channels as drug targets for diabetes treatment is discussed based on model results. © 2010 by the Biophysical Society.

Ciccariello S.,University of Padua
Journal of Applied Crystallography | Year: 2010

The asymptotic behaviour, at large scattering vector q, of the small-angle scattering intensities of isotropic plane samples is similar to that of three-dimensional samples. In fact, its expression, limited to the first two leading terms, is c 1(1)(0)/q 3 + c 3(3)(0)/q 5, where c 1 and c 3 are appropriate numerical constants, and (1)(0) and (3)(0) the values, at the origin, of the first and third derivatives, respectively, of the two-dimensional correlation function. These values are proportional to the specific length and to the mean square reciprocal curvature radius of the interface curve. The angularity of the latter can also be determined, while the presence of oscillations in the appropriate Porod plot is related to a parallelism condition obeyed by the interface curve. These results are useful for analysing the small-angle scattering intensities collected under grazing incidence and diffused by film samples that are a collection of homogeneous cylinders of arbitrary right sections. © 2010 International Union of Crystallography Printed in Singapore-all rights reserved.

Somatic mutations in the GNAS1 gene, encoding the α-subunit of the heterotrimeric stimulatory G protein (Gαs), occur in approximately 40% of growth hormone (GH)-secreting pituitary tumours. By altering the adenylate cyclase-cAMP-protein kinase A pathway, they unequivocally give somatotroph cells a growth advantage. Hence, the pathogenesis of somatotropinomas could be linked to anomalies in receptors coupled to the cAMP second-messenger cascade. Among them, the glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide receptor (GIPR) is already known to play a primary role in the impaired cAMP-dependent cortisol secretion in patients affected by food-dependent Cushing's syndrome. In the present study, 43 somatotropinomas and 12 normal pituitary glands were investigated for GIPR expression by quantitative reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction, western blotting and immunohistochemistry. Tumoural specimens were also evaluated for GNAS1 mutational status. The effect of GIPR overexpression on cAMP levels and GH transcription was evaluated in an in vitro model of somatotropinomas, the GH-secreting pituitary cell line GH3. GIPR was expressed at higher levels compared to normal pituitaries in 13 GNAS1 mutation-negative somatotropinomas. GIP stimulated adenylyl cyclase and GH-promoter activity in GIPR-transfected GH3 cells, confirming a correct coupling of GIPR to Gαs. In a proportion of acromegalic patients, GIPR overexpression appeared to be associated with a paradoxical increase in GH after an oral glucose tolerance test. Whether GIPR overexpression in acromegalic patients may be associated with this paradoxical response or more generally involved in the pathogenesis of acromegaly, as suggested by the mutually exclusive high GIPR levels and GNAS1 mutations, remains an open question. © 2011 The Authors. Journal of Neuroendocrinology © 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

Salasnich L.,University of Padua
Physical Review A - Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics | Year: 2013

We investigate the zero-temperature properties of a quasi-ideal Fermi gas with Rashba spin-orbit coupling. We find that the spin-orbit term strongly affects the speeds of zero sound and first sound in the Fermi gas, due to the presence of a third-order quantum phase transition. In addition, including a two-dimensional harmonic confinement, we show that also the shape of the density profile of the cloud crucially depends on the strength of the Rashba coupling. © 2013 American Physical Society.

Salt marshes are coastal ecosystems characterized by high biodiversity and rates of primary productivity, providing fundamental ecosystem services. Salt-marsh ecosystems are important indicators of environmental change as the dynamics are governed by interacting physical and biological processes, whose intertwined feedbacks critically affect the evolution. Settling deposition of inorganic sediment allows the platform to reach a threshold elevation for vegetation encroachment; the presence of vegetation then intensifies rates of accretion, thus, enhancing the resilience of marshes to increasing rates of sea level rise (SLR). The results from a two-dimensional numerical model, accounting for biotic and geomorphic processes, show that different morphological evolutionary regimes are followed depending on marsh biological processes. The average marsh elevation within the tidal frame decreases with increasing rates of SLR, decreasing availability of sediment, and decreasing productivity of vegetation. The spatial variability in platform elevations increases with increasing rates of SLR, increasing availability of sediment, and decreasing productivity of vegetation. Supply-limited settings tend to develop uniform marsh surface elevations, whereas supply-rich settings tend to develop patterns of sedimentation where large heterogeneities in marsh surface elevations occur. The complexity observed in tidal geomorphological patterns is deemed to arise from the mutual influence of biotic and abiotic components. The fate of tidal landforms and their possible geomorphological restoration should, thus, be addressed through approaches which explicitly incorporate bio-morphodynamic processes. © 2010 Elsevier B.V.

Sales G.,University of Padua
Nucleic acids research | Year: 2013

Graphite web is a novel web tool for pathway analyses and network visualization for gene expression data of both microarray and RNA-seq experiments. Several pathway analyses have been proposed either in the univariate or in the global and multivariate context to tackle the complexity and the interpretation of expression results. These methods can be further divided into 'topological' and 'non-topological' methods according to their ability to gain power from pathway topology. Biological pathways are, in fact, not only gene lists but can be represented through a network where genes and connections are, respectively, nodes and edges. To this day, the most used approaches are non-topological and univariate although they miss the relationship among genes. On the contrary, topological and multivariate approaches are more powerful, but difficult to be used by researchers without bioinformatic skills. Here we present Graphite web, the first public web server for pathway analysis on gene expression data that combines topological and multivariate pathway analyses with an efficient system of interactive network visualizations for easy results interpretation. Specifically, Graphite web implements five different gene set analyses on three model organisms and two pathway databases. Graphite Web is freely available at http://graphiteweb.bio.unipd.it/.

Corvaja R.,University of Padua
Physical Review A - Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics | Year: 2013

In quantum discrimination, the value of the minimum error probability and the set of measurement operators which achieve this minimum are often difficult to derive. Here we present a comparison of the performance obtained by the optimal solution and by the available bounds, namely the square root measurement (SRM) and the Chernoff bound. Applied to some Gaussian states, namely to coherent states with thermal noise, it is shown that the SRM provides a much tighter bound with respect to the Chernoff bound, with a comparable numerical complexity. © 2013 American Physical Society.

Serra J.,University of Padua
Journal of High Energy Physics | Year: 2015

Abstract: Light top partners are the prime sign of naturalness in composite Higgs models. We explore here the possibility of non-standard top partner phenomenology. We show that even in the simplest extension of the minimal composite Higgs model, featuring an extra singlet pseudo Nambu-Goldstone boson, the branching ratios of the top partners into standard channels can be significantly altered, with no substantial change in the generated Higgs potential. Together with the variety of possible final states from the decay of the pseudo-scalar singlet, this motivates more extensive analyses in the search for the top partners. © 2015, The Author(s).

Zorzi M.,University of Padua
IEEE Transactions on Automatic Control | Year: 2015

In this technical note, we deal with a spectrum approximation problem arising in THREE-like multivariate spectral estimation approaches. The solution to the problem minimizes a suitable divergence index with respect to an a priori spectral density. We derive a new divergence family between multivariate spectral densities which takes root in the prediction theory. Under mild assumptions on the a priori spectral density, the approximation problem, based on this new divergence family, admits a family of solutions. Moreover, an upper bound on the complexity degree of these solutions is provided. © 2014 IEEE.

The origin and nature of 'irregular', 'sporadic' sound changes have been debated by different theories of phonological change since at least the Neogrammarians. They are often attributed to non-phonological factors, as analogy or borrowing, or to the non-(purely)-phonological mechanism of lexical diffusion. The aim of this paper is to show that an irregular sound change in the historical phonology of Tuscan - namely the voicing of some intervocalic voiceless stops - is not due to borrowing (as often argued), but to a variable and allophonic voicing rule, whose output was only partially subject to phonological recategorization. The most likely causes for this irregular outcome are the variable strength intervocalic voicing had in different environments, the interaction with another lenition process and the perceptual ambiguity of the lenited stops. © 2015 S. Karger AG, Basel.

