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Perugia, Italy

University of Perugia is a public-owned university based in Perugia, Italy. It was founded in 1308, as attested by the Bull issued by Pope Clement V certifying the birth of the Studium Generale.The official seal of the university portraits Saint Herculan, one of the saint patrons, and the rampant crowned griffin, which is the city symbol: they represent the ecclesiastical and civil powers, respectively, which gave rise to the university in the Middle Ages. Wikipedia.

Boffito D.C.,University of Milan | Pirola C.,University of Milan | Galli F.,University of Milan | Di Michele A.,University of Perugia | Bianchi C.L.,University of Milan
Fuel | Year: 2013

The choice of waste cooking oil (WCO) as a raw material for biodiesel production is recognized to be an attractive and economic alternative to the use of vegetable oils. However, the presence of free fatty acids, impurities and high viscosity of WCO may require several pretreatments before the transesterification. In this study WCO deacidification by esterification is investigated: the results show how both Amberlyst®46 and Purolite®D5081 catalysts maintain their performance in a Carberry reactor (where catalyst is confined to minimize mechanical stress) and a slurry reactor after several recycles. A46 was tested in the free fatty acids esterification of blends of WCO with different ratios of crude rapeseed oil and diesel as a solvent. The results show how both the use of the blends with another oil with lower viscosity and diesel are both beneficial to the reaction rate and to the properties of the finished biodiesel. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Scrucca L.,University of Perugia
Statistics and Computing | Year: 2010

We introduce a dimension reduction method for visualizing the clustering structure obtained from a finite mixture of Gaussian densities. Information on the dimension reduction subspace is obtained from the variation on group means and, depending on the estimated mixture model, on the variation on group covariances. The proposed method aims at reducing the dimensionality by identifying a set of linear combinations, ordered by importance as quantified by the associated eigenvalues, of the original features which capture most of the cluster structure contained in the data. Observations may then be projected onto such a reduced subspace, thus providing summary plots which help to visualize the clustering structure. These plots can be particularly appealing in the case of high-dimensional data and noisy structure. The new constructed variables capture most of the clustering information available in the data, and they can be further reduced to improve clustering performance. We illustrate the approach on both simulated and real data sets. © 2009 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.

Vizzari M.,University of Perugia | Modica G.,University of Reggio Calabria
Environmental Management | Year: 2013

Environmental issues related to swine production are still a major concern for the general public and represent a key challenge for the swine industry. The environmental impact of higher livestock concentration is particularly significant where it coincides with weaker policy standards and poor manure management. Effective tools for environmental monitoring of the swine sewage management process become essential for verifying the environmental compatibility of farming facilities and for defining suitable policies aimed at increasing swine production sustainability. This research aims at the development and application of a model for a quick assessment of the environmental effectiveness of the pig farming sewage management process. In order to define the model, multicriteria techniques, and in particular, Saaty's analytic hierarchy process, were used to develop an iterative process in which the various key factors influencing the process under investigation were analyzed. The model, named EASE (Environmental Assessment of Sewages management Effectiveness), was optimized and applied to the Lake Trasimeno basin (Umbria, Italy), an area of high natural, environmental and aesthetic value. In this context, inadequate disposal of pig sewage represents a potential source of very considerable pollution. The results have demonstrated how the multicriteria model can represent a very effective and adaptable tool also in those decision-making processes aimed at the sustainable management of livestock production. © 2013 Springer Science+Business Media New York.

Brocca L.,CNR Research Institute for Geo-hydrological Protection | Zucco G.,CNR Research Institute for Geo-hydrological Protection | Moramarco T.,CNR Research Institute for Geo-hydrological Protection | Morbidelli R.,University of Perugia
Journal of Hydrology | Year: 2013

Inferring long-term soil moisture time series with dense temporal resolution and representative of large areas is a challenging task. However, its accurate estimation over large areas might be essential for improving our knowledge of the mass and energy balance between the land surface and atmosphere, and also for many others practical applications. In this study, a long-term (1989-2011) simulated soil moisture dataset is developed by using 1-year in situ observations collected at 92 sites over an area of ~400km2 in central Italy. Specifically, a soil water balance model is calibrated for reproducing the soil moisture temporal variability at each site and, then, is tested for representing also the spatial variability of in situ measurements. The good temporal and spatial agreement between modelled and observed data gives confidence about the use of the modelled data in the study area for reconstructing a long-term soil moisture dataset with hourly temporal resolution (in accordance with the availability of hydrometeorological observations). The developed soil water balance model and procedure can be applied also in other climatic regions to obtain a similar dataset. Indeed, the obtained dataset and the model code are made freely available from the authors and can be used for hydrological and satellite soil moisture products validation studies. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.

Scrucca L.,University of Perugia
Advances in Data Analysis and Classification | Year: 2014

The paper introduces a methodology for visualizing on a dimension reduced subspace the classification structure and the geometric characteristics induced by an estimated Gaussian mixture model for discriminant analysis. In particular, we consider the case of mixture of mixture models with varying parametrization which allow for parsimonious models. The approach is an extension of an existing work on reducing dimensionality for model-based clustering based on Gaussian mixtures. Information on the dimension reduction subspace is provided by the variation on class locations and, depending on the estimated mixture model, on the variation on class dispersions. Projections along the estimated directions provide summary plots which help to visualize the structure of the classes and their characteristics. A suitable modification of the method allows us to recover the most discriminant directions, i.e., those that show maximal separation among classes. The approach is illustrated using simulated and real data. © 2013 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.

D'Angelo G.,University of Perugia | D'Emidio M.,University of LAquila | Frigioni D.,University of LAquila
Theoretical Computer Science | Year: 2014

This work introduces Loop-Free Routing (LFR), a new loop-free distance-vector routing algorithm, which is able to update the shortest paths of a distributed network in fully dynamic scenarios. This work also provides an evaluation based on simulations of LFR and Diffuse Update ALgorithm (DUAL), one of the most popular loop-free distance-vector algorithms, which is part of CISCO's widely used Enhanced Interior Gateway Routing Protocol (EIGRP). The simulations are performed on dynamic scenarios based on both real-world and controlled instances. The simulations show that LFR is always the best choice in terms of memory requirements, while in terms of messages sent LFR outperforms DUAL on real-world networks, whereas DUAL is the best choice on controlled scenarios. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.

Monacelli L.,Altran GmbH | Reali G.,University of Perugia
IEEE Communications Letters | Year: 2011

In this letter we present an evolution of the classical Codebook Technique for automatic Fault Localization, which is a well-known problem in the context of Network Fault Management. In particular, we propose two heuristics which handle multiple simultaneous faults and probabilistic fault-symptom dependencies (also in presence of lost/spurious symptoms). We have evaluated their performance by applying them to the IMS control layer of a real national-wide Next Generation Network (NGN) deploying VoIP telephony services. © 2011 IEEE.

Caracappa D.,University of Perugia
Annali italiani di chirurgia | Year: 2011

Appendiceal mucocele is a rare disease (0.3% of all appendectomy) and is characterized by the accumulation of mucoid material in the appendiceal lumen. Etiopathogenesis can be inflammatory or neoplastic. Four entities can be distinguished on the basis of histopathologic epithelial characteristics: simple appendiceal mucocele (AM), mucocele with epithelial hyperplasia, cystadenoma and cystadenocarcinoma; the last two subgroups represent neoplastic forms. Dissemination of neoplastic cells and mucoid material in abdominal cavity, caused by appendiceal perforation, clinically results in pseudomyxoma peritonei which is the dramatic evolution in 10-15% of cases. Clinically it can remain either asymptomatic for long time or it can manifest with abdominal pain that can be associated with the presence of a palpable mass. The most common clinical manifestation is pain in the right iliac fossa. Preoperative diagnosis is rare, while it is more frequently intraoperative. Therapy is fundamentally surgical: appendectomy is curative for simple AM, for AM with epithelial hyperplasia and for cystadenoma with intact appendiceal base; cecum resection is indicated for cystadenoma with larger base of implantation; right hemicolectomy has been the elective treatment in case of cystadenocarcinoma for several years although Gonzalez-Moreno and Sugarbaker have recently demonstrated its validity as definitive treatment only if it is performed in order to obtain complete cytoreduction, if there is lymph node involvement, or if histopathological examination indicates non-mucinous type. We report the case of a 60-year-old woman that presented with cystic neoformation in the right iliac fossa, that was preoperatively considered deriving from the ovary. We intraoperatively found the presence of appendiceal mucocele that histological examination defined as mucinous cystadenoma.

Galluzzi G.,Bioversity International | Eyzaguirre P.,Third University of Rome | Negri V.,University of Perugia
Biodiversity and Conservation | Year: 2010

Over the last two decades, the importance of conserving genetic resources has received increasing attention. In this context the role of home gardens as repositories of biological diversity has been acknowledged but still a comprehensive, interdisciplinary investigation of their agro-biodiversity is lacking. Home gardens, whether found in rural or urban areas, are characterized by a structural complexity and multifunctionality which enables the provision of different benefits to ecosystems and people. Studies carried out in various countries demonstrate that high levels of inter- and intra-specific plant genetic diversity, especially in terms of traditional crop varieties and landraces, are preserved in home gardens. Families engage in food production for subsistence or small-scale marketing and the variety of crops and wild plants provides nutritional benefits. At the same time, home gardens are important social and cultural spaces where knowledge related to agricultural practices is transmitted and through which households may improve their income and livelihoods. The present article summarizes available literature on the biological and cultural significance of agro-biodiversity in home gardens. It discusses future constraints and opportunities in home garden research, in the prospect of defining and promoting their role in conservation of agricultural biodiversity and cultural heritage. © 2010 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

Cirilli S.,University of Perugia
Geological Society Special Publication | Year: 2010

This review advances understanding of the palynostratigraphy of the Late Triassic-Early Jurassic by correlating the established palynozonations for the northern and southern hemispheres. Previous palynological studies have contributed greatly to our understanding of the biostratigraphy, paleoclimatology and paleogeography of the Upper Triassic. In general, palynology is a good toolfor interregional cross-correlation of marine and non-marine successions because palynomorphs, unlike most of other fossils, commonly are present in continental and marine environments. Currently, however, biostratigraphical resolution based on Upper Triassic palynomorph assemblages is rather low, primarily because of the rarity of successions that are independently dated (i.e. viaammonoids, conodonts, isotopes, paleomagnetism) to correlate the palynomorph assemblages, but also for other reasons, such as microfloristic provincialism, palaeoenvironmental conditions and differential preservation of palynomorph assemblages. During the last few decades many palynological studies have attempted to integrate and improve the biostratigraphical correlations and paleoclimatologic reconstructions across the Triassic-Jurassic boundary. Several authors have recognized specific microfloral assemblages with well-defined and recognizable suites of palynomorphs that enhance the importance of palynomorphs in the definition of Triassic-Jurassic stages. Comparison of the palynomorph assemblages from different biostratigraphical stages demonstrates that a change occurred in the palynofloral composition of the Tethyan domain between the Carnian and the earliest Hettangian that was gradual and without abrupt changes. © The Geological Society of London 2010.

Costantini S.,University of LAquila | Formisano A.,University of Perugia
Journal of Logic and Computation | Year: 2010

In this article, we propose an extension of Answer Set Programming (ASP) to support declarative reasoning on consumption and production of resources. We call the proposed extension RASP, standing for 'Resourced ASP'. Resources are modeled by introducing special atoms, called amount-atoms, to which we associate quantities that represent the available amount of a certain resource. The 'firing'of aRASP rule involving amount-atoms can both consume and produce resources. A RASP rule can be fired several times, according to its definition and to the available quantities of required resources. We define the semantics for RASP programs by extending the usual answer set semantics. Different answer sets correspond to different possible allocations of available resources. We then propose an implementation based on standard ASP-solvers. The implementation consists of a standard translation of each RASP rule into a set of plain ASP-rules and of an inference engine that manages the firing of RASP rules.

Buratti M.,University of Perugia | Pasotti A.,University of Brescia
Designs, Codes, and Cryptography | Year: 2010

A strong indication about the existence of a (7p, 4, 1) difference family with p ≡ 7 (mod 12) a prime has been given in [11]. Here, developing some ideas of that paper, we give, much more generally, a strong indication about the existence of a cyclic (pq, 4, 1) difference family whenever p and q are primes congruent to 7 (mod 12) and of a cyclic (pq, 5, 1) difference family whenever p and q are primes congruent to 11 (mod 20). Indeed we give an algorithm for their construction that seems to be always successful and we have checked it works whenever both primes p and q do not exceed 1,000. All our (pq, 4, 1) and (pq, 5, 1) difference families have the nice property of admitting a multiplier of order 3 or 5, respectively, that fixes almost all base blocks. As an intermediate result we also find an optimal (p, 5, 1) optical orthogonal code for every prime p ≡ 11 (mod 20) not exceeding 10,000. © 2009 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.

Coletti G.,University of Perugia | Petturiti D.,University of Rome La Sapienza | Vantaggi B.,University of Rome La Sapienza
Fuzzy Sets and Systems | Year: 2014

We deal with conditional probability in the sense of de Finetti and with T-conditional possibility (with T a triangular norm). We prove that Dubois and Prade conditional possibility is a particular min-conditional possibility and then we compare the two notions of conditioning by an inferential point of view. Moreover, we study T-conditional possibilities as functions of the conditioning event, putting in evidence analogies and differences with conditional probabilities. This allows to characterize likelihood functions (and their aggregations) consistent either with a T-conditional possibility or a conditional probability. This analysis highlights many syntactical coincidences. Nevertheless the main difference is a weak form of monotonicity, which arises only in the possibilistic case. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.

Gentilini R.,University of Perugia
Information Processing Letters | Year: 2014

We consider the problem of designing approximation schemes for the values of mean-payoff games. It was recently shown that (1) mean-payoff with rational weights scaled on [-1,1] admit additive fully-polynomial approximation schemes, and (2) mean-payoff games with positive weights admit relative fully-polynomial approximation schemes. We show that the problem of designing additive/relative approximation schemes for general mean-payoff games (i.e. with no constraint on their edge-weights) is P-time equivalent to determining their exact solution. © 2014 Elsevier B.V.

Koensler A.,Queens University of Belfast | Papa C.,University of Perugia
Journal of Political Ecology | Year: 2013

In this introduction to a Special Section, we outline three recent interrelated research tendencies with regard to how to understand the practices and politics of 'nature': 1) a major attention towards non-anthropocentric environmental ideologies; 2) more complex analyses of environmental movements; and finally, 3) attention to unconventional every-day practices of environmental justice. In all three tendencies, we argue, a renewed attention to socio-economic power relations of the wider context becomes crucial for a better understanding of environmental dynamics. Ethnographically engaged studies from the European context offer examples of how it becomes possible to assess the impact of new grass-root practices, to pay attention to good micro-practices, and understand the unexpected outcomes of the engagement with nature.

Scrucca L.,University of Perugia
Computational Statistics and Data Analysis | Year: 2011

A new dimension reduction method based on Gaussian finite mixtures is proposed as an extension to sliced inverse regression (SIR). The model-based SIR (MSIR)1 approach allows the main limitation of SIR to be overcome, i.e., failure in the presence of regression symmetric relationships, without the need to impose further assumptions. Extensive numerical studies are presented to compare the new method with some of the most popular dimension reduction methods, such as SIR, sliced average variance estimation, principal Hessian direction, and directional regression. MSIR appears sufficiently flexible to accommodate various regression functions, and its performance is comparable with or better, particularly as sample size grows, than other available methods. Lastly, MSIR is illustrated with two real data examples about ozone concentration regression, and hand-written digit classification. © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Vergaro C.,University of Perugia
Journal of Pragmatics | Year: 2015

This paper focuses on the relationship between illocutions and the lexicon, in particular, illocutions and illocutionary nouns in their function of shell nouns. Theoretical insights from cognitive linguistics, supplemented by an empirical-conceptual approach to verbal communication, are used as a frame of reference. They share the idea that, though conceptualization does not lend itself to direct observation, it can be studied indirectly via language as there is a close relationship between linguistic and conceptual structure. In this vein, the semantics-pragmatics of illocutionary shell nouns is relevant to an understanding of illocutions and their categorization.This study singles out one type of illocutionary noun: assertive nouns, i.e. nouns that name assertive speech acts (e.g., assertion, allegation, argument, claim, etc.), and presents a corpus-based study of them. It approaches assertive nouns by analyzing their behavioral profile, i.e. the complementation patterns they occur with, as they emerge in their occurrence in reporting or denoting and, in so doing, in characterizing specific discourse situation speakers' utterance acts as acts of F-ing.The methodology used involves descriptive as well as exploratory statistics. As for descriptive statistics, reliance scores are calculated and a chi-square test added. As for exploratory statistics, a hierarchical cluster analysis is applied to the data. Results show that (i) constructional possibilities are part of the semantic-pragmatic meaning of the noun, and (ii) there is a correlation between semantic-pragmatic similarity and distributional similarity. At the same time they lend argument from linguistic patterns to what philosophy states about the commitment to belief, truth, and knowledge that define assertive speech acts, thus showing the potential that descriptive English research has for application across disciplinary boundaries. © 2015 Elsevier B.V.

Buratti M.,University of Perugia | Momihara K.,Nagoya University
Designs, Codes, and Cryptography | Year: 2011

We investigate further the existence question regarding optimal (v, 4, 2, 1) optical orthogonal codes begun in Momihara and Buratti (IEEE Trans Inform Theory 55:514-523, 2009). We give some non-existence results for infinitely many values of v ≡ ± 3 (mod 9) and several explicit constructions for infinite classes of perfect optical orthogonal codes. © 2010 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.

Lebzelter T.,University of Vienna | Uttenthaler S.,University of Vienna | Busso M.,University of Perugia | Schultheis M.,Observatoire de Besancon | Aringer B.,National institute for astrophysics
Astronomy and Astrophysics | Year: 2012

Context. A small number of K-type giants on the red giant branch (RGB) is known to be very rich in lithium (Li). This fact is not accounted for by standard stellar evolution theory. The exact phase and mechanism of Li enrichment is still a matter of debate. Aims. Our goal is to probe the abundance of Li along the RGB, from its base to the tip, to confine Li-rich phases that are supposed to occur on the RGB. Methods. For this end, we obtained medium-resolution spectra with the FLAMES spectrograph at the VLT in GIRAFFE mode for a large sample of 401 low-mass RGB stars located in the Galactic bulge. The Li abundance was measured in the stars with a detectable Li 670.8 nm line by means of spectral synthesis with COMARCS model atmospheres. A new 2MASS (J-K S)-T eff calibration from COMARCS models is presented in the Appendix. Results. Thirty-one stars with a detectable Li line were identified, three of which are Li-rich according to the usual criterion (logε(Li) > 1.5). The stars are distributed all along the RGB, not concentrated in any particular phase of the red giant evolution (e.g. the luminosity bump or the red clump). The three Li-rich stars are clearly brighter than the luminosity bump and red clump, and do not show any signs of enhanced mass loss. Conclusions. We conclude that the Li enrichment mechanism cannot be restricted to a clearly defined phase of the RGB evolution of low-mass stars (M ∼ 1 M ⊙), contrary to earlier suggestions from disk field stars. © 2012 ESO.

Ludovisi A.,University of Perugia | Roselli L.,University of Salento | Basset A.,University of Salento
Ecological Modelling | Year: 2012

Although several exergy-based indicators of ecosystem state have been put forward during the last decades, their effectiveness still expect a full confirmation. Recently, Ludovisi has proposed a formulation of exergy based on classical thermodynamics, which includes three terms - size (C), concentration (X) and structural information (I) - accounting for the contribution to exergy due to the abiotic and biotic components of an ecosystem, with the latter being expressed as a function of (sub)community structure and diversity. In the present study, the response of the different exergy terms is analysed along the seasonal progression of environmental conditions and phytoplankton in the Lagoon of Lesina (Puglia, Italy). According to the proposed methodology, the equilibrium concentration of the main hydrochemical variables has been calculated on the basis of a suitable hydrochemical model. The estimate of the equilibrium concentration of the phytoplankton (the VECE values) has been performed for logarithmic body-size classes by applying the equilibrium condition to the complete oxidation of the biomass. The results show that: (i) hydrochemical and phytoplankton exergy, as well as exergy terms (size C, concentration X and structural information I) are positively correlated one another, thus suggesting that phytoplankton contributed to enhance the total exergy of the water column of the lagoon also affecting the hydrochemistry of the system, especially during massive blooms; (ii) exergy and structural information of phytoplankton increase with increasing phytoplankton biomass, thus indicating that the size spectrum of phytoplankton diverges from the equilibrium distribution as the biomass stored increases (or vice versa); (iii) the size-fractioned Shannon information of phytoplankton increases with increasing biomass density as well as structural information, before reaching a superior limit. On the whole, the observed trends are consistent with theoretical expectations based on thermodynamics and classical ecological theories of succession, thus confirming the effectiveness of exergy-based tools as indicators of ecosystem development, as well as ecological orientors. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.

Italy has suffered severe depopulation of its mountains over the past six decades. National and European environmental legislation has been aiming to arrest depopulation by promoting local economic development as well as nature conservation. Cultural and social struggles remain between managers of the protected areas and local populations. By exploring the conflict in the Parco Nazionale dei Monti Sibillini, a protected area in the Central Apennines, this work reveals how professional ecologists seem to conceive a universalistic form of possession and management of nature that excludes local traditional uses and knowledge. The needs and expectations of the local communities are overlooked and the bureaucratized forms of nature protection, in addition to the continuous, strenuous political negotiations between the park and the local administrations, tend to nourish feelings of disillusion and hostility towards the park. Perhaps, the time has come to affirm a principle of democracy of knowledge and the need for a participative political ecology.

Cametti C.,University of Rome La Sapienza | Marchetti S.,University of Florence | Gambi C.M.C.,University of Florence | Onori G.,University of Perugia
Journal of Physical Chemistry B | Year: 2011

The dielectric properties of lysozyme aqueous solutions have been investigated over a wide frequency range, from 1 MHz to 50 GHz, where different polarization mechanisms, at a molecular level, manifest. The dielectric relaxation spectra show a multimodal structure, reflecting the complexity of the protein-water interactions, made even more intricate with the increase of the protein concentration. The deconvolution of the spectra into their different components is not unambiguous and is generally a delicate process which requires caution. We have analyzed the whole relaxation region, on the basis of the sum of simple Debye-type relaxation functions, considering three main contributions. Particular attention has been payed to the δ-dispersion, intermediate between the β-dispersion (rotational dynamics of the protein) and the γ-dispersion (orientational polarization of the water molecules). This intermediate contribution to the dielectric spectrum is attributed to the orientational polarization of water molecules in the immediate vicinity of the protein surface (hydration water). Our measurements clearly demonstrate that, at least at high protein concentrations, the δ-dispersion has a bimodal structure associated with two kinds of hydration water, i.e., tightly bound and loosely bound hydration water. In the concentration range investigated, the existence of a three-modal δ-dispersion, as recently suggested, is not supported, on the basis of statistical tests, by the analysis of the dielectric relaxations we have performed and a bimodal dispersion is accurate enough to describe the experimental data. The amount of the hydration water has been evaluated both from the dielectric parameters associated with the δ-dispersion and from the decrement of the loss peak of the γ-dispersion. The relative weight of tightly bound and loosely bound hydration water is briefly discussed. © 2011 American Chemical Society.

Raman S.V.,Ohio State University | Simonetti O.P.,Ohio State University | Winner III M.W.,Ohio State University | Dickerson J.A.,Ohio State University | And 3 more authors.
Journal of the American College of Cardiology | Year: 2010

Objectives: The aim of this study was to define the prevalence and significance of myocardial edema in patients with non-ST-segment elevation acute coronary syndrome (NSTE-ACS). Background: Most patients with NSTE-ACS undergo angiography, yet not all have obstructive coronary artery disease (CAD) requiring revascularization. Identifying patients with myocardium at risk could enhance the effectiveness of an early invasive strategy. Cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR) can demonstrate edematous myocardium subjected to ischemia but has not been used to evaluate NSTE-ACS patients. Methods: One hundred consecutive patients with NSTE-ACS were prospectively enrolled to undergo 30-min CMR, including T2-weighted edema imaging and late gadolinium enhancement before coronary angiography. Clinical management including revascularization decision-making was performed without CMR results. Results: Of 88 adequate CMR studies, 57 (64.8%) showed myocardial edema. Obstructive CAD requiring revascularization was present in 87.7% of edema-positive patients versus 25.8% of edema-negative patients (p < 0.001). By multiple logistic regression analysis after adjusting for late gadolinium enhancement, perfusion, and wall motion scores, TIMI risk score was not predictive of obstructive CAD. Conversely, an increase in T2 score by 1 U increased the odds of subsequent coronary revascularization by 5.70 times (95% confidence interval: 2.38 to 13.62, p < 0.001). Adjusting for peak troponin-I, patients with edema showed a higher hazard of a cardiovascular event or death within 6 months after NSTE-ACS compared with those without edema (hazard ratio: 4.47, 95% confidence interval: 1.00 to 20.03; p = 0.050). Conclusions: In NSTE-ACS patients, rapid CMR identifies reversibly injured myocardium due to obstructive CAD and predicts worse outcomes. Identifying myocardium at risk may help direct appropriate patients toward early invasive management. © 2010 American College of Cardiology Foundation.

Setchell K.D.R.,Cincinnati Childrens Hospital Medical Center | Clerici C.,University of Perugia
Journal of Nutrition | Year: 2010

Equol, first isolated from equine urine in 1932 and identified 50 years later in human urine as a metabolite of the soy isoflavones, daidzin and daidzein, is produced by intestinal bacteria in some, but not all, adults. This observation led to the term equol-producers to define those adults that could make equol in response to consuming soy isoflavones and the hypothesis that the health benefits of soy-based diets may be greater in equol-producers than in equol nonproducers. By virtue of a chiral center, equol occurs as a diastereoisomer and intestinal bacteria are enantiospecific in synthesizing exclusively the S-(-)equol enantiomer, an enantiomer that has selective affinity for the estrogen receptor-β. Both enantiomers are of interest from a clinical and pharmacological perspective and are currently being developed as nutraceutical and pharmacological agents. The wide range of biological activities these enantiomers possess warrants their investigation for the treatment of a number of hormone-related conditions involving estrogen-dependent and androgen-related conditions. The following review describes the history, chemistry, and factors governing the intestinal bacterial formation of equol. © 2010 American Society for Nutrition.

Jorgensen S.E.,Copenhagen University | Ludovisi A.,University of Perugia | Nielsen S.N.,Copenhagen University
Ecological Modelling | Year: 2010

It is generally accepted as a useful and workable hypothesis that when an ecosystem receives an inflow of exergy (energy that can do work) it will utilize this flow of exergy to move as far away from thermodynamic equilibrium as possible after the exergy (energy) for maintenance has been covered. If more combinations of system components including organisms are offered, the combination of components and processes that will bring the system most away from thermodynamic equilibrium will win.The amino acid sequences of the proteins e.g. enzymes determine and control the life processes of the organisms and may be viewed as information sensu lato. The free energy of oxidation of the amino acids and the peptide bonds of the cell enzymes expresses therefore the exergy content, eco-exergy or work capacity that the information contributes to "moving further away from thermodynamic equilibrium" In this paper eco-exergy is calculated and plotted versus the β-values (a measure of the information contained in the genome) for different organisms. The eco-exergy density was previously (see Jørgensen et al., 1995, 2005) proposed to be calculated as the summation of the product of the β-values representing the information of the genome multiplied by the concentrations of the respective ecosystem components. This analysis shows a strong correlation between the β-values and free energy released when oxidizing the enzymes. The β-values can therefore be assumed to represent the free energy that the organisms have invested in genetic information. © 2010.

Evans R.J.,Statistical Laboratory | Forcina A.,University of Perugia
Computational Statistics and Data Analysis | Year: 2013

The two main algorithms that have been considered for fitting constrained marginal models to discrete data, one basedon Lagrange multipliers and the other on a regression model, are studied in detail. It is shown that the updates produced by the two methods are identical, but that the Lagrangian method is more efficient in the case of identically distributed observations. A generalization is given of the regression algorithm for modelling the effect of exogenous individual-level covariates, a context in which the use of the Lagrangian algorithm would be infeasible for even moderate sample sizes. An extension of the method to likelihood-based estimation under L 1-penalties is also considered. © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Costamante L.,University of Perugia
International Journal of Modern Physics D | Year: 2013

Recent observations of blazars at high energy (0.1-100 GeV) and very high energy (> 0.1 TeV) have provided important constraints on the intensity and spectrum of the diffuse extragalactic background light (EBL), shedding light on its main origin. Several issues remain open, however, in particular in the mid-and far-infrared bands and in the blazar emission at multi-TeV energies. This review summarizes the observational and theoretical progress in the study of the EBL with gamma-rays and the most promising future improvements, which are mainly expected from spectra in the multi-TeV range. © 2013 World Scientific Publishing Company.

