Rome, Italy

The University of Rome II also known as University of Rome Tor Vergata is a public research university located in Rome, Italy. Its current president is Giuseppe Novelli, a professor in the Faculty of Medicine and Surgery.It was established in 1981 with the goal of providing high quality education for students preparing to meet the ever-evolving needs and opportunities of the 21st century workforce. Despite its young age, Tor Vergata has already reached high quality standards in Italy and Europe. Located in the South-Eastern suburb of Rome, the university combines a liberal arts tradition with emphasis on career orientation in the field of Economics, Engineering, science and Medicine.Many Professors of the University are important members of the italian cultural and political environment. Wikipedia.

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Fronzetti Colladon A.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Remondi E.,University of Rome Tor Vergata
Expert Systems with Applications | Year: 2017

This research explores the opportunities for the application of network analytic techniques to prevent money laundering. We worked on real world data by analyzing the central database of a factoring company, mainly operating in Italy, over a period of 19 months. This database contained the financial operations linked to the factoring business, together with other useful information about the company clients. We propose a new approach to sort and map relational data and present predictive models – based on network metrics – to assess risk profiles of clients involved in the factoring business. We find that risk profiles can be predicted by using social network metrics. In our dataset, the most dangerous social actors deal with bigger or more frequent financial operations; they are more peripheral in the transactions network; they mediate transactions across different economic sectors and operate in riskier countries or Italian regions. Finally, to spot potential clusters of criminals, we propose a visual analysis of the tacit links existing among different companies who share the same owner or representative. Our findings show the importance of using a network-based approach when looking for suspicious financial operations and potential criminals. © 2016 Elsevier Ltd

Floris B.,University of Rome Tor Vergata
Applied Adhesion Science | Year: 2015

Ferrocene and derivatives find numerous applications in agriculture, both as agrochemicals and as catalysts, for selective synthesis of agrochemicals. Moreover, they can be used as surfactants in soil remediation and as selective colorimetric and electrochemical chemosensors for analytes of interest in agriculture. © 2015, Floris.

Health professionals are subject to a high risk of burnout syndrome due to specific stressful factors connected with their professional activity. This condition, which influences their quality of life, is characterized by physical and mental fatigue, a detached and apathetic attitude in social relations and feelings of frustration. The purpose of this study was to analyze, among a sample of 40 health professionals in a hospital in southern Italy, the relation between subjective feelings of satisfaction deriving from their professional activities and risk factors associated with burnout (age, sex, marital status, professional category, length of service in the health sector) . Participants were administered a questionnaire and tested by using the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI) X1 and X2, and the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI) scales. Mean age of participating subjects was 41 years (range 27-59), 52% were male, and 65% were married. Nurses, midwives, social workers and technicians reported a greater degree of anxiety with respect to physicians and psychologists. Younger professionals (ages 30-38), males, unmarried subjects, and those with less years of work experience were found to be at greatest risk for burnout. Results are in agreement with those reported in the literature.

Giordani P.,University of Rome La Sapienza | Rocci R.,University of Rome Tor Vergata
Chemometrics and Intelligent Laboratory Systems | Year: 2017

The Candecomp/Parafac model is a widely-used tool for synthetizing three-way arrays through a limited number of components. Unfortunately, its applicability may be prevented by the risk of obtaining degenerate solutions, characterized by diverging, highly collinear and uninterpretable components. A recognized remedy is to impose (soft) orthogonality constraints to the components. In this context, a new strategy for solving the degeneracy problem where the orthogonality constraints are suitably relaxed depending on the data is proposed. This allows for a comparative assessment of some existing remedies against degeneracy from both the theoretical and practical point of views. © 2017 Elsevier B.V.

Silano M.,Instituto Superiore Of Sanita | Silano V.,University of Rome Tor Vergata
Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition | Year: 2017

A priority of the European Union is the control of risks possibly associated with chemical contaminants in food and undesirable substances in feed. Following an initial chapter describing the main contaminants detected in food and undesirable substances in feed in the EU, their main sources and the factors which affect their occurrence, the present review focuses on the “continous call for data” procedure that is a very effective system in place at EFSA to make possible the exposure assessment of specific contaminants and undesirable substances. Risk assessment of contaminants in food atances in feed is carried currently in the European Union by the CONTAM Panel of EFSA according to well defined methodologies and in collaboration with competent international organizations and with Member States. © 2017 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.