Pagh R.,IT University of Copenhagen | Silvestri F.,University of Padua
Proceedings of the ACM SIGACT-SIGMOD-SIGART Symposium on Principles of Database Systems | Year: 2014

We consider the well-known problem of enumerating all triangles of an undirected graph. Our focus is on determining the input/output (I/O) complexity of this problem. Let E be the number of edges, M < E the size of internal memory, and B the block size. The best results obtained previously are sort(E3/2) I/Os (Dementiev, PhD thesis 2006) and O (E 2=(MB)) I/Os (Hu et al., SIGMOD 2013), where sort(n) denotes the number of I/Os for sorting n items. We improve the I/O complexity to O (E 3/2=(√ MB)) expected I/Os, which improves the previous bounds by a factor min(√ E/M; √M). Our algorithm is cache-oblivious and also I/O optimal: We show that any algorithm enumerating t distinct triangles must always use Ω(t/(√MB)) I/Os, and there are graphs for which t = Ω(E3/2). Finally, we give a deterministic cache-aware algorithm using O (E3/2/(√MB)) I/Os assuming M ≥ Eε for a constant ε > 0. Our results are based on a new color coding technique, which may be of independent interest. Copyright 2014 ACM.

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

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

Brun P.,University of Padua
Journal of biomedical materials research. Part B, Applied biomaterials | Year: 2012

The aim of this study was to compare the effects of native hyaluronan (HA) with that of its hexadecylamide derivative (HYADD) on proliferation of fibroblast-like synoviocytes (FLS) and chondrocytes. The production of inflammatory and anti-inflammatory cytokines was also analyzed in FLS cultures. The proliferation of osteoarthritis (OA) chondrocytes was enhanced when cells were treated with 0.5-1.5 mg mL(-1) of HA or HYADD®4-G. This effect was completely suppressed by the anti-CD44 antibody. At 0.5 to 1 mg mL(-1) , HA and HYADD®4-G did not influence the proliferation of normal or pathological FLS; however, at the higher concentration (1.5 mg mL(-1) ), HYADD®4-G did significantly inhibit cell proliferation. As to effects on inflammation, a significant increase in the expression of the IL-10 gene was observed when FLS were pretreated with tumor necrosis factor alpha and then cultured in the presence of 0.5 mg mL(-1) HYADD® 4-G or HA. The effects of HA derivatives on FLS proliferation and production of anti-inflammatory cytokines indicate that they may be of therapeutic benefit in OA. The longer residence time in the joint cavity, the increased viscoelasticity, and the anti-inflammatory potential of HYADD®4-G make it a better candidate than native HA for OA therapy. Copyright © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Regazzo D.,University of Padua
Molecular nutrition & food research | Year: 2010

Although the bioavailability of large peptides with biological activity is of great interest, the intestinal transport has been described for peptides up to only nine residues. β-casein (β-CN, 193-209) is a long and hydrophobic peptide composed of 17 amino acid residues (molecular mass 1881 Da) with immunomodulatory activity. The present work examined the transport of the β-CN (193-209) peptide across Caco-2 cell monolayer. In addition, we evaluated the possible routes of the β-CN (193-209) peptide transport, using selective inhibitors of the different routes for peptide transfer through the intestinal barrier. The results showed that the β-CN (193-209) peptide resisted the action of brush-border membrane peptidases, and that it was transported through the Caco-2 cell monolayer. The main route involved in transepithelial transport of the β-CN (193-209) peptide was transcytosis via internalized vesicles, although the paracellular transport via tight-junctions could not be excluded. Our results demonstrated the transport of an intact long-chain bioactive peptide in an in vitro model of intestinal epithelium, as an important step to prove the evidence for bioavailability of this peptide.

Pozzi N.,University of Padua
Protein science : a publication of the Protein Society | Year: 2010

The antiphospholipid syndrome (APS) is a severe autoimmune disease associated with recurrent thrombosis and fetal loss and characterized by the presence of circulating autoantibodies (aAbs) mainly recognizing the N-terminal domain (DmI) of beta2-glycoprotein I (beta2GpI). To possibly block anti-beta2GpI Abs activity, we synthesized the entire DmI comprising residues 1-64 of beta2GpI by chemical methods. Oxidative disulfide renaturation of DmI was achieved in the presence of reduced and oxidized glutathione. The folded DmI (N-DmI) was purified by RP-HPLC, and its chemical identity and correct disulfide pairing (Cys4-Cys47 and Cys32-Cys60) were established by enzymatic peptide mass fingerprint analysis. The results of the conformational characterization, conducted by far- and near-UV CD and fluorescence spectroscopy, provided strong evidence for the native-like structure of DmI, which is also quite resistant to both Gdn-HCl and thermal denaturation. However, the thermodynamic stability of N-DmI at 37 degrees C was remarkably low, in agreement with the unfolding energetics of small proteins. Of note, aAbs failed to bind to plates coated with N-DmI in direct binding experiments. From ELISA competition experiments with plate-immobilized beta2GpI, a mean IC(50) value of 8.8 microM could be estimated for N-DmI, similar to that of the full-length protein, IC(50)(beta2GpI) = 6.4 microM, whereas the cysteine-reduced and carboxamidomethylated DmI, RC-DmI, failed to bind to anti-beta2GpI Abs. The versatility of chemical synthesis was also exploited to produce an N-terminally biotin-(PEG)(2)-derivative of N-DmI (Biotin-N-DmI) to be possibly used as a new tool in APS diagnosis. Strikingly, Biotin-N-DmI loaded onto a streptavidin-coated plate selectively recognized aAbs from APS patients.

Bressan A.,Pennsylvania State University | Rampazzo F.,University of Padua
Archive for Rational Mechanics and Analysis | Year: 2010

The paper analyzes a Lagrangian system which is controlled by directly assigning some of the coordinates as functions of time, by means of frictionless constraints. In a natural system of coordinates, the equations of motion contain terms which are linear or quadratic with respect to time derivatives of the control functions. After reviewing the basic equations, we explain the significance of the quadratic terms related to geodesics orthogonal to a given foliation. We then study the problem of stabilization of the system to a given point by means of oscillating controls. This problem is first reduced to theweak stability for a related convex-valued differential inclusion, then studied by Lyapunov functions methods. In the last sections, we illustrate the results by means of various mechanical examples. © Springer-Verlag (2009).

A basic problem in the relativistic quantum Hamilton-Jacobi theory is to understand whether it may admit superluminal solutions. Here we consider the averaging of the speed on a period of the oscillating term which is similar to Dirac's averaging of the oscillating part of the free electron's speed. Such an averaging solves the problem of getting the ℏ →0 limit of the speed of the free particle, and leads to solutions that, depending on the integration constants, may be superluminal. © 2012 The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.

Camozzi V.,University of Padua
Journal of endocrinological investigation | Year: 2010

Bone matrix is composed mainly of inorganic materials, while the bone organic compartment is a minor and complex structural entity, surrounding and supporting cells. Three major classes of biomolecules are involved in this organic part: structural proteins, specialized proteins, and proteoglycans. This review will briefly summarize our knowledge about the role and regulation of these specific bone components.

Grassi M.,University of Padua
Perception | Year: 2010

Looming sounds (sounds increasing in intensity over time) are more salient than receding sounds (a looming sound reversed in time). For example, they are estimated as being longer, louder, and more changing in loudness than receding sounds. Some authors interpret the looming salience as evolutionarily adaptive, because it increases the margins of safety of the perceiver in the case of preparatory behaviours (eg a motor reaction to an approaching sound source). Recently, Neuhoff et al (2009, Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance 35 225-234) found that females more than males show overestimation of the spatiotemporal properties of virtually simulated looming sound sources. Here, I investigated whether the sex difference could be observed for the subjective duration of looming and receding sounds, and found that females more than males overestimate the duration of looming sounds in comparison to receding sounds. © 2010 a Pion publication.