Cirocchi R.,University of Perugia
Cochrane database of systematic reviews (Online) | Year: 2012

Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the most common malignant tumour and the third leading cause of cancer deaths in USA. For advanced CRC, the liver is the first site of metastatic disease; approximately 50 % of patients with CRC will develop liver metastases either synchronously or metachronously within 2 years after primary diagnosis. Hepatic resection (HR) is the only curative option, but only 15-20% of patients with liver metastases from CRC (CRLMs) are suitable for surgical standard treatment. In patients with unresectable CRLMs downsizing chemotherapy can improve resectability (16%). Modern systemic chemotherapy represents the only significant treatment for unresectable CRLMs. However several loco-regional treatments have been developed: hepatic arterial infusion (HAI), cryosurgical ablation (CSA), radiofrequency ablation (RFA), microwave ablation and selective internal radion treatment (SIRT). During the past decade RFA has superseded other ablative therapies, due to its low morbidity, mortality, safety and patient acceptability. The objective of this study was to systematically review the role of radiofrequency ablation (RFA) in the treatment of CRLMs. We performed electronic searches in the following databases:CENTRAL, MEDLINE and EMBASE. Current trials were identified through the Internet using the Clinical-Trials.gov site (to January 2, 2012) and ASCO Proceedings. The reference lists of identified trials were reviewed for additional studies. Randomized clinical trials (RCTs), quasi-randomised or controlled clinical trials (CCTs) comparing RFA to any other therapy for CRLMs were included. Observational study designs including comparative cohort studies comparing RFA to another intervention, single arm cohort studies or case control studies have been included if they have: prospectively collected data, ten or more patients; and have a mean or median follow-up time of 24 months. Patients with CRLMs who have no contraindications for RFA. Patients with unresectable extra-hepatic disease were also included.Trials have been considered regardless of language of origin. A total of 1144 records were identified through the above electronic searching. We included 18 studies: 10 observational studies, 7 Clinical Controlled Trials (CCTs) and an additional 1 Randomized Clinical Trial (RCT) (abstract) identified by hand searching in the 2010 ASCO Annual Meeting. The most appropriate way of summarizing time-to-event data is to use methods of survival analysis and express the intervention effect as a hazard ratio. In the included studies these outcome are mostly reported as dichotomous data so we should have asked authors research data for each participant and perform Individual Patient Data (IPD) meta-analysis. Given the study design and low quality of included studies we decided to give up and not to summarize these data. Seventeen studies were not randomised and this increases the potential for selection bias. In addition, there was imbalance in the baseline characteristics of the participants included in all studies. All studies were classified as having a elevate risk of bias. The assessment of methodological quality of all non-randomized studies included in meta-analysis performed by the STROBE checklist has allowed us to identify several methodological limits in most of the analysed studies. At present, the information from the single RCT included (Ruers 2010) comes from an abstract of 2010 ASCO Annual Meeting where the allocation concealment was not reported; however in original protocol allocation concealment was adequately reported (EORTC 40004 protocol). The heterogeneity regarding interventions, comparisons and outcomes rendered the data not suitable. This systematic review gathers information from several controlled clinical trials and observational studies which are vulnerable to different types of bias. The imbalance between characteristics of patients in the allocated groups appears to be the main concern. Only one randomised clinical trial (published as an abstract), comparing 60 patients receiving RFA plus CT versus 59 patients receiving CT alone, was identified. This study showed that PFS was significantly higher in the group that received RFA. However, it was not able to provide information on overall survival. In conclusion, evidence from the included studies are insufficient to recommend RFA for a radical oncological treatment of CRLMs.

Nucci M.C.,University of Perugia
Physics Letters, Section A: General, Atomic and Solid State Physics | Year: 2011

Lie symmetries along with either Noether theorem or Jacobi Last Multiplier yield all the conserved quantities that one may seek and even more. We show that three new conserved quantities derived in Jian-Hui Fang, Ming-Jiang Zhang, Wei-Wei Zhang (2010) [1] can be algorithmically obtained by these old methods. Even more than three. © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Sarchielli P.,University of Perugia
The journal of headache and pain | Year: 2012

The first edition of the Italian diagnostic and therapeutic guidelines for primary headaches in adults was published in J Headache Pain 2(Suppl. 1):105-190 (2001). Ten years later, the guideline committee of the Italian Society for the Study of Headaches (SISC) decided it was time to update therapeutic guidelines. A literature search was carried out on Medline database, and all articles on primary headache treatments in English, German, French and Italian published from February 2001 to December 2011 were taken into account. Only randomized controlled trials (RCT) and meta-analyses were analysed for each drug. If RCT were lacking, open studies and case series were also examined. According to the previous edition, four levels of recommendation were defined on the basis of levels of evidence, scientific strength of evidence and clinical effectiveness. Recommendations for symptomatic and prophylactic treatment of migraine and cluster headache were therefore revised with respect to previous 2001 guidelines and a section was dedicated to non-pharmacological treatment. This article reports a summary of the revised version published in extenso in an Italian version.

Cravotto G.,University of Turin | Garella D.,University of Turin | Carnaroglio D.,University of Turin | Gaudino E.C.,University of Turin | Rosati O.,University of Perugia
Chemical Communications | Year: 2012

Organosulphur compounds can be easily and selectively oxidized to sulfones using a small excess of Oxone® (1.6 eq.) under solventless mechanical milling conditions. This green procedure has been efficiently applied to a series of model compounds and to the desulphurization of medium/high sulphur content paraffins (up to 3000 mg kg -1). © 2012 The Royal Society of Chemistry.

Brocca L.,National Research Council Italy | Melone F.,National Research Council Italy | Moramarco T.,National Research Council Italy | Morbidelli R.,University of Perugia
Water Resources Research | Year: 2010

The soil moisture is a quantity of paramount importance in the study of hydrologic phenomena and soil-atmosphere interaction. Because of its high spatial and temporal variability, the soil moisture monitoring scheme was investigated here both for soil moisture retrieval by remote sensing and in view of the use of soil moisture data in rainfall-runoff modeling. To this end, by using a portable Time Domain Reflectometer, a sequence of 35 measurement days were carried out within a single year in seven fields located inside the Vallaccia catchment, central Italy, with area of 60 km2. Every sampling day, soil moisture measurements were collected at each field over a regular grid with an extension of 2000 m2. The optimization of the monitoring scheme, with the aim of an accurate mean soil moisture estimation at the field and catchment scale, was addressed by the statistical and the temporal stability. At the field scale, the number of required samples (NRS) to estimate the field-mean soil moisture within an accuracy of 2%, necessary for the validation of remotely sensed soil moisture, ranged between 4 and 15 for almost dry conditions (the worst case); at the catchment scale, this number increased to nearly 40 and it refers to almost wet conditions. On the other hand, to estimate the mean soil moisture temporal pattern, useful for rainfall-runoff modeling, the NRS was found to be lower. In fact, at the catchment scale only 10 measurements collected in the most "representative" field, previously determined through the temporal stability analysis, can reproduce the catchment-mean soil moisture with a determination coefficient, R2, higher than 0.96 and a root-mean-square error, RMSE, equal to 2.38%. For the "nonrepresentative" fields the accuracy in terms of RMSE decreased, but similar R2 coefficients were found. This insight can be exploited for the sampling in a generic field when it is sufficient to know an index of soil moisture temporal pattern to be incorporated in conceptual rainfall-runoff models. The obtained results can address the soil moisture monitoring network design from which a reliable soil moisture temporal pattern at the catchment scale can be derived. Copyright 2010 by the American Geophysical Union.

Nervi C.,University of Rome La Sapienza | Grignani F.,University of Perugia
Sub-Cellular Biochemistry | Year: 2014

MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small noncoding RNAs acting as endogenous regulators of gene expression. Their discovery is one of the major recent breakthroughs in molecular biology. miRNAs establish a multiplicity of relationships with target mRNAs and exert pleiotropic biological effects in many cell physiological pathways during development and adult life. The dynamic nature of gene expression regulation by Retinoic Acid (RA) is consistent with an extensive functional interplay with miRNA activities. In fact, RA regulates the expression of many different miRNAs, thus suggesting a relevant function of miRNAs in RA-controlled gene expression programmes. miRNAs have been extensively studied as targets and mediators of the biological activity of RA during embryonic development as well as in normal and neoplastic cells. However, relatively few studies have experimentally explored the direct contribution of miRNA function to the RA signalling pathway. Here, we provide an overview of the mechanistic aspects that allow miRNA biogenesis, functional activation and regulation, focusing on recent evidence that highlights a functional interplay between miRNAs and RA-regulated molecular networks. We report examples of tissue-specific roles of miRNAs modulated by RA in stem cell pluripotency maintenance and regeneration, embryonic development, hematopoietic and neural differentiation, and other biological model systems, underlining their role in disease pathogenesis. We also address novel areas of research linking the RA signalling pathway to the nuclear activity of miRNAs. © Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014.

BACKGROUND: In people with haemophilia, therapeutic clotting agents might be recognised as a foreign protein and induce anti-FVIII antibodies, known as 'inhibitors'. Drugs insensitive to such antibodies, either recombinant or plasma-derived, are called factor VIII "by-passing" agents and used for treatment of bleeding in people with inhibitors. OBJECTIVES: To determine the clinical effectiveness of recombinant FVIIa concentrate in comparison to plasma-derived concentrates for the treatment of acute bleeding episodes in people with haemophilia and inhibitors. SEARCH STRATEGY: We searched the Cochrane Cystic Fibrosis and Genetic Disorders Group Coagulopathies Trials Register which comprises references identified from comprehensive electronic database searches and handsearches of relevant journals and abstract books of conference proceedings.Date of the most recent search of the Group's Trials Register: 07 July 2010. SELECTION CRITERIA: Randomised (RCTs) and quasi-randomised controlled clinical trials comparing recombinant FVIIa concentrate (rFVIIa) to human plasma-derived concentrates (high-dose human or recombinant FVIII or FIX concentrate; prothrombin complex concentrates (PCCs); activated prothrombin complex concentrate (aPCC)) in persons with haemophilia. Comparisons with animal derived products were excluded. DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS: Two authors independently assessed trials (eligibility and risk of bias) and extracted data. No meta-analysis was performed due to unavailability of outcomes and comparisons common to the included studies. MAIN RESULTS: A total of ten trials were identified, two of which (total of 69 participants) were eligible for analysis. Both trials showed methodological flaws and did not show superiority of one treatment over the other. Both the treatments showed that (rFVIIa and aPCC appeared to have a similar haemostatic effect in both studies, without increasing thromboembolic risk. AUTHORS' CONCLUSIONS: Although the main conclusion should be the need for further randomised controlled trials, we conclude that both rFVIIa and aPCC can be used to treat bleeding in haemophiliacs with inhibitors.

Valentini L.,University of Perugia
Diamond and Related Materials | Year: 2011

In this paper the evidence of the formation of short and unzipped single-walled carbon nanotube (SWCNTs) through a facile and scalable plasma method is reported. The approach consists of a CF4 RF plasma treatment of SWCNTs; transmission electron microscopy as well as atomic force microscopy showed the evidence of the attainment of unzipped SWCNTs chemical microanalysis has been used to demonstrate the fluorination of such nanostructures. The production of such nanostructured architectures may allow for their large scale integration into polymer based nanocomposites. © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Urbanelli L.,University of Perugia
Recent patents on CNS drug discovery | Year: 2013

Lysosomal Storage Diseases (LSDs) are inherited metabolic disorders caused by specific lysosomal protein deficiencies, which lead to abnormal storage of macromolecular substrates. Most LSDs are characterized by central nervous system (CNS) pathology, intracellular deposition and protein aggregation, events also found in age-related neurodegenerative diseases. Over the past two decades, a few approaches for the cure of these disorders have been approved for clinical use, i.e. enzyme replacement therapy (ERT) and substrate reduction therapy (SRT). However, these treatments are hampered by major limitations, such as the poor biodistribution in the CNS for ERT and severe side effects for SRT. Several additional therapeutic strategies have been proposed. In particular clinical trials are ongoing based on enzyme enhancement by pharmacological chaperones, i.e. small molecule compounds able to increases the residual activity of the lysosomal enzyme, and gene therapy approaches. In addition, recent patents in the field provide evidence that many efforts are currently dedicated to i) improve the properties of enzymes used for ERT, ii) find new pharmacological chaperones without inhibitory effects on enzyme activity and iii) combine gene therapy approaches with genome editing methods.

Molina-Vilaplanaa J.,Technical University of Cartagena | Sodanob P.,Perimeter Institute of Theoretical Physics | Sodanob P.,University of Perugia
Journal of High Energy Physics | Year: 2011

In (d + 1) dimensional Multiscale Entanglement Renormalization Ansatz (MERA) networks, tensors are connected so as to reproduce the discrete, (d + 2) holographic geometry of Anti de Sitter space (AdSd+2) with the original system lying at the boundary. We analyze the MERA renormalization flow that arises when computing the quantum correlations between two disjoint blocks of a quantum critical system, to show that the structure of the causal cones characteristic of MERA, requires a transition between two different regimes attainable by changing the ratio between the size and the separation of the two disjoint blocks. We argue that this transition in the MERA causal developments of the blocks may be easily accounted by an AdSd+2 black hole geometry when the mutual information is computed using the Ryu-Takayanagi formula. As an explicit example, we use a BTZ AdS3 black hole to compute the MI and the quantum correlations between two disjoint intervals of a one dimensional boundary critical system. Our results for this low dimensional system not only show the existence of a phase transition emerging when the conformal four point ratio reaches a critical value but also provide an intuitive entropic argument accounting for the source of this instability. We discuss the robustness of this transition when finite temperature and finite size effects are taken into account. © 2011 SISSA.

Rigaud S.,Departement de Geologie et Paleontologie | Blau J.,Institute For Geowissenschaften | Martini R.,Departement de Geologie et Paleontologie | Rettori R.,University of Perugia
Journal of Foraminiferal Research | Year: 2013

Exceptionally well-preserved trochospirally coiled Involutinina have been found in Late Triassic (Wallowa Mountains, Oregon, U.S.A.) and Early Jurassic (northern Calcareous Alps, Austria) carbonate rocks. Their remarkable preservation, related to impregnation of the test prior to recrystalli-zation, allowed us to observe features usually obliterated by diagenetic and metamorphic processes. This paper provides a revision of the morphology, structure, systematic position, phylogeny, and stratigraphic range of the family Trocholini-dae Kristan-Tollmann. New criteria permitting the distinction between trocholinid genera, even in cases of intense recrystallization, are presented. An identification key and a new, monophyletic tree are proposed for the whole family. The main outcomes of this work are that 1) Neotrocholina Reichel is definitively excluded from the Involutinina; 2) the genera Andersenolina Neagu, Hottingerella Piller, and Septatrocholina BouDagher-Fadel and Banner are placed in synonymy with Cosrinoconus Leupold; 3) the genus Ornato-conus di Bari is considered a synonym of Trocholina Schlumberger; 4) the distinction between the genera Auloco-nus Piller and Lamellkonus Piller is abandoned; 5) five new genera (Coronaserra n. gen., Frentzenella n. gen., Kristan-tolimanna n. gen., Papillaconus n. gen., and Wallowaconus n. gen.) and three new species (Frentzenella frentzeni n. gen., n. sp., Frentzenella perforata n. gen., n. sp., and Wallowaconus oregonensis n. gen., n. sp.) are introduced; 6) the species " Trocholina intermedia" Henson is reinstituted; 7) " Trocholina gigantea"' Pelissié and Peybernès, and "Semiinvoluta verrucosa" Tollmann and Kristan-Tollmann are renamed Coscinoconus limognensis nom. nov. and Papillaconus kristani nom. nov., respectively; and 8) new combinations for several species of Trocholinidae are provided. The recognition of two subfamilies (Lamelliconinae and Trocholininae) and twelve genera within the Trocholinidae underlines the high diversity of the family. The rapid diversification and widespread distribution characterizing the group suggest that the potential of trochospirally coiled Involutinina in stratigraphic and paleoenvironmental studies is greatly undervalued.

Cametti C.,University of Rome La Sapienza | Marchetti S.,University of Florence | Onori G.,University of Perugia
Journal of Physical Chemistry B | Year: 2013

Water close to proteins plays a key role in determining their structural and functional properties. Despite being a subject of considerable interest, the characterization of hydration water, as far as its total amount is concerned, is still controversial and its influence on protein structure and folding is not yet fully understood. In this work, we have investigated the dielectric properties of lysozyme aqueous solutions over the frequency range where the orientational polarization relaxation of the aqueous phase occurs (from 500 MHz to 50 GHz). Measurements extend over a wide concentration range, up to 300 mg/mL, corresponding to a volume fraction of the order of 0.4. The analysis of the dielectric spectra, based on the decrease of the dielectric increment of the γ-dispersion as a function of protein concentration, allows us to estimate the total amount of hydration water (both bound water and loosely bound water) present in the system investigated. We observe a decrease of the hydration number as a function of the protein concentration. This behavior is well accounted for by considering the formation of small equilibrium clusters with aggregation number of some units, as recently reported by Stradner et al.(1) on the basis of small-angle X-ray and neutron scattering measurements. © 2012 American Chemical Society.

Perioli L.,University of Perugia
Pharmaceutical research | Year: 2013

Furosemide (FURO) is a BCS class IV drug preferentially absorbed in the gastric environment. A previous study demonstrated that its intercalation into the lamellar inorganic matrix MgAl-HTlc, giving rise to MgAl-HTlc-FURO, improves its dissolution in acidic medium. As the gastric absorption of drugs can be hindered from the biological barriers mucus and gastric mucosa, the purpose of this work was to evaluate the effect of MgAl-HTlc on gastric pH, the possible modifications induced on mucus rheology and the influence on both artificial and biological membranes. Firstly the effect of growing MgAl-HTlc concentrations on gastric pH was evaluated. Both drug flux across the mucus layer and permeability across an artificial and biological membrane (gastric mucosa) have been studied as well. The results highlighted that drug flux across gastric mucus is improved in presence of MgAl-HTlc-FURO and that MgAl-HTlc is able to modify mucus structure in a reversible manner. From permeability studies emerged that the use of a biological membrane is the most suitable for such studies and that MgAl-HTlc-FURO enhances FURO Papp. Data obtained suggest that MgAl-HTlc is a suitable material able to improve the biopharmaceutical properties of class IV BCS drugs.

Garcia E.,University of the Basque Country | Saracibar A.,University of the Basque Country | Lagana A.,University of Perugia
Theoretical Chemistry Accounts | Year: 2011

A grid empowered molecular simulator (GEMS) embodying in a single workflow the ab initio treatment of elementary chemical processes has been extended to four atom reactions. GEMS has been used to carry out a massive quasiclassical investigation for the OH + CO → H + CO2 reaction on the most recently proposed potential energy surface. The type of potential energy surface used and the possibility of running the simulations on the grid have allowed us to keep the error of the order of a few percent at all values of the collision energy and to estimate accurately the dependence of the reaction cross section on the collision energy. The accuracy of the calculations has allowed to unequivocally single out the fact that the calculated center-of-mass angular distribution is clearly isotropic and radically differs from the asymmetric forward-backward structure obtained from the experiment. However, when the laboratory frame analogues are compared, the difference almost vanishes. © 2010 Springer-Verlag.

Fiorucci S.,University of Perugia | Santucci L.,Azienda Ospedaliera
Inflammation and Allergy - Drug Targets | Year: 2011

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory pain medications, commonly referred to as NSAIDs, are effective treatment for pain, fever and inflammation. However their use associates with a 4-6 fold increase in the risk of gastrointestinal bleeding. The basic mode of action of NSAIDs lies in the inhibition of cyclooxygenases (COXs), a family of enzymes involved in the generation of prostaglandins (PGs). The COX exists at least in two isoforms, COX-1 and COX-2, with PGs mediating inflammation at site of injury generated by the COX-2, while COX-1 produces PGs that are essential in maintaining integrity in the gastrointestinal tract. Selective inhibitors of COX-2, the coxibs, spare the gastrointestinal tract while exerting anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects. However, their use has been linked to an increased risk of thrombo-embolic events. Nitric oxide (NO) and hydrogen sulfide (H 2S), are potent vasodilatory agents that maintain mucosal integrity in the gastrointestinal tract. In the last decade hybrid molecules that release NO or H 2S have been coupled with non-selective NSAIDs to generate new classes of anti-inflammatory and analgesic agents with the potential to spare the gastrointestinal and cardiovascular system. These agents, the NO-releasing NSAIDs, or CINOD, and the H 2S-releasing NSAIDs are currently investigated as a potential alternative to NSAIDs and coxibs. Naproxcinod has been the first, and so far the only, CINOD extensively investigated in clinical trials. Despite its promising profile, the approval of this drug was recently rejected by the Food and Drug Administration because the lack of long-term controlled studies. NSAIDs that release H 2S as a mechanism to support an enhanced gastrointestinal and cardiovascular safety are being investigated in preclinical studies. Either naproxen or diclofenac coupled to an H 2S releasing moiety has been reported to cause less gastrointestinal and cardiovascular injury than parent NSAIDs in preclinical models. © 2011 Bentham Science Publishers Ltd.

Bianconi F.,University of Perugia | Fernandez A.,University of Vigo
Journal of Mathematical Imaging and Vision | Year: 2011

It is well-known that local binary pattern (LBP) histograms of real textures exhibit a markedly uneven distribution, which is dominated by the so-called uniform patterns. The widely accepted interpretation of this phenomenon is that uniform patterns correspond to texture microfeatures, such as edges, corners, and spots. In this paper we present a theoretical study about the relative occurrence of LBPs based on the consideration that the LBP operator partitions the set of grayscale patterns into an ensemble of disjoint multidimensional polytopes. We derive exact prior probabilities of LBPs by calculating the volume of such polytopes. Our study puts in evidence that both the uneven distribution of the LBP histogram and the high occurrence of uniform patterns are direct consequences of the mathematical structure of the method rather than an intrinsic property of real textures. © 2011 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.

Cavalli S.,University of Perugia | de Fazio D.,CNR Institute of Inorganic Methodologies and Plasmas
Theoretical Chemistry Accounts | Year: 2011

Accidental degeneracy of two scattering resonances in chemical reactions is discussed. A novel analytical parameterization for the scattering matrix elements valid in the presence of two interacting resonances is derived and applied to investigate the coalescence of metastable states leading to double poles in the partial-wave amplitude. We show how double poles can manifest themselves in reaction cross-sections and discuss their relationship with exceptional points. The presence of two degenerate resonances interacting with each other can create a peculiar double-peak structure in the reaction probability. At the energy where the two decaying states coalesce the scattering matrix has a double pole and correspondingly the reaction probability reaches its minimum value. This novel formula has been tested with the well-established data obtained for the F + H 2 reaction, for which previous studies have revealed the existence of two interfering resonance pathways. The good agreement of model predictions and quantum scattering calculations shows that the present approach is reliable. Hence, we claim that it provides a way for the observation of interacting resonances in molecular collisions. Resonance positions and partial widths can be obtained by fitting the numerically calculated state-to-state reaction probabilities to the square modulus of the novel expression for the scattering matrix elements derived in the paper. © 2011 Springer-Verlag.

Trastulli S.,St Maria Hospital | Desiderio J.,St Maria Hospital | Guarino S.,University of Rome La Sapienza | Cirocchi R.,St Maria Hospital | And 3 more authors.
Surgery for Obesity and Related Diseases | Year: 2013

Background The evidence regarding the effectiveness and safety of laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy (LSG) has been mostly based on the data derived from nonrandomized studies. The objective of this study was to evaluate the outcomes of LSG and to present an up-to-date review of the available evidence based on the recent publications of new randomized, controlled trials (RCTs). Methods PubMed, Embase, and Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials were searched until November 2012 for RCTs on LSG. Results Fifteen RCTs, comprising a total of 1191 patients, of whom 795 had undergone LSG, were included. No patient required conversion to open surgery for LSG, laparoscopic gastric bypass (LGB), or laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding (LAGB) procedures. There were no deaths, and the complication rate was 12.1% (range 10%-13.2%) in the LSG group versus 20.9% (range 10%-26.4%) in the LGB group, and 0% in the LAGB group (only 1 RCT). The complications included leakage, bleeding, stricture, and reoperation that occurred with rates of.9%, 3.3%, 0%, and 2.1%, respectively, in the LSG group and rates of 0%, 5%, 0%, and 4%, respectively, in the LGB group. The average operating time in the LSG group was 106.5 minutes versus 132.3 minutes in the LGB group. The percentage of excess weight loss (%EWL) ranged from 49% to 81% in the LSG group, from 62.1% to 94.4% in the LGB group, and from 28.7% to 48% in the LAGB group, with a follow-up ranging from 6 months to 3 years. The type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) remission rate ranged from 26.5% to 75% in the LSG group and from 42% to 93% in the LGB group. Conclusions LSG is a well-tolerated, feasible procedure with a relatively short operating time. Its effectiveness in terms of weight loss is confirmed for short-term follow-up (≤3 years). The role of LSG in the treatment of T2DM requires further investigation. © 2013 American Society for Bariatric Surgery.

Rigaud S.,Departement de Geologie et Paleontologie | Martini R.,Departement de Geologie et Paleontologie | Rettori R.,University of Perugia
Acta Palaeontologica Polonica | Year: 2013

The Late Triassic was a time of pronounced radiation in several groups of foraminifers. The rapid evolutionary processes in the Suborder Involutinina caused particularly high diversification of these aragonitic foraminifers, which became a key group for Upper Triassic biostratigraphy. Among them, Triasina hantkeni and Triasina oberhauseri are regarded as the most precise guide fossils. However, while these species are widely used, a poor documentation of the detailed test structure of T. oberhauseri has resulted in misidentifications. The exceptional preservation and abundance of Triasina oberhauseri in the Upper Triassic deposits of the Black Marble Quarry (Wallowa terrane, Oregon, USA) has allowed us to make the first detailed observations of its coiling, innermost structure and lamellae arrangement and to recognize morphological features that were either wrongly interpreted or not described in the original systematic definition of the species. In this paper, we demonstrate that the species possesses characteristics that hamper its assignment to Triasina and we propose a new genus, Aulosina, to accommodate this taxon. Placing emphasis on the accuracy of the morphological description, the diagnosis and the systematic definition of the species are here improved. The identification of innovative features in Aulosina oberhauseri (strengthenings, shortened lamellae) highlights new evolutionary trends for the lineage of Involutinina that have proved useful for the establishment of phylogenetic links between involutinid genera and for understanding the evolutive steps leading to the formation of inner-pillars in tubular foraminifers. The increasing complexity of Involutinina representatives at the end of the Triassic, notably marked by the appearance of internal structures in Triasininae, leads us to regard them as probable symbiont-bearing foraminifers. © 2013 S. Rigaud et al.

Pressure ulcers are evolutive tissue of the skin, derma and subcutaneous layer. If not treated properly, but sometimes despite that, they may even reach muscles and bones. Nutritional status of the patient is the most important and potentially reversible factor which can contribute to wound recovery. Several studies underline in particular the importance of the proteic and caloric intake in order to stimulate the formation of granulation tissue and collagen. We thought giving the nutrients for wound repair directly on the wound bed, topically, therefore using the wound bed as exchange surface and presuming the wounded tissues are able to absorb, metabolize and ultimately use the aminoacids to repair the damage. The goal of our work is to describe the clinical case patient treated with a new active wound dressing releasing aminoacids and hyaluronic acid.

Destrade M.,University College Dublin | Gilchrist M.D.,University College Dublin | Saccomandi G.,University of Perugia
Journal of the Acoustical Society of America | Year: 2010

Acousto-elasticity is concerned with the propagation of small-amplitude waves in deformed solids. Results previously established for the incremental elastodynamics of exact non-linear elasticity are useful for the determination of third-and fourth-order elastic constants, especially in the case of incompressible isotropic soft solids, where the expressions are particularly simple. Specifically, it is simply a matter of expanding the expression for ρ v2, where ρ is the mass density and v the wave speed, in terms of the elongation e of a block subject to a uniaxial tension. The analysis shows that in the resulting expression: ρ v2 =a+b e+c e2, say, a depends linearly on μ; b on μ and A; and c on μ, A, and D, the respective second-, third, and fourth-order constants of incompressible elasticity, for bulk shear waves and for surface waves. © 2010 Acoustical Society of America.

Reisner Y.,Weizmann Institute of Science | Hagin D.,Weizmann Institute of Science | Martelli M.F.,University of Perugia
Blood | Year: 2011

For patients with hematologic malignancies at high risk of relapse who do not have matched donors, a suitable alternative stem cell source is the HLA-haploidentical 2 or 3-loci mismatched family donor who is readily available for nearly all patients. Transplantation across the major HLA barrier is associated with strong T-cell alloreactions, which were originally manifested as a high incidence of severe GVHD and graft rejection. The present review shows how these obstacles to successful transplantation were overcome in the last 15 years, making full haplotype-mismatched transplantation a clinical reality that provides similar outcomes to transplantation from matched unrelated donors. The review also discusses the advantages and drawbacks of current options for full haplotype-mismatched transplantation and highlights innovative approaches for rebuilding immunity after transplantation and improving survival. © 2011 by The American Society of Hematology.

Falini B.,University of Perugia
Cancer Treatment and Research | Year: 2010

The NPM1 gene encodes for nucleophosmin, a nucleolus-located shuttling protein that is involved in multiple cell functions, including regulation of ribosome biogenesis, control of centrosome duplication and preservation of ARF tumor suppressor integrity. The NPM1 gene is specifically mutated in about 30% acute myeloid leukemia (AML) but not in other human neoplasms. Mutations cause crucial changes at the C-terminus of the NPM1 protein that are responsible for the aberrant nuclear export and accumulation of NPM1 mutants in the cytoplasm of leukemic cells. Diagnosis of AML with mutated NPM1 can be done using molecular techniques, immunohistochemistry (looking at cytoplasmic dislocation of nucleophosmin that is predictive of NPM1 mutations) and Western blotting with antibodies specifically directed against NPM1 mutants. Because of its distinctive molecular, pathological, immunophenotypic and prognostic features, AML with mutated NPM1 (synonym: NPMc+ AML) has been included, as a new provisional entity, in the 2008 World Health Organization (WHO) classification of myeloid neoplasms. © 2009 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.