Macci C.,University of Rome Tor Vergata
Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing | Year: 2017

Stochastic models governed by alternating dynamics arise in various applications. In several cases these models can be described by sums of independent random variables with alternating laws. The aim of this paper is to study the asymptotic behavior of these sums in the fashion of large deviations. © Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2017.

Pompeo E.,University of Rome Tor Vergata
Annals of Translational Medicine | Year: 2014

Non-intubated thoracic surgery (NITS) entails procedures performed through regional anesthesia methods in awake or mildly sedated, spontaneously ventilating patients. The rationale is the avoidance of side-effects of intubated general anesthesia and maintenance of more physiologic muscular, neurologic, and cardiopulmonary status in order to reduce the procedure-related traumas, fasten recovery and optimize outcomes. Preliminary reports including some randomized studies have suggested optimal feasibility of several surgical procedures including management of pleural effusion, of spontaneous pneumothorax, wedge resection of undetermined pulmonary nodules, lung volume reduction surgery (LVRS) for severe emphysema and anatomical lung resection for lung cancer treatment. So far more widely accepted indications for NITS include easy-to-perform procedures as well as surgical management of patients with significant risks for intubated general anesthesia. On the other hand, the adoption of NITS for major procedures such as anatomic lung resections and LVRS is still controversial. Further detailed investigation including further randomized trials is expected to help define indications, advantages and limitations of NITS, which might represent excellent ultra-minimally invasive strategies of treatment to be reliably offered in the near future to an increasing number of patients. © Annals of Translational Medicine. All rights reserved.

Iacovelli V.,University of Rome Tor Vergata
Urologia | Year: 2014

Nosocomial urinary tract infections are a common complication in healthcare systems worldwide. A review of the literature was performed in June 2014 using the Medical Literature Analysis and Retrieval System Online (MEDLINE) database, through either PubMed or Ovid as a search engine, to identify publications regarding nosocomial urinary tract infections (NUTIs) definition, epidemiology, etiology and treatment.According to current definitions, more than 30% of nosocomial infections are urinary tract infections (UTIs). A UTI is defined 'nosocomial' (NUTI) when it is acquired in any healthcare institution or, more generally, when it is related to patient management. The origin of nosocomial bacteria is endogenous (the patient's flora) in two thirds of the cases. Patients with indwelling urinary catheters, those undergoing urological surgery and manipulations, long-stay elderly male patients and patients with debilitating diseases are at high risk of developing NUTIs. All bacterial NUTIs should be treated, whether the patient is harboring a urinary catheter or not. The length of treatment depends on the infection site. There is abundance of important guidance which should be considered to reduce the risk of NUTIs (hand disinfection with instant hand sanitizer, wearing non-sterile gloves permanently, isolation of infected or colonized catheterized patients). Patients with asymptomatic bacteriuria can generally be treated initially with catheter removal or catheter exchange, and do not necessarily need antimicrobial therapy. Symptomatic patients should receive antibiotic therapy. Resistance of urinary pathogens to common antibiotics is currently a topic of concern.

Cinti S.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Basso M.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Moscone D.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Arduini F.,University of Rome Tor Vergata
Analytica Chimica Acta | Year: 2017

Herein, we report the first example of a paper-based screen-printed biosensor for the detection of ethanol in beer samples. Common office paper was adopted to fabricate the analytical device. The properties of this paper-based screen-printed electrode (SPE) were investigated by cyclic voltammetry, electrochemical impedance spectroscopy, and scanning electron microscopy, and they were compared with the well-established polyester-based SPEs as well. Paper demonstrated similar properties when compared with polyester, highlighting suitability towards its utilization in sensor development, with the advantages of low cost and simple disposal by incineration. A nanocomposite formed by Carbon Black (CB) and Prussian Blue nanoparticles (PBNPs), namely CB/PBNPs, was utilized as an electrocatalyst to detect the hydrogen peroxide generated by the enzymatic reaction between alcohol oxidase (AOx) and ethanol. After optimizing the analytical parameters, such as pH, enzyme, concentration, and working potential, the developed biosensor allowed a facile quantification of ethanol up to 10 mM (0.058 %vol), with a sensitivity of 9.13 μA/mM cm2 (1574 μA/%vol cm2) and a detection limit equal to 0.52 mM (0.003%vol). These satisfactory performances rendered the realized paper-based biosensor reliable over the analysis of ethanol contained in four different types of beers, including Pilsner, Weiss, Lager, and alcohol-free. The proposed manufacturing approach offers an affordable and sustainable tool for food quality control and for the realization of different electrochemical sensors and biosensors as well. © 2017 Elsevier B.V.