Fanti D.G.,University of Padua
Journal of Imaging Science and Technology | Year: 2010

The body image visible on the Turin Shroud (TS) has not yet been explained by science; this article proposes a hypothesis of image formation based on corona discharge (CD). Even if the environmental hypotheses relative to CD can be refined, many facts detected on the TS body image seem in agreement with the characteristics of an energy connected to CD and related to the human body enveloped in it. After a synthesis of the proposed imaging mechanisms and a presentation of the main characteristics of CD, the results, both at macroscopic and microscopic levels, of some experiments are presented and discussed also in light of some comments coming from scholars of Shroud Science Group. The results support the hypothesized mechanism of image formation and they show no appreciable chemical-physical differences from the image features of the TS. Therefore they confirm that the proposed CD mechanism could have been involved in the TS body image formation. ©2010 Society for Imaging Science and Technology.

Kiesner J.,University of Padua
Psychoneuroendocrinology | Year: 2011

Although past research on affective changes associated with the menstrual cycle has focussed on a specific pattern commonly referred to as Premenstrual Syndrome, there are compelling reasons to hypothesize that an opposite pattern, with a mid-cycle increase and a premenstrual low in symptoms, may also exist. Focusing on depression and anxiety, the present study tested whether this mid-cycle pattern of symptoms could be identified, using a sample of 213 female university students, who completed daily questionnaires for two menstrual cycles. Results confirmed the existence of a group of women who demonstrate the mid-cycle pattern of symptom changes (13%), in addition to the classic PMS pattern (61%), and individuals demonstrating no cyclical pattern of symptoms (26%). Moreover, women with a strong PMS pattern showed lower average levels of depression/anxiety than women with no cyclical changes. These findings require that current conceptions of menstrual-cycle related psychological changes be redefined to include the mid-cycle pattern, and suggest that women with strong PMS symptoms may actually benefit from a mid-cycle sense of wellness. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd.

Melucci M.,University of Padua
Foundations and Trends in Information Retrieval | Year: 2012

The growing availability of data in electronic form, the expansion of the World Wide Web (WWW) and the accessibility of computational methods for large-scale data processing have allowed researchers in Information Retrieval (IR) to design systems which can effectively and efficiently constrain search within the boundaries given by context, thus transforming classical search into contextual search. Because of the constraints imposed by context, contextual search better focuses on the user's relevance and improves retrieval performance, since the out-of-context aspects of the search carried out by users that are likely linked to irrelevant documents are left apart. This survey introduces contextual search within a computational framework based on contextual variables, contextual factors and statistical models. The framework adopted in this survey considers the data observable from the real world entities participating in contextual search and classifies them as whatwe call contextual variables. The contextual variables considered are content, geotemporal, interaction, and social variables. Moreover, we distinguish between contextual variables and contextual factor: the former is what can be observed, the latter is what cannot be observed, yet this is the factor affecting the user's relevance assessment. Therefore, in this survey, we describe how statistical models can process contextual variables to infer the contextual factors underlying the current search context. In this survey we provide a background to the subject by: placing it among other surveys on relevance, interaction, context, and behavior; providing the description of the contextual variables used for implementing the statistical models which represent and predict relevance and contextual factors; citing and surveying useful publications to the reader for further examination; providing an overview of the evaluation methodologies and findings relevant to this subject; and briefly describing some implementations of contextual search tools. © 2012 M. Melucci.

Tenti P.,University of Padua | Paredes H.K.M.,University of Campinas | Mattavelli P.,Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
IEEE Transactions on Power Electronics | Year: 2011

Smart microgrids offer a new challenging domain for power theories and compensation techniques, because they include a variety of intermittent power sources, which can have dynamic impact on power flow, voltage regulation, and distribution losses. When operating in the islanded mode, low-voltage smart microgrids can also exhibit considerable variation of amplitude and frequency of the voltage supplied to the loads, thus affecting power quality and network stability. Due to limited power capability in smart microgrids, the voltage distortion can also get worse, affecting measurement accuracy, and possibly causing tripping of protections. In such context, a reconsideration of power theories is required, since they form the basis for supply and load characterization, and accountability. A revision of control techniques for harmonic and reactive compensators is also required, because they operate in a strongly interconnected environment and must perform cooperatively to face system dynamics, ensure power quality, and limit distribution losses. This paper shows that the conservative power theory provides a suitable background to cope with smart microgrids characterization needs, and a platform for the development of cooperative control techniques for distributed switching power processors and static reactive compensators. © 2010 IEEE.

Ursino N.,University of Padua
Water Resources Research | Year: 2010

Plants growing along hydrologic gradients adjust their biomass allocation and distribution in response to interspecific competition. Furthermore, susceptibility of a community to invasion is to some extent mediated by differences in growth habit, including root architecture and canopy hight. With reference to the study of a schematic wetland, the aim of this paper is (1) to test, via numerical modeling, the capacity of native plants to counteract an alien dominant species and cause eco-hydrological shifts of the ecosystem by changing their growth habit (e.g. allocating biomass below ground and by so doing changing the evapotranspiration locally) and (2) to test the impact on biodiversity of management practices that alter nutrient supply. The results demonstrated that unique combinations of vegetation types characterized by different growth habits may lead to different vegetation patterns under the same hydrologic forcing, and additionally, the vegetation patterns may change in response to major hydrological shifts, which could be related to diverse wetland management and restoration practices. Copyright 2010 by the American Geophysical Union.

Biasutti M.,University of Padua | El-Deghaidy H.,Suez Canal University
Computers and Education | Year: 2012

The current study reports on the use of Wiki as an online didactic tool to develop knowledge management (KM) processes in higher education. This study integrates social constructivist principles to learning where learners are pro-active and collaborative through higher order cognitive processes. The study was administered in two countries, namely Egypt and Italy, to close a gap in the literature with an aim to introduce KM processes in teacher educational programmes. These processes are seen as necessary for teachers' professional skills. Such processes are claimed to enable teachers and therefore schools to evolve in a networked information-driven global society, especially as the complexity of subject knowledge is increasing. It is also a learning experience where teachers learn how to provide their students with educational settings where technology is enabled. Throughout the study, 27 Egyptian students and 36 Italian students participated in online activities and developed interdisciplinary projects for the primary and preparatory stages while collaborating in a Wiki experience within Moodle platform. The study followed a mixed methods approach that consisted of both quantitative and qualitative data. The authors developed several instruments in order to measure both processes and outcomes of the five-week online activities. This current study is reporting on the use of two closed question instruments and one open question instrument. These were: Knowledge Management Questionnaire (KMQ), Student Satisfaction Questionnaire (SSQ) and a Reflection Questionnaire (RQ). Data were analysed using statistical analysis and inductive content analysis. Results indicate that responses on the KMQ were all reliable >0.70, and fulfilled the five processes of KM and participants were highly satisfied. The results suggest that Wikis can develop teachers' knowledge management processes and fulfil student's satisfaction while collaborating in designing interdisciplinary projects. Future implications and suggestions for teacher education programmes are provided in light of the findings. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Dalin C.,Princeton University | Konar M.,Princeton University | Hanasaki N.,Japan National Institute of Environmental Studies | Rinaldo A.,Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne | And 2 more authors.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America | Year: 2012

Global freshwater resources are under increasing pressure from economic development, population growth, and climate change. The international trade of water-intensive products (e.g., agricultural commodities) or virtual water trade has been suggested as a way to save water globally. We focus on the virtual water trade network associated with international food trade built with annual trade data and annual modeled virtual water content. The evolution of this network from 1986 to 2007 is analyzed and linked to trade policies, socioeconomic circumstances, and agricultural efficiency. We find that the number of trade connections and the volume of water associated with global food trade more than doubled in 22 years. Despite this growth, constant organizational features were observed in the network. However, both regional and national virtual water trade patterns significantly changed. Indeed, Asia increased its virtual water imports by more than 170%, switching from North America to South America as its main partner, whereas North America oriented to a growing intraregional trade. A dramatic rise in China's virtual water imports is associated with its increased soy imports after a domestic policy shift in 2000. Significantly, this shift has led the global soy market to save water on a global scale, but it also relies on expanding soy production in Brazil, which contributes to deforestation in the Amazon. We find that the international food trade has led to enhanced savings in global water resources over time, indicating its growing efficiency in terms of global water use.