Galli F.,University of Perugia | Azzi A.,Tufts University
BioFactors | Year: 2010

Nearly after one century of research and thousands of publications, the physiological function(s) of vitamin E remain unclear. Available evidence suggests a role in cell homeostasis that occurs through the modulation of specific signaling pathways and genes involved in proliferative, metabolic, inflammatory, and antioxidant pathways. Vitamin E presence in the human body is under close metabolic control so that only α-tocopherol and, to a lower extent, c-tocopherol are retained and delivered to tissues. Other vitamin E forms that are not retained in the body in significant amounts, exhibit responses in vitro that are different form those of α-tocopherol and may include tumor cell specific toxicity and apoptosis. These responses provide a therapeutic potential for these minor forms, either as such or metabolically modified, to produce bioactive metabolites. These cellular effects go beyond the properties of lipophilic antioxidant attributed to α-tocopherol particularly investigated for its alleged protective role in atherosclerosis or other oxidative stress conditions. Understanding signaling and gene expression effects of vitamin E could help assign a physiological role to this vitamin, which will be discussed in this review. Besides vitamin E signaling, attention will be given to tocotrienols as one of the emerging topics in vitamin E research and a critical re-examination of the most recent clinical trials will be provided together with the potential use of vitamin E in disease prevention and therapy. © 2010 International Union Of Biochemistry And Molecular Biology, Inc.

Bassotti G.,University of Perugia | Gambaccini D.,University of Pisa | Bellini M.,University of Pisa
Expert Review of Gastroenterology and Hepatology | Year: 2016

Constipation is a disorder frequently complained about by patients in daily clinical practice. However, to date, its treatment is still commonly unsatisfactory, especially concerning patients quality of life, when using conventional measures. Prucalopride, a selective 5-hydroxytryptamine receptor 4 agonist, was introduced to the market in 2009 and has been commercially available in Europe since 2010. The main effect of prucalopride is to stimulate colonic motility, which explains its efficacy to treat constipated patients unresponsive to other regimens. Literature search was carrieod out to look for effects of prucalopride on constipated patients. Several papers were found demonstrating that prucalopride is effective in treatment of constipated patients. Due to its few side effects, the lack of cardiovascular effects and interactions with other drugs, prucalopride may be safely used in elderly people as well. © 2016 Taylor & Francis.

Fernandez A.,University of Vigo | Alvarez M.X.,University of Vigo | Bianconi F.,University of Perugia
Optics and Lasers in Engineering | Year: 2011

In this work we present a new family of computationally simple texture descriptors, referred to as binary gradient contours (BGC). The BGC methodology relies on computing a set of eight binary gradients between pairs of pixels all along a closed path around the central pixel of a 3×3 grayscale image patch. We developed three different versions of BGC features, namely single-loop, double-loop and triple-loop. To quantitatively assess the effectiveness of the proposed approach we performed an ensemble of texture classification experiments over 10 different datasets. The obtained results make it apparent that the single-loop version is the best performer of the BGC family. Experiments also show that the single-loop BGC texture operator outperforms the well-known LBP. Statistical significance of the achieved accuracy improvement has been demonstrated through the Wilkoxon signed rank test. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Castellani F.,University of Perugia | Vignaroli A.,VTT Technical Research Center of Finland | Vignaroli A.,Windsim Inc.
Applied Energy | Year: 2013

Numerical simulation of wake losses is a fundamental step towards the optimization of the exploitation of the renewable wind energy potential especially in off-shore conditions or in coastal areas. The scientific community is quickly developing new advanced modelling techniques in order to improve the reliability of power losses calculation in many different kinds of environment; analytical models are going to be replaced by new Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) codes that seem to be more useful, especially for large offshore wind farms.In the present work an actuator disc model was implemented in order to simulate the wakes of a wind farm; this model was used within the CFD code PHOENICS (the numerical core of the Windsim package) working with an orthogonal Cartesian grid.The model was validated using real production data from a small wind farm operating in the western coastal region of Finland; the numerical wind speed profiles were verified using anemometer data from a mast placed near the turbines.The results demonstrate that, despite its simplicity, the actuator disc model can give very useful information when developing a wind farm in off-shore or coastal areas.This work was carried out within a cooperation between the Department of Industrial Engineering of the University of Perugia and VTT, the technical research centre of Finland. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.

Nucci M.C.,University of Perugia | Tamizhmani K.M.,Pondicherry University
Journal of Nonlinear Mathematical Physics | Year: 2010

We present a method devised by Jacobi to derive Lagrangians of any second-order differential equation: it consists in finding a Jacobi Last Multiplier. We illustrate the easiness and the power of Jacobi's method by applying it to several equations, including a class of equations recently studied by Musielak with his own method [Z. E. Musielak, Standard and non-standard Lagrangians for dissipative dynamical systems with variable coefficients J. Phys. A: Math. Theor. 41 (2008) 055205], and in particular a Liènard type nonlinear oscillator and a second-order Riccati equation. Also, we derive more than one Lagrangian for each equation. © 2010 The Author(s).

Castellani F.,University of Perugia | Garinei A.,University Guglielmo Marconi
Applied Energy | Year: 2013

The utilization of high-altitude wind energy potential is a very attractive challenge. This is mainly due to the perspective of producing a large amount of electricity from a renewable source without using land, and having a very low visibility impact. The wind flow on the upper levels of the surface boundary layer is characterized by good power with low variability of wind conditions.Many innovative wind energy conversion flying devices are currently under development for this purpose. The technological solutions can be grouped in:. •land installed generators (such as kite systems);•airship flying generators that can produce electricity far from the ground and are tethered by control wires, also used for the power transmission.Flying generators could prove more problematic in maintaining flying conditions due to their heavier weight, but they have the advantage that they can be moved to different locations with less intervention on the ground.Another important characteristic that the airship wind generator has, is the possibility of changing its height of operation very quickly and simply by using control cables.In this study, the operational scenario of the possible application of an innovative airship wind generator is studied and discussed. The possibility of adjusting the height of operation was analysed, and a methodology for choosing the optimal operating level was developed and applied to real test cases. Numerical and experimental techniques used to assess the characteristics of high-altitude winds, were also considered.Remotely sensed wind data obtained from a monostatic phased-array Doppler Sonic Detection and Ranging (SODAR) system were used to validate and tune the CFD model in one of the real-test cases investigated. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

Aversa F.,University of Perugia
Best Practice and Research: Clinical Haematology | Year: 2011

Much progress has been made in the clinical, biological and technical aspects of the T-cell-depleted haploidentical hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT). Our experience demonstrates that infusing a megadose of extensively T-cell-depleted hematopoietic peripheral blood stem cells after an immuno-myeloablative conditioning regimen in acute leukemia patients ensures sustained engraftment with minimal GvHD without the need of any post-transplant immunosuppressive treatment. Since our first successful pilot study, our efforts have concentrated on developing new conditioning regimens, optimizing the graft processing and improving the post-transplant immunological recovery. The results we have so far achieved in high risk acute leukemia patients show that haploidentical transplantation is now a clinical reality. The present challenge is to reduce post-transplant infectious mortality and several strategies are being tested. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

This paper focuses on the relationship between the stringency of regulation (OECD indicators) and total factor productivity (TFP) growth in the electricity sectors of 19 European Union countries for the period 1994-2007. Both the OECD regulatory indicator and the TFP growth index have been decomposed in order to bring to light a complex picture of interrelations in which the negative impact of the overall regulation on productivity is the result of opposite forces. Estimation results tell us that only the stringency of entry regulation significantly reduces technological change, whereas vertical integration exhibits a negative and significant impact only on the catching up process (pure efficiency change). Lastly, we found an interesting result concerning the explanatory variables of the scale efficiency change: in this case only public ownership matters, in other terms high levels of public in the structure ownership of electric companies guarantee improvements in reaching the optimal scale of production. These heterogeneous effects are also confirmed when we use a different measure of efficiency, that is, the distance of the actual from the optimal reserve margin. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.

Scrucca L.,University of Perugia
Computational Statistics and Data Analysis | Year: 2016

Model-based clustering associates each component of a finite mixture distribution to a group or cluster. Therefore, an underlying implicit assumption is that a one-to-one correspondence exists between mixture components and clusters. In applications with multivariate continuous data, finite mixtures of Gaussian distributions are typically used. Information criteria, such as BIC, are often employed to select the number of mixture components. However, a single Gaussian density may not be sufficient, and two or more mixture components could be needed to reasonably approximate the distribution within a homogeneous group of observations. A clustering method, based on the identification of high density regions of the underlying density function, is introduced. Starting with an estimated Gaussian finite mixture model, the corresponding density estimate is used to identify the cluster cores, i.e. those data points which form the core of the clusters. Then, the remaining observations are allocated to those cluster cores for which the probability of cluster membership is the highest. The method is illustrated using both simulated and real data examples, which show how the proposed approach improves the identification of non-Gaussian clusters compared to a fully parametric approach. Furthermore, it enables the identification of clusters which cannot be obtained by merging mixture components, and it can be straightforwardly extended to cases of higher dimensionality. © 2015 Elsevier B.V.

D'Ambrisi A.,University of Florence | Mezzi M.,University of Perugia | Caporale A.,University of Cassino and Southern Lazio
Composite Structures | Year: 2013

Plasters reinforced with polymeric nets as strengthening technique for masonry structures subjected to seismic actions can be an effective and inexpensive alternative to the currently utilized techniques. In this study the results of experimental tests performed on masonry panels reinforced with polymeric nets embedded in the plaster layer are presented. The masonry panels have been subjected to cyclic load tests for analyzing their behavior and for defining their mechanical parameters to use in design and in particular in the evaluation of their seismic capacity. Diagonal compression tests, shear-compression tests and tests with the load applied orthogonally to the panels plane have been performed. The obtained results evidence the effectiveness of the polymeric net in containing the in plane and the out-of-plane collapse mechanisms and in increasing the ductility and the dissipative capacity of the masonry panels. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

Bayat A.,University College London | Bose S.,University College London | Sodano P.,University of Perugia
Physical Review Letters | Year: 2010

We propose a mechanism where high entanglement between very distant boundary spins is generated by suddenly connecting two long Kondo spin chains. We show that this procedure provides an efficient way to route entanglement between multiple distant sites. We observe that the key features of the entanglement dynamics of the composite spin chain are well described by a simple model of two singlets, each formed by two spins. The proposed routing mechanism is a footprint of the emergence of a Kondo cloud in a Kondo system and can be engineered and observed in varied physical settings. © 2010 The American Physical Society.

Spizzirri A.,University of Perugia
Il Giornale di chirurgia | Year: 2010

Presacral tumors are more frequently benign, and only occasionally malignant, showing a slow growth and an incidence of 1:40.000. They are asymptomatic in the 26-50% of the cases. When symptoms occur, these are related to the dimensions of the tumor, to its location and to the presence of infection. We report the case of a 69-year old woman with a lower abdominal pain associated with paresthesia and ipostenia of the right inferior limb. Digital rectal examination showed a fixed, mild tender and hard tumor of the posterior rectal wall. CT, MR and CT-guided biopsy sequently performed revealed a solid, dishomogeneous mass, located in the presacral region, with a connective likely origin, without pelvic lymphoadenopathy. The operation allowed to esteem a mass which was tenaciously adherent to the sacrum. We performed a total excision. Final histological diagnosis was myelolipoma. The Authors' opinion is that the en-bloc resection of these tumors with an anterior surgical approach allows a histological diagnosis of the nature, representing the best treatment for potentially malignant lesions, which are frequently radio and chemo-resistant.

Vizzari M.,University of Perugia
Applied Geography | Year: 2011

Quality of landscape directly affects the day to day quality of life of all the people living in it. It is strongly bound to landscape components and features and to their spatial and functional interrelations. Potential quality, in particular, is determined by elements of value that, in relation to their characteristics of integrity and importance, result in an enhancement in landscape quality. More effective analysis and evaluation of quality of landscape elements, and their contribution to landscape quality, are essential for supporting modern landscape analysis and planning. In this regard, multicriteria techniques, and Analytical Hierarchy Processes in particular, can support the definition and development of quantitative methods aimed at the modelling, analysis and evaluation of landscape quality. GIS spatial analysis of quality indicators derived from multicriteria techniques generates map layers of landscape quality based on density and quality level of the landscape elements. Within GIS, progressive multicriteria aggregation of landscape quality layers produces synthetic spatial indicators that can support effective interpretation of the gradients characterising landscape configuration. The methodology has been applied to an internationally recognised historical-cultural area in the territory of Assisi (Umbria, Italy). The specific objective has been validation of the methodology by assessing potential landscape quality in relation to the most important physical-naturalistic, historical-cultural and social-symbolic elements. The results have shown that spatial gradients of landscape quality can be effectively modelled by the combined use of GIS and multicriteria methods. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd.

Donnadio A.,CNR Institute on Membrane Technology | Casciola M.,University of Perugia | Di Vona M.L.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Tamilvanan M.,University of Rome Tor Vergata
Journal of Power Sources | Year: 2012

Proton conductivity and hydration of sulfonated polyethersulfone (SPES) membranes, with ion exchange capacity of 1.31 meq g -1, is determined under different conditions of temperature, in the range 70-120 °C, and relative humidity (RH) in the range 50-90%. Conductivity measurements are performed by the impedance technique, and the impedance data are analyzed on the basis of a simple equivalent circuit in order to compare the evolution of the membrane conductivity with that of the electrical capacitance of the electrode-electrolyte interface during heating and cooling runs. Temperature cycling at constant RH, as well as RH cycling at constant temperature, give rise to hydration hysteresis and to the concomitant conductivity hysteresis. The highest conductivity (4.5·10 -2 S cm -1) is measured at 100 °C-90% RH with 8.4 water molecules per sulfonic group. The hysteresis associated with temperature cycling is avoided by filling SPES with zirconium phosphate which makes hydration easier at low temperature. © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Brozzi A.,University of Perugia
Database : the journal of biological databases and curation | Year: 2013

Lysosomes are cytoplasmic organelles present in almost all eukaryotic cells, which play a fundamental role in key aspects of cellular homeostasis such as membrane repair, autophagy, endocitosis and protein metabolism. The characterization of the genes and enzymes constituting the lysosome represents a central issue to be addressed toward a better understanding of the biology of this organelle. In humans, mutations that cause lysosomal enzyme deficiencies result in >50 different disorders and severe pathologies. So far, many experimental efforts using different methodologies have been carried out to identity lysosomal genes. The Human Lysosome Gene Database (hLGDB) is the first resource that provides a comprehensive and accessible census of the human genes belonging to the lysosomal system. This database was developed by collecting and annotating gene lists from many different sources. References to the studies that have identified each gene are provided together with cross databases gene related information. Special attention has been given to the regulation of the genes through microRNAs and the transcription factor EB. The hLGDB can be easily queried to retrieve, combine and analyze information on different lists of lysosomal genes and their regulation by microRNA (binding sites predicted by five different algorithms). The hLGDB is an open access dynamic project that will permit in the future to collapse in a unique publicly accessible resource all the available biological information about lysosome genes and their regulation. Database URL: http://lysosome.unipg.it/.

FLAP fingerprints are applied in the ligand-, structure- and pharmacophore-based mode in a case study on antagonists of all four adenosine receptor (AR) subtypes. Structurally diverse antagonist collections with respect to the different ARs were constructed by including binding data to human species only. FLAP models well discriminate "active" (=highly potent) from "inactive" (=weakly potent) AR antagonists, as indicated by enrichment curves, numbers of false positives, and AUC values. For all FLAP modes, model predictivity slightly decreases as follows: A(2B)R > A(2A)R > A(3)R > A(1)R antagonists. General performance of FLAP modes in this study is: ligand- > structure- > pharmacophore- based mode. We also compared the FLAP performance with other common ligand- and structure-based fingerprints. Concerning the ligand-based mode, FLAP model performance is superior to ECFP4 and ROCS for all AR subtypes. Although focusing on the early first part of the A(2A), A(2B) and A(3) enrichment curves, ECFP4 and ROCS still retain a satisfactory retrieval of actives. FLAP is also superior when comparing the structure-based mode with PLANTS and GOLD. In this study we applied for the first time the novel FLAPPharm tool for pharmacophore generation. Pharmacophore hypotheses, generated with this tool, convincingly match with formerly published data. Finally, we could demonstrate the capability of FLAP models to uncover selectivity aspects although single AR subtype models were not trained for this purpose.

Ankarcrona M.,Karolinska Institutet | Mangialasche F.,Karolinska Institutet | Mangialasche F.,University of Perugia | Winblad B.,Karolinska Institutet
Journal of Alzheimer's Disease | Year: 2010

The number of people suffering from Alzheimer's disease (AD) is constantly increasing worldwide since humans live longer and age is the strongest risk factor for AD. Currently available medications for AD do not interfere with the progressive loss of synapses and neurons in the AD brain. Therefore, the development of disease modifying therapies is a major future goal. Mitochondria provide cellular energy and are crucial for proper neuronal activity and survival. Mitochondrial dysfunction is evident in early stages of AD and is involved in AD pathogenesis. The development of drugs that protect mitochondria from damage is therefore a promising strategy for AD therapy. In this review, we will discuss current available medications for AD, drugs under clinical testing, and mitochondria as a novel drug target. © 2010 IOS Press and the authors. All rights reserved.

Paciaroni M.,University of Perugia | Bogousslavsky J.,A+ Network
European Neurology | Year: 2015

Carotid stenosis is generally associated with high risks of stroke and vascular events. In asymptomatic and symptomatic patients, with or without revascularization, optimal managements of carotid artery stenosis require the use of medications or lifestyle modifications (stopping smoking and monitoring hypertension, hyperlipidemia, and diabetes) to control the processes associated with atheroma to reduce the risk of embolic events. Moreover, antiplatelet therapy should be considered. There is little evidence that antiplatelet therapy is beneficial in preventing stroke or the progression of stenosis in asymptomatic patients, whereas, evidence of a benefit from antiplatelet therapy for secondary prevention of recurrent stroke in symptomatic patients with carotid atherosclerosis is more robust. Also, in patients undergoing carotid endarterectomy, perioperative antithrombotic therapy should include aspirin, while the addition of clopidogrel should be decided case-by-case. Furthermore, perioperative antithrombotic therapy in patients undergoing carotid stenting should consist a combination of aspirin plus clopidogrel. © 2014 S. Karger AG, Basel.

Mondini A.C.,CNR Institute of Neuroscience | Mondini A.C.,University of Perugia | Guzzetti F.,CNR Institute of Neuroscience | Reichenbach P.,CNR Institute of Neuroscience | And 3 more authors.
Remote Sensing of Environment | Year: 2011

We present a method for the semi-automatic recognition and mapping of recent rainfall induced shallow landslides. The method exploits VHR panchromatic and HR multispectral satellite images, and was tested in a 9.4km2 area in Sicily, Italy, where on 1 October 2009 a high intensity rainfall event caused shallow landslides, soil erosion, and inundation. Pre-event and post-event images of the study area taken by the QuickBird satellite, and information on the location and type of landslides obtained in the field and through the interpretation of post-event aerial photographs, were used to construct and validate a set of terrain classification models. The models classify each image element (pixel) based on the probability that the pixel contains (or does not contain) a new rainfall induced landslide. To construct and validate the models, a procedure in five steps was adopted. First, the pre-event and the post-event images were pan-sharpened, ortho-rectified, co-registered, and corrected for atmospheric disturbance. Next, variables describing changes between the pre-event and the post-event images attributed to landslide occurrence were selected. Next, three classification models were calibrated in a training area using different multivariate statistical techniques. The calibrated models were then applied in a validation area using the same set of independent variables, and the same statistical techniques. Lastly, combined terrain classification models were prepared for the training and the validation areas. The performances of the models were evaluated using four-fold plots and receiver operating characteristic curves. The method proved capable of detecting and mapping the new rainfall induced landslides in the study area. We expect the method to be capable of detecting analogous shallow landslides caused by similar (rainfall) or different (e.g. earthquake) triggers, provided that the event slope failures leave discernable features captured by the post-event satellite images, and that the terrain information and satellite images are of adequate quality. The proposed method can facilitate the rapid production of accurate landslide event-inventory maps, and we expect that it will improve our ability to map landslides consistently over large areas. Application of the method will advance our ability to evaluate landslide hazards, and will foster our understanding of the evolution of landscapes shaped by mass-wasting processes. © 2011 Elsevier Inc.

Fidani C.,University of Perugia
Geosciences (Switzerland) | Year: 2011

A network of low frequency electromagnetic detectors has been operating in Central Italy for more than three years, consisting of identical instruments that continuously record the electrical components of the electromagnetic field, ranging from a few Hz to tens of kHz. These signals are analyzed in real time and their power spectrum contents and time/frequency data are available online. To date, specific interest has been devoted to searching for any possible electromagnetic features which correlate with seismic activity in the same region. In this study, spectral analysis has evidenced very distinct power spectrum signatures that increased in intensity when strong seismic activity occurred near the stations of the 2009 L'Aquila earthquake. These signatures have revealed horizontally oriented electric fields, between 20 Hz to 400 Hz, lasting from several minutes to up to two hours. Their power intensities have been found to be about 1 μV/m. Moreover, a large number of man-made signals and meteorologic electric perturbations were recorded. Anthropogenic signatures have come from power line disturbances at 50 Hz and higher harmonics up to several kHz, while radio transmissions have influenced the higher kHz spectrum. Reception from low frequency transmitters is also provided in relation to seismic activity. Meteorologic signatures cover the lower frequency band through phenomena such as spherics, Schumann resonances and rain electrical perturbations. All of these phenomena are useful teaching tools for introducing students to this invisible electromagnetic world. © 2012 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

Sodano P.,University of Perugia | Bayat A.,University College London | Bose S.,University College London
Physical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics | Year: 2010

We show that, in the gapless Kondo regime, a single local quench at one end of a Kondo spin chain induces a fast and long-lived oscillatory dynamics. This quickly establishes a high-quality entanglement between the spins at the opposite ends of the chain. This entanglement is mediated by the Kondo cloud, attains a constant high value independent of the length for large chains, and shows thermal robustness. In contrast, when the Kondo cloud is absent, e.g., in the gapped dimer regime, only finite-size end to end effects can create some entanglement on a much longer time scale for rather short chains. By decoupling one end of the chain during the dynamics, one can distinguish between this end-end effect which vanishes, and the global Kondo cloud mediated entanglement, which persists. This quench approach paves the way to detect the elusive Kondo cloud through the entanglement between two individual spins. Our results show that nonperturbative cooperative phenomena from condensed matter may be exploited for quantum information. © 2010 The American Physical Society.

Castaldo V.L.,University of Perugia
Procedia Engineering | Year: 2015

Virtually all of the growth in human population in the next generation is projected to be in cities. Given the environmental stresses on the planet today, it is critically important that these new urban areas have little or no negative impacts. A comprehensive assessment of these impacts will include all operational factors - energy, water, food, and transportation - as well as all the embodied consequences of construction and maintenance. This analysis can be expressed in units of energy (to build and operate the city, grow food, treat and desalinate water, and travel); as well as in units of area required to accommodate housing, grow food, and generate solar energy (photovoltaic generation area is used as the most universally available form of renewable energy). This study models a new city for 1,000,000 inhabitants in a temperate climate, built in the year 2050. A comprehensive footprint of the city is established, given certain assumptions about lifestyle, diet and technology. The resulting area required for the city to be self-sustaining is then evaluated in terms of density. In other words, can cities themselves be entirely sustainable, and can a self-sustaining community be considered a city? © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

Smith S.A.F.,Durham University | Holdsworth R.,Durham University | Collettini C.,University of Perugia | Collettini C.,Italian National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology
Bulletin of the Geological Society of America | Year: 2011

The late Miocene to early Pliocene Zuccale low-angle normal fault on the Island of Elba, Italy, was one of the principal structures active during extensional collapse of the Apennine fold-and-thrust belt. We investigate the relationships among the Zuccale fault, subsidiary footwall fault networks, and igneous bodies that were intruded into the immediate footwall of the Zuccale fault. Both brittle and ductile kinematic indicators found in association with fault zones and igneous bodies yield a consistent WNW-ESE extension direction, suggesting that faulting and intrusion overlapped in time. Structure contour analysis indicates that the Zuccale fault has a regional domal morphology. The dimensions and spatial location of the dome correlate with the likely subsurface position of the Porto Azzurro pluton, originally intruded at ~6 km depth. We propose that doming of the Zuccale fault may have been related in part to emplacement of the Porto Azzurro pluton as a tabular intrusion, involving some component of vertical inflation and roof uplift. The immediate footwall of the Zuccale fault is everywhere crosscut by a complex, linked network of high- and low-angle extensional faults with observed displacements of <10 m. Mutual crosscutting relationships suggest that low- and high-angle faults were active broadly contemporaneously. The final geometry of the footwall fault networks is adequately explained by their position with respect to the regional domal structure, and they suggest that certain sections of the Zuccale fault were back-rotated-during doming-out of an orientation capable of accommodating continued regional extension. © 2011 Geological Society of America. © 2011 Geological Society of America.

Hermann A.,University of Salzburg | Donato R.,University of Perugia | Weiger T.M.,University of Salzburg | Chazin W.J.,Vanderbilt University
Frontiers in Pharmacology | Year: 2012

S100 Ca2+-binding proteins have been associated with a multitude of intracellular Ca2+-dependent functions including regulation of the cell cycle, cell differentiation, cell motility and apoptosis, modulation of membranecytoskeletal interactions, transduction of intracellular Ca2+ signals, and in mediating learning and memory. S100 proteins are fine tuned to read the intracellular free Ca2+ concentration and affect protein phosphorylation, which makes them candidates to modulate certain ion channels and neuronal electrical behavior. Certain S100s are secreted from cells and are found in extracellular fluids where they exert unique extracellular functions. In addition to their neurotrophic activity, some S100 proteins modulate neuronal electrical discharge activity and appear to act directly on ion channels.The first reports regarding these effects suggested S100-mediated alterations in Ca2+ fluxes, K+ currents, and neuronal discharge activity. Recent reports revealed direct and indirect interactions with Ca2+,K+,Cl-, and ligand activated channels. This review focuses on studies of the physical and functional interactions of S100 proteins and ion channels. © 2012 Hermann, Donato, Weiger and Chazin.

Burla M.C.,University of Perugia | Burla M.C.,CNR Institute of Crystallography | Giacovazzo C.,CNR Institute of Crystallography | Polidori G.,CNR Institute of Crystallography
Journal of Applied Crystallography | Year: 2013

Third-generation direct methods programs are based on a phasing algorithm (e.g. the tangent or the parameter shift method) and on dual space refinement techniques. The two spaces may be alternated during the phasing procedure or used in a sequential way: for example, first phase and after extend and refine. The tangent approach in SIR2011 belongs to the second category: phases are first estimated by the tangent formula, then their extension and refinement is performed in direct space via electron density modification techniques. In this article a number of new algorithms are described, with the aim of improving the SIR2011 tangent step and allowing more efficient phase extension and refinement. New criteria were chosen for defining the number of reflections to phase, for modifying the tangent weighting scheme, and for fixing the active use of the psi-0 triplets and of the quartet invariants. Each tangent trial may now be submitted to the RELAX procedure, a tool for moving to the correct position a well oriented but misplaced structural model. The resulting procedure shows surprising efficiency, testified by a wide set of applications. The experimental results have been compared with the tangent and VLD (vive la différence) approaches implemented in SIR2011. © 2013 International Union of Crystallography Printed in Singapore - all rights reserved.

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.

La Starza R.,University of Perugia
PloS one | Year: 2010

NPM1 gene at chromosome 5q35 is involved in recurrent translocations in leukemia and lymphoma. It also undergoes mutations in 60% of adult acute myeloid leukemia (AML) cases with normal karyotype. The incidence and significance of NPM1 deletion in human leukemia have not been elucidated. Bone marrow samples from 145 patients with myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) and AML were included in this study. Cytogenetically 43 cases had isolated 5q-, 84 cases had 5q- plus other changes and 18 cases had complex karyotype without 5q deletion. FISH and direct sequencing investigated the NPM1 gene. NPM1 deletion was an uncommon event in the "5q- syndrome" but occurred in over 40% of cases with high risk MDS/AML with complex karyotypes and 5q loss. It originated from large 5q chromosome deletions. Simultaneous exon 12 mutations were never found. NPM1 gene status was related to the pattern of complex cytogenetic aberrations. NPM1 haploinsufficiency was significantly associated with monosomies (p<0.001) and gross chromosomal rearrangements, i.e., markers, rings, and double minutes (p<0.001), while NPM1 disomy was associated with structural changes (p=0.013). Interestingly, in complex karyotypes with 5q- TP53 deletion and/or mutations are not specifically associated with NPM1 deletion. NPM1/5q35 deletion is a consistent event in MDS/AML with a 5q-/-5 in complex karyotypes. NPM1 deletion and NPM1 exon 12 mutations appear to be mutually exclusive and are associated with two distinct cytogenetic subsets of MDS and AML.

Burla M.C.,University of Perugia | Burla M.C.,CNR Institute of Crystallography | Carrozzini B.,CNR Institute of Crystallography | Cascarano G.L.,CNR Institute of Crystallography | And 2 more authors.
Journal of Applied Crystallography | Year: 2012

The VLD (vive la difference) phasing algorithm combines the model electron density with the difference electron density via reciprocal space relationships to obtain new phase values and drive them to the correct values. The process is iterative and has been applied to small and medium-size structures and to proteins. Hybrid Fourier syntheses show properties that are intermediate between those of the observed synthesis (whose peaks should correspond to the most probable atomic positions) and those of the difference synthesis (whose positive and negative peaks should correspond to missed atomic positions and to false atoms of the model, respectively). Thanks to these properties some hybrid syntheses can be used in the phase extension and refinement step, to reduce the model bias and more rapidly move to the target structure. They have been recently revisited via the method of joint probability distribution functions [Burla, Carrozzini, Cascarano, Giacovazzo & Polidori (2011). Acta. Cryst. A67, 447-455]. The results suggested that VLD could be usefully combined, for ab initio phasing, with the hybrid rather than with the difference Fourier synthesis. This paper explores the feasibility of such a combination and shows that the original VLD algorithm is only one of several variants, all with relevant phasing capacity. The study explores the role of several parameters in order to design a standard procedure with optimized phasing power. © 2012 International Union of Crystallography Printed in Singapore-all rights reserved.