Gisario A.,University of Rome La Sapienza | Mehrpouya M.,University of Rome La Sapienza | Venettacci S.,University of Rome La Sapienza | Barletta M.,University of Rome Tor Vergata
Optics and Lasers in Engineering | Year: 2017

External force laser-assisted bending of Titanium Grade-2 flat sheets to achieve sharp bending angles (>140°) with small fillet radii is herein investigated. In particular, the influence of the operational parameters, laser power, scan speed, number of passes, on bending angles and fillet radii of the metal substrates is analysed. The experimental results show that shaping of the substrates can be performed with great reliability, being springback largely minimised in broad operational ranges. Exploratory Data Analysis (EDA) allows the design of first approximation technological models and, in turn, the development of 3d processing maps. Based on the experimental findings, numerical modelling of the bending process by the Finite Element Method (FEM) through ABAQUS/Explicit software is also developed. The numerical model is found to match with great accuracy the experimental results, being it also extremely flexible and responsive to the change of the operational parameters. © 2016 Elsevier Ltd

Pompeo E.,University of Rome Tor Vergata
Annals of Translational Medicine | Year: 2015

In Italy there exists quite a long and rich history in minimally invasive thoracic surgery. Pioneer Italian surgeons have been amongst those who first adopted video-assisted thoracic surgery (VATS) to perform procedures such as lobectomy and esophagectomy, respectively and quite many others have provided important contributions related to minimally invasive thoracic surgery and have proposed innovative ideas and creative technical refinements. According to a web search on recent studies published in Italy on minimally invasive thoracic surgery along the last 3 years, uniportal, nonintubated, and robotic VATS as well as VATS lobectomy have been found to represent the most frequently investigated issues. An ongoing active investigation in each of these sub-topics is contributing to a better definition of indications advantages and disadvantages of the various surgical strategies. In addition it is likely that combination strategies including adoption of uniportal and nonintubated approaches will lead to define novel ultra-minimally invasive treatment options. © Annals of Translational Medicine.

Giovannella C.,University of Rome Tor Vergata
Interaction Design and Architecture(s) | Year: 2016

In this paper we describe: a) the participatory evaluation and grading (PG/E) method - principles and algorithm - that has been implemented within the on-line learning environment LIFE in two, untrusted (UPG/E) and trusted (TPG/E), versions; b) the outcomes of its use as part of the activities carried on to retrain K12 and high school teachers. The analysis of the outcomes of this case study - preliminary to the transfer of the method into the schools - evidenced a high level of appreciation and acceptance, as well as some indications for further improvements.

CARBONE M.,University of Rome Tor Vergata
Surface Review and Letters | Year: 2017

The adsorption of small organic molecules on silicon surfaces has been long a subject of investigations, as it provides the fundamental basis of silicon-based technologies in many fields. Several approaches were used, both theoretical and experimental, on many types of adsorbate-substrate systems aiming at determining preferential sites and geometries of adsorption, stable configurations, transition barriers, adsorption mechanisms, electronic structures among others. The research efforts, though, did not always bring to conclusive arguments and on some systems investigations are still going on following the evolution of the experimental techniques and computational methods. In this review, two case studies are reported: benzene and methanol on Si(100)2(Formula presented.)1, i.e. examples of a molecular and a dissociative adsorption. The adsorption of benzene on Si(100)2(Formula presented.)1 is still an open case, as it may adsorb in di-(Formula presented.) or tetra-(Formula presented.) bonded configurations, but contrasting evidences have been reported so far, on which of the two is the most stable one and the debate is still open. The adsorption of methanol is less controversial and it is widely accepted it is dissociative with breakage of the O–H at low coverages. But also in this case, investigations are going on to elucidate the adsorption mechanism. © 2018 World Scientific Publishing Company