Rosa Pelizzo M.,University of Padua
Clinical nuclear medicine | Year: 2011

The identification of submandibular ectopic normal thyroid in the lateral neck with a coexisting normally located and functional thyroid gland is rare. Ectopic normal thyroid tissue in the midline location is most commonly related to aberrant migration along the thyroglossal duct (ie, lingual thyroid). A 54-year-old man with a 6-month history of visible asymptomatic swelling in the right submandibular region had ultrasonography and Tc-99m pertechnetate imaging.

Although zirconium tungstate (ZrW2O8) is the most popular negative thermal expansion (NTE) material, the exact mechanism responsible for its NTE still remains controversial. Specifically, the "Tent" model [Cao et al. Phys. Rev. Lett. 2002, 89, 215902; Bridges et al. Phys. Rev. Lett. 2014, 112, 045505] and the "rigid unit mode" (RUM) model [Tucker et al. Phys. Rev. Lett. 2005, 95, 255501] were subjects of debate during recent years. This work aims to shed light on this issue by means of molecular dynamics simulations which allow us to separate, for each bond distance, the "true" thermal expansion from the "apparent" thermal expansion, as well as to study the effective bond strength and the anisotropy of relative thermal motion. In spite of the good agreement with the experimental data of Cao, Bridges, and co-workers, a decrease of the "true" W-Zr distances has been observed accompanied by large transverse vibrations of the O atoms in the middle of the W-O-Zr linkage, in sharp contrast to the "tent" model. Moreover, in contrast to the RUM model, it has been found that the WO4 and ZrO6 polyhedra are strongly distorted by thermal motion, and, more importantly, that intra-polyhedra contributions to NTE are present. Accordingly, we can conclude that both the tent and RUM models are inadequate to explain NTE in ZrW 2O8, and a more flexible model, simply based on rigid nearest W-O and Zr-O bonds and tension effect, should be adopted. © 2014 American Chemical Society.

Sissi C.,University of Padua
Cellular and molecular life sciences : CMLS | Year: 2010

Topoisomerases are vital enzymes specialized in controlling DNA topology, in particular supercoiling and decatenation, to properly handle nucleic acid packing and cell dynamics. The type IIA enzymes act by cleaving both strands of a double helix and having another strand from the same or another molecule cross the DNA gate before a re-sealing event completes the catalytic cycle. Here, we will consider the two types of IIA prokaryotic topoisomerases, DNA Gyrase and Topoisomerase IV, as crucial regulators of bacterial cell cycle progression. Their synergistic action allows control of chromosome packing and grants occurrence of functional transcription and replication processes. In addition to displaying a fascinating molecular mechanism of action, which transduces chemical energy into mechanical energy by means of large conformational changes, these enzymes represent attractive pharmacological targets for antibacterial chemotherapy.

Spinozzi F.,Marche Polytechnic University | Beltramini M.,University of Padua
Biophysical Journal | Year: 2012

The new QUAFIT method for determining the quaternary structure of biological macromolecular assemblies by analyzing x-ray or neutron small-angle scattering data is presented. The method is based on the idea that asymmetric monomers, formed by rigid domains of known atomic structure possibly connected by flexible linkers of known sequence, are assembled according to a point-group symmetry combined with a screw axis. Scattering amplitudes of domains and linkers are determined by means of a spherical harmonics expansion and combined to get the form factor of the assembly. To avoid any overlap among domains, the contact distance between two asymmetric domains is determined as a function of their orientation by a new algorithm, based on Stone's Invariants expansion. To account for continuity and compactness of the whole assembly, an anisotropic Lennard-Jones potential among domains, written in terms of the contact distances, is included in the merit function. QUAFIT allows for the simultaneous presence of oligomerization intermediates as well as of monomers distributed over multiple conformations. QUAFIT has been tested by studying the structure of a high molecular weight protein, the hemocyanin from Octopus vulgaris, under solution conditions that stabilize the decameric form or induce dissociation into monomers, respectively. Results are in very good agreement with the structural model derived from electron microscopy observations. © 2012 by the Biophysical Society.

You W.-K.,Sanford Burnham Institute for Medical Research | Bonaldo P.,University of Padua | Stallcup W.B.,Sanford Burnham Institute for Medical Research
American Journal of Pathology | Year: 2012

To investigate the importance of the vascular basal lamina in tumor blood vessel morphogenesis and function, we compared vessel development, vessel function, and progression of B16F10 melanoma tumors in the brains of wild-type and collagen VI-null mice. In 7-day tumors in the absence of collagen VI, the width of the vascular basal lamina was reduced twofold. Although the ablation of collagen VI did not alter the abundance of blood vessels, a detailed analysis of the number of either pericytes or endothelial cells (or pericyte coverage of endothelial cells) showed that collagen VI-dependent defects during the assembly of the basal lamina have negative effects on both pericyte maturation and the sprouting and survival of endothelial cells. As a result of these deficits, vessel patency was reduced by 25%, and vessel leakiness was increased threefold, resulting in a 10-fold increase in tumor hypoxia along with a fourfold increase in hypoxia-inducible factor-1α expression. In 12-day collagen VI-null tumors, vascular endothelial growth factor expression was increased throughout the tumor stroma, in contrast to the predominantly vascular pattern of vascular endothelial growth factor expression in wild-type tumors. Vessel size was correspondingly reduced in 12-day collagen VI-null tumors. Overall, these vascular deficits produced a twofold decrease in tumor volume in collagen VI-null mice, confirming that collagen VI-dependent basal lamina assembly is a critical aspect of vessel development. © 2012 American Society for Investigative Pathology.

Skaper S.D.,University of Padua
International Review of Neurobiology | Year: 2012

Alzheimer's disease (AD) is the largest unmet medical need in neurology today. This most common form of irreversible dementia is placing a considerable and increasing burden on patients, caregivers, and society, as more people live long enough to become affected. Current drugs improve symptoms but do not have profound neuroprotective and/or disease-modifying effects. AD is characterized by loss of neurons, dystrophic neurites, senile/amyloid/neuritic plaques, neurofibrillary tangles, and synaptic loss. Beta-amyloid (Aβ) peptide deposition is the major pathological feature of AD. Increasing evidence suggests that overexpression of the amyloid precursor protein and subsequent generation of the 39-43 amino acid residue, Aβ, are central to neuronal degeneration observed in AD patients possessing familial AD mutations, while transgenic mice overexpressing amyloid precursor protein develop AD-like pathology. Despite the genetic and cell biological evidence that supports the amyloid hypothesis, it is becoming increasing clear that AD etiology is complex and that Aβ alone is unable to account for all aspects of AD. The fact that vast overproduction of Aβ peptides in the brain of transgenic mouse models fails to cause overt neurodegeneration raises the question as to whether accumulation of Aβ peptides is indeed the culprit for neurodegeneration in AD. There is increasing evidence to suggest that Aβ/amyloid-independent factors, including the actions of AD-related genes (microtubule-associated protein tau, polymorphisms of apolipoprotein E4), inflammation, and oxidative stress, also contribute to AD pathogenesis. This chapter reviews the current state of knowledge on these factors and their possible interactions, as well as their potential for neuroprotection targets. © 2012 Elsevier Inc.

Lenalidomide, an immunomodulatory drug used in myeloma therapy, has been claimed to be less neurotoxic than thalidomide, but evidence is still weak. We prospectively assessed lenalidomide safety in myeloma patients to evaluate whether it would induce or modify a previously ensued chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN). Thirty consecutive patients (17 men, mean age 63.7 ± 9.4) previously treated with bortezomib and/or thalidomide and starting on lenalidomide (25 mg/day for 21-day cycles) for relapsed or refractory myeloma were assessed at baseline, 6, and 12 months from the beginning of lenalidomide with Total Neuropathy Score clinical version (TNSc), Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) performance status, and numeric rating scale (NRS) for pain. TNSc >2 was considered significant for CIPN. TNSc changes of at least 4 points from baseline value were considered clinically relevant. At baseline 16 of the 30 patients (53.3%) had CIPN (mean TNSc 5.8, range 3-15). After 6 months, 13 patients were unchanged, 1 improved, and 2 worsened. After 12 months the patient who had improved persisted stable, and the two who had worsened returned to TNSc baseline value. The 14 patients without CIPN at baseline did not develop neuropathy. NRS and ECOG performance status persisted unchanged. Our results demonstrate lenalidomide safety and very low neurotoxicity also in patients with pre-existing CIPN treated for 1 year. © 2013 Peripheral Nerve Society.