Bolli G.B.,University of Perugia | Dahmen R.,Sanofi S.A. | Hahn A.D.,Sanofi S.A. | Heise T.,Profil Institute For Stoffwechselforschung | And 3 more authors.
Diabetes Care | Year: 2012

OBJECTIVE - In vivo, after subcutaneous injection, insulin glargine (21A-Gly-31B-Arg-32B-Arg-human insulin) is enzymatically processed into 21A-Gly-human insulin (metabolite 1 [M1]). 21A-Gly-des-30B-Thr-human insulin (metabolite 2 [M2]) is also found. In vitro, glargine exhibits slightly higher affinity, whereas M1 and M2 exhibit lower affinity for IGF-1 receptor, as well as mitogenic properties, versus human insulin. The aim of the study was to quantitate plasma concentrations of glargine, M1, and M2 after subcutaneous injection of glargine in male type 1 diabetic subjects. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS - Glargine, M1, and M2 were determined in blood samples obtained from 12, 11, and 11 type 1 diabetic subjects who received single subcutaneous doses of 0.3, 0.6, or 1.2 units · kg-1 glargine in a euglycemic clamp study. Glargine, M1, and M2 were extracted using immunoaffinity columns and quantified by a specific liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry assay. Lower limit of quantification was 0.2 ng · mL-1(33 pmol · L-1) per analyte. RESULTS - Plasma M1 concentration increased with increasing dose; geometric mean (percent coefficient of variation) M1-area under the curve between time of dosing and 30 h after dosing (AUC0-30h)was 1,261 (66), 2,867 (35), and 4,693 (22) pmol · h · L-1 at doses of 0.3, 0.6, and 1.2 units · kg -1, respectively, and correlated with metabolic effect assessed as pharmacodynamics-AUC0-30h of the glucose infusion rate following glargine administration (r = 0.74; P < 0.01). Glargine and M2 were detectable in only one-third of subjects and at a few time points. CONCLUSIONS - After subcutaneous injection of glargine in male subjects with type 1 diabetes, exposure to glargine ismarginal, if any, even at supratherapeutic doses. Glargine is rapidly and nearly completely processed to M1 (21 A-Gly-human insulin), which mediates the metabolic effect of injected glargine. © 2012 by the American Diabetes Association.

Massaro F.,Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology | Paggi A.,Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory | D'Abrusco R.,Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory | Tosti G.,University of Perugia | Tosti G.,National Institute of Nuclear Physics, Italy
Astrophysical Journal Letters | Year: 2012

The identification of low-energy counterparts for γ-ray sources is one of the biggest challenges in modern γ-ray astronomy. Recently, we developed and successfully applied a new association method to recognize γ-ray blazar candidates that could be possible counterparts for the unidentified γ-ray sources above 100 MeV in the second Fermi Large Area Telescope Catalog. This method is based on the infrared colors of the recent Wide-Field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) all-sky survey. In this Letter, we applied our new association method to the case of unidentified INTEGRAL sources (UISs) listed in the fourth soft gamma-ray source catalog. Only 86 UISs out of the 113 can be analyzed due to the sky coverage of the WISE Preliminary Data Release. Among these 86 UISs, we found that 18 appear to have a γ-ray blazar candidate within their positional error region. Finally, we analyzed Swift archival data available for 10 out of these 18 γ-ray blazar candidates, and we found that 7 out of 10 are clearly detected in soft X-rays and/or in the optical-ultraviolet band. We cannot confirm the associations between the UISs and the selected γ-ray blazar candidates due to the discrepancies between the INTEGRAL and the soft X-ray spectra. However, the discovery of the soft X-ray counterparts for the selected γ-ray blazar candidates adds an important clue to help us understand their origin and to confirm their blazar nature. © 2012. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.

Agnelli G.,University of Perugia
Annals of Internal Medicine | Year: 2012

Question In patients who receive chemotherapy for cancer, what are the efficacy and safety of semuloparin for preventing venous thromboembolism (VTE)? Methods Design: Randomized placebo-controlled trial (SAVE-ONCO). ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00694382. Allocation: Concealed.* Blinding: Blinded* (patients, clinicians, and outcome adjudicators). Follow-up period:Median treatment duration 3.5 months. Setting: 395 centers in 47 countries. Patients: 3212 adults ≥ 18 years of age (mean age 60 y, 60% men) who had locally advanced or metastatic cancer of the lung, pancreas, stomach, colon, rectum, bladder, or ovary and planned to receive chemotherapy. Exclusion criteria included life expectancy < 3 months, Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status ≥ 3, calculated creatinine clearance < 30 mL/min, major surgery within 4 weeks before randomization, requirement for thromboprophylaxis, and contraindication to anticoagulation. Intervention: Subcutaneous semuloparin, an ultralow-molecularweight heparin (ultra-LMWH), 20 mg once daily (n = 1608), or placebo (n = 1604), beginning on the first day of a first or new regimen of chemotherapy and continuing until chemotherapy was stopped. If the chemotherapy regimen was changed within 3 months of randomization, study medication continued; if the regimen was changed after 3 months, study medication was discontinued. Outcomes: A composite of symptomatic deep venous thrombosis in upper or lower limbs, nonfatal pulmonary embolism (PE), and fatal PE or unexplained death. Secondary efficacy outcomes included mortality. The primary safety outcome was clinically relevant bleeding (major and clinically relevant nonmajor bleeding). Patient follow-up: > 98% (intention-to-treat analysis). Main results The main results are in the Table. Semuloparin and placebo did not differ for serious adverse events (26% vs 25%, {relative risk increase 3%, 95% CI -8 to 16}†). Conclusion In patients receiving chemotherapy for cancer, semuloparin reduced venous thromboembolism and did not increase bleeding. © 2012 American College of Physicians.

Coaccioli S.,University of Perugia
La Clinica terapeutica | Year: 2013

Uveitis represents the inflammatory process of uvea being caused by an autoimmune mechanism. Similarly, systemic connective tissue diseases (CTDs) present as well an autoimmune pathogenesis and numerous are the reports of a correlated association of the two different conditions, according to their serological characteristics. In this work, we have studied a number of subjects affected by uveitis as well as a number of subjects affected by CTDs associated with uveitis (14.2%). Only one significant correlation has been observed here, and it is the one between uveitis and the Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE, 42.8%). The observation has been made up to through a time-lapse of 18 months during which, the signs of uveitis showed a clear trend to faintly diminish till completely disappearing. At the same time, the presence of uveitis has not stressed out any correlation either with the general positivity for the autoantibodies, nor with the titration or the pattern of single fluorescent antibodies. This study seems to confirm the presence of a weak association between uveitis and CTDs (SLE excluded), where the research of antinuclear antibodies does not seem to give any useful element in terms of diagnostics and clinics, able to value the risk of developing CTDs when uveitis is already stated.

Nucci M.C.,University of Perugia | Arthurs A.M.,University of York
Proceedings of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences | Year: 2010

Fels' conditions (Fels, M. E. 1996 Trans. Amer. Math. Soc. 348, 5007-5029. (doi:10.1090/S0002-9947-96-01720-5)) ensure the existence and uniqueness of the Lagrangian in the case of a fourth-order equation. We show that when Fels' conditions are satisfied, the Lagrangian can be derived from the Jacobi last multiplier, as in the case of a secondorder equation. Indeed, we prove that if a Lagrangian exists for an equation of any even order, then it can be derived from the Jacobi last multiplier. Two equations from a Number Theory paper by Hall (Hall, R. R. 2002 J. Number Theory 93, 235-245. (doi:10.1006/jnth.2001. 2719)), one of the second and one of the fourth order, will be used to exemplify the method. The known link between Jacobi last multiplier and Lie symmetries is also exploited. Finally, the Lagrangians of two fourth-order equations drawn from Physics are determined with the same method. © 2010 The Royal Society.

Viti C.,University of Siena | Collettini C.,University of Rome La Sapienza | Collettini C.,Italian National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology | Tesei T.,Italian National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology | Tesei T.,University of Perugia
Contributions to Mineralogy and Petrology | Year: 2014

We have investigated mineralogy and micro/nanostructures of pressure solution seams in four different carbonatic faults with kilometric displacement, cropping out in the Northern Apennines, Italy. Disregarding the different protoliths and deformation conditions, the stylolite-filling material has almost constant mineralogical characteristics, being invariably formed by an ultrafine matrix that encloses relic insoluble grains, among which quartz, feldspars and detritic micas. The ultrafine matrix also hosts syn- and post-dynamic phases (e.g., foliation-parallel goethite flakes and apatite euhedral nanocrystals in random orientation). The ultrafine matrix is formed by smectitic clays in nanosized (001) lamellae, showing pervasive interlayer fissuring, layer bending and preferred orientation parallel to the slipping surface. Stylolite mineralogy and micro/nanostructures may affect deformation mechanisms and permeability properties of the fault rock. In particular, we propose that the extremely low friction coefficient of smectite would favour frictional sliding along the faults and that the fissured and oriented nanostructure of the smectite-dominated seams would enhance the sealing attitude of the structures in the fault-perpendicular direction. © 2014 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.

Palliotti A.,University of Perugia | Gatti M.,Catholic University of the Sacred Heart | Poni S.,Catholic University of the Sacred Heart
American Journal of Enology and Viticulture | Year: 2011

Based on earlier findings showing the effectiveness of preflowering leaf removal at reducing yield in several Vitis vinifera L. genotypes, a 3-year study was carried out on Sangiovese vines to evaluate how the technique also affects vegetative growth, wood carbohydrates reserves, and specific physiological traits such as intrinsic water use efficiency (WUEi) and leaf chlorophyll fluorescence. Early defoliation (D) applied before flowering with elimination of ~80% of the leaf area as compared with a non-defoliated control (C) was confirmed as quite effective in limiting yield per vine, cluster weight, cluster compactness and rot incidence, and berry set and mass in two of three seasons. Defoliation also markedly improved relative berry skin mass regardless of season. Vine vigor (pruning weight, cane diameter, and main leaf area) was significantly reduced in D vines (2008-2009 data), whereas vine capacity as total leaf area per vine was not. The leaf-to-fruit ratio dropped dramatically after defoliation to 1 m2/kg in D vines, which recovered thereafter and had a higher ratio from veraison onward. Intrinsic WUE and tolerance to photoinhibition increased in D vines for both main and lateral leaves, which were formed after leaf stripping and which had reached full maturity by the time measurements were made. Berry sugaring was accelerated in D vines, which also showed, at harvest, higher must Brix and phenolic and anthocyanin concentrations than C vines as well as more stable anthocyanins in the wine. © 2011 by the American Society for Enology and Viticulture. All rights reserved.

Puglisi G.,Polytechnic of Bari | Saccomandi G.,University of Perugia
International Journal of Non-Linear Mechanics | Year: 2015

We review the main aspects of the celebrated Gent constitutive model for rubberlike materials. Emphasis is placed on the case of damageable materials describing possible damage and deformation localization. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Dos Santos C.M.G.,Trinity College Dublin | Boyle E.M.,Trinity College Dublin | De Solis S.,Trinity College Dublin | De Solis S.,University of Perugia | And 2 more authors.
Chemical Communications | Year: 2011

The synthesis and binding investigations of first generation C 3v-symmetrical hydrogen bonding urea-amide based tripodal receptors, 1-6, with various anions such as acetate, phosphate, sulfate and chloride in DMSO-d 6 are presented. Analysis of the 1H NMR titrations of 1-6 showed on all occasions the selective formation of 1:1 stoichiometries. © The Royal Society of Chemistry 2011.

Bose S.,University College London | Sodano P.,University of Perugia | Sodano P.,Perimeter Institute of Theoretical Physics
New Journal of Physics | Year: 2011

We show that a one-dimensional device supporting a pair of Majorana bound states (MBS) at its ends can produce remarkable Hanbury-Brown-Twiss-like interference effects between well-separated Dirac fermions of pertinent energies. We find that the simultaneous scattering of two incoming electrons or two incoming holes from the MBS leads exclusively to an electron-hole final state. This 'anti-bunching' in electron-hole internal pseudospin space can be detected through current-current correlations. Further, we show that, by scattering appropriate spin-polarized electrons from the MBS, one can engineer a non-local entangler of electronic spins for quantum information applications. Both the above phenomena should be observable in diverse physical systems enabling us to detect the presence of low-energy Majorana modes. © IOP Publishing Ltd and Deutsche Physikalische Gesellschaft.

Cinti G.,University of Perugia | Desideri U.,University of Pisa
Applied Energy | Year: 2015

Solid Oxide Fuel Cell (SOFC) can be operated with a wide variety of fuels and in a large range of operating conditions. Taking advantage of high temperature and nickel based catalysts several compounds such as methane, ethanol and ammonia can be internally reformed or thermally decomposed producing hydrogen rich gas streams. In this study urea was investigated as a potential fuel for SOFC, since it is a widely available product in the fertilizers' market, safe to be handled and used, and can be recovered from biomass or water treatment plants as a byproduct. An additional pathway for green urea can be based on green hydrogen via electrolysis powered by renewable energy sources and CO2 recovered from carbon capture plants. Urea decomposition was studied and reproduced in the experimental activity to evaluate its effect on the performance of SOFCs. A gas stream, obtained by simulating decomposed urea with technical gases mixtures, was fed into an SOFC stack, varying the operational temperature and the steam to carbon ratio. Experimental results produced efficiencies higher than 40%. Based on experimental data a 0-D model was developed and operational conditions were expanded, reaching an overall efficiency of 60%. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd.

Agnelli G.,University of Perugia | George D.J.,Duke University | Kakkar A.K.,University College London | Fisher W.,McGill University | And 6 more authors.
New England Journal of Medicine | Year: 2012

BACKGROUND: Patients receiving chemotherapy for cancer are at increased risk for venous thromboembolism. Limited data support the clinical benefit of antithrombotic prophylaxis. METHODS: In this double-blind, multicenter trial, we evaluated the efficacy and safety of the ultralow- molecular-weight heparin semuloparin for prevention of venous thromboembolism in patients receiving chemotherapy for cancer. Patients with metastatic or locally advanced solid tumors who were beginning to receive a course of chemotherapy were randomly assigned to receive subcutaneous semuloparin, 20 mg once daily, or placebo until there was a change of chemotherapy regimen. The primary efficacy outcome was the composite of any symptomatic deep-vein thrombosis, any nonfatal pulmonary embolism, and death related to venous thromboembolism. Clinically relevant bleeding (major and nonmajor) was the main safety outcome. RESULTS: The median treatment duration was 3.5 months. Venous thromboembolism occurred in 20 of 1608 patients (1.2%) receiving semuloparin, as compared with 55 of 1604 (3.4%) receiving placebo (hazard ratio, 0.36; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.21 to 0.60; P<0.001), with consistent efficacy among subgroups defined according to the origin and stage of cancer and the baseline risk of venous thromboembolism. The incidence of clinically relevant bleeding was 2.8% and 2.0% in the semuloparin and placebo groups, respectively (hazard ratio, 1.40; 95% CI, 0.89 to 2.21). Major bleeding occurred in 19 of 1589 patients (1.2%) receiving semuloparin and 18 of 1583 (1.1%) receiving placebo (hazard ratio, 1.05; 95% CI, 0.55 to 1.99). Incidences of all other adverse events were similar in the two study groups. CONCLUSIONS: Semuloparin reduces the incidence of thromboembolic events in patients receiving chemotherapy for cancer, with no apparent increase in major bleeding. (Funded by Sanofi; ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT00694382.) Copyright © 2012 Massachusetts Medical Society.

Manos B.,Aristotle University of Thessaloniki | Partalidou M.,A.U.Th | Fantozzi F.,University of Perugia | Arampatzis S.,Tero Ltd. | Papadopoulou O.,Tero Ltd.
Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews | Year: 2014

The current economic downturn has put public budgets under pressure, reducing investments and revenues for local stakeholders to cope, among other things, with contemporary demands of environmental protection. Local-based partnerships may provide an efficient tool by adopting, integrating and implementing actions based on awareness and participation of a set of different players. This need is even more evident in rural areas in which a proposed decentralized bio-energy production model established in Agro-energy districtscan provide incentive and create a comfortable ground for the development of an energy production plant based on a mixed public-private partnership. Drawing on the implementation of a European co-funded research project the paper presents the efforts being made to build a partnership at a local level in order to cover the lack of an institutional plan and public investment for handling biomass production. Our aim is not primarily to present the best technical solution to bio-energy production but rather to illustrate the networking between different players, the public consultation, and the agreements being made under the form of Public Private Partnerships, as well as the levels of commitment and the risks taken. The gist of this study is that despite the civic engagements the inconsistent administrative environment, the dominance of the public sector and the State intervention through legislation and different political decisions, makes it still difficult for local partnerships to exercise their power and turn from government to governance in order to cope with the environmental challenges and tackle inequalities faced in rural areas. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

Van der Ploeg J.D.,Wageningen University | Van der Ploeg J.D.,China Agricultural University | Ventura F.,University of Perugia
Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability | Year: 2014

Farming styles are distinctive patterns through which agricultural production is organized and developed. Different styles result in different levels of intensity and sustainability. This means that encouraging and stimulating specific farming styles might result in considerable agricultural development and growth of total food production. Currently, peasant-like styles of farming offer a great deal of promise for feeding the world in a sustainable way. © 2014 Elsevier B.V.

Ronchi P.,ENI S.p.A | Cruciani F.,University of Perugia
AAPG Bulletin | Year: 2015

The Pleistocene Saturnia travertine (central Italy) represents a possible analog of the pre-salt continental carbonate reservoirs discovered in the Santos and other basins in the South Atlantic margin of Brazil. Two subhorizontal travertine tabular bodies, several tens of meters thick and extending over an area of 15 km2 (5.8 mi2), have been studied in two quarries. Fades variations and associated petrophysical properties were reconstructed applying a multidisciplinary approach. The Saturnia travertine, formed from a warm water spring, is composed of various stacked carbonate banks, separated by subaerial erosive phases and paleosols. The lacustrine tabular bodies, terraces, and sills are made of crystalline crust, shrub, pisoid, paper-thin raft, coated bubble, reed, and lithoclast-breccia facies. The δ13C (from +4‰ to +8‰) supports an interpreted CO2 volcanic mantle source, whereas, the δ18O (from -9‰ to -5‰) is in agreement with warm meteoric waters. The 87Sr/86Sr ratio isotopic signature indicates a carbonate from dissolution of deep-seated carbonates. The facies reservoir properties were studied via porosity and permeability analysis of plugs, three-dimensional x-ray computer tomography, as well as image analysis on microscale under thin section and macroscale on large rock slabs to define various porosity indices. A strong heterogeneity of the petrophysical properties and variable connectivity were observed (porosity from 4% to 30% and permeability up to hundreds of md), but no compartmentalization of the carbonate bodies is present. Copyright © 2015. The American Association of Petroleum Geologists. All rights reserved.

Cassone A.,University of Perugia
BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology | Year: 2015

Although a number of fungal species belonging to the genus Candida can cause acute vulvovaginal infection (VVC), Candida albicans is by far the most prevalent etiological agent, particularly for the most severe chronic condition known as recurrent vulvovaginal candidiasis (RVVC). This review focuses on recent advances in pathogenic mechanisms and host immune responses to C. albicans and on the utilisation of this information in the development of a vaccine to prevent and/or treat vaginal candidiasis. Currently, two vaccines with main or sole RVVC as clinical indication have completed a phase 1 clinical trial, and one of them has entered a phase 2 trial. © 2014 Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists.

Bayat A.,University College London | Sodano P.,University of Perugia | Bose S.,University College London
Physical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics | Year: 2010

We study the entanglement of an impurity at one end of a spin chain with a block of spins using negativity as a true measure of entanglement to characterize the unique features of the gapless Kondo regime in the spin-chain Kondo model. For this spin chain in the Kondo regime we determine-with a true entanglement measure-the spatial extent of the Kondo screening cloud, we propose an ansatz for its ground state and demonstrate that the impurity spin is indeed maximally entangled with the cloud. To better evidence the peculiarities of the Kondo regime, we carry a parallel analysis of the entanglement properties of the Kondo spin-chain model in the gapped dimerized regime. Our study shows how a genuine entanglement measure stemming from quantum information theory can fully characterize also nonperturbative regimes accessible to certain condensed matter systems. © 2010 The American Physical Society.

Lanari D.,University of Perugia
Journal of Biosocial Science | Year: 2014

This paper investigates changes in BMI in the second half of the twentieth century, focusing on two cohorts of Italian conscripts born in 1951 and 1980, and examines how the correlates of high and low BMI have changed over time. Data from conscript cohorts taken from the archives of Italian military districts show that younger conscripts exposed to the rising prevalence of immune-allergological and psychological diseases and metabolic dysfunctions underwent substantial increases in weight. These results are evidenced by quantile regression models, the largest BMI gains being found in diabetic conscripts at the 75th and 90th percentiles. Copyright © 2014 Cambridge University Press.

Ubertini F.,University of Perugia
Meccanica | Year: 2013

The paper discusses the application of dynamic methods for damage detection in the main cables of suspension bridges, using data continuously recorded under wind excitation through permanent monitoring systems and automated operational modal analysis. A continuum model for predicting the vertical aeroelastic response of wind-excited damaged suspension bridges is formulated and presented at first. The model shows that, for a real sample bridge, typical variations of mean wind speed produce variations of natural frequencies, due to aeroelastic effects, that are more significant than those produced by a small damage. A possible solution to this issue, proposed in the paper, consists of removing the dependence on the excitation source by calculating frequency shifts considering frequencies, in reference and damaged states, associated to approximately the same mean wind speed. This task and the necessary estimation of frequency shifts through a statistical analysis of identified natural frequencies outline the need for a continuous dynamic monitoring. The analytical model is finally employed for generating dynamic wind response data that are successively processed by means of an advanced automated modal identification tool. Although based on the simplifications inherently contained in the analytical model, the results show that frequency shifts caused by a relatively small damage can be accurately estimated from response data recorded under wind excitation with a reasonable number of data sets. © Springer Science+Business Media 2012.

Zucco G.,CNR Research Institute for Geo-hydrological Protection | Brocca L.,CNR Research Institute for Geo-hydrological Protection | Moramarco T.,CNR Research Institute for Geo-hydrological Protection | Morbidelli R.,University of Perugia
Journal of Hydrology | Year: 2014

In this study, the influence of land use on soil moisture dynamics is investigated for monitoring purposes. To this end, 23 measurement campaigns were carried out during a period of 8 months at 5 sites located in central Italy, within a catchment of ∼6 km2. The sites are characterized by different land uses: grassland, woodland (holm oak and hornbeam) olive grove and cropland. Soil moisture was measured with a portable Time Domain Reflectometer for a layer depth of 15 cm under the soil surface. The optimization of the monitoring scheme was addressed through a statistical and temporal stability analysis. Notwithstanding the significant differences in the land use, the temporal patterns of the field-mean soil moisture of the different sites were very similar while the spatial variability, expressed through the coefficient of variation, was found slightly higher (average value equal to 0.27) than that obtained from previous sampling campaigns on the same area but on sites characterized by a homogeneous soil use. The maximum number of required samples, to estimate the areal mean soil moisture within an accuracy of 2% vol/vol, was found ranging between 7 and 11 at the field scale and equal to 20 at the catchment scale. The temporal stability analysis allowed to identify the grassland site as the most representative of the catchment-mean soil moisture behavior (coefficient of determination, R2 = 0.96). Therefore, even though the heterogeneity of the land use increases the spatial variability (as expected), soil moisture exhibits a significant temporal stability and its large scale monitoring from few observations is still feasible. © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Valentini L.,University of Perugia
Materials Letters | Year: 2015

Abstract A grid assisted deposition technique for the production of three dimensional graphene oxide (GO) patterns is presented. By combining the advantages of both GO solubility and ordered metallic master grids, microstructured graphene arrays were obtained. The high thermal conductivity of a copper grid, used as master, leads by thermal annealing to the reduction of the GO pattern with a subsequent increase of the electrical conductivity of the GO array. Compared to the two-dimensional planar reduced GO structure, such 3D structures may represent interesting advantages for the realization of functional surfaces with high surface-to-volume ratio and with selective reactive sites over a specific device area. © 2015 Elsevier B.V.

Conti R.,International School for Advanced Studies | Tamagnini C.,University of Perugia | DeSimone A.,International School for Advanced Studies
Computer Methods in Applied Mechanics and Engineering | Year: 2013

Within the framework of continuum mechanics, the mechanical behaviour of geomaterials is often described through rate-independent elastoplasticity. In this field, the Cam-Clay models are considered as the paradigmatic example of hardening plasticity models exhibiting pressure dependence and dilation-related hardening/softening. Depending on the amount of softening exhibited by the material, the equations governing the elastoplastic evolution problem may become ill-posed, leading to either no solutions or two solution branches (critical and sub-critical softening). Recently, a method was proposed to handle subcritical softening in Cam-Clay plasticity through an adaptive viscoplastic regularization for the equations of the rate-independent evolution problem. In this work, an algorithm for the numerical integration of the Cam-Clay model with adaptive viscoplastic regularization is presented, allowing the numerical treatment of stress-strain jumps in the constitutive response of the material. The algorithm belongs to the class of implicit return mapping schemes, slightly rearranged to take into account the rate-dependent nature of inelastic deformations. Applications of the algorithm to standard axisymmetric compression tests are discussed. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.

Garajeu M.,Aix - Marseille University | Gouin H.,Aix - Marseille University | Saccomandi G.,University of Perugia
Physics of Fluids | Year: 2013

On one hand, classical Monte Carlo and molecular dynamics simulations have been very useful in the study of liquids in nanotubes, enabling a wide variety of properties to be calculated in intuitive agreement with experiments. On the other hand, recent studies indicate that the theory of continuum breaks down only at the nanometer level; consequently flows through nanotubes still can be investigated with Navier-Stokes equations if we take suitable boundary conditions into account. The aim of this paper is to study the statics and dynamics of liquids in nanotubes by using methods of nonlinear continuum mechanics. We assume that the nanotube is filled with only a liquid phase; by using a second gradient theory the static profile of the liquid density in the tube is analytically obtained and compared with the profile issued from molecular dynamics simulation. Inside the tube there are two domains: a thin layer near the solid wall where the liquid density is non-uniform and a central core where the liquid density is uniform. In the dynamic case a closed form analytic solution seems to be no more possible, but by a scaling argument it is shown that, in the tube, two distinct domains connected at their frontiers still exist. The thin inhomogeneous layer near the solid wall can be interpreted in relation with the Navier length when the liquid slips on the boundary as it is expected by experiments and molecular dynamics calculations. © 2013 AIP Publishing LLC.

Desideri U.,University of Perugia | Antonelli M.,University of Pisa
Applied Thermal Engineering | Year: 2014

This paper presents a study of carbon capture systems based on chemical absorption and stripping with amines in pulverized coal fired power plants. The technical feasibility is shown for a 90% CO2 removal on 100% of the exhaust gas flow rate. A simplified method to calculate the performance penalty in comparison with the original power plant is presented including the effect of coal ultimate analysis. The method is verified with data from an existing 75 MW coal fired power plant. The economic analysis is presented in terms of cost of electricity and cost of carbon capture and the results are that the cost of electricity nearly doubles in comparison with the reference plant, whereas the cost of captured CO2 is considerably higher than the actual cost of CO2 in the carbon trading markets. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Gentili P.L.,University of Perugia
Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics | Year: 2011

1,3-Dihydro-1,3,3-trimethyl-8′-nitro-spiro[2H-indole-2,3′-[3H] naphth[2,1-b][1,4]oxazine] (SpO) is a photochromic, acidichromic and metallochromic compound. Its chromogenic properties are characterized in acetonitrile, at room temperature. They are exploited to process both Boolean and Fuzzy logic. By using HClO4, AlCl3 and Cu(ClO 4)2 as chemical inputs, UV radiation as power supply, and the absorbance at specific wavelengths in the visible as optical output, SpO results in a five-states molecular switch whereby some complex Boolean logic circuits are implemented. If the chemical inputs are varied in an analog manner, the solution of SpO assumes an infinite number of colours. Therefore, by choosing the RGB colour coordinates as optical outputs, the fundamental operators of the "infinite-valued" Fuzzy logic are implemented. Particularly, two Fuzzy logic systems are built upon a new defuzzification procedure imitating the way humans perceive colours. © 2011 the Owner Societies.

Alberti A.,University of Perugia
Internal and emergency medicine | Year: 2011

Understanding the nature and clinical relevance of non-neurological complications is crucial to provide an appropriate management to patients with acute stroke. The aims of this study in patients with acute stroke were to assess the in-hospital frequency of non-neurological complications and the correlation between these complications and adverse outcome (death or disability) at 3 months. Patients with acute ischemic or hemorrhagic stroke admitted to the Stroke Unit of the University of Perugia were included in a prospective cohort study. Pre-defined non-neurological complications were considered for study purposes. Study outcomes were 3-month death and composite of death and disability. Stroke was defined as not disabling (mRS 0-2) or disabling (mRS 3-5) or leading to death (mRS 6). Multiple logistic regression analysis was used to identify predictors for study outcomes. 1,101 consecutive patients (mean age 72.2 ± 13.1 years; 57.1% males; 926 ischemic and 175 hemorrhagic) were included in the study; 338 patients (30.7%) experienced at least one non-neurological complication. 269 patients (24.4%) had fever, 210 patients (19.1%) infection in one or more sites, 86 patients (7.8%) venous thromboembolism (VTE) and 34 patients (3.0%) myocardial infarction. At 3 months, 511 patients (46.4%) were disabled and 123 had died (11.2%). Regression logistic analysis found that: (1) age (OR 1.06 for 1 added year; 95% CI 1.03-1.08), NIHSS score on admission (OR 1.31 for 1 added point; 95% CI 1.25-1.38), current smoking (OR 1.92; 95% CI 1.08-3.39), infection in any site (OR 4.13; 95% CI 1.51-11.28) and VTE (OR 6.03; 95% CI 1.44-25.11) were associated with death and/or disability (mRS ≥ 3) and that (2) age (OR 1.06 for 1 added year; 95% CI 1.02-1.09), high NIHSS score on admission (OR 1.21 for 1 added point; 95% CI 1.15-1.27), male gender (OR 1.93; 95% CI 1.04-3.62), fever (OR 2.29; 95% CI 1.08-4.86) and myocardial infarction (OR 6.57; 95% CI 2.30-18.74) were associated with increased mortality. In conclusions, patients with acute stroke are at high risk of non-neurological complications, such as fever with or without infections, venous thromboembolism and myocardial infarction. Non-neurological complications are associated with increased long-term disability and death.