Vanadia M.,University of Rome Tor Vergata
IEEE Transactions on Nuclear Science | Year: 2017

Micromegas (MICRO MEsh GAseous Structure) chambers are Micro-Pattern Gaseous Detectors designed to provide a high spatial resolution in highly irradiated environments. In 2007 an ambitious long-term RD activity was started in the context of the ATLAS experiment, at CERN: the Muon ATLAS Micromegas Activity (MAMMA). After years of tests on prototypes and technology breakthroughs, Micromegas chambers were chosen as tracking detectors for an upgrade of the ATLAS Muon Spectrometer. These novel detectors will be installed in 2018 and 2019 during the second long shutdown of the Large Hadron Collider, and will serve as precision detectors in the innermost part of the ATLAS Muon Spectrometer. Eight layers of Micromegas modules of unprecedented size, up to 3m2, will cover a surface of 150m2 for a total active area of about 1200 m2. This upgrade will be crucial to ensure high quality performance for the ATLAS Muon Spectrometer in view of the third run of the Large Hadron Collider and of the High-Luminosity LHC, as the luminosity of the collider will significantly exceed the one the machine was originally designed for. To meet the demanding performance requirements of the ATLAS Muon Spectrometer, Micromegas chambers are required to achieve a single plane resolution of 100μm with an efficiency better than 95% for tracks up to an inclination of 32° and in a magnetic field up to 0.3 T. A thorough test program on Micromegas prototypes has been performed during the past years and is still ongoing, with the goal of driving the design of the ATLAS Micromegas chambers and of fully characterising and certifying their performance. These tests produced excellent results, proving that the prototypes fully meet the performance requirements. The methodology and the results of this activity will be reviewed in this paper. © 1963-2012 IEEE.

Nozzoli F.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Nozzoli F.,Science Data Center
Astroparticle Physics | Year: 2017

Massive particles with self interactions of the order of 0.2 barn/GeV are intriguing Dark Matter candidates from an astrophysical point of view. Current and past experiments for direct detection of massive Dark Matter particles are focusing to relatively low cross sections with ordinary matter, however they cannot rule out very large cross sections, σ/M > 0.01 barn/GeV, due to atmosphere and material shielding. Cosmology places a strong indirect limit for the presence of large interactions among Dark Matter and baryons in the Universe, however such a limit cannot rule out the existence of a small sub-dominant component of Dark Matter with non negligible interactions with ordinary matter in our galactic halo. Here, the possibility of the existence of bound states with ordinary matter, for a similar Dark Matter candidate with not negligible interactions, is considered. The existence of bound states, with binding energy larger than ∼ 1 meV, would offer the possibility to test in laboratory capture cross sections of the order of a barn (or larger). The signature of the detection for a mass increasing of cryogenic samples, due to the possible particle accumulation, would allow the investigation of these Dark Matter candidates with mass up to the GUT scale. A proof of concept for a possible detection set-up and the evaluation of some noise sources are described. © 2017 Elsevier B.V.

Di Stefano S.,University of Rome La Sapienza | Ercolani G.,University of Rome Tor Vergata
Journal of Physical Chemistry B | Year: 2017

An extension of the Jacobson-Stockmayer theory is presented to include the reversible formation of [2]catenanes in a ring-chain system under thermodynamic control. The extended theory is based on the molar catenation constant, measuring the ease of catenation of two ring oligomers, whose expression was obtained in a previous work. Two scenarios have been considered: that of "thick" (hydrocarbon-like) chains and that of "thin" (DNA-like) chains. In the case of "thick" chains, the formation of catenanes can be neglected, unless in the unlikely case of a very large value of the equilibrium constant for linear propagation (K ≈ 108 mol-1 L, or larger). For K tending to infinity, the system becomes a chain-free system where only ring-catenane equilibria occur. Under this condition, there is a critical concentration below which only rings are present at equilibrium and above which the ring fraction remains constant, and the excess monomer is converted only into catenanes. In the case of "thin" chains, the formation of catenanes cannot be neglected even for values of K as low as 102 mol-1 L, thus justifying the use of the extended theory. (Figure Presented). © 2017 American Chemical Society.

Nicoli F.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Lazzeri D.,Plastic Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery
Journal of Endocrinological