Delogu G.,Catholic University of the Sacred Heart | Manganelli R.,University of Padua | Brennan M.J.,Aeras
Clinical Microbiology and Infection | Year: 2014

A new and improved vaccine against tuberculosis (TB) would provide a powerful tool to conquer one of the most insidious infectious diseases of mankind. Protection afforded by bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) has been shown to be limited and inconsistent, especially in adults that are known to transmit TB disease. In the last two decades, several new vaccines have been developed and tested with the aim to elicit robust and long-lived T-cell responses against Mycobacterium tuberculosis antigens. Although much progress has been made in the TB vaccine field, there is an urgent need to address critical research questions about TB immunity with a special focus on designing vaccines aimed at preventing infection and transmission of TB. Here, we discuss the rationale behind the current immunization strategies being implemented for TB vaccines and provide some suggestions for hypothesis driven research to encourage the development of novel TB vaccines. © 2013 The Authors Clinical Microbiology and Infection. © 2013 European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases.

Ghirardello A.,University of Padua
Current rheumatology reports | Year: 2013

Inflammatory myopathies are a group of acquired diseases, characterized by immunoflogistic processes primarily involving the skeletal muscle. According to recent classification criteria, four major diseases have been identified: polymyositis (PM), dermatomyositis (DM), sporadic inclusion body myositis (IBM), and necrotizing autoimmune myositis (NAM). Autoantibodies can be found in the sera of most patients with myositis. Myositis-specific autoantibodies (MSAs) are markers of very specific disease entities within the spectrum of myositis, and target proteins involved in key processes of protein synthesis. Myositis autoantigens comprise the well-defined aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases, the Mi-2 helicase/histone deacetylase protein complex, and the signal recognition particle (SRP) ribonucleoprotein, together with novel targets such as TIF1-γ, MDA5, NXP2, SAE, and HMGCR. Recent studies suggest that autoantigens drive a B cell antigen-specific immune response in muscles. Interestingly, an increased expression of Jo-1 and Mi-2 in regenerating fibers in muscle biopsies from PM and DM patients compared to normal was demonstrated. Myositis autoantigen up-regulation was observed in neoplastic tissues, thus representing a potential link between cancer and autoimmunity in myositis. Non-immunological mechanisms seem to participate to the pathogenesis of inflammatory myopathies; induction of endoplasmic reticulum stress response in response to abnormal muscle regeneration and inflammation has recently been reported in patients with myositis. This review article provides an update of new emerging insights about the clinical and pathophysiologic role of principal autoantibodies in myositis.

Heidemann J.,University of Southern California | Stojanovic M.,Northeastern University | Zorzi M.,University of Padua
Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences | Year: 2012

This paper examines the main approaches and challenges in the design and implementation of underwater wireless sensor networks. We summarize key applications and the main phenomena related to acoustic propagation, and discuss how they affect the design and operation of communication systems and networking protocols at various layers.We also provide an overview of communications hardware, testbeds and simulation tools available to the research community. This journal is © 2011 The Royal Society.

Romeo V.,University of Padua
Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology | Year: 2012

Myotonic Dystrophy Type 1 (DM1) is the most common worldwide autosomal dominant muscular dystrophy due to polynucleotide [CTG] n triplet expansion located on the 3′UTR of chromosome 19q13.3. A toxic gain-of-function of abnormally stored RNA in the nuclei of affected cells is assumed to be responsible for several clinical features of the disease. It plays a basic role in deregulating RNA binding protein levels and in several mRNA splicing processes of several genes, thus leading to the multisystemic features typical of DM1. In DM1, the musculoskeletal apparatus, heart, brain, eye, endocrine, respiratory and gastroenteric systems are involved with variable levels of severity. DM1 onset can be congenital, juvenile, adult or late. DM1 can be diagnosed on the grounds of clinical presentation (distal muscular atrophy and weakness, grip and percussion myotonia, ptosis, hatchet face, slurred speech, rhinolalia), EMG myotonic pattern, EKG (such as AV-blocks) or routine blood test abnormalities (such as increased CK values or hypogamma-globulinemia) and history of cataract. Its confirmation can come by DNA analysis. At present, only symptomatic therapy is possible and is addressed at correcting hormonal and glycemic balance, removing cataract, preventing respiratory failure and, above all, major cardiac disturbances. Efficacious therapies targeted at the pathogenic mechanism of DM1 are not yet available, while studies that seek to block toxic RNA intranuclear storage with specific molecules are still ongoing. © 2012 Landes Bioscience and Springer Science+Business Media.

Mesoporous carbon frameworks were synthesized using the soft-template method. Ca(BH(4))(2) was incorporated into activated mesoporous carbon by the incipient wetness method. The activation of mesoporous carbon was necessary to optimize the surface area and pore size. Thermal programmed absorption measurements showed that the confinement of this borohydride into carbon nanoscaffolds improved its reversible capacity (relative to the reactive portion) and performance of hydrogen storage compared to unsupported borohydride. Hydrogen release from the supported hydride started at a temperature as low as 100 °C and the dehydrogenation rate was fast compared to the bulk borohydride. In addition, the hydrogen pressure necessary to regenerate the borohydride from the dehydrogenation products was reduced.

Rocco L.,University of Padua
Health Policy | Year: 2014

Along the pathway traced by few recent contribution that attempt to identify the causal effect of social capital on health, this paper analyzes whether individual social capital reduces the probability of experiencing 11 long-lasting and chronic diseases. The empirical problems related to reverse causation and unobserved heterogeneity are addressed by means of a procedure that exploits the within-individual variation between the timings of first occurrence of the 11 diseases considered. Estimates indicate that the probability of occurrence is on average 14-18 percent lower among individuals reporting to "trust most of the other people". This result is robust to two alternative specifications as well as the inclusion or omission of individual controls. © 2014 Elsevier Ireland Ltd.

Plebani M.,University of Padua
Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine | Year: 2013

Clinical laboratories play an important role in improving patient care. The past decades have seen unbelievable, often unpredictable improvements in analytical performance. Although the seminal concept of the brainto- brain laboratory loop has been described more than four decades ago, there is now a growing awareness about the importance of extra-analytical aspects in laboratory quality. According to this concept, all phases and activities of the testing cycle should be assessed, monitored and improved in order to decrease the total error rates thereby improving patients' safety. Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine (CCLM) not only has followed the shift in perception of quality in the discipline, but has been the catalyst for promoting a large debate on this topic, underlining the value of papers dealing with errors in clinical laboratories and possible remedies, as well as new approaches to the definition of quality in pre-, intra-, and post-analytical steps. The celebration of the 50th anniversary of the CCLM journal offers the opportunity to recall and mention some milestones in the approach to quality and patient safety and to inform our readers, as well as laboratory professionals, clinicians and all the stakeholders of the willingness of the journal to maintain quality issues as central to its interest even in the future.

Esu D.,University of Rome La Sapienza | Ghinassi M.,University of Padua
Italian Journal of Geosciences | Year: 2013

Since the beginning of the nineteenth century, rich non-marine molluscan faunas have been recognized in the Plio-Pleistocene Upper Valdarno Basin (Tuscany, central Italy). Further research has improved the palaeoecological and biochronological meaning of these faunas, which are often associated with significant Villafranchian vertebrate remains. The Upper Valdarno Basin fill consists of four unconformity-bounded units: Castelnuovo dei Sabbioni, Montevarchi, Fosso Salceto (occurring in the Palazzolo sub-basin) and Torrente Ciuffenna synthems. Rich molluscan assemblages of alluvial and palustrine environment are recorded from the Lower Pleistocene Montevarchi Synthem deposits. Extinct and archaic freshwater gastropods and bivalves characterising the Middle and Upper Villafranchian thermophilous assemblages of intermountain basins of central Italy, such as the Plio-Pleistocene Tiberino Basin, occur. The new record of the extinct genus Neumayria De STEFANI, 1877 is reported. A humid-temperate climatic phase is recognized in concomitance with the major expansion of these assemblages in the Upper Valdarno Basin. The fluvial deposits of the Torrente Ciuffenna Synthem, Middle Pleistocene in age, yielded poor mixed assemblages composed of terrestrial and freshwater species. The recorded land species, represented by Pupillidae and Vertiginidae associated with a dry exposed environment, point to an arid or semiarid cool climatic phase. © Società Geologica Italiana, Roma 2013.