Iorio A.,McMaster University | Puccetti P.,University of Perugia | Makris M.,University of Sheffield
Blood | Year: 2012

The development of alloantibodies or inhibitors is the most serious complication a patient with severe hemophilia can experience from treatment with clotting factor concentrates. Although common in previously untreated patients, inhibitor development is rare in multiply exposed, well-tolerized patients. There has been a nonevidence-based reluctance to change concentrate because of a perceived greater inhibitor risk after the switch, even though most patients are now likely to be using a concentrate on which they did not begin. Inhibitors in previously treated patients are observed in approximately 2 per 1000 patient/years, which makes it difficult to study and compare rates among different products. Because the baseline inhibitor risk in previously treated patients may vary over time, it is important to compare the risk in patients switching to a new product with that in a parallel control group of nonswitching patients or within a case-controlled study. The study designs imposed by regulators are suboptimal in detecting immunogenicity signals. The issue of immunogenicity of new products is likely to gain more relevance in the near future, with a call for effective postmarketing surveillance studies for all of the new engineered factor VIII concentrates with prolonged half-lives that are likely to enter clinical practice. © 2012 by The American Society of Hematology.

Cherin M.,University of Perugia | Berte D.F.,University of Rome La Sapienza | Rook L.,University of Florence | Sardella R.,University of Rome La Sapienza
Journal of Mammalian Evolution | Year: 2014

An outstanding sample of Canis etruscus has been found within the faunal assemblage from the early Pleistocene site of Pantalla (Italy), which is referred to the early late Villafranchian. Canis etruscus appeared in Europe about 2 Ma ago. It is regarded as an important taxon for biochronology, as its first occurrence (the "wolf event") has been used to define one of the Villafranchian faunal turnovers. The discovery of four crania from Pantalla prompted a revision of C. etruscus, in order to better describe its cranial morphology. Since early studies, the distinction between C. etruscus and the coeval C. arnensis has been based mainly on mandibular traits. For this reason, our study is aimed at highlighting differences in craniodental characters between the two species. Canis arnensis has been conventionally considered a jackal-like dog, while C. etruscus is regarded as a wolf-like dog. Consequently, we decided to use jackals for comparison, in addition to C. lupus. Although the jackal group has been traditionally considered as quite homogenous (different species are partially sympatric and similar in both size and ecology), recent genetic studies demonstrate that jackals are not monophyletic. Considering the model offered by extant species, our goal is to delineate the degree of intra- and interspecific variability among the basal forms of the genus Canis. © 2013 Springer Science+Business Media New York.

Grohmann U.,University of Perugia | Bronte V.,Istituto Oncologico Veneto
Immunological Reviews | Year: 2010

The interaction between pathogenic microorganisms and their hosts is regulated by reciprocal survival strategies, including competition for essential nutrients. Though paradoxical, mammalian hosts have learned to take advantage of amino acid catabolism for controlling pathogen invasion and, at the same time, regulating their own immune responses. In this way, ancient catabolic enzymes have acquired novel functions and evolved into new structures with highly specialized functions, which go beyond the struggle for survival. In this review, we analyze the evidence supporting a critical role for the metabolism of various amino acids in regulating different steps of both innate and adaptive immunity. © 2010 John Wiley & Sons A/S.

Kannan K.,Indian Institute of Technology Madras | Rajagopal K.R.,Texas A&M University | Saccomandi G.,University of Perugia
Wave Motion | Year: 2014

In this short paper we study unsteady motions of a new class of elastic solids, wherein one can justify a non-linear relationship between the linearized strain and the stress, an impossibility within the classical construct of elasticity. For the class of materials concerned, one has to solve simultaneously the balance of mass, balance of linear momentum and the constitutive relation. In general, one has ten scalar unknowns, i.e., density ρ, the components of Cauchy stress T and displacement u, and ten scalar algebraic-partial differential equations, the balance of mass (1), the balance of linear momentum (3) and the constitutive equation (6). The stress wave that is generated is quite distinct from what one observes within the context of the classical theory. © 2014 Elsevier B.V.

Mangera A.,Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust | Apostolidis A.,Aristotle University of Thessaloniki | Andersson K.E.,Wake forest University | Dasgupta P.,Kings College London | And 4 more authors.
European Urology | Year: 2014

Context Botulinum toxin A (BoNTA) has received regulatory approval for use in neurogenic detrusor overactivity (NDO) and overactive bladder (OAB), but it remains unlicensed in other lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) indications such as nonneurogenic LUTS in men with benign prostatic enlargement (LUTS/BPE), bladder pain syndrome (BPS), and detrusor sphincter dyssynergia (DSD). Objective To compare statistically the outcomes of high level of evidence (LE) studies with placebo using BoNTA for LUTS indications; NDO, OAB, LUTS/BPE, BPS and DSD. Evidence acquisition We conducted a systematic review of the published literature on PubMed, Scopus, and Embase reporting on BoNTA use in LUTS dysfunction. Statistical comparison was made between high LE studies with placebo and low LE studies. Evidence synthesis In adult NDO, there are significantly greater improvements with BoNTA in daily incontinence and catheterisation episodes (-63% and -18%, respectively; p < 0.01), and the urodynamic parameters of maximum cystometric capacity (MCC), reflex volume, and maximum detrusor pressure (MDP) (68%, 61%, and -42%, respectively; all p < 0.01). In OAB, BoNTA leads to significant improvements in bladder diary parameters such as daily frequency (-29%), daily urgency (-38%), and daily incontinence (-59%) (all p < 0.02). The urodynamic parameters of MCC and MDP improved by 58% (p = 0.04) and -29% (p = 0.002), respectively. The risk of urinary tract infection was significantly increased from placebo at 21% versus 7% (p < 0.001), respectively; the risk of intermittent self-catherisation increased from 0% to 12% (p < 0.001). Men with LUTS/BPE showed no significant improvements in International Prostate Symptom Score, maximum flow rate, or prostate volume. There were insufficient data for statistical analysis in DSD, BPS, and paediatric studies. Low LE studies were found to overestimate the effects of BoNTA in all indications, but differences from high LE studies were significant in only a few parameters. Conclusions BoNTA significantly improves all symptoms and urodynamic parameters in NDO and OAB. The effect of BoNTA in treating LUTS dysfunction appears to be overestimated in lower as opposed to higher LE studies. © 2013 European Association of Urology.

Di Stefano G.,University of LAquila | Navarra A.,University of Perugia
Lecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics) | Year: 2013

The paper presents general results about the gathering problem on graphs. A team of robots placed at the vertices of a graph, have to meet at some vertex and remain there. Robots operate in Look-Compute-Move cycles; in one cycle, a robot perceives the current configuration in terms of robots disposal (Look), decides whether to move towards one of its neighbors (Compute), and in the positive case makes the computed move (Move). Cycles are performed asynchronously for each robot. So far, the goal has been to provide feasible resolution algorithms with respect to different assumptions about the capabilities of the robots as well as the topology of the underlying graph. In this paper, we are interested in studying the quality of the resolution algorithms in terms of the minimum number of asynchronous moves performed by the robots. We provide results for general graphs that suggest resolution techniques and provide feasibility properties. Then, we apply the obtained theory on specific topologies like trees and rings. The resulting algorithms for trees and rings are then compared with the existing ones, hence showing how the old solutions can be far apart from the optimum. © Springer International Publishing 2013.

Porcellati F.,University of Perugia
Diabetes technology & therapeutics | Year: 2011

The two basal insulin analogs, insulin glargine and insulin detemir, were developed to ameliorate the well-known limitations of NPH insulin. In contrast to rapid-acting analogs, which differ exclusively in terms of primary structure while sharing similar pharmacokinetics (PK) and pharmacodynamics (PD), the two long-acting insulin analogs are different chemical and structural entities, exhibiting distinct modes of protracting the insulin effect. So far, PK and PD studies of long-acting analogs have often shown conflicting results, pointing out different conclusions, thereby leading to animated controversies. The methods used in the evaluation of basal insulins might have been partially responsible as, although the euglycemic clamp technique has been broadly acknowledged to be the "gold standard" reference to assess the glucose-lowering effect of an insulin preparation, its execution and interpretation might have been substantially different across studies, in various methodological and analytical aspects, ultimately providing an explanation for some of these controversies. This review will present and describe the basic methods used in the evaluation of basal insulins and will critically summarize the points that might have been responsible for the different outcomes. The findings of glucose clamp studies demonstrate that the two long-acting insulin analogs are different, to some extent, in both their PK and PD profiles. These differences should be taken into consideration when the individual analogs are introduced to provide basal insulin supplementation to optimize blood glucose control in patients with type 1 and type 2 diabetes as well.

The buffer allocation problem (BAP) and the assembly line balancing problem (ALBP) are amongst the most studied problems in the literature on production systems. However they have been so far approached separately, although they are closely interrelated. This paper for the first time considers these two problems simultaneously. An innovative approach, consisting in coupling the most recent advances of simulation techniques with a genetic algorithm approach, is presented to solve a very complex problem: the Mixed Model Assembly Line Balancing Problem (MALBP) with stochastic task times, parallel workstations, and buffers between workstations. An opportune chromosomal representation allows the solutions space to be explored very efficiently, varying simultaneously task assignments and buffer capacities among workstations. A parametric simulator has been used to calculate the objective function of each individual, evaluating at the same time the effect of task assignment and buffer allocation decisions on the line throughput. The results of extensive experimentation demonstrate that using buffers can improve line efficiency. Even when considering a cost per unit buffer space, it is often possible to find solutions that provide higher throughput than for the case without buffers, and at the same time have a lower design cost. © 2015 Elsevier B.V.

Di Cesare A.,University of Teramo | Veronesi F.,University of Perugia | Traversa D.,University of Teramo
Trends in Parasitology | Year: 2015

Nematodes infecting the cardiorespiratory system of cats have recently stimulated high scientific interest. Over the past few years, different aspects of these parasites have been clarified and various issues elucidated. This increased knowledge has improved awareness on this topic but, at the same time, some dilemmas have not been solved and new questions have been raised. In this review, we underline and discuss current knowledge of, and new doubts relating to, feline lungworms and heartworms, with the aim of stimulating new studies to fill gaps of basic (i.e., epidemiology and biology) and applied (i.e., clinical aspects) knowledge of the old and new parasites affecting the cardiorespiratory system of cats. Some nematodes affecting the cardiorespiratory system of cats are of increasing importance for their geographic expansion in both endemic and nonendemic regions, and their potential impact in feline clinical practice.Until a few years ago, the cat lungworm Aelurostrongylus abstrusus (Nematoda, Metastrongyloidea) and, to a lesser extent, Capillaria aerophila (Nematoda, Trichurida), were considered the sole nematodes affecting the lungs of cats.The canine heartworm Dirofilaria immitis was considered the only nematode able to affect the heart and pulmonary vessels of cats, although rarely.Over the past few years, other little-known nematodes (e.g., Troglostrongylus brevior and Angiostrongylus chabaudi) have been found in the cardiorespiratory system of domestic cats, either for the first time or following a long gap since the previous record.These new reports have improved our knowledge of feline respiratory system nematodes, but some questions remain and new dilemmas have emerged. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd.

In the paper, an innovative approach to deal with the Mixed Model Assembly Line Balancing Problem (MALBP) with stochastic task times and parallel workstations is presented. At the current stage of research, advances in solving realistic and complex assembly line balancing problem, as the one analyzed, are often limited by the poor capability to effectively evaluate the line throughput. Although algorithms are potentially able to consider many features of realistic problems and to effectively explore the solution space, a lack of precision in their objective function evaluation (which usually includes a performance parameter, as the throughput) limits in fact their capability to find good solutions. Traditionally, algorithms use indirect measures of throughput (such as workload smoothness), that are easy to calculate, but whose correlation with the throughput is often poor, especially when the complexity of the problem increases. Algorithms are thus substantially driven towards wrong objectives. The aim of this paper is to show how a decisive step forward can be done in this filed by coupling the most recent advances of simulation techniques with a genetic algorithm approach. A parametric simulator, developed under the event/object oriented paradigm, has been embedded in a genetic algorithm for the evaluation of the objective function, which contains the simulated throughput. The results of an ample simulation study, in which the proposed approach has been compared with other two traditional approaches from the literature, demonstrate that significant improvements are obtainable. © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Zucchi A.,University of Perugia | Silvani M.,Ospedale degli Infermi | Pecoraro S.,Urologic
Asian Journal of Andrology | Year: 2013

The surgical techniques used by Austoni and Egydio in the treatment of Peyronie's disease are based on geometric principles. The aim of this paper is to report our multicentric experience and technical changes to Austoni's original technique, focusing on several tips and tricks to make this technique easy to perform, even by less experienced practitioners. We performed operations in three different Italian institutions. We implanted a small soft Virilis I® axial prostheses (Ø 7 Fr.), using a bovine pericardium collagen matrix patch (Hydrix®) to cover the defect in the tunica albuginea. Sixty patients with a mean age of 58 years (range 44-76 years) underwent surgery between September 2005 and January 2010. After surgery, mean lengthening of the shaft was 2 cm (range 1.2-2.3 cm) with complete correction of penile recurvatum. Thirty-nine patients resumed sexual activity 60 days later, 14 after 90 days and 7 after 120 days. The international index of erectile function (IIEF) score was 15.5 before surgery and it improved to 23 at 12 and 24 months after surgery. Furthermore, the visual analogue scale (VAS) showed good results in terms of the recovery of natural sexual intercourse (over 80% of couples) and of the original length and girth of the penis. The soft implant we used takes advantage of erection that occurs spontaneously, using the residual erection of the spared cavernous tissue. The method is easy to learn and reproducible, and the use of pericardium speeds up the operation, while also covering large defects of the tunica albuginea that result from complex recurvatum. © 2013 AJA, SIMM & SJTU. All rights reserved.

Pellegrino R.M.,University of Perugia
Annali di igiene : medicina preventiva e di comunità | Year: 2012

The "electronic (e-)cigarette" generates intense scientific debate about its use. Its popularity is increasing worldwide as a method to reduce/quit smoking, and to smoke indoors when restrictions on smoking tobacco are present. WHO recommends caution, until its effectiveness in helping smokers is clarified, and the possible harm evaluated. The aim of this study was to assess the content of the aromatic liquid mixture and its vapour and the Particulate Matter (PM) emissions of an Italian brand of e-cigarette and to compare its PM emissions with a conventional cigarette. Propylene glycol (66%) and glycerine (24%) were main components in the liquid, while the flavouring substances were less than 0.1%. The same substances were detected in the vapour in similar proportions. Fine and ultrafine PM emissions were higher for the conventional versus the e-cigarette (e.g.: PM10=922 vs 52 microg/m3; PM1=80 vs 14 microg/m3). The e-cigarette seems to give some advantages when used instead of the conventional cigarette, but studies are still scanty: it could help smokers to cope with some of the rituals associated with smoking gestures and to reduce or eliminate tobacco consumption avoiding passive smoking. However, the e-cigarette causes exposure to different chemicals compared with conventional cigarettes and thus there is a need for risk evaluation for both e-cigarettes and passive steam exposure in smokers and non smokers.

Angeli F.,Clinical Research Unit Preventive Cardiology | Reboldi G.,University of Perugia | Verdecchia P.,Hospital of Assisi
American Journal of Hypertension | Year: 2010

Blood pressure (BP) may be high during usual daily life in one out of 7-8 individuals with normal BP in the clinic or doctor's office. This condition is usually defined as masked hypertension (MH). Prevalence of MH varied across different studies depending on patient characteristics, populations studied, and different definitions of MH. Self-measured BP and ambulatory BP (ABP) have been widely used to identify subjects with MH. Various factors have been identified as possible determinants of MH. Cigarette smoking, alcohol, physical activity, job, and psychological stress may increase BP out of the clinical environment in otherwise normotensive individuals, leading to MH. In most studies, target organ damage was comparable in subjects with MH and those with sustained hypertension, and greater than in those with true normotension. Subjects with MH showed a 1.5-to 3-fold higher risk of major cardiovascular (CV) disease than those with normotension, and their risk was not different from that of patients with sustained hypertension. In an overview of literature, we found that the risk of major CV disease was higher in subjects with MH than in the normotensive subjects regardless of the definition of MH based on self-measured BP (hazard ratio (HR) 2.13; 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.35-3.35; P = 0.001) or 24-h ABP (HR 2.00; 95% CI: 1.54-2.60; P < 0.001). MH is an insidious and prognostically adverse condition that can be reliably diagnosed by self-measured BP and ABP. MH should be searched for in subjects who appear to be more likely to have this condition. Antihypertensive treatment is envisaged in these subjects, although the associated outcome benefits are still undetermined. © 2010 American Journal of Hypertension, Ltd.

Musa S.,Hebrew University of Jerusalem | Fronton S.,Hebrew University of Jerusalem | Vaccaro L.,University of Perugia | Gelman D.,Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Organometallics | Year: 2013

New air-stable ruthenium complex 1, bearing the dibenzobarrelene-based cooperating ligand, was synthesized in 96% yield and fully characterized. The examination of its coordination chemistry revealed that the ruthenium center in 1 is slightly distorted from octahedral geometry, and 31P NMR is consistent with the formation of trans-spanned pincer complexes bearing strongly bent dibenzobarrelene-based ligands. The catalytic activity of the new complex was examined in acceptorless dehydrogenation of alcohols and acceptorless dehydrogenative coupling of alcohols with amines. © 2013 American Chemical Society.

Ubertini F.,University of Perugia
Wind and Structures, An International Journal | Year: 2010

The aeroelastic stability of bridge decks equipped with multiple tuned mass dampers is studied. The problem is attacked in the time domain, by representing self-excited loads with the aid of aerodynamic indicial functions approximated by truncated series of exponential filters. This approach allows to reduce the aeroelastic stability analysis in the form of a direct eigenvalue problem, by introducing an additional state variable for each exponential term adopted in the approximation of indicial functions. A general probabilistic framework for the optimal robust design of multiple tuned mass dampers is proposed, in which all possible sources of uncertainties can be accounted for. For the purposes of this study, the method is also simplified in a form which requires a lower computational effort and it is then applied to a general case study in order to analyze the control effectiveness of regular and irregular multiple tuned mass dampers. A special care is devoted to mistuning effects caused by random variations of the target frequency. Regular multiple tuned mass dampers are seen to improve both control effectiveness and robustness with respect to single tuned mass dampers. However, those devices exhibit an asymmetric behavior with respect to frequency mistuning, which may weaken their feasibility for technical applications. In order to overcome this drawback, an irregular multiple tuned mass damper is conceived which is based on unequal mass distribution. The optimal design of this device is finally pursued via a full domain search, which evidences a remarkable robustness against frequency mistuning, in the sense of the simplified design approach.

Romeo F.,IHEP of Beijing | Romeo F.,University of Perugia
Nuclear and Particle Physics Proceedings | Year: 2016

The most recent results from searches of leptoquark-like signatures are presented using 1.03 and 4.7 fb-1 of pp collision data collected by the ATLAS detector with √s=7 TeV and 19.6 fb-1 of pp collision data collected by the CMS detector with √s=8 TeV at the LHC. First- and second-generation scalar leptoquarks are looked for in the final states with either two leptons and two jets (ℓℓ+jj, ℓ=e, μ) or one lepton, missing transverse energy, and two jets (ℓν+jj, ℓ=e, μ). Apart from leptoquark investigations, the ℓℓ+jj final states are further studied in a search for W bosons with right-handed couplings that arise in left-right models. Third-generation scalar leptoquarks are looked for in the final state with two tau leptons and two b quarks or two top quarks (ττ+bb and ττ+tt). The ττ+bb final state is also sensitive to stop pairs decaying through R-parity violating and conserving processes that are foreseen in some models of supersymmetry. In addition, results are shown for third-generation scalar leptoquarks in the final states bb+νν and tt+νν, reinterpreting searches for bottom and top squark pair production. 95% confidence level upper limits are set on the scalar leptoquark pair production cross section times branching fraction in each decay channel as a function of the leptoquark mass and the branching ratio of decay. © 2016.

Roti G.,Dana-Farber Cancer Institute | Roti G.,University of Perugia | Stegmaier K.,Dana-Farber Cancer Institute | Stegmaier K.,The Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard
Frontiers in Oncology | Year: 2014

Acute lymphoblastic leukemia is the most common malignancy in children. Although it is now curable in 80-90% of cases, patients with T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL) experience a higher frequency of induction failure and early relapse. Despite aggressive treatment approaches, including transplantation and new salvage regimens, most children with relapsed T-ALL will not be cured. As such, we are in need of new targeted therapies for the disease. Recent advances in the molecular characterization of T-ALL have uncovered a number of new therapeutic targets. This review will summarize recent advancements in the study of inhibiting the NOTCH1, PI3K-AKT, and Cyclin D3:CDK4/6 pathways as therapeutic strategies for T-ALL. We will focus on pre-clinical studies supporting the testing of small-molecule inhibitors targeting these proteins and the rationale of combination therapies. Moreover, epigenetic approaches to modulate T-ALL are rapidly emerging. Here, we will discuss the data supporting the role of bromodomain and extra-terminal bromodomain inhibitors in human T-ALL. While cure rates for children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) have dramatically improved over the last several decades, ALL still remains a leading cause of cancer-related death in children. For adults with ALL, progress has been rather modest. One high-risk ALL subtype, T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL), accounts for 10-15% of pediatric and 25% of adult ALL cases. Although treatment of T-ALL has improved, early relapse is common and is almost invariably associated with poor prognosis. Furthermore, a major challenge remains the lifelong morbidity suffered by patients treated with current chemotherapy regimens. We are in need of more effective and selective treatment strategies. In this review, we will focus on emerging druggable opportunities in T-ALL: NOTCH1, BRD4/MYC, Cyclin D3:CDK4/6, and the PI3K pathway. © 2014 Roti and Stegmaier.

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

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

Garinei A.,University Guglielmo Marconi | Marsili R.,University of Perugia
Measurement: Journal of the International Measurement Confederation | Year: 2012

Ball screw actuators are electro-mechanical actuators that translate rotational motion to linear motion with little friction; they are used in precise engineering and particularly in aerospace applications where they replace hydraulic linear actuators. Until now, few diagnostic approaches have been developed with regard to fault detection and characterization of ball screw actuators. Here, a new diagnostic non-contact measurement technique is proposed to detect faults on ball screw actuators. A Hall effect sensor is applied to the ball return channel and the output signal is analyzed in-depth and validated through video monitoring and then post-processed with a new approach based on time domain analysis; maxima and minima distributions are used to distinguish between damaged and undamaged ball screw actuators. A considerable series of tests was performed in many configurations to define an optimal setup, and high repeatability was obtained. The proposed method can be easily applied to ball screw actuators because of the reduced dimensions of the components and thus, can be used to support the development of optimized repair and preventive maintenance policies that play a major role in the case of aerospace applications. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Tomassoni C.,University of Perugia | Bastioli S.,RS Microwave Co Inc. | Sorrentino R.,MicroTech
IEEE Transactions on Microwave Theory and Techniques | Year: 2011

A new cavity arrangement, namely, the generalized TM dual-mode cavity, is presented in this paper. In contrast with the previous contributions on TM dual-mode filters, the generalized TM dual-mode cavity allows the realization of both symmetric and asymmetric filtering functions, simultaneously exploiting the maximum number of finite frequency transmission zeros. The high design flexibility in terms of number and position of transmission zeros is obtained by exciting and exploiting a set of nonresonating modes. Five structure parameters are used to fully control its equivalent transversal topology. The relationship between structure parameters and filtering function realized is extensively discussed. The design of multiple cavity filters is presented along with the experimental results of a sixth-order filter having six asymmetrically located transmission zeros. © 2006 IEEE.

Balucani C.,University of Perugia | Balucani C.,SUNY Downstate Medical Center | Viticchi G.,Marche Polytechnic University | Falsetti L.,Internal and Subintensive Medicine | Silvestrini M.,Marche Polytechnic University
Neurology | Year: 2012

Objectives: To evaluate cognitive performance in subjects with bilateral asymptomatic carotid stenosis (B-ACS) compared to subjects with unilateral ACS and to subjects with no carotid stenosis (CS) and to explore the relationship between cognitive performance and cerebral hemodynamics status in B-ACS. Methods: The neuropsychological investigation included phonemic (ph) and categorical (ca) Verbal Fluency (VF) tests for exploring the left brain functions and Colored Progressive Matrices (CPM) and Complex Figure Copy Test (CFCT) for the right brain. Cerebral hemodynamics status was assessed using the transcranial Doppler-based breath-holding index test. Results: A total of 333 subjects were included: 127 B-ACS, 73/77 left/right unilateral ACS, 56 no CS, mean age 70 ± 3.78 years, 65% male. Subjects with B-ACS and subjects with unilateral ACS showed significantly lower scores in all cognitive tests compared to subjects with no CS (p < 0.05). Subjects with B-ACS with left impaired hemodynamics status showed a significantly reduced ph-VF score, from 13.4 (95% confidence interval [CI] 11.2-15.8) to 7.5 (95% CI 5.4-9.7), and a reduced ca-VF score, from 19.7 (95% CI 18.1-24.1) to 10.8 (95% CI 9.5-15.1), compared to subjects with no CS. Similarly, impaired cerebral hemodynamics in the right side was associated with a significantly reduced CPM score, from an estimated mean of 34.2 (95% CI 29.8-35.4) to 24.6 (95% CI 20.2-25.8), and CFCT score from 37.0 (95% CI 32.0-37.4) to 27.1 (95% CI 23.3-28.7). All comparisons were p < 0.05. Conclusion: Subjects with B-ACS and subjects with unilateral ACS are more likely to have cognitive dysfunction compared to subjects with no CS. There appears to be a link between cognitive dysfunction and hemodynamics impairment due to carotid stenosis. Copyright © 2012 by AAN Enterprises, Inc.

Ferrante M.,University of Perugia
Journal of Hydraulic Engineering | Year: 2012

Torricelli's formula is often used to define the dependence of the leak outflow on the flow conditions inside the pipe and on the leak characteristics. Some tests carried out at theWater Engineering Laboratory of the University of Perugia, Italy, show that differences in the leak head-discharge relationships may arise even when the same leak is machined in pipes with the same inner diameter but different thickness and material. These data can still be explained by Torricelli's formula if the possible variation of the leak area because of the head is considered. When the pipe material behaves in a linear and elastic fashion, the leak area variation with the head is linear, whereas other formulations are needed when elastoplastic or viscoelastic materials are used. As a consequence, this effect can produce different leak headdischarge relationships, depending on the constitutive law and behavior of the pipe material. © 2012 American Society of Civil Engineers.

Cinti G.,University of Perugia | Hemmes K.,Technical University of Delft
International Journal of Hydrogen Energy | Year: 2011

In this paper, we will report on a study on the thermodynamic feasibility of a concept that realizes the cracking of methane with a concentrated solar power (CSP) reactor and electricity production with a direct carbon fuel cell (DCFC) and its possible contribution to a clean energy supply for Europe in the long-term future. The natural gas (methane) is decomposed in an endothermic reaction into hydrogen and carbon. The separated carbon is fed to a direct carbon fuel cell (DCFC) and converted with high efficiency to electric power. A model of the proposed concept is carried out in the flow sheet program Cycle-Tempo and the results of the simulations and the corresponding analysis are presented in this paper. Finally the location factors influencing the implementation of this concept in the north of Africa are evaluated. © 2011, Hydrogen Energy Publications, LLC. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Gianchecchi E.,Autoimmunity Laboratory | Delfino D.V.,University of Perugia | Fierabracci A.,Autoimmunity Laboratory
Autoimmunity Reviews | Year: 2014

The incidence of autoimmune pathologies is increasing worldwide. This has stimulated interest on their etiopathogenesis, caused by a complex interaction of genetic and environmental factors. With the advent of genome-wide linkage, candidate gene and genome wide association studies, risk polymorphisms in autophagy-related genes were discovered in several autoimmune conditions suggesting the possible contribution of autophagy to their etiopathogenesis. Autophagy represents the principal catabolic process mediated by lysosomes used by eukaryotic cells and is strictly regulated by proteins belonging to the Atg family. The function of autophagy has been well characterized in various tissues and systems, but its role in the regulation of innate and adaptive immune systems has been only recently discovered. It plays a fundamental role in the modulation of thymocyte selection and in the generation of T lymphocyte repertoire by participating in the intracellular antigen presentation on MHC class-II molecules by thymic epithelial cells. Furthermore, the generation of mice with knockout for specific autophagy-related genes induced several immunological alterations, including defects in B and T cell compartments and in T cell activation. In this review we report recent evidence on the role of autophagy in autoimmunity and discuss its relevance to the pathogenesis of these diseases. We finally highlight that future research may disclose potential new therapeutic targets for the treatment of this category of disorders by modulating the autophagic pathway. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.

Panerai F.,University of Perugia | Panerai F.,Von Karman Institute for Fluid Dynamics | Chazot O.,Von Karman Institute for Fluid Dynamics
Materials Chemistry and Physics | Year: 2012

Ceramic matrix composites are ideal heat shield materials for reusable spacecrafts re-entering the Earth atmosphere. The interactions between the surface and the surrounding reactive gas determine the total heat flux to the wall and become design drivers for the thermal protection system. This paper presents the characterization of carbon/silicon carbide specimens in an inductively-coupled plasma facility, providing high enthalpy and low pressure conditions, suitable to simulate the hypersonic flight environment. Catalytic recombination coefficients and emissivities at surface temperatures between 1200 and 2000 K are determined. Spectral reflectivity measurements allow to assess the oxidation behavior of the materials, showing the formation of silica at the surface, and its degradation at temperatures above 1800 K. Optical emission spectroscopy measurements in front of the test articles indicate silicon volatilization at high temperatures. © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Battistoni M.,University of Perugia
SAE Technical Papers | Year: 2013

The increase in the fuel price and more stringent regulations on greenhouse gases (CO2) make the engine compression ignition technology even more attractive in the context of internal combustion engines. This is because the modern turbocharged direct injection engines, with the common rail fuel system, are characterized by high combustion efficiency and power density, that make them particularly suitable both for applications on and off road. On the other hand, the compression ignition engines are subject to a heavy technological developments to meet the more stringent regulations on emissions of exhaust pollutants, especially PM and NOx. The adopted technologies have two main approaches, on the combustion and on the exhaust gas aftertreatment. The measures applied for combustion can reduce emissions, but with the risk of penalizing the other engine performances, such as noise, power output and fuel consumption. Instead, the technologies of exhaust gases treatment may allow the over coming of this conflict. In particular using a Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) catalyst, a NOx reduction can be reached at least up to 95%. The present article describes the activities to define and optimize a supply system for the SCR catalyst, applied to a wide range of diesel engines, from Light Duty (LD) vehicles to Off-Road (OR) applications. For this kind of applications the development has taken into account requirements in terms of performance, layout and cost, unlike the Heavy Duty (HD) vehicle, where the SCR is employed for many years with less constraints. The development phase has been characterized by a 0-D model simulation activity to define the system performances and the main management strategies, and 1-D and 3-D model simulation activities for the hydraulic design. Copyright © 2013 SAE International and Copyright © 2013 SIAT, India.

Blesa J.,University of San Pablo - CEU | Trigo-Damas I.,University of San Pablo - CEU | Quiroga-Varela A.,University of Perugia | Jackson-Lewis V.R.,Columbia University
Frontiers in Neuroanatomy | Year: 2015

Parkinson disease (PD) is a chronic, progressive neurological disease that is associated with a loss of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra pars compacta of the brain. The molecular mechanisms underlying the loss of these neurons still remain elusive. Oxidative stress is thought to play an important role in dopaminergic neurotoxicity. Complex I deficiencies of the respiratory chain account for the majority of unfavorable neuronal degeneration in PD. Environmental factors, such as neurotoxins, pesticides, insecticides, dopamine (DA) itself, and genetic mutations in PD-associated proteins contribute to mitochondrial dysfunction which precedes reactive oxygen species formation. In this mini review, we give an update of the classical pathways involving these mechanisms of neurodegeneration, the biochemical and molecular events that mediate or regulate DA neuronal vulnerability, and the role of PD-related gene products in modulating cellular responses to oxidative stress in the course of the neurodegenerative process. © 2015 Blesa, Trigo-Damas, Quiroga-Varela and Jackson-Lewis.

Grignani G.,University of Perugia | Zayakin A.V.,Institute of Theoretical and Experimental Physics
Journal of High Energy Physics | Year: 2012

In a previous paper JHEP 06 (2012)142 we have shown that the fully dynamical three-point correlation functions of BMN operators are identical at the tree level in the planar limit of perturbative field theory and, on the string theory side, calculated by means of the Dobashi-Yoneya three string vertex in the Penrose limit. Here we present a one-loop calculation of the same quantity both on the field-theory and string-theory side, where a complete identity between the two results is demonstrated. © SISSA 2012.

Chiummariello S.,University of Perugia
Il Giornale di chirurgia | Year: 2012

Negative-pressure therapy or vacuum-assisted closure (VAC) has been used in clinical applications since the 1940's and has increased in popularity over the past decade. This dressing technique consists of an open cell foam dressing put into the wound cavity, a vacuum pump produces a negative pressure and an adhesive drape. A controlled sub atmospheric pressure from 75 to 150 mmHg is applied. The vacuum-assisted closure has been applied by many clinicians to chronic wounds in humans; however it cannot be used as a replacement for surgical debridement. The initial treatment for every contaminated wound should be the necrosectomy. The VAC therapy has a complementary function and the range of its indications includes pressure sores, stasis ulcers, chronic wounds such as diabetic foot ulcers, post traumatic and post operative wounds, infected wounds such as necrotizing fasciitis or sternal wounds, soft-tissue injuries, bone exposed injuries, abdominal open wounds and for securing a skin graft. We describe our experience with the VAC dressing used to manage acute and chronic wounds in a series of 135 patients, with excellent results together with satisfaction of the patients.

Pettorossi V.E.,University of Perugia | Schieppati M.,University of Pavia | Schieppati M.,Scientific Institute of Pavia
Frontiers in Human Neuroscience | Year: 2014

This review article deals with some effects of neck muscle proprioception on human balance, gait trajectory, subjective straight-ahead (SSA), and self-motion perception. These effects are easily observed during neck muscle vibration, a strong stimulus for the spindle primary afferent fibers. We first remind the early findings on human balance, gait trajectory, SSA, induced by limb, and neck muscle vibration. Then, more recent findings on self-motion perception of vestibular origin are described. The use of a vestibular asymmetric yaw-rotation stimulus for emphasizing the proprioceptive modulation of motion perception from the neck is mentioned. In addition, an attempt has been made to conjointly discuss the effects of unilateral neck proprioception on motion perception, SSA, and walking trajectory. Neck vibration also induces persistent aftereffects on the SSA and on self-motion perception of vestibular origin. These perceptive effects depend on intensity, duration, side of the conditioning vibratory stimulation, and on muscle status. These effects can be maintained for hours when prolonged high-frequency vibration is superimposed on muscle contraction. Overall, this brief outline emphasizes the contribution of neck muscle inflow to the construction and fine-tuning of perception of body orientation and motion. Furthermore, it indicates that tonic neck-proprioceptive input may induce persistent influences on the subject’s mental representation of space. These plastic changes might adapt motion sensitiveness to lasting or permanent head positional or motor changes. © 2014 Pettorossi and Schieppati.

Valongo A.,University of Perugia
European Journal of Health Law | Year: 2014

The major issues regarding human fertilisation and embryology are addressed in a comparative perspective and in the light of relevant rulings of the European Court for Human Rights: the relationship between artificial procreation and parental responsibilities, the legal nature of the unborn child, the human right to reproduce and to have a healthy child. The article focuses on the key data of the latest Italian regulation regarding assisted conception, especially compared with British law. Particular attention is paid to the contribution given by recent European decisions to the protection of new human rights. National and international judgements ensure the right to private life and to health that are not always guaranteed by law. Converging developments in caselaw panorama make the right to have children, to responsible procreation, to information about medical treatments, much less disharmonic realities than the Member States legislation suggests. © Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands.

Gentili P.L.,University of Perugia
RSC Advances | Year: 2013

Researchers working in the field of Artificial Intelligence and human-level intelligent agents are driven by the ambitious projects of understanding the foundations and running mechanisms of the human mind, and trying to reproduce them artificially. These projects have been receiving a renewed spur by the research initiative named "The Decade of the Mind" since 2007. A deep understanding of how the mind perceives, thinks, and acts, and its imitation will have a revolutionary impact in science, medicine, economic growth, security, and well-being. Our intelligence grounds on the working mechanism of the human nervous system. The human nervous system is a "computational machine" based on a complex "wetware" of neuronal cells collecting, relaying, processing and storing information under the shape of electrochemical signals. It is worthwhile trying to imitate human intelligence by using chemical systems. In this review, two types of chemical artificial intelligent systems are presented: (a) the sensing and processing properties of chromogenic and fluorogenic materials; and (b) the computational power of the Belousov-Zhabotinsky reaction, which is an excellent model of the neural dynamics. © 2013 The Royal Society of Chemistry.

Tombesi S.,University of Perugia | Almehdi A.,University of California at Davis | DeJong T.M.,University of California at Davis
Scientia Horticulturae | Year: 2011

In peach, xylem anatomical characteristics have been shown to be related to vigour of selected rootstocks. The goal of this research was to determine if xylem characteristics of a new set of rootstocks that exhibit a range of size-controlling potential and have a different genetic background from previously examined material would also exhibit similar differences in xylem characteristics. If so, then anatomical analysis of xylem may be a useful means of predicting the vigour control capacity of selected peach rootstock genotypes. Samples of xylem tissue were taken from roots, trunks and shoots of four new rootstocks that were derived from a genetic cross between 'Harrow Blood' and 'Okinawa' peaches and compared with tissue from 'Nemaguard', a vigorous control. Xylem samples were sectioned and analysed by optical microscope. The number and dimensions of vessels in recently developed xylem of each rootstock were measured and compared. The more dwarfing rootstocks had fewer large vessels and more small vessels than the more vigorous rootstocks. Weighted mean vessel diameter (Wm) and calculated hydraulic conductance (Kh) differed among rootstocks: more vigorous rootstocks had higher Kh and Wm than dwarfing rootstocks. Rootstock xylem vessel dimensions varied in relation to the vigour they imparted to a common scion cultivar ('O'Henry'). After the 'Nemaguard' control, 'HBOK 50' was the most vigorous rootstock followed by 'HBOK 10', 'HBOK 32' and 'HBOK 27', respectively. Thus, as was seen in previous research with a separate set of rootstocks, the vigour-control capacity of this new series of peach rootstocks was strongly related to their xylem hydraulic characteristics and it appears likely that it would be possible to use xylem anatomical characteristics of shoots or roots of young trees to pre-select for size-controlling potential in a rootstock development program. © 2010 Elsevier B.V.

Bianconi F.,University of Perugia | Fernandez A.,University of Vigo
Pattern Recognition Letters | Year: 2014

Grey-level co-occurrence matrices (GLCM) have been on the scene for almost forty years and continue to be widely used today. In this paper we present a method to improve accuracy and robustness against rotation of GLCM features for image classification. In our approach co-occurrences are computed through digital circles as an alternative to the standard four directions. We use discrete Fourier transform normalisation to convert rotation dependent features into rotation invariant ones. We tested our method on four different datasets of natural and synthetic images. Experimental results show that our approach is more accurate and robust against rotation than the standard GLCM features. © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Bianconi F.,University of Perugia | Fernandez A.,University of Vigo
Pattern Recognition Letters | Year: 2014

Texture analysis is an area of intense research activity. Like in other fields, the availability of public data for benchmarking is vital to the development of the discipline. In "Texture databases - A comprehensive survey", Hossain and Serikawa recently provided a precious review of a good number of texture datasets, and put an order into this scattered field. The aim of this appendix is to complement the cited work by providing reference to additional image databases of bio-medical textures, textures of materials and natural textures that have been recently employed in experiments with texture analysis. There is in fact a good number of little-known texture databases which have very interesting features, and for this reason are likely to receive increasing attention in the near future. We are convinced that this extension, along with the original article, will be useful to many researchers and practitioners working in the field of texture analysis. © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Zhu Z.-J.,University of Massachusetts Amherst | Posati T.,University of Perugia | Moyano D.F.,University of Massachusetts Amherst | Tang R.,University of Massachusetts Amherst | And 3 more authors.
Small | Year: 2012

A critical factor for controlling serum albumin binding is surface hydrophobicity, which in turn decreases the cellular uptake of gold nanoparticles. Hydrophobic nanoparticles bind albumin more tightly, inhibiting particle uptake, with a direct correlation observed between uptake and surface hydrophobicity. Copyright © 2012 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

Hutton J.L.,University of Warwick | Stanghellini E.,University of Perugia
Statistics in Medicine | Year: 2011

Health care interventions that use quality of life or health scores often provide data which are skewed and bounded. The scores are typically formed by adding up numerical responses to a number of questions. Different questions might have different weights, but the scores will be bounded, and are often scaled to the range 0-100. If improvement in health over time is measured, scores will tend to cluster near the 'healthy' or 'good' boundary as time progresses, leading to a skew distribution. Further, some patients will drop-out as time progresses, hence the scores reflect a selected population.We fit models based on the skew-normal distribution to data from a randomized controlled trial of treatments for sprained ankles, in which scores were recorded at baseline and at 1, 3 and 9 months after injury. We consider the extent to which skewness in the data can be explained by clustering at the boundary via a comparison between a censored normal and a censored skew-normal model.As this analysis is based on the complete data only, a formula for the bias of the treatment effects due to informative drop-out is given. This allows us to assess under what conditions the conclusions drawn from the complete data might be either reinforced or reversed, when the informative drop-out process is taken into account. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Paciaroni M.,University of Perugia
Frontiers of Neurology and Neuroscience | Year: 2010

The writings of Blaise Pascal (1623-1662), mathematician, physicist, and theologian, are often thought of as an ideal example of classical French prose. In fact, Pascal's scientific contributions include the principle of hydrostatics, known as Pascal's Law. In mathematics, he helped develop the probability theory and also made significant contributions to the realization of infinite series and the geometry of curves. He is also considered one of the most important French philosophers principally due to his book entitled 'Pensées'. Pascal had a religious conversion in the 1650s and following this he devoted himself more to religion than science. There is evidence that Pascal suffered from visual migraines with recurring headaches, episodes of blindness in half of his visual field, zigzag, fortification spectra, and other visual hallucinations. It is believed that the migraine aura experiences might have acted as a source of inspiration for Pascal's philosophical reflections. Pascal's sudden religious conversion, probably the most decisive moment in Pascal's personal life, during the night of the 23rd to 24th of November 1654, was accompanied by a lighted vision which he interpreted as fire which brought him the total conviction of God's 'reality and presence'. This experience may have been based on the effects of a migraine aura attack. In fact, this spiritual experience led him to dedicate the rest of his life to religious and philosophical interests. © 2010 S. Karger AG, Basel.

Brocca L.,CNR Research Institute for Geo-hydrological Protection | Tullo T.,CNR Research Institute for Geo-hydrological Protection | Melone F.,CNR Research Institute for Geo-hydrological Protection | Moramarco T.,CNR Research Institute for Geo-hydrological Protection | Morbidelli R.,University of Perugia
Journal of Hydrology | Year: 2012

The characterization of the spatial-temporal variability of soil moisture is of paramount importance in many scientific fields and operational applications. However, due to the high variability of soil moisture, its monitoring over large areas and for extended periods through in situ point measurements is not straightforward. Usually, in the scientific literature, soil moisture variability has been investigated over short periods and in large areas or over long periods but in small areas. In this study, an effort to understanding soil moisture variability at catchment scale (>100km 2), which is the size needed for some hydrological applications and for remote sensing validation analysis, is done. Specifically, measurements were carried out in two adjacent areas located in central Italy with extension of 178 and 242km 2 and over a period of 1year (35 sampling days) with almost weekly frequency except for the summer period because of soil hardness. For each area, 46 sites were monitored and, for each site, 3 measurements were performed to obtain reliable soil moisture estimates. Soil moisture was measured with a portable Time Domain Reflectometer for a layer depth of 0-15cm. A statistical and temporal stability analysis is employed to assess the space-time variability of soil moisture at local and catchment scale. Moreover, by comparing the results with those obtained in previous studies conducted in the same study area, a synthesis of soil moisture variability for a range of spatial scales, from few square meters to several square kilometers, is attempted. For the investigated area, the two main findings inferred are: (1) the spatial variability of soil moisture increases with the area up to ~10km 2 and then remains quite constant with an average coefficient of variation equal to ~0.20; (2) regardless of the areal extension, the soil moisture exhibits temporal stability features and, hence, few measurements can be used to infer areal mean values with a good accuracy (determination coefficient higher than 0.88). These insights based on in situ soil moisture observations corroborate the opportunity to use point information for the validation of coarse resolution satellite images. Moreover, the feasibility to use coarse resolution data for hydrological applications in small to medium sized catchments is confirmed. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.

Broccatelli F.,University of Perugia
Journal of Chemical Information and Modeling | Year: 2012

P-Glycoprotein (Pgp) is involved in the elimination and in the disposition of a significant portion of marketed drugs. So far, publicly available data sets used for modeling Pgp transport included compounds tested in different assays, different cell lines, and different protocols. In this work, we present a collection of 478 Efflux Ratios (ERs) in MDCK-MDR1 cell lines, and from this collection we define a data set of 187 compounds that were tested in the Borst-derived MDCK-MDR1 cell lines. Of the 23 models resulting from the use of different descriptors, classification algorithms, and variable selection techniques, the 4 most accurate in external validation (∼0.86) are based on VolSurf+ (VS+) descriptors. Two of these models are Naïve Bayes (NB) classifiers using 4 descriptors that were selected through a new technique hereby first time extensively described. © 2012 American Chemical Society.

Gentili P.L.,University of Perugia
Dyes and Pigments | Year: 2014

Science is urged to win the Complexity Challenges. One strategy to reach this goal consists in developing Artificial Intelligence because the human nervous system is a prototype of Natural Complex System that can solve few Computational Complexity problems quite easily. To try to understand human intelligence at the "implementation level", we are proposing chromogenic compounds as surrogates of natural sensory elements. Since Fuzzy logic is the best model of human ability to compute with words, two methodologies to implement Fuzzy logic by a chromogenic spirooxazine are described. Moreover, a new definition of Colourability of a chromogenic material, based on the mathematical Theory of Information, is presented. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Nucci M.C.,University of Perugia | Levi D.,Third University of Rome
Nonlinear Analysis: Real World Applications | Year: 2013

We show that λ-symmetries can be algorithmically obtained by using the Jacobi last multiplier. Several examples are provided. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Lomon E.L.,Massachusetts Institute of Technology | Pacetti S.,University of Perugia
Physical Review D - Particles, Fields, Gravitation and Cosmology | Year: 2012

The extended Lomon-Gari-Krümpelmann model of nucleon electromagnetic form factors, which embodies ρ, ρ ′, ω, ω ′, and vector meson contributions and the perturbative QCD high momentum transfer behavior has been extended to the timelike region. Breit-Wigner formulas with momentum-dependent widths have been considered for broad resonances in order to have a parametrization for the electromagnetic form factors that fulfills, in the timelike region, constraints from causality, analyticity, and unitarity. This analytic extension of the Lomon-Gari- Krümpelmann model has been used to perform a unified fit to all the nucleon electromagnetic form factor data, in the spacelike and timelike region (where form factor values are extracted from e +e -NN̄ cross sections data). The knowledge of the complete analytic structure of form factors enables predictions at extended momentum transfer, and also of timelike observables such as the ratio between electric and magnetic form factors and their relative phase. © 2012 American Physical Society.

Gammaitoni L.,University of Perugia | Gammaitoni L.,Wisepower
Contemporary Physics | Year: 2012

The future of mobile Information and Communication Technology will be strongly affected by our success in solving the question of how to power very small devices. Ambient energy harvesting has been in recent years the recurring object of a number of research efforts aimed at providing an autonomous solution to the powering of small-scale electronic devices. Among the different solutions, micro scale vibration energy harvesting has played a major role due to the almost universal presence of mechanical vibrations mainly in the form of random fluctuations, i.e. noise. In this paper we briefly discuss the role of micro-energies and the possibility to harvest them by employing nonlinear dynamical systems. © 2012 Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.

Grignani G.,University of Perugia | Kim N.,University of British Columbia | Semenoff G.W.,University of British Columbia
Physics Letters, Section B: Nuclear, Elementary Particle and High-Energy Physics | Year: 2012

It is shown that the Berezinski-Kosterlitz-Thouless phase transition that has been found in D3-D5 brane systems with nonzero magnetic field and charge density can also be found by tuning an extra-dimensional magnetic flux. We find numerical solutions for the probe D5-brane embedding and discuss properties of the solutions. We also demonstrate that the nontrivial embeddings include those which can be regarded as spontaneously breaking chiral symmetry. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.

Lip G.Y.H.,University of Birmingham | Agnelli G.,University of Perugia
European Heart Journal | Year: 2014

Long-term anticoagulation treatment with warfarin has been associated with a number of limitations in clinical practice and there is a need for more convenient long-term anticoagulation treatment. One of the non-vitamin K oral anticoagulants in development is edoxaban, a factor Xa inhibitor that is administered once daily. The pharmacological properties of edoxaban have various advantages in anticoagulant therapy. Edoxaban quickly reaches peak plasma concentrations in 1.5 h, has a half-life of 10-14 h, has relatively high bioavailability of 62% and exhibits highly selective, competitive, concentration-dependent inhibition of human factor Xa. The plasma concentrations of edoxaban are also closely correlated with suppression of thrombin generation and a range of platelet activation parameters (fragment 1+2, thrombin-antithrombin complex, and β-thromboglobulin), which edoxaban has been shown to rapidly inhibit. The anticoagulant activity of edoxaban is not affected by food intake or ethnicity and a number of drug-drug interaction studies have been performed. Co-administration of edoxaban with strong P-glycoprotein inhibitors, such as dronedarone, quinidine, and verapamil requires edoxaban dose-reduction by 50% to avoid the risk of over-exposure. The exposure of edoxaban may also increase in patients with a body weight ≤60 kg and moderate renal impairment. This meant a dose-reduction strategy in patients at risk of over-exposure was utilized in Phase III clinical studies. In conclusion, the pharmacological properties of edoxaban provide rapid and specific inhibition of factor Xa, which is closely related to plasma concentrations. Given the limitations with long-term warfarin therapy, once-daily edoxaban may provide a convenient long-term alternative for patients. © 2014 European Society of Cardiology.

Noguera S.,University of Valencia | Scopetta S.,University of Perugia
Physical Review D - Particles, Fields, Gravitation and Cosmology | Year: 2012

The eta-photon transition form factor is evaluated in a formalism based on a phenomenological description at low values of the photon virtuality, and a QCD-based description at high photon virtualities, matching at a scale Q02. The high photon virtuality description makes use of a distribution amplitude calculated in the Nambu-Jona-Lasinio model with Pauli-Villars regularization at the matching scale Q02, and QCD evolution from Q02 to higher values of Q2. A good description of the available data is obtained. The analysis indicates that the recent data from the BABAR collaboration on pion and eta transition form factor can be well reproduced, if a small contribution of higher twist is added to the dominant twist-two contribution at the matching scale Q02. © 2012 American Physical Society.

Ausiello C.M.,Anti Infectious Immunity Unit | Cassone A.,University of Perugia
mBio | Year: 2014

The resurgence of pertussis (whooping cough) in countries with high vaccination coverage is alarming and invites reconsideration of the use of current acellular pertussis (aP) vaccines, which have largely replaced the old, reactogenic, wholecell pertussis (wP) vaccine. Some drawbacks of these vaccines in terms of limited antigenic composition and early waning of antibody levels could be anticipated by the results of in-trial or postlicensure human investigations of B- and T-cell responses in aP versus wP vaccine recipients or unvaccinated, infected children. Recent data in experimental models, including primates, suggest that generation of vaccines capable of a potent, though regulated, stimulation of innate immunity driving effective, persistent adaptive immune responses against Bordetella pertussis infection should be privileged. Adjuvants that skew Th1/Th17 responses or new wP (detoxified or attenuated) vaccines should be explored. Nonetheless, the high merits of the current aP vaccines in persuading people to resume vaccination against pertussis should not be forgotten. © 2014 Ausiello and Cassone.

Innovative and traditional solutions for roof coating and urban paving are under development in order to study their effect both as passive cooling strategies for buildings and as effective tools for urban heat island mitigation. This paper deals with the optic-energy in-lab and numerical analysis of three materials used for roof covering and urban paving in Italy. Bitumen covering, cool painting and natural gravel covering are taken into account. Solar reflectance measurements shows that gravel optimize this property by more than 20% with respect to the bitumen covering of classic streets paving. The three materials are also evaluated in terms of roof covering in commercial buildings with flat roofs. Dynamic simulation results demonstrated that innovative cool membranes are able to optimize building year-round energy efficiency by 19.3%. Nevertheless, natural gravel covering produce important energy saving (15.6%) with respect to bitumen roof membrane configuration. © (2014) Trans Tech Publications, Switzerland.

Esvelt K.M.,Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering | Smidler A.L.,Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering | Smidler A.L.,Harvard University | Catteruccia F.,Harvard University | And 2 more authors.
eLife | Year: 2014

Gene drives may be capable of addressing ecological problems by altering entire populations of wild organisms, but their use has remained largely theoretical due to technical constraints. Here we consider the potential for RNA-guided gene drives based on the CRISPR nuclease Cas9 to serve as a general method for spreading altered traits through wild populations over many generations. We detail likely capabilities, discuss limitations, and provide novel precautionary strategies to control the spread of gene drives and reverse genomic changes. The ability to edit populations of sexual species would offer substantial benefits to humanity and the environment. For example, RNA-guided gene drives could potentially prevent the spread of disease, support agriculture by reversing pesticide and herbicide resistance in insects and weeds, and control damaging invasive species. However, the possibility of unwanted ecological effects and near-certainty of spread across political borders demand careful assessment of each potential application. We call for thoughtful, inclusive, and well-informed public discussions to explore the responsible use of this currently theoretical technology. © Esvelt et al.

An open-air experimental apparatus was built to define a common procedure for the thermal properties evaluation of low-e barriers, whose performance in static and dynamic conditions is still an object of debate. The structure hosts a movable wall where single layers can be substituted, allowing the defining of the properties of the system radiant barrier-air gaps, independently of the rest of stratigraphy. The steady-state results have been compared with other methods commonly used for low-e materials such as the guarded hot plate, the hot box method, and the theoretical analysis based on hemispherical emissivity measurements, showing a good agreement among the different approaches. The transient analysis demonstrated that the proposed experimental apparatus permits the direct definition of the radiant barrier dynamic properties, through a previous characterization of the structure without the low-e panel. In fact, when the panel is installed, the performance of the sole package panel-air gaps is easily obtained reducing the errors due to the interference of the rest of the stratigraphy. Besides, the experimental apparatus makes possible the definition of the thermophysical variables necessary for the application of classical theoretical models for unsteady conditions, with results practically overlapped to measured data. A CFD analysis was also implemented: after a validation process, the numerical approach makes it possible to verify the assumptions made for the theoretical analysis, and it constitutes a further possibility for low-e panels performance evaluation. © 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Horvath V.,Brandeis University | Horvath V.,Eotvos Lorand University | Gentili P.L.,Brandeis University | Gentili P.L.,University of Perugia | And 3 more authors.
Angewandte Chemie - International Edition | Year: 2012

Finger on the pulse: In a system of two pulse-coupled Belousov-Zhabotinsky oscillators, introducing a time delay or increasing the coupling strength brings about novel dynamic features (see picture, the two oscillators are shown in different colors), such as reversal of the roles of excitatory and inhibitory coupling or fast anti-phase oscillation. These features are not observed in diffusively coupled systems, and shed light on how such pulse coupling occurs at synapses. Copyright © 2012 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

Giannoni M.,University of Perugia
European Journal of Public Health | Year: 2010

Background: Equitable access to health care is a core objective of the Italian health care system. Despite having achieved universal coverage for a fairly comprehensive set of health services for decades, there is still evidence of inequities systematically associated with income. Method: Income-related inequity indices were estimated for the probability of general practitioner (GP), specialist, inpatient care and also emergency care using a variety of need indicators. The data used were the Multiscopo survey, 2000 matched with the European Community Household Panel survey for Italy. The contribution of regional inequality was also estimated. Horizontal inequity indices for health care utilization measures were computed separately for people reporting hypertension, arthritis, tumour and heart disease. Results: Significant pro-rich income related inequity was found for GP, specialist and emergency care, no inequity was found for inpatient care. The disease approach showed statistically significant inequity in the probability of specialist care in three of the four chronic conditions analysed, and pro-poor inequity in GP care for all conditions. Inequity was mainly caused by income and regional variations. Conclusions: By reducing regional variation it would be possible to significantly reduce the pro-rich inequity in GP, specialist and emergency care. For specialist care inequity was found for the overall adult population and also among people with serious chronic conditions, and was caused not only by income and regional variation, but also by educational attainment and insurance. © The Author 2009. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the European Public Health Association. All rights reserved.

Bonafoni S.,University of Perugia
Journal of Applied Remote Sensing | Year: 2015

The land surface temperature (LST) retrieval in an urban environment by thermal remote sensing is a widespread scientific topic and several studies have been made to point out the correspondence between spectral indices and LST pattern. This work evaluates the potential of the spectral indices introduced in the literature, more than 30, by assessing their correlation with the summer LST in the heterogeneous urban area of Rome, Italy, considering two different triplets of images acquired during 2009 and 2011 by the Landsat Thematic Mapper (TM). The spectral indices have been divided into vegetation and built up-soil indices employing the reflective TM bands, and then ranked on the basis of their linear and monotonic relationship with the LST. Vegetation indices have a strong negative correlation with LST: vegetation area (VA), nonlinear index, modified soil adjusted vegetation index exhibit a greater Pearson and Spearman correlation coefficient with LST. The more useful spectral indices for built up and soil analysis, exhibiting a greater positive correlation with LST, are the impervious surface area (ISA), the bare soil index, the index-based built-up index, and the normalized difference built-up index. Interesting indications of the impact on the spectral index performance of specific land-cover classes embedded in an urban environment, such as the bare soil and the water classes were pointed out; for example, the reduction of the ISA and VA capability to display the full dynamic range of the LST pattern. © 2015 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE).

Alvioli M.,National Research Council Italy | Guzzetti F.,National Research Council Italy | Rossi M.,National Research Council Italy | Rossi M.,University of Perugia
Geomorphology | Year: 2014

Natural landslides exhibit scaling properties revealed by power law relationships. These relationships include the frequency of the size (e.g., area, volume) of the landslides, and the rainfall conditions responsible for slope failures in a region. Reasons for the scaling behavior of landslides are poorly known. We investigate the possibility of using the Transient Rainfall Infiltration and Grid-Based Regional Slope-Stability analysis code (TRIGRS), a consolidated, physically-based, numerical model that describes the stability/instability conditions of natural slopes forced by rainfall, to determine the frequency statistics of the area of the unstable slopes and the rainfall intensity (I)-duration (D) conditions that result in landslides in a region. We apply TRIGRS in a portion of the Upper Tiber River Basin, Central Italy. The spatially distributed model predicts the stability/instability conditions of individual grid cells, given the local terrain and rainfall conditions. We run TRIGRS using multiple, synthetic rainfall histories, and we compare the modeling results with empirical evidences of the area of landslides and of the rainfall conditions that have caused landslides in the study area. Our findings revealed that TRIGRS is capable of reproducing the frequency of the size of the patches of terrain predicted as unstable by the model, which match the frequency size statistics of landslides in the study area, and the mean rainfall D,. I conditions that result in unstable slopes in the study area, which match rainfall I- D thresholds for possible landslide occurrence. Our results are a step towards understanding the mechanisms that give rise to landslide scaling properties. © 2014 Elsevier B.V.

Orabona C.,University of Perugia
Methods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.) | Year: 2011

Indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase (IDO) is an ancestral enzyme that, initially confined to the regulation of tryptophan availability in local tissue microenvironments, is now considered to play a wider role that extends to homeostasis and plasticity of the immune system. Thus, IDO biology has many implications for many aspects of immunopathology, including viral infections, neoplasia, autoimmunity, and chronic inflammation. Its immunoregulatory effects are mainly mediated by dendritic cells (DCs) and involve not only tryptophan deprivation but also production of kynurenines that act on IDO(-) DCs--thus rendering an otherwise stimulatory DC capable of regulatory effects--as well as on T cells. As a result, IDO(+) DCs mediate multiple effects on T lymphocytes, including inhibition of proliferation, apoptosis, and differentiation toward a regulatory phenotype.

Owens D.R.,University of Swansea | Monnier L.,Montpellier University | Bolli G.B.,University of Perugia
Diabetes and Metabolism | Year: 2013

Metabolic consequences of glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonists (GLP-1 RAs) are the result of enhanced glucose-stimulated insulin secretion, inhibition of glucagon release, delayed gastric emptying and increased satiety. These attributes make GLP-1 agonists a treatment option in type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). To optimise treatment choice, a detailed understanding of the effects of GLP-1 RAs on glucose homeostasis in individuals with T2DM is necessary. Although the various GLP-1 RAs share the same basic mechanisms of action, differences in pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic characteristics translate into differential effects on parameters of glycaemia. Head-to-head comparisons between long-acting non-prandial (liraglutide once daily and exenatide once weekly) and shorter-acting prandial (exenatide twice daily and lixisenatide once daily prandial) GLP-1 RAs confirm their differential effects on fasting plasma glucose (FPG) and post-prandial glucose (PPG). Liraglutide once daily and exenatide once weekly demonstrate greater reductions in FPG but lesser impacts on PPG excursions plasma than exenatide twice daily. Prandial GLP-1 RAs have a profound effect on post-prandial glycaemia, mediated by delaying gastric emptying, which is not subject to the tachyphylaxis occurring due to the sustained elevated plasma GLP-1 concentrations after treatment with long-acting GLP-1 RAs. Lixisenatide once-daily prandial, in contrast to liraglutide, strongly suppresses post-prandial glucagon secretion, further contributing to the more pronounced PPG-lowering effect found with lixisenatide. Evidence suggests that the GLP-1 RAs that predominantly target the prandial glucose excursions, such as exenatide twice daily and lixisenatide once-daily prandial, are therefore best used as combination therapy with basal insulin and will form an important new treatment option for individuals with T2DM. © 2013.

Massaro F.,Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology | D'Abrusco R.,Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory | Tosti G.,University of Perugia | Tosti G.,National Institute of Nuclear Physics, Italy | And 3 more authors.
Astrophysical Journal | Year: 2012

One of the main scientific objectives of the ongoing Fermi mission is unveiling the nature of unidentified γ-ray sources (UGSs). Despite the major improvements of Fermi in the localization of γ-ray sources with respect to the past γ-ray missions, about one-third of the Fermi-detected objects are still not associated with low-energy counterparts. Recently, using the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer survey, we discovered that blazars, the rarest class of active galactic nuclei and the largest population of γ-ray sources, can be recognized and separated from other extragalactic sources on the basis of their infrared (IR) colors. Based on this result, we designed an association method for the γ-ray sources to recognize if there is a blazar candidate within the positional uncertainty region of a generic γ-ray source. With this new IR diagnostic tool, we searched for γ-ray blazar candidates associated with the UGS sample of the second Fermi γ-ray LAT catalog (2FGL). We found that our method associates at least one γ-ray blazar candidate as a counterpart to each of 156 out of 313 UGSs analyzed. These new low-energy candidates have the same IR properties as the blazars associated with γ-ray sources in the 2FGL catalog. © 2012. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.

Peraldi A.,John Innes Center | Beccari G.,University of Perugia | Steed A.,John Innes Center | Nicholson P.,John Innes Center
BMC Plant Biology | Year: 2011

Background: Fusarium species cause Fusarium head blight (FHB) and other important diseases of cereals. The causal agents produce trichothecene mycotoxins such as deoxynivalenol (DON). The dicotyledonous model species Arabidopsis thaliana has been used to study Fusarium-host interactions but it is not ideal for model-to-crop translation. Brachypodium distachyon (Bd) has been proposed as a new monocotyledonous model species for functional genomic studies in grass species. This study aims to assess the interaction between the most prevalent FHB-causing Fusarium species and Bd in order to develop and exploit Bd as a genetic model for FHB and other Fusarium diseases of wheat.Results: The ability of Fusarium graminearum and Fusarium culmorum to infect a range of Bd tissues was examined in various bioassays which showed that both species can infect all Bd tissues examined, including intact foliar tissues. DON accumulated in infected spike tissues at levels similar to those of infected wheat spikes. Histological studies revealed details of infection, colonisation and host response and indicate that hair cells are important sites of infection. Susceptibility to Fusarium and DON was assessed in two Bd ecotypes and revealed variation in resistance between ecotypes.Conclusions: Bd exhibits characteristics of susceptibility highly similar to those of wheat, including susceptibility to spread of disease in the spikelets. Bd is the first reported plant species to allow successful infection on intact foliar tissues by FHB-causing Fusarium species. DON appears to function as a virulence factor in Bd as it does in wheat. Bd is proposed as a valuable model for undertaking studies of Fusarium head blight and other Fusarium diseases of wheat. © 2011 Peraldi et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

Amici S.,University of Perugia
Frontiers of Neurology and Neuroscience | Year: 2012

Memory is the cognitive ability that allows to acquire, store and recall information; its dysfunction is called amnesia and can be a presentation of unilateral ischemic stroke in the territory of the posterior cerebral and anterior choroidal artery as well as subarachnoid hemorrhage. Copyright © 2012 S. Karger AG, Basel.

Mecocci P.,University of Perugia | Polidori M.C.,Ruhr University Bochum
Biochimica et Biophysica Acta - Molecular Basis of Disease | Year: 2012

Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a highly disabling progressive neurodegenerative disorder characterized by a steadily growing number of patients, by the absence of a cure for the disease and by great difficulties in diagnosing in the preclinical phase. Progresses in defining the complex etiopathogenesis of AD consider oxidative stress a core aspect as far as both AD onset and progression are concerned. However, clinical trials of antioxidants in AD have brought conflicting conclusions. In this review, we report the main results of clinical trials with antioxidants in mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and AD. Although available data do not warrant the doubtless use of antioxidants in AD, they are characterized by extremely poor comparability and the absence of a substantial clinical benefit of antioxidants in AD is not disproved to date. Furthermore, the role of vascular damage that contributes to oxidative stress in AD should be addressed in testing antioxidant treatments. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Antioxidants and Antioxidant Treatment in Disease. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.

Venti M.,University of Perugia
Frontiers of Neurology and Neuroscience | Year: 2012

Subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) accounts for 5% of all strokes but its burden is relevant due to high mortality, high disability and a remarkable incidence in the young. The rupture of an intracranial aneurysm is responsible for about 85% of SAHs; 10% are represented by non-aneurysmal conditions; 5% are represented by other medical conditions such as inflammatory or non-inflammatory lesions of cerebral artery, coagulopathy, neoplasms or drug abuse. The clinical presentation of a SAH can be extremely variable ranging from nearly asymptomaticity to sudden death. Rebleeding is the most frequent and severe complication of SAH. The aneurysm exclusion is the most effective treatment for preventing rebleeding. Endovascular occlusion of the aneurysm with coils has been shown to be associated with better short- and long-term outcomes than surgical clipping in select patients. Copyright © 2012 S. Karger AG, Basel.

D'Abrusco R.,Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory | Massaro F.,Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology | Ajello M.,Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology | Grindlay J.E.,Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory | And 4 more authors.
Astrophysical Journal | Year: 2012

Blazars constitute the most enigmatic class of extragalactic γ-ray sources, and their observational features have been ascribed to a relativistic jet closely aligned to the line of sight. They are generally divided in two main classes: the BL Lac objects (BL Lacs) and the flat-spectrum radio quasars (FSRQs). In the case of BL Lacs the double-bumped spectral energy distribution (SED) is generally described by the synchrotron self-Compton (SSC) emission, while for the FSRQs it is interpreted as due to external Compton (EC) emission. Recently, we showed that in the [3.4]-[4.6]-[12] μm color-color diagram the blazar population covers a distinct region (i.e., the WISE blazar Strip (WBS)) clearly separated from the other extragalactic sources that are dominated by thermal emission. In this paper, we investigate the relation between the infrared and γ-ray emission for a subset of confirmed blazars from the literature, associated with Fermi sources, for which WISE archival observations are available. This sample is a proper subset of the sample of sources used previously, and the availability of Fermi data is critical to constrain the models on the emission mechanisms for the blazars. We found that the selected blazars also lie on the WBS covering a narrower region of the infrared color-color planes than the overall blazar population. We then found an evident correlation between the IR and γ-ray spectral indices expected in the SSC and EC frameworks. Finally, we determined the ratio between their γ-ray and infrared fluxes, a surrogate of the ratio of powers between the inverse Compton and the synchrotron SED components, and used such parameter to test different blazar emitting scenarios. © 2012 The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.

Oliva C.F.,L.E.S.S. | Damiens D.,International Atomic Energy Agency | Benedict M.Q.,University of Perugia
Acta Tropica | Year: 2014

Among Aedes mosquitoes are species responsible for transmission of serious pathogens to humans. To cope with the current threats to long-term effectiveness of the traditional vector control methods, non-conventional control strategies are being developed. These include autocidal control such as the release of sterile males (sterile insect technique) and the release of Wolbachia-infected males to induce sexual sterility (incompatible insect technique) and pathogen-refractory strain replacement variations using Wolbachia. Sterile male types of techniques particularly depend on released males' ability to successfully mate with wild females. For that reason, a good understanding of male mating biology, including a thorough understanding of the reproductive system and mating capacity, increases the likelihood of success of such genetic vector control programmes. Here we review the literature concerning the reproduction of Aedes mosquitoes with an emphasis on the male biology. We consider sexual maturation, mate finding, insemination, male reproductive capacity, and the occurrence of multiple matings. We also discuss which parameters are of greatest importance for the successful implementation of autocidal control methods and propose questions for future research. © 2013 International Atomic Energy Agency 2013.

Menculini L.,University of Perugia | Panella O.,National Institute of Nuclear Physics, Italy | Roy P.,Indian Statistical Institute
Physical Review D - Particles, Fields, Gravitation and Cosmology | Year: 2013

We study the (2+1)-dimensional Dirac equation in a homogeneous magnetic field (relativistic Landau problem) within a minimal length or generalized uncertainty principle scenario. We derive exact solutions for a given explicit representation of the generalized uncertainty principle and provide expressions of the wave functions in the momentum representation. We find that in the minimal length case, the degeneracy of the states is modified, and that there are states that do not exist in the ordinary quantum mechanics limit (β→0). We also discuss the massless case, which may find application in describing the behavior of charged fermions in new materials like graphene. © 2013 American Physical Society.

Massaro F.,Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology | D'Abrusco R.,Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory | Tosti G.,University of Perugia | Tosti G.,National Institute of Nuclear Physics, Italy | And 4 more authors.
Astrophysical Journal | Year: 2012

Despite the large number of discoveries made recently by Fermi, the origins of the so-called unidentified γ-ray sources remain unknown. The large number of these sources suggests that there could be a population among them that significantly contributes to the isotropic gamma-ray background and it is therefore crucial to understand their nature. The first step toward a complete comprehension of the unidentified γ-ray source population is to identify those that can be associated with blazars, the most numerous class of extragalactic sources in the γ-ray sky. Recently, we discovered that blazars can be recognized and separated from other extragalactic sources using the infrared (IR) WISE satellite colors. The blazar population delineates a remarkable and distinctive region of the IR color-color space, the WISE blazar strip. In particular, the subregion delineated by the γ-ray emitting blazars is even narrower and we named it the WISE Gamma-ray Strip (WGS). In this paper, we parameterize the WGS on the basis of a single parameter s that we then use to determine if γ-ray active galactic nuclei of the uncertain type (AGUs) detected by Fermi are consistent with the WGS and can be considered blazar candidates. We find that 54 AGUs out of a set of 60 analyzed have IR colors consistent with the WGS; only 6 AGUs are outliers. This result implies that a very high percentage (i.e., in this sample about 90%) of the AGUs detected by Fermi are indeed blazar candidates. © © 2012. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.

Fiorucci S.,University of Perugia
Inflammation and Allergy - Drug Targets | Year: 2011

Gaseous neurotransmitters are a growing family of enzimatically generated gaseous mediators that exert regulatory functions in mammals. It is now widely recognized that hydrogen sulfide (H 2S), along with nitric oxide (NO) and carbon monoxide (CO), is an important signaling molecule in cardiovascular, nervous, gastrointestinal, liver and lung physiology and pharmacology. The production of H 2S from L-cysteine is catalysed primarily by two enzymes, cystathionine-γ-lyase and cystathionine β-synthase. Evidence is accumulating to demonstrate that H 2S delivered exogenously exerts beneficial effects in animal models of inflammation and pain highlighting the potential for the therapeutic exploitation of H 2S. Several hybrids have been developed coupling an H 2S-releasing moiety to conventional drugs. These molecular hybrids are currently evaluated for efficacy in animal models of gastrointestinal, cardiovascular and neurogical disorders and erectile dysfunction. The anti-inflammatory activity of H 2S has also been exploited for generating anti-platelets and anti-inflammatory agents that inhibit cyclo-oxygenases while sparing the gastrointestinal and cardiovascular tract. © 2011 Bentham Science Publishers Ltd.

Castrioto A.,Grenoble University Hospital Center | Castrioto A.,University of Perugia | Moro E.,Grenoble University Hospital Center
Expert Review of Neurotherapeutics | Year: 2013

Deep brain stimulation (DBS) of the subthalamic nucleus (STN) and the globus pallidus pars interna (GPi) has been shown to be an effective treatment for patients with Parkinson's disease. Strong clinical evidence supports the improvement of motor and non-motor complications and quality of life, with some data suggesting that GPi DBS might be less effective than STN DBS. However, neither STN nor GPi stimulation provides a satisfactory control of non-dopaminergic symptoms, such as gait and balance impairment and cognitive decline, which are frequent and disabling symptoms in advanced Parkinson's disease patients. Therefore, several efforts have been made to discover alternative and new targets to overcome these current DBS limitations. Among these new targets, the stimulation of the pedunculopontine nucleus has initially appeared encouraging. However, findings from different double-blind trials have mitigated the enthusiasm. A multi-target strategy aimed at improving symptoms with different pathogenetic mechanisms might be a promising approach in the next years. © 2013 Informa UK Ltd.

Paineau E.,University Paris - Sud | Albouy P.-A.,University Paris - Sud | Rouzieire S.,University Paris - Sud | Orecchini A.,Laue Langevin Institute | And 3 more authors.
Nano Letters | Year: 2013

We present in situ monitoring of water filling of single-walled carbon nanotubes at room temperature, using X-ray scattering. A systematic method is developed to determine the water radial density profile. Water filling is homogeneous below about 5% in mass, whereas it structures into three layers above. These results should motivate further theoretical and simulations studies and allow getting a better understanding of the very peculiar properties of water confined in hydrophobic environment. © 2013 American Chemical Society.

Tombesi S.,University of Perugia | Johnson R.S.,University of California at Davis | Day K.R.,University of California at Davis | Dejong T.M.,University of California at Davis
Annals of Botany | Year: 2010

Background and Aims Previous studies indicate that the size-controlling capacity of peach rootstocks is associated with reductions of scion water potential during mid-day that are caused by the reduced hydraulic conductance of the rootstock. Thus, shoot growth appears to be reduced by decreases in stem water potential. The aim of this study was to investigate the mechanism of reduced hydraulic conductance in size-controlling peach rootstocks. Methods Anatomical measurements (diameter and frequency) of xylem vessels were determined in shoots, trunks and roots of three contrasting peach rootstocks grown as trees, each with different size-controlling characteristics: 'Nemaguard' (vigorous), 'P30-135' (intermediate vigour) and 'K146-43' (substantially dwarfing). Based on anatomical measurements, the theoretical axial xylem conductance of each tissue type and rootstock genotype was calculated via the Poiseuille-Hagen law. Key Results Larger vessel dimensions were found in the vigorous rootstock ('Nemaguard') than in the most dwarfing one ('K146-43') whereas vessels of 'P30-135' had intermediate dimensions. The density of vessels per xylem area in 'Nemaguard' was also less than in 'P30-135'and 'K146-43'. These characteristics resulted in different estimated hydraulic conductance among rootstocks: 'Nemaguard' had higher theoretical values followed by 'P30-135' and 'K146-43'.Conclusions These data indicate that phenotypic differences in xylem anatomical characteristics of rootstock genotypes appear to influence hydraulic conductance capacity directly, and therefore may be the main determinant of dwarfing in these peach rootstocks.

De Tommasi D.,Polytechnic of Bari | Puglisi G.,Polytechnic of Bari | Saccomandi G.,University of Perugia | Zurlo G.,Polytechnic of Bari
Journal of Physics D: Applied Physics | Year: 2010

We propose a model to analyse the insurgence of pull-in and wrinkling failures in electroactive thin films. We take into consideration both cases of voltage and charge control, the role of pre-stretch and the size of activated regions, which are all crucial factors in technological applications of electroactive polymers (EAPs). Based on simple geometrical and material assumptions we deduce an explicit analytical description of these phenomena, allowing a clear physical interpretation of different failure mechanisms such as the occurrence of pull-in and wrinkling. Despite our simple assumptions, the comparison with experiments shows a good qualitative and, interestingly, quantitative agreement. In particular our model shows, in accordance with experiments, the existence of different optimal pre-stretch values, depending on the choice of the actuating parameter of the EAP. © 2010 IOP Publishing Ltd Printed in the UK & the USA.

Incorvaia C.,Allergy Pulmonary Rehabilitation | Frati F.,University of Perugia
Immunotherapy | Year: 2011

Among the treatments available for respiratory allergy, which include allergen avoidance and pharmacotherapy, specific immunotherapy (SIT) is the only treatment able to not only act on the symptoms of allergy but also act on the causes. SIT is the practice of administering gradually increasing doses of the specific causative allergen to reduce the clinical reactivity of allergic subjects and was introduced one century ago. SIT remained an empirical treatment for more than 40 years, but the first controlled trial in 1954 paved the way for the scientific era. At present, SIT may be administered in two forms: subcutaneous (SCIT) and sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT). A large number of trials, globally analyzed in several meta-analyses, evaluated the efficacy and safety of SCIT and SLIT in allergic rhinitis and asthma. Current available data give solid evidence to the clinical efficacy of both SCIT and SLIT in allergic rhinitis and asthma. Providing the recommended doses and administration schedules are adhered to, the safety and tolerability are very good; however, adverse systemic reactions remain a drawback for SCIT. After one century of use, accumulating evidence surrounds SIT and the central role in the management of respiratory allergy. © 2011 Future Medicine Ltd.

Luigi Gentili P.,University of Perugia
ChemPhysChem | Year: 2011

Single molecules or their assemblies are information processing devices. Herein it is demonstrated how it is possible to process different types of logic through molecules. As long as decoherent effects are maintained far away from a pure quantum mechanical system, quantum logic can be processed. If the collapse of superimposed or entangled wavefunctions is unavoidable, molecules can still be used to process either crisp (binary or multi-valued) or fuzzy logic. The way for implementing fuzzy inference engines is declared and it is supported by the examples of molecular fuzzy logic systems devised so far. Fuzzy logic is drawing attention in the field of artificial intelligence, because it models human reasoning quite well. This ability may be due to some structural analogies between a fuzzy logic system and the human nervous system. Copyright © 2011 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

Marsala C.,University Pierre and Marie Curie | Petturiti D.,University of Perugia | Petturiti D.,University of Rome La Sapienza
Information Sciences | Year: 2015

Monotone classification is a relatively recent topic in machine learning in which the classification function to learn is asked to guarantee a sort of monotonicity of the class with respect to attribute values. Nevertheless, real datasets are quite far from being monotone and this can sharply limit the performance of purely monotone classifiers while standard classifiers are simply insensitive to monotonicity. Here we focus on rank discrimination measures to be used in decision tree induction, i.e., functions able to measure the discrimination power of an attribute with respect to the class taking into account the monotonicity of the class with respect to the attribute. Three new measures are studied in detail and a hierarchical construction model is derived allowing the formal definition of a general rank discrimination measure. Our measures have been compared with other well-known proposals, quantifying both the accuracy and the monotonicity of the resulting binary decision tree classifiers. © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Benet L.Z.,University of California at San Francisco | Broccatelli F.,University of California at San Francisco | Broccatelli F.,University of Perugia | Oprea T.I.,Sunset Molecular Discovery LLC | And 2 more authors.
AAPS Journal | Year: 2011

Here, we compile the Biopharmaceutics Drug Disposition Classification System (BDDCS) classification for 927 drugs, which include 30 active metabolites. Of the 897 parent drugs, 78.8% (707) are administered orally. Where the lowest measured solubility is found, this value is reported for 72.7% (513) of these orally administered drugs and a dose number is recorded. The measured values are reported for percent excreted unchanged in urine, LogP, and LogD 7.4 when available. For all 927 compounds, the in silico parameters for predicted Log solubility in water, calculated LogP, polar surface area, and the number of hydrogen bond acceptors and hydrogen bond donors for the active moiety are also provided, thereby allowing comparison analyses for both in silico and experimentally measured values. We discuss the potential use of BDDCS to estimate the disposition characteristics of novel chemicals (new molecular entities) in the early stages of drug discovery and development. Transporter effects in the intestine and the liver are not clinically relevant for BDDCS class 1 drugs, but potentially can have a high impact for class 2 (efflux in the gut, and efflux and uptake in the liver) and class 3 (uptake and efflux in both gut and liver) drugs. A combination of high dose and low solubility is likely to cause BDDCS class 4 to be underpopulated in terms of approved drugs (N∈=∈53 compared with over 200 each in classes 1-3). The influence of several measured and in silico parameters in the process of BDDCS category assignment is discussed in detail. © 2011 American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists.

Castrioto A.,University of Perugia | Castrioto A.,University of Toronto | Lozano A.M.,University of Toronto | Poon Y.-Y.,University of Toronto | And 3 more authors.
Archives of Neurology | Year: 2011

Objective: To assess the 10-year motor outcome of deep brain stimulation of the subthalamic nucleus (STN-DBS) in patients with Parkinson disease (PD). Design: Patients with PD with bilateral STN-DBS were assessed according to the Core Assessment Program for Surgical Interventional Therapies in Parkinson's Disease protocol and videotaped at baseline and 1, 5, and 10 years after surgery. An independent rater blinded to stimulation and medication condition scored the 10- year video assessments. Setting: Movement Disorders Centre, Toronto Western Hospital, University Health Network, University of Toronto. Patients: Eighteen patients with advanced PD and 10- year follow-up of STN-DBS. Intervention: Bilateral STN-DBS surgery. Main Outcome Measures: The primary outcome was the change in blinded Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale (UPDRS) motor scores/subscores between the no medication/stimulation condition vs the no medication/ no stimulation condition at 10 years. Secondary outcomes were the changes in blinded UPDRS motor scores between the medication/no stimulation and medication/ stimulation conditions, UPDRS II scores, UPDRS IV dyskinesia and motor fluctuations scores, and anti-PD medication dose (levodopa equivalent daily dose) at different points. Results: In the 18 patients available for follow-up at 10 years, STN-DBS still significantly improved the UPDRS total motor score (P=.007) and resting and action tremor (P≲λτ∀.01 and P=.02, respectively) and bradykinesia (P=.01) subscores. The UPDRS II scores in the medication and no medication conditions, UPDRS IV dyskinesia and motor fluctuations scores, and the levodopa equivalent daily dosewere also significantly reduced compared with baseline. Axial signs showed the most progressive decline in stimulation and levodopa response over the years. Conclusion: This class III study provides evidence that stimulation-induced motor improvement was sustained overall at 10 years, although part of the initial benefit wore off mainly because of progressive loss of benefit on axial signs over time. ©2011 American Medical Association. All rights reserved.

The present paper aims to show, both from a stratigraphic and structural points of view, the main features of a wedge-top syntectonic basin which evolved recording polyphase and non-coaxial tectonics. The study area is the Scillato Basin (. SB), a roughly N-S-oriented structural depression located in the central-northern sector of the Sicililian Maghrebides. There, an approximately 1300. m-thick upper Serravallian to upper Tortonian succession of clastic units outcrops as a portion of the Neogene syntectonic covers of the Sicilian fold and thrust belt. Within the outcropping succession the upper Tortonian Terravecchia Fm represents the main topic of this paper. A multidisciplinary approach was carried out through an integration of sedimentology, facies, stratal pattern and structural analyses; this was applied to the formation enabling one to recognize in the Scillato Basin a fining to coarsening upward succession, deposited recording an early transgressive and a late regressive depositional stage. In our model these two main depositional stages developed and are directly relatable to a two-step structural evolution of the basin. During the first step, a NW-SE-oriented structural depression existed, enclosed between structural highs and accommodating the lower and middle portion of the upper Tortonian succession. Subsequently, during the second step, the NW-SE depression was non-coaxially deformed by superimposition of high-angle transpressive faults (many of which were SE-dipping), developed in response to the upward propagation of structures enucleated at deeper structural levels. This step was recorded in the basin by development of both depositional and structural interferences recognizable along the upper portion of the Scillato Basin succession. A comparison between field data and deep geophysical data interpreted at the preliminary stage, raises questions about the late Miocene geological evolution of this sector of the Sicilian chain, including: (i) the syn-tectonic deposition of the Terravecchia Fm. in the Scillato Basin clearly recorded the interference of two main and non-coaxial tectonic events; (ii) the younger of these two events has a clear tranpressional character and was active during the very late Tortonian; (iii) as also indicated by many authors in neighboring orogenic wedges, the main control on the location, geometry and depositional evolution of the Scillato wedge-top Basin was carried out by compressional and transpressional structures developed at a deeper structural level. Their deformation propagated upward both into the shallow structural level and sedimentary covers; therefore (iv) the late Miocene structural scenario here depicted is not consistent either with the back-arc-related extension or with the late orogenic gravitational collapse models previously invoked by other authors with regard to this sector of the Sicilian thrust belt. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.

Falistocco E.,University of Perugia
International Journal of Plant Sciences | Year: 2016

Premise of research. The fig, Ficus carica (2n=26), is a widely cultivated tree of the Mediterranean region. Because of the scarcity of cytogenetic studies, intraspecific polyploidy in the fig has been overlooked until some years ago, when a few 2n=3x=39 genotypes were identified. This finding stimulated further explorations to learn more about the real extent of cytotypic diversity in this species and verify the presence of higher ploidy levels. Methodology. A total of 84 wild fig plants sampled from two different geographic areas was examined for the determination of chromosome numbers and karyotype analyses. The fluorescence in situ hybridization technique using rDNA sequences as probes was applied for a further characterization of the populations and polyploid genotypes discovered. The analysis of the nucleotide composition of 5S rDNA repeats was included in this study to acquire information on the intraspecific variability of F. carica and its genome constitution. Pivotal results. Chromosome counts led to the discovery of additional triploid plants and a new variant with 2n=52, which is the first case of tetraploidy so far reported in F. carica. In contrast to the ploidy-level variations, the karyotype structure and the distribution pattern of rRNA genes (rDNA) were stable. The number of rDNA loci detected in polyploid plants appeared consistent with the number of their respective genomes. The limited heterogeneity of 5S rDNA repeats renders these sequences of little use in discriminating fig genotypes or populations; however, they could be advantageously used for establishing phylogenetic relationships within the genus and resolving taxonomic questions. Conclusions. The results of this study demonstrate that events of polyploidization in fig are quite a widespread phenomenon, which seems connected to the formation of a triploid cytotype. However, the presence of a tetraploid plant suggests a more complex situation that would be interesting to study further. Large-scale chromosome investigations would be very helpful in understanding the role of polyploidy in wild and cultivated fig populations. © 2016 by The University of Chicago. All rights reserved.

Mazzocchi M.,University of Perugia | Dessy L.A.,University of Rome La Sapienza | Corrias F.,University of Rome La Sapienza | Scuderi N.,University of Rome La Sapienza
Aesthetic Plastic Surgery | Year: 2012

Background: The use of mammary implants may lead to a variety of early and delayed complications. The most common delayed complications are capsular contracture and implant failure. Late seroma has seldom been reported. In a long-term prospective observational study, cases of late seroma were assessed and recorded. Methods: Between March 2005 and November 2009, suspected cases of late seroma in patients who had undergone breast augmentation or reconstruction with textured implants were evaluated clinically and with instrumental analyses. An ultrasound-guided needle aspiration of the fluid was performed. Results: In this study, 13 cases of late seroma (8 augmentations and 5 reconstructions) were observed. The overall incidence of this complication was 1.68%. Chemical analyses confirmed the diagnosis of seroma, which recurred in all the patients within days of evacuation. For 12 patients, a reoperation was performed, during which the implant was removed, a total capsulectomy was performed, and in cases of subglandular breast augmentation, the implant pocket was changed to a submuscular placement before a new prosthesis was inserted. One patient underwent a second ultrasound-guided needle aspiration. No seroma recurrence was observed in any of the patients during the follow-up period. Conclusion: In case of unexpected breast enlargement after prosthesis implantation, the physician should first rule out infection, then investigate possible friction irritation from either a fold in the device or rubbing of a textured implant. According to the authors' experience and another report, this complication occurs in 1% to 2% of cases. The inclusion of this complication in the informed consent form should be considered. Long-term studies designed to investigate the underlying causes of late seroma are warranted for the prevention and treatment of this complication. © 2011 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC and International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery.

Messineo A.,Kore University of Enna | Volpe R.,Kore University of Enna | Asdrubali F.,University of Perugia
Energies | Year: 2012

This work is aimed at calculating the energy content of the residues from olive oil production. Olive pulp, olive husk and sludge (a mixture of olive pulp and husk) have been analyzed separately. Olive Mill Effluents (OME) are normally a problem for olive mill farms, yet they may be used as feedstock for biomass-fuelled power plants. Nonetheless, OMEs are characterized by a relatively high humidity content and are produced only during the olive season. Thus, OME need a stabilization process to be employed as a solid biofuel throughout the year. The analyses conducted attempt an evaluation of the energy consumption of a three-stage stabilization process: drying, milling and pelletising. The net electrical energy available from OME is then calculated as a difference between gross energy available and energy consumed for stabilization. The gross available electrical energy was calculated based on direct energy conversion of the stabilized feedstock on a small scale direct combustion and Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC) turbine. Results show that OME are suitable for energy production. Approximately 4500 kJ/kg of net electrical energy may be obtained out of olive sludge or olive pulp, while olive husk shows a potential gross energy of 3400 kJ/kg. © 2012 by the authors.

Calderini M.,University of Trento | Faina G.,University of Perugia
IEEE Transactions on Information Theory | Year: 2012

Some new results on Generalized Algebraic Geometric (GAG) codes are obtained. First, we provide some constructions which significantly improve the general lower bounds on the minimum distance of a GAG code. GAG codes associated to specific maximal curves over finite fields are then investigated. As a result, 2895 improvements on MinT's tables are obtained. Finally, we construct asymptotically good GAG codes with better parameters with respect to those constructed by Spera in 2005. Maximal curves play a role in this context as well. © 2006 IEEE.

The World Health Organization (WHO) classification of lympho-hematopoietic neoplasms is increasingly based on genetic criteria. Here, we focus on changes that, as compared to the 2001 edition, were introduced into the 2008 WHO classification of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and related precursor neoplasms. The category of AML with recurrent genetic abnormalities was expanded to account for 60% of AML by adding three distinct entities, i.e., AML with t(6,9), inv(3), or t(1;22), and two provisional entities, i.e., AML with mutated NPM1 or CEBPA. These changes have greatly modified the approaches to diagnosis and prognostic stratification of AML patients. To emphasize the need of various parameters for diagnosis, including myelodysplasia (MD)-related cytogenetic abnormalities, history of myelodysplasia or myelodysplasia/myeloproliferative neoplasm, and multilineage dysplasia, the category of "AML with multilineage dysplasia" was re-named AML with MD-related changes. Finally, we describe the unique characteristics of myeloid proliferations associated with Down syndrome and blastic plasmacytoid dendritic cell neoplasm.

Paciaroni M.,University of Perugia | Bogousslavsky J.,A+ Network
European Neurology | Year: 2010

Prevention of stroke and transient ischemic attack includes both conventional approaches to vascular risk factor management (blood pressure lowering, cholesterol reduction with statins, smoking cessation and antiplatelet therapy) and more specific interventions, such as carotid revascularization or anticoagulation for atrial fibrillation. The objective of this review is to discuss effective interventions for optimal primary and secondary stroke prevention. Copyright © 2010 S. Karger AG, Basel.

Grau A.,University of Granada | Pancheri G.,National Institute of Nuclear Physics, Italy | Shekhovtsova O.,National Institute of Nuclear Physics, Italy | Srivastava Y.N.,University of Perugia
Physics Letters, Section B: Nuclear, Elementary Particle and High-Energy Physics | Year: 2010

To settle the question whether the growth with energy is universal for different hadronic total cross-sections, we present results from theoretical models for Πp, and (pp, pp̄) total cross-sections. We show that present and planned experiments at LHC can differentiate between different models, all of which are consistent with presently available (lower energy) data. This study is also relevant for the analysis of those very high energy cosmic ray data which require reliable Πp total cross-sections as seeds. A preliminary study of the total ΠΠ cross-sections is also made. © 2010 .

During the last few decades, the so-called "maximum dissipation principle" has raised a wide debate as a paradigm governing the development of ecological systems. In the present contribution, after having discussed the meaning of the term energy degradation within the framework provided by the entropy and the exergy balance, it is suggested to distinguish three different facets of the phenomenon of the energy degradation, respectively dealing with the overall, system and environmental degradation. In relation with ecological indication, the above classification shows that different types of indicators of energy degradation can be defined, thus emphasising that a clear reference to the specific facet considered should be made in order to avoid ambiguous statements. The behaviour of several thermodynamic indicators, which include previously derived indices and a new set of entropy-based indicators, is examined along the seasonal progression in a lake ecosystem, and the effectiveness of the considered indicators in characterising the development state is evaluated by comparing their responses with the main successional traits of the phytoplankton community. The results show that, although overall degradation and related indices may deserve consideration as indicators of the extent of the degradative (biotic and abiotic) processes acting within an ecosystem, their significance as indicators of development state appears to be limited. On the other hand, indicators related to environmental degradation appear to be more promising as indicators of the development state, provided that some methodological issues dealing with the effect of the abiotic noise are properly addressed. The net radiative entropy exchange shows a significant correlation with phytoplankton successional traits, thus suggesting that the entropy changes in the radiative portion of the entropy budget are the most informative in relation to the development state of aquatic communities. The methodology adopted also lends itself to be used for evaluating the energy quality associated with an energy flow, which is here measured by the energy-to-entropy ratio. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.

Tidei C.,University of Perugia
Synlett | Year: 2012

(A) PhSeZnCl has been found to react by an SN2 mechanism with sp3-carbon atoms containing good leaving groups. The best yields are obtained in a water suspension and with primary halides and tosylates while tertiary carbons do not afford the corresponding substitution products, suggesting a non-radical mechanism.1 (B) Vinylic halides are able to undergo a nucleophilic substitution with retention of geometry by treatment with PhSeZnCl in THF or in 'on water' conditions; the latter affords the best results. Only in the case of β-halo-α,β-unsaturated ketones a stereoconvergence to the Z-isomer has been observed and it has been attributed, on the basis of DFT calculations, to the coordination of the carbonyl group to zinc.4 (C) Aromatic substrates only react if they are activated by electronwithdrawing substituents. In the case of 2,4-dinitrobromobenzene the corresponding selenide was obtained in moderate yield (50%).1 Also in this case the reaction was effected by 'on water' conditions. (D) Concerning the substitution at sp2-carbon atoms, acylic substitution can be carried out at 90 °C using PhSeZnBr in the ionic liquid (BMIM)BF4 in order to obtain selenoesters.5 The use of ionic liquid represents an extensive application of this class of reagents in the development of new eco-friendly procedures. (E) Very recently, Santi et al.6 have proposed a greener method to synthesize selenoesters by the reaction of phenylselenyl zinc halides with acyl chlorides in 'on water' conditions; the products are obtained in moderate to good yield after crystallization from ethyl acetate-hexane and the aqueous medium can be reused. (F) PhSeZnCl has been employed in the ring opening of epoxides, achieving a quantitative yield in a water suspension for a number of alkyl and aryl epoxides. The regioselectivity depends on the electronic and steric properties of the substrate: alkyl epoxides are substituted on the less hindered carbon atom while the aryl ones are attacked on the benzylic position because in this case electronic effects are predominant.1 (G) β-Seleno amines can be obtained via ring-opening reactions of aziridines promoted by PhSeZnCl under neutral conditions and using (BMIM)BF4 as the solvent; the yields are moderate but can be improved by the use of PhSeZnBr.5 (H) PhSeZnCl promotes Michael-type addition reactions on α,β-unsatured ketones and conjugated alkynes affording β-seleno carbonyl compounds and vinyl selenides, respectively. In the first case, the reaction proceeds faster in THF while in the second, the 'on water' conditions are preferred. The reaction is stereoconvergent, providing the Z-isomer as the major product.7 © Georg Thieme Verlag Stuttgart • New York.

The Human Sensory System consists of seven distinct elements: the visual, olfactory, gustatory, auditory, superficial somatosensory, inner somatosensory along with vestibular, and thermosensory systems. Each of them is provided with a specialized sets of receptor cells and is able to perceive a stimulus of specific modality. The power to finely discriminate different stimuli of the same modality derives from the properties of the receptor cells which play like fuzzy sets. A stimulus belongs to the receptor fuzzy sets at different degrees. The information of stimuli is encoded in fuzzy information, i.e. in values of membership functions. Due to the structural constraints of sensory systems and the neural noise, human perception is fuzzy-granular and a process of Bayesian probabilistic inference. A link between the Bayes theory of perception and fuzzy sensory information is established in this work. The ideas presented herein will inspire the design of new Artificial Sensory Systems having the purpose of solving Pattern Recognition problems. © 2014 - IOS Press and the authors.

Menculini L.,University of Perugia | Panella O.,National Institute of Nuclear Physics, Italy | Roy P.,Indian Statistical Institute
Physical Review D - Particles, Fields, Gravitation and Cosmology | Year: 2015

We obtain exact solutions of the (2+1)-dimensional Dirac oscillator in a homogeneous magnetic field within a minimal-length (Δx0=β) or generalized uncertainty principle scenario. This system in ordinary quantum mechanics has a single left-right chiral quantum phase transition (QPT). We show that a nonzero minimal length turns on an infinite number of quantum phase transitions which accumulate towards the known QPT when β→0. It is also shown that the presence of the minimal length modifies the degeneracy of the states and that in this case there exists a new class of states which do not survive in the ordinary quantum mechanics limit β→0. © 2015 American Physical Society.

Traverso M.,TU Berlin | Asdrubali F.,University of Perugia | Francia A.,Solsonica S.p.a | Finkbeiner M.,TU Berlin
International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment | Year: 2012

Purpose: The main goal of the paper is to carry out the first implementation of sustainability assessment of the assembly step of photovoltaic (PV) modules production by Life Cycle Sustainability Assessment (LCSA) and the development of the Life Cycle Sustainability Dashboard (LCSD), in order to compare LCSA results of different PV modules. The applicability and practicability of the LCSD is reported thanks to a case study. The results show that LCSA can be considered a valuable tool to support decision-making processes that involve different stakeholders with different knowledge and background. Method: The sustainability performance of the production step of Italian and German polycrystalline silicon modules is assessed using the LCSD. The LCSD is an application oriented to the presentation of an LCSA study. LCSA comprises life cycle assessment (LCA), life cycle costing and social LCA (S-LCA). The primary data collected for the German module are related to two different years, and this led to the evaluation of three different scenarios: a German 2008 module, a German 2009 module, and an Italian 2008 module. Results and discussion: According to the LCA results based on Ecoindicator 99, the German module for example has lower values of land use [1.77 potential disappeared fractions (PDF) m2/year] and acidification (3.61 PDF m 2/year) than the Italian one (land use 1.99 PDF m2/year, acidification 3.83 PDF m2/year). However, the German module has higher global warming potential [4.5E-05 disability-adjusted life years (DALY)] than the Italian one [3.00E-05 DALY]. The economic costs of the German module are lower than the Italian one, e.g. the cost of electricity per FU for the German module is 0.12 €/m2 compared to the Italian 0.85 €/m2. The S-LCA results show significant differences between German module 2008 and 2009 that represent respectively the best and the worst overall social performances of the three considered scenarios compared by LCSD. The aggregate LCSD results show that the German module 2008 has the best overall sustainability performance and a score of 665 points out of 1,000 (and a colour scale of light green). The Italian module 2008 has the worst overall sustainability performance with a score of 404 points, while the German module 2009 is in the middle with 524 points. Conclusions: The LCSA and LCSD methodologies represent an applicable framework as a tool for supporting decision-making processes which consider sustainable production and consumption. However, there are still challenges for a meaningful application, particularly the questions of the selection of social LCA indicators and how to weigh sets for the LCSD. © 2012 Springer-Verlag.

Mele M.L.,University of Rome La Sapienza | Federici S.,University of Perugia
Cognitive Processing | Year: 2012

Eye-tracking technology is a growing field used to detect eye movements and analyze human processing of visual information for interactive and diagnostic applications. Different domains in scientific research such as neuroscience, experimental psychology, computer science and human factors can benefit from eye-tracking methods and techniques to unobtrusively investigate the quantitative evidence underlying visual processes. In order to meet the experimental requirements concerning the variety of application fields, different gaze- and eye-tracking solutions using high-speed cameras are being developed (e.g., eye-tracking glasses, head-mounted or desk-mounted systems), which are also compatible with other analysis devices such as magnetic resonance imaging. This work presents an overview of the main application fields of eye-tracking methodology in psychological research. In particular, two innovative solutions will be shown: (1) the SMI RED-M eye-tracker, a high performance portable remote eye-tracker suitable for different settings, that requires maximum mobility and flexibility; (2) a wearable mobile gaze-tracking device - the SMI eye-tracking glasses - which is suitable for real-world and virtual environment research. For each kind of technology, the functions and different possibilities of application in experimental psychology will be described by focusing on some examples of experimental tasks (i.e., visual search, reading, natural tasks, scene viewing and other information processing) and theoretical approaches (e.g., embodied cognition). © 2012 Marta Olivetti Belardinelli and Springer-Verlag.

Pierri F.,University of Perugia
Lecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics) | Year: 2011

The competition between different schools in the same area and the required quality standards necessary to be rated in a satisfactory way by the National Ministry of Education, imposes to schools the activation of self assessment instruments to monitor the activities and the degree of customer satisfaction. In particular it is crucial to measure the customer satisfaction related to the "Piano dell'Offerta Formativa" (P.O.F.), a document describing pedagogical, organizational and managerial choices of the school, the educational aims, the general objectives related to teaching activities and the resources provided to achieve them. To this purpose, were designed and implemented a set of questionnaires to be filled by students, teachers, personal staff and a parents' pool selected via a stratified random sampling process, to improve their response rate. The present paper proposes the applied approach to a broad audience, since a good data quality was achieved with this survey, and weak and strong points of the school were highlighted. Descriptive statistics, as frequencies and means, were used to summarize questionnaire responses. A logistic regression analysis has been performed to model the relationship between a binary outcome as students' attendance/not attendance to a specific school activity and some explanatory variables concerning school welcoming, relations, learning, teaching and involvement recognition. © 2011 Springer-Verlag.

Vizzari M.,University of Perugia
Lecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics) | Year: 2011

Urbanization can be considered as a particular environmental gradient that produces modifications in the structures and functions of ecological systems. In landscape analysis and planning there is a clear need to develop specific and comparable indicators permitting the spatio-temporal quantification of this gradient and the study of its relationships with the composition and configuration of other land uses. This study, integrating urban gradient modelling and landscape pattern analysis, aims to investigate the spatiotemporal changes induced by urbanization and by other anthropogenic factors. Unlike previous studies, based on the transect approach, landscape metrics are calculated diachronically within five contiguous zones defined along the urban to rural gradient and characterized by decreasing intervals of settlement density. The results show that, within the study area, urban sprawl and agricultural land simplification remain the dominant forces responsible for the landscape modifications that have occurred during the period under investigation. © 2011 Springer-Verlag.

Destrade M.,National University of Ireland | Destrade M.,University College Dublin | Donald B.M.,Dublin City University | Murphy J.G.,National University of Ireland | And 2 more authors.
Computational Mechanics | Year: 2013

The modelling of off-axis simple tension experiments on transversely isotropic nonlinearly elastic materials is considered. A testing protocol is proposed where normal force is applied to one edge of a rectangular specimen with the opposite edge allowed to move laterally but constrained so that no vertical displacement is allowed. Numerical simulations suggest that this deformation is likely to remain substantially homogeneous throughout the specimen for moderate deformations. It is therefore further proposed that such tests can be modelled adequately as a homogenous deformation consisting of a triaxial stretch accompanied by a simple shear. Thus the proposed test should be a viable alternative to the standard biaxial tests currently used as material characterisation tests for transversely isotropic materials in general and, in particular, for soft, biological tissue. A consequence of the analysis is a kinematical universal relation for off-axis testing that results when the strain-energy function is assumed to be a function of only one isotropic and one anisotropic invariant, as is typically the case. The universal relation provides a simple test of this assumption, which is usually made for mathematical convenience. Numerical simulations also suggest that this universal relation is unlikely to agree with experimental data and therefore that at least three invariants are necessary to fully capture the mechanical response of transversely isotropic materials. © 2013 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.

Han Y.,Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University | Taylor J.E.,Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University | Pisello A.L.,University of Perugia
Energy and Buildings | Year: 2015

More than one-third of energy expenditure is attributable to buildings. Urbanization is leading to tighter spatial interrelationships among buildings, which is escalating building energy consumption due to the impact of buildings on one another. This, in turn, is exacerbating Urban Heat Island (UHI) effects. We sought a bio-inspired solution to this significant engineering issue and discovered a similar heat island effect in flowers, namely the "micro-greenhouse effect." However, a special cooling effect has been observed in a temperate flower - Galanthus nivalis - which generates cooler intrafloral temperatures. In this paper, we studied the special retro-reflecting property of the flower petals, which has been suggested as a possible contributor to this cooling effect, and modeled a bio-inspired retro-reflective building envelope. We conducted cross-regional energy simulation of building networks in order to examine its thermal-energy impact. We found that building surface temperatures dropped considerably when neighboring buildings were retrofitted with a bio-inspired retro-reflective façade. We concluded that a bio-inspired retro-reflective building envelope can; (1) lessen the reflected heat of solar radiation in spatially proximal buildings leading to reduced UHI, and (2) reduce the energy required for cooling. These findings have broad implications for building design, urban planning, development of retro-reflective technology, and environmental conservation. © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Cantarella F.,University of Perugia
Il Giornale di chirurgia | Year: 2012

Extrapleural Solitary Fibrous Tumors (SFT), in particular small bowel mesentery SFTs, are extremely rare neoplasms. We describe the case of a young male hospitalized for unspecific abdominal symptoms and evidence of a well-circumscribed mass arising from the small bowel mesentery. Histopathological and immunohistochemical analysis on the surgical specimen confirmed the diagnosis of SFT. A Pubmed search revealed only another case of small bowel mesentery SFT, confirming the extremely rarity of this tumor.

Amici S.,University of Perugia
Frontiers of Neurology and Neuroscience | Year: 2012

The anatomy and supply of thalamic arteries are briefly described here. Thalamic infarcts and small-size hemorrhages are classified according to their sites: (1) posterolateral, (2) anterolateral, (3) medial, and (4) dorsal. (1) Posterolateral hemorrhages or lateral thalamic infarcts are usually characterized by severe motor impairment and sensory loss. Transient reduced consciousness, vertical-gaze abnormalities, and small fixed pupils may be evidenced. (2) Patients with anterolateral hemorrhages or tuberothalamic artery infarcts present frontal-type neuropsychological symptoms associated with mild hemiparesis and hemihypesthesia. (3) Medially located hemorrhages or paramedian artery infarcts have decreased levels of consciousness, vertical- and horizontal-gaze abnormalities, amnesia, and abulia. (4) Dorsal hemorrhages or posterior choroidal artery infarcts present with minimal transient hemiparesis and hemihypesthesia; apraxia, aphasia, and amnesia have also been described. Copyright © 2012 S. Karger AG, Basel.

Masanotti G.,University of Perugia
Igiene e sanità pubblica | Year: 2014

Non-communicable diseases are a leading cause of morbidity worldwide and are predicted to increase in the next years. In 2008, 36.1 million people died from conditions such as heart disease, strokes, chronic lung diseases, cancers and diabetes (1). According to the WHO, 63% of the deaths, 77% of the loss of Healthy Life Years and 75% of health expenses in Europe are caused by cardiovascular diseases, cancer, chronic respiratory illnesses and mental health problems. All of these diseases have in common is the presence of modifiable risk factors (such as tobacco smoke, low consumption of fruit and vegetables, excessive intake of fats). Acting on these factors would lead to a reduction in the incidence of the aforementioned diseases. According to several studies conducted in the USA, Canada and Europe, the workplace seems an ideal place for implementing successful preventive strategies for the improvement of lifestyles. In 2006, the European Network for Workplace Health Promotion launched the Move Europe campaign to promote a healthy lifestyle at work, with the financial support of the European Commission. This campaign set new quality standards in behaviour-related workplace health promotion (WHP) and identified and documented good practices. Another aim of the campaign was to promote the benefits of implementing WHP, particularly focusing on four fields of life-style related WHP: physical activity, smoking prevention, nutrition and mental health. In two years, 65,215 contacts have been recorded in dedicated websites, of which 9,761 in Italy. A total of 2,548 enterprises in Europe asked to be certified and 125 events (such as seminars, workshops, conferences)were held.

De Angelis F.,University of Perugia
Chemical Physics Letters | Year: 2010

We report a DFT/TDDFT computational investigation on dye-sensitized solar cells sensitized by two prototype perylene dyes. These widely investigated systems represent valuable models of dyes in which the different dye anchoring group gives rise to distinctively different time-resolved spectroscopic properties. By performing extensive TDDFT calculations on the dyes adsorbed onto a TiO2 nanoparticle model, we provide clear insight into the different excited state pattern exhibited by the two dyes, which therefore involve a different electron injection mechanism. The implications of such observation for dye-sensitized solar cells performance are also discussed. © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Thrombolytic therapy is the cornerstone of treatment of acute atherothrombotic ischemic stroke but is associated with brain hemorrhage; antiplatelet therapy has limited efficacy and is still associated with intracranial bleeding. Therefore, new antithrombotic approaches with a better efficacy/safety ratio are required. We have assessed the effect of ALX-0081, a Nanobody against the A1 domain of von Willebrand factor (VWF) that blocks VWF binding to GPIb, of the thrombolytic agent recombinant tissue plasminogen activator (rtPA), and of the GPIIb/IIIa antagonist tirofiban, in a middle cerebral artery (MCA) thrombosis model in guinea pigs. Drugs were administered before, immediately after, or 15 or 60 minutes after the total occlusion of the MCA. ALX-0081 prevented MCA thrombosis and induced reperfusion when given immediately after and 15 minutes after complete occlusion and reduced brain damage without inducing hemorrhage, whereas tirofiban prevented thrombosis but did not induce reperfusion and induced striking brain hemorrhage. rtPA also induced reperfusion when given 60 minutes after occlusion but provoked brain hemorrhage. Skin bleeding time was not modified or was moderately prolonged by ALX-0081, whereas tirofiban and rtPA prolonged it. The inhibition of the GPIb-VWF axis in guinea pigs prevents cerebral artery thrombosis and induces early reperfusion without provoking intracerebral bleeding thus reducing brain infarct area.

Brandimarte L.,University of Perugia
Blood | Year: 2013

The MLLT10 gene, located at 10p13, is a known partner of MLL and PICALM in specific leukemic fusions generated from recurrent 11q23 and 11q14 chromosome translocations. Deep sequencing recently identified NAP1L1/12q21 as another MLLT10 partner in T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL). In pediatric T-ALL, we have identified 2 RNA processing genes, that is, HNRNPH1/5q35 and DDX3X/Xp11.3 as new MLLT10 fusion partners. Gene expression profile signatures of the HNRNPH1- and DDX3X-MLLT10 fusions placed them in the HOXA subgroup. Remarkably, they were highly similar only to PICALM-MLLT10-positive cases. The present study showed MLLT10 promiscuity in pediatric T-ALL and identified a specific MLLT10 signature within the HOXA subgroup.

Pizza G.,University of Perugia
Anthropology and Medicine | Year: 2012

The aim of this paper is to convey the relevance of a Gramscian perspective in medical anthropology, stressing his anti-essentialist way of reasoning about nature. The author claims that Gramsci's understandings of the bodily life of the state can deconstruct naturalized realities in ways that are helpful for the ethnographer engaged in the political anthropology of embodiment and the management of health, persons, and life itself. The paper is presented in three parts. An attempt is made, first, to frame the relevance of Gramsci for Italian medical anthropology and second, to explore the components of the Gramscian concept of second nature within the perspective that he himself calls an anthropology. Third, an example is given of how the proposed Gramscian insights could inform an ethnography on the biopolitical aspects for the early detection of Alzheimer's disease, which is currently being carried out in Perugia. © 2012 Taylor & Francis.

Seppilli T.,University of Perugia
Anthropology and Medicine | Year: 2012

This paper describes the birth (or rebirth) of Italian medical anthropology around the middle of the 1950s, and its subsequent complex development up to the present. During this fairly long process, the author played a role that was probably of some importance, that of both a direct witness and active participant. Here these developments are briefly reviewed, in an attempt to single out some of the stimuli and the most significant occasions that have happened, their theoretical and methodological reference points, the main lines of research that have been tackled along the way, as well as the social demand and the social use that have integrated and oriented the practice of the new discipline within the horizon of some of the more general problems of Italian society. In outlining here the profile of and the various events in Italian medical anthropology, this paper takes into account the fact that, although a medical anthropology with that name and the disciplinary set-up that are now internationally attributed to it began in Italy only in the mid-1950s, important lines of research to which we would today attach that name had been undertaken long ago. © 2012 Taylor & Francis.

Bassotti G.,University of Perugia | Villanacci V.,Second Pathology Section
Digestive Diseases | Year: 2012

Although diverticular disease of the colon (diverticulosis) is a frequent finding in Western countries, its pathophysiologic grounds are still only partially understood. Traditionally considered as an age-related condition, colonic diverticulosis is probably the final result of several factors concurring together to determine the anatomo-functional abnormalities eventually causing outpouching of the viscus' mucosa. Among these factors, a relevant role seems to be played by an abnormal neuromuscular function of the large bowel, as shown by abnormal myoelectrical and motor function repeatedly described in these patients, as well as by altered visceral perception. These anomalies might be related to the recent demonstration of derangement of enteric innervation (especially involving interstitial cells of Cajal and enteric glial cells), mucosal neuropeptides, and mucosal inflammation. The latter may have a role of paramount importance in the development of visceral hypersensitivity, responsible for abdominal pain in a subset of patients. Copyright © 2012 S. Karger AG, Basel.

Reisner Y.,Weizmann Institute of Science | Aversa F.,University of Perugia | Martelli M.F.,University of Parma
Bone Marrow Transplantation | Year: 2015

For patients with hematologic malignancies at high risk of relapse who do not have matched donors, a suitable alternative stem cell source is the HLA-haploidentical 2-or 3-loci mismatched family donor who is readily available for nearly all patients. Transplantation across the major HLA barrier is associated with strong T-cell alloreactions, which were originally manifested as a high incidence of severe GVHD and graft rejection. The present overview of the 7th symposium on haplidentical transplantation that took place at the Weizmann Institute on February 2014, shows how these obstacles to successful transplantation can now be overcome. The review also discusses the advantages and drawbacks of current options for full haplotype-mismatched transplantation and highlights innovative approaches for rebuilding immunity, reducing leukemia relapse and improving survival after transplantation. In addition, new modalities for immune tolerance induction following nonmyeloablative conditioning are discussed, showing new options for treatment of elderly patients who cannot tolerate myeloablative conditioning protocols, as well as novel strategies for immune tolerance and chimerism induction as a platform for cell therapy and organ transplantation. © 2015 Macmillan Publishers Limited All rights reserved.

Nucci M.C.,University of Perugia | Tamizhmani K.M.,Pondicherry University
Journal of Nonlinear Mathematical Physics | Year: 2012

We show that a method presented in [S. L. Trubatch and A. Franco, Canonical Procedures for Population Dynamics, J. Theor. Biol. 48 (1974) 299324] and later in [G. H. Paine, The development of Lagrangians for biological models, Bull. Math. Biol. 44 (1982) 749760] for finding Lagrangians of classic models in biology, is actually based on finding the Jacobi Last Multiplier of such models. Using known properties of Jacobi Last Multiplier we show how to obtain linear Lagrangians of systems of two first-order ordinary differential equations and nonlinear Lagrangian of the corresponding single second-order equation that can be derived from them, even in the case where those authors failed such as the host-parasite model. Also we show that the Lagrangians of certain second-order ordinary differential equations derived by Volterra in [V. Volterra, Calculus of variations and the logistic curve, Hum. Biol. 11 (1939) 173178] are particular cases of the Lagrangians that can be obtained by means of the Jacobi Last Multiplier. Actually we provide more than one Lagrangian for those Volterra's equations. © M. C. Nucci and K. M. Tamizhmani.

Agnelli G.,University of Perugia | Cohen A.,Kings College | Curto M.,Pfizer | Gallus A.S.,Flinders University