Pietrobon D.,University of Padua | Pietrobon D.,CNR Institute of Neuroscience
Biochimica et Biophysica Acta - Biomembranes | Year: 2013

Missense mutations in CACNA1A, the gene that encodes the pore-forming α1 subunit of human voltage-gated CaV2.1 (P/Q-type) calcium channels, cause a rare form of migraine with aura (familial hemiplegic migraine type 1: FHM1). Migraine is a common disabling brain disorder whose key manifestations are recurrent attacks of unilateral headache that may be preceded by transient neurological aura symptoms. This review, first, briefly summarizes current understanding of the pathophysiological mechanisms that are believed to underlie migraine headache, migraine aura and the onset of a migraine attack, and briefly describes the localization and function of neuronal Ca V2.1 channels in the brain regions that have been implicated in migraine pathogenesis. Then, the review describes and discusses i) the functional consequences of FHM1 mutations on the biophysical properties of recombinant human CaV2.1 channels and native CaV2.1 channels in neurons of knockin mouse models carrying the mild R192Q or severe S218L mutations in the orthologous gene, and ii) the functional consequences of these mutations on neurophysiological processes in the cerebral cortex and trigeminovascular system thought to be involved in the pathophysiology of migraine, and the insights into migraine mechanisms obtained from the functional analysis of these processes in FHM1 knockin mice. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Calcium channels. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.

Brigelius-Flohe R.,German Institute of Human Nutrition | Maiorino M.,University of Padua
Biochimica et Biophysica Acta - General Subjects | Year: 2013

Background With increasing evidence that hydroperoxides are not only toxic but rather exert essential physiological functions, also hydroperoxide removing enzymes have to be re-viewed. In mammals, the peroxidases inter alia comprise the 8 glutathione peroxidases (GPx1-GPx8) so far identified. Scope of the review Since GPxs have recently been reviewed under various aspects, we here focus on novel findings considering their diverse physiological roles exceeding an antioxidant activity. Major conclusions GPxs are involved in balancing the H2O2 homeostasis in signalling cascades, e.g. in the insulin signalling pathway by GPx1; GPx2 plays a dual role in carcinogenesis depending on the mode of initiation and cancer stage; GPx3 is membrane associated possibly explaining a peroxidatic function despite low plasma concentrations of GSH; GPx4 has novel roles in the regulation of apoptosis and, together with GPx5, in male fertility. Functions of GPx6 are still unknown, and the proposed involvement of GPx7 and GPx8 in protein folding awaits elucidation. General significance Collectively, selenium-containing GPxs (GPx1-4 and 6) as well as their non-selenium congeners (GPx5, 7 and 8) became key players in important biological contexts far beyond the detoxification of hydroperoxides. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled Cellular functions of glutathione. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.

Plebani M.,University of Padua
Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine | Year: 2013

Evidence of the acute lack of interchangeable laboratory results and consensus in current practice among clinical laboratories has underpinned greater attention to standardization and harmonization projects. Although the focus is mainly on the standardization of measurement procedures, the scope of harmonization goes beyond method and analytical results: it includes all other aspects of laboratory testing, including terminology and units, report formats, reference intervals and decision limits, as well as test profiles and criteria for the interpretation of results. This review provides further insight on the issue of harmonization in laboratory medicine in view of the urgent need for a complete picture now that old and new drivers are calling for more effective efforts in this field. The main drivers for standardization and harmonization projects are first and foremost patient safety, but also the increasing trends towards consolidation and networking of clinical laboratories, accreditation programs, clinical governance, and advances in Information Technology (IT), including the electronic patient record. The harmonization process, which should be considered a threetier approach involving local, national and international fronts, must go beyond the harmonization of methods and analytical results to include all other aspects of laboratory testing. A pertinent example of the importance of a complete picture in harmonization programs is given by the National Bone Health Alliance working in the field of bone turnover markers in cooperation with scientific societies including the International Federation of Clinical Chemistry and Laboratory Medicine (IFCC).

Romanello V.,Venetian Institute of Molecular Medicine | Sandri M.,Venetian Institute of Molecular Medicine | Sandri M.,University of Padua
Journal of Molecular and Cellular Cardiology | Year: 2013

Mitochondria are dynamic organelles which adapt their morphology by fusion and fission events to the bioenergetic requirements of the cell. Cardiac and skeletal muscles are tissues with high energy demand and mitochondrial plasticity plays a key role in the homeostasis of these cells. Indeed, alterations in mitochondrial morphology, distribution and function are common features in catabolic conditions. Moreover, dysregulation of mitochondrial dynamics affects the signaling pathways that regulate muscle mass. This review discusses the recent findings of the role of mitochondrial fusion/fission and mitophagy in the control of proteolytic pathways. This article is part of a special issue entitled "Focus on Cardiac Metabolism". © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.

The effects of the dietary inclusion of two levels of short-chain fructooligosaccharides (sc-FOS) on weight loss, biochemical parameters and serum haptoglobin concentration were investigated in twelve experimental obese Beagle dogs. Dogs were randomised into two groups and submitted to a weight loss program (WLP): the control group (C) received a commercial energy-restricted high-protein diet containing 1 % DM sc-FOS, whereas the test group (T) received the same diet enriched with sc-FOS to attain a 3 % DM content. Body weight (BW) and body condition score were weekly assessed in each dog and blood was collected before and after WLP to measure total plasma cholesterol (CHOL), TAG, NEFA, glucose (GLUC), insulin, serum leptin and haptoglobin. Groups showed similar BW and blood parameters before treatment. When values before and after treatment of the dogs were compared, significant reductions were observed for all parameters, with the exception of NEFA and GLUC. However, when these reductions were compared between C and T groups, significant differences were detected only for haptoglobin (T before v. T after: 1545 v. 605 mg/l, P = 0.03; C before v. C after: 1635 v. 1400 mg/l, P = NS). Positive correlations between haptoglobin and CHOL and between haptoglobin and TAG were observed before but not after WLP. In conclusion, feeding obese dogs with the energy-restricted diet caused significant weight loss and reduction of blood parameters, irrespective of the sc-FOS content included. However, serum haptoglobin level, and the subclinical inflammatory condition associated with it, was significantly lowered in the T but not in the C group.

Bindoli A.,CNR Institute of Neuroscience | Rigobello M.P.,University of Padua
Antioxidants and Redox Signaling | Year: 2013

Reactive oxygen and nitrogen species are currently considered not only harmful byproducts of aerobic respiration but also critical mediators of redox signaling. The molecules and the chemical principles sustaining the network of cellular redox regulated processes are described. Special emphasis is placed on hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), now considered as acting as a second messenger, and on sulfhydryl groups, which are the direct targets of the oxidant signal. Cysteine residues of some proteins, therefore, act as sensors of redox conditions and are oxidized in a reversible reaction. In particular, the formation of sulfenic acid and disulfide, the initial steps of thiol oxidation, are described in detail. The many cell pathways involved in reactive oxygen species formation are reported. Central to redox signaling processes are the glutathione and thioredoxin systems controlling H2O2 levels and, hence, the thiol/disulfide balance. Lastly, some of the most important redox-regulated processes involving specific enzymes and organelles are described. The redox signaling area of research is rapidly expanding, and future work will examine new pathways and clarify their importance in cellular pathophysiology. © 2013 Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.

Andreozzi G.M.,University of Padua
International Angiology | Year: 2014

Treatment of vascular diseases should be based on established pathophysiological concepts, and this also applies to chronic venous disease (CVD). On the basis of the latest research in this field, this paper summarizes the most advanced pathophysiological knowledge regarding the hemodynamics of the large veins and of the microcirculation, the endothelial function and inflammation, and the use of sulodexide in the treatment of CVD. The emerging theories on the pathophysiology of CVD consider inflammation, endothelial glycocalyx dysfunction, and the consequent changes in the extracellular matrix to play key roles in the development of CVD, and support a renewed interest in the research and application of sulodexide. As part of active approach to the treatment of CVD including edema and trophic venous alterations, sulodexide could help to alleviate progressive signs and symptoms of disease in any clinical CEAP class of CVD, from C1 to C6.

Zavan B.,University of Padua
Discovery medicine | Year: 2010

In the last few years, adipose tissue, which has been largely ignored by anatomists and physicians for centuries, has found new brightness thanks to the stem cells contained within. These adipose derived stem cells (ADSC) have the same characteristics of the mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) residing in bone marrow. They have the same cell surface markers and are capable of differentiating into the same cell types, including osteoblasts, chondrocytes, myoblasts, adipocytes, and neuron-like cells. Adipose tissue is ubiquitous and uniquely expandable. Most patients possess excess fat that can be harvested, making adipose tissue the ideal large-scale source for research on clinical applications. In this review focused on the neural potential of adipose-derived stem cells. Current strategies for their isolation, differentiation, and in vitro characterization, as well as their latest in vivo applications for neurological disorders or injury repair, were discussed.

Ferlin A.,University of Padua
Asian Journal of Andrology | Year: 2012

Studies in the last years definitively demonstrate the high prevalence of genetic causes of spermatogenic impairment. A large proportion of infertile males does not receive a clear diagnosis and are reported as idiopathic or unexplained, also because standard semen analysis cannot clearly distinguish fertile from infertile populations. Researches aimed at identifying new potential genetic markers of sperm fertilizing ability and male fertility are therefore necessary. Two recent papers addressed these questions and provided interesting results on new possible genetic factors involved inmale fertility and as prognostic markers of fertilizing potential of human spermatozoa. © 2012 AJA, SIMM & SJTU. All rights reserved.

Mudd S.M.,University of Edinburgh | D'Alpaos A.,University of Padua | Morris J.T.,University of South Carolina
Journal of Geophysical Research: Earth Surface | Year: 2010

Plants are known to enhance sedimentation on intertidal marshes. It is unclear, however, if the dominant mechanism of enhanced sedimentation is direct organic sedimentation, particle capture by plant stems, or enhanced settling due to a reduction in turbulent kinetic energy within flows through the plant canopy. Here we combine several previously reported laboratory studies with an 18 year record of salt marsh macrophyte characteristics to quantify these mechanisms. In dense stands of Spartina alterniflora (with projected plant areas per unit volume of >10 m-1) and rapid flows (>0.4 m s -1), we find that the fraction of sedimentation from particle capture can instantaneously exceed 70%. In most marshes dominated by Spartina alterniflora, however, we find particle settling, rather than capture, will account for the majority of inorganic sedimentation. We examine a previously reported 2 mm yr-1 increase in accretion rate following a fertilization experiment in South Carolina. Prior studies at the site have ruled out organic sedimentation as the cause of this increased accretion. We apply our newly developed models of particle capture and effective settling velocity to the fertilized and control sites and find that virtually all (>99%) of the increase in accretion rates can be attributed to enhanced settling brought about by reduced turbulent kinetic energy in the fertilized canopy. Our newly developed models of biologically mediated sedimentation are broadly applicable and can be applied to marshes where data relating biomass to stem diameter and projected plant area are available. Copyright 2010 by the American Geophysical Union.

Collini E.,University of Padua
Chemical Society Reviews | Year: 2013

One of the most surprising and significant advances in the study of the photosynthetic light-harvesting process is the discovery that the electronic energy transfer might involve long-lived electronic coherences, under physiologically relevant conditions. This means that the transfer of energy among different chromophores does not follow the expected classical incoherent hopping mechanism, but that quantum-mechanical laws can steer the migration of energy. The implications of such a quantum transport regime, although currently under debate, might have a tremendous impact on our way of thinking about natural and artificial light-harvesting. Central to these discoveries has been the development of new ultrafast spectroscopic techniques, in particular two-dimensional electronic spectroscopy, which is now the primary tool to obtain clear and definitive experimental proof of such effects. This review aims to provide an overview of the experimental techniques developed with the purpose of attaining a more detailed picture of the coherent and incoherent quantum dynamics relevant to energy transfer processes, not limited to the two-dimensional electronic spectroscopy. With the idea of summarizing the experimental and theoretical basic notions necessary to introduce the field, the connection between experimental observables and coherence dynamics will be analysed in detail for each technique, highlighting how electronic coherences could be manifested in different experimental signatures. Similarities and differences among coherent signals as well as advantages and disadvantages of each approach will be critically discussed. Current opinions and debated issues will be emphasised and some possible future directions to address still open questions will be suggested. © 2013 The Royal Society of Chemistry.

Plebani M.,University of Padua
Critical Reviews in Clinical Laboratory Sciences | Year: 2016

In laboratory medicine, the terms "standardization" and "harmonization" are frequently used interchangeably as the final goal is the same: the equivalence of measurement results among different routine measurement procedures over time and space according to defined analytical and clinical quality specifications. However, the terms define two distinct, albeit closely linked, concepts based on traceability principles. The word "standardization" is used when results for a measurement are equivalent and traceable to the International System of Units (SI) through a high-order primary reference material and/or a reference measurement procedure (RMP). "Harmonization" is generally used when results are equivalent, but neither a high-order primary reference material nor a reference measurement procedure is available. Harmonization is a fundamental aspect of quality in laboratory medicine as its ultimate goal is to improve patient outcomes through the provision of accurate and actionable laboratory information. Patients, clinicians and other healthcare professionals assume that clinical laboratory tests performed by different laboratories at different times on the same sample and specimen can be compared, and that results can be reliably and consistently interpreted. Unfortunately, this is not necessarily the case, because many laboratory test results are still highly variable and poorly standardized and harmonized. Although the initial focus was mainly on harmonizing and standardizing analytical processes and methods, the scope of harmonization now also includes all other aspects of the total testing process (TTP), such as terminology and units, report formats, reference intervals and decision limits as well as tests and test profiles, requests and criteria for interpretation. Several projects and initiatives aiming to improve standardization and harmonization in the testing process are now underway. Laboratory professionals should therefore step up their efforts to provide interchangeable and comparable laboratory information in order to ultimately assure better diagnosis and treatment in patient care. © 2015 Taylor and Francis.

D'Orazi V.,National institute for astrophysics | Marino A.F.,University of Padua
Astrophysical Journal Letters | Year: 2010

The determination of Li and proton-capture element abundances in globular cluster (GC) giants allows us to constrain several key questions on the multiple population scenarios in GCs, from formation and early evolution to pollution and dilution mechanisms. In this Letter, we present our results on Li abundances for a large sample of giants in the intermediate-metallicity GC NGC 6121 (M4), for which Na and O have been already determined by Marino et al. The stars analyzed are both below and above the red giant branch bump luminosity. We found that the first and second generation stars share the same Li content, suggesting that a Li production must have occurred. This provides strong observational evidence supporting the scenario in which asymptotic giant branch stars are GC polluters. © 2010. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.

Merano M.,University of Padua
Optics Letters | Year: 2016

The spatial confinement and the propagation length of surface waves in a single-layer two-dimensional atomic crystal are analyzed in terms of its surface susceptibility and its surface conductivity. Based on the values of these macroscopic parameters, extracted from experimental observations, it is confirmed that graphene supports a transverse magnetic nonradiating surface mode in the ultraviolet spectral region while a single-layer hexagonal Boron-Nitride is predicted to support a transverse electric nonradiating surface mode in the visible spectrum. This last mode, at a vacuum wavelength of 633 nm, has a spatial confinement of 15 μm and an intensity-propagation distance greater than 2 cm. © 2016 Optical Society of America.

Villanova S.,University of Concepcion | Geisler D.,University of Concepcion | Piotto G.,University of Padua
Astrophysical Journal Letters | Year: 2010

We present chemical abundance analysis of a sample of 15 red giant branch (RGB) stars of the globular cluster NGC 1851 distributed along the two RGBs of the (v, v-y) color-magnitude diagram. We determined abundances for C+N+O, Na, α, iron-peak, and s-elements. We found that the two RGB populations significantly differ in their light (N, O, Na) and s-element content. On the other hand, they do not show any significant difference in their α and iron-peak element content. More importantly, the two RGB populations do not show any significant difference in their total C+N+O content. Our results do not support previous hypotheses suggesting that the origins of the two RGBs and the two subgiant branches of the cluster are related to different content of either α (including Ca) or iron-peak elements, or C+N+O abundance, due to a second generation polluted by Type II supernovae. © 2010 The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.

Merano M.,University of Padua
Physical Review A - Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics | Year: 2016

In general the experiments on the linear optical properties of a single-layer two-dimensional atomic crystal are interpreted by modeling it as a homogeneous slab with an effective thickness. Here I fit the most remarkable experiments in graphene optics by using the Fresnel coefficients, fixing both the surface susceptibility and the surface conductivity of graphene. It is shown that the Fresnel coefficients and the slab model are not equivalent. Experiments indicate that the Fresnel coefficients are able to simulate the overall experiments here analyzed, while the slab model fails to predict absorption and the phase of the reflected light. © 2016 American Physical Society.

Marcolongo A.,International School for Advanced Studies | Umari P.,University of Padua | Baroni S.,International School for Advanced Studies
Nature Physics | Year: 2016

Quantum simulation methods based on electronic-structure theory are deemed unfit to cope with atomic heat transport within the Green-Kubo formalism, because quantum-mechanical energy densities and currents are inherently ill-defined at the atomic scale. We show that, although this difficulty would also affect classical simulations, thermal conductivity is indeed insensitive to such ill-definedness by virtue of a kind of gauge invariance resulting from energy extensivity and conservation. On the basis of these findings, we derive an expression for the adiabatic energy flux from density-functional theory, which allows heat transport to be simulated using ab initio equilibrium molecular dynamics. Our methodology is demonstrated by comparing its predictions to those of classical equilibrium and ab initio non-equilibrium (Müller-Plathe) simulations for a liquid-argon model, and by applying it to heavy water at ambient conditions. © 2016 Macmillan Publishers Limited.

Pengo V.,University of Padua
Thrombosis research | Year: 2010

The relation of cancer to thromboembolism has been described since the mid 1800s. Different studies in animal and in vitro models have confirmed the link between the haemostatic system and both tumor stroma formation and metastasis. Although the mechanisms of warfarin effects on cancer are not elucidated, but are based on hypothesis, various studies have reported interesting results in this setting. But does warfarin added to recommended anti-tumour therapy improve survival of cancer patients? For the time being it is difficult to answer this question. Data from the literature are few and sometimes contradictory. Trials are characterized by important differences in studied cohorts, histological types of cancers evaluated, and in the treatment protocols. Most studies show that there is benefit from the addition of warfarin to chemotherapy in the tumour development, expansion and on the patient survival, especially in particular types of cancers. These data, although fascinating, do not rationalize the use of anticoagulation in the routine prophylaxis of cancer, however, they call for efforts in preparing large scale randomized trials to elucidate the effect of anticoagulation in the setting of neoplastic disease.

Tosi M.,University of Padua
Nuclear and Particle Physics Proceedings | Year: 2016

The trigger systems of the LHC detectors play a crucial role in determining the physics capabilities of experiments. A reduction of several orders of magnitude of the event rate is needed to reach values compatible with detector readout, offline storage and analysis capability. The CMS experiment has been designed with a two-level trigger system: the Level-1 Trigger (L1T), implemented on custom-designed electronics, and the High Level Trigger (HLT), a streamlined version of the CMS offline reconstruction software running on a computer farm. A software trigger system requires a trade-off between the complexity of the algorithms, the sustainable output rate, and the selection efficiency. With the computing power available during the 2012 data taking the maximum reconstruction time at HLT was about 200 ms per event, at the nominal L1T rate of 100 kHz. Track reconstruction algorithms are widely used in the HLT, for the reconstruction of the physics objects as well as in the identification of b-jets and lepton isolation. Reconstructed tracks are also used to distinguish the primary vertex, which identifies the hard interaction process, from the pileup ones. This task is particularly important in the LHC environment given the large number of interactions per bunch crossing: on average 25 in 2012, and expected to be around 40 in Run II. We will present the performance of HLT tracking algorithms, discussing its impact on CMS physics program, as well as new developments done towards the next data taking in 2015. © 2016.

Background: Data describing the inhibitory effects of nitric oxide synthase (NOS) on respiratory mechanics are conflicting, and no data are available concerning possible effects on the viscoelasticity of the respiratory system, on the inspiratory work of breathing (WOB) or on respiratory system hysteresis. Objectives: The aim of this study was to measure the effects of NOS inhibition by N G-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester (L-NAME) on respiratory mechanics in normal anesthetized rats. Methods: Using the end-inflation occlusion method, it was possible to quantify the ohmic and viscoelastic airway resistance and elastance of the respiratory system. Ohmic resistance is the normalized-to-flow pressure dissipation due to viscous forces opposing the airflow in the airways, as predicted by the Poiseuille law. Viscoelastic resistance is the normalized-to-flow pressure dissipation due to the resistance of respiratory system tissue to deformation during inflation, which is recovered after the arrest of the inspiratory flow (stress relaxation). The inspiratory WOB, its elastic and resistive components, and hysteresis were also calculated. Results:L-NAME induced an increment in the ohmic airway resistance and in the resistive ohmic inspiratory WOB. The viscoelastic resistance due to stress relaxation and the elastic properties of the respiratory system were not modified, and no effect was detected on the related components of the inspiratory WOB and on hysteresis. Conclusions: NO acts in normal rats to reduce the ohmic component of airway resistance, decreasing the ohmic inspiratory WOB. The elastic and viscoelastic components are unaltered. Hysteresis is also unaltered, suggesting that NO has negligible effects on alveolar surfactant activity. Copyright © 2011 S. Karger AG, Basel.

Mode 1, 2 and 3 cannot exist in isolation. One mode provokes the existence of a coupled mode which, in some conditions, can be more dangerous than the generating mode itself. This means that three-dimensional problems are automatically at least dual scale. While for a crack this effect was known to exist for a long period of time, it was largely ignored in theoretical studies of V-shaped notches subjected to in-plane and out-of-plane loading as well as in practical fracture problems associated with such geometries. Only recently, some numerical investigations confirmed that highly localized coupled modes do exist in the close vicinity of the notch tip. The present paper is aimed to briefly review important features of these recently identified singular coupled modes. The most significant results from a comprehensive three-dimensional numerical study are presented here to describe the contribution of these modes into the overall stress state in the close vicinity of the notch tip and discuss the implementation of these new results to the failure and integrity assessment of plate structures with sharp notches. © 2013 Pleiades Publishing, Ltd.

Vigolo P.,University of Padua
European journal of oral implantology | Year: 2012

The purpose of this randomised controlled trial was to compare the long-term clinical outcome of cemented and screw-retained implant-supported single-tooth crowns. Eighteen consecutive patients presenting with single-tooth bilateral edentulous sites in the canine/molar region with adequate bone width, similar bone height at the implant sites, and an occlusal scheme that allowed for the establishment of identical occlusal cusp/fossa contacts were treated. Each patient received two identical implants according to a split-mouth design. One side was randomly selected to be restored with a cemented implant-supported single crown, and the other was restored with a screw-retained implant-supported single crown. Outcome measures were implant success, complications, marginal bone levels and peri-implant soft tissue health. Ten years after initial loading, 2 patients moved away and were lost to follow-up. Two implants placed in the same patient failed 5 years after their insertion; the remaining 30 implants survived, resulting in a cumulative implant success rate of 93.7%. No complication occurred. The mean marginal bone resorption at 10 years after implant placement, measured on intraoral radiographs, was 1.1 ± 0.2 mm for both types of restorations. There were no statistically significant differences between the two groups with respect to peri-implant marginal bone level at the 10-year follow-up appointment (T2) (P = 0.58); at the 4-year follow-up appointment (T1) a statistically significant difference was observed (P = 0.01), but this was not considered clinically relevant (mean difference: -0.06 mm). The status of the soft tissue around the implants remained stable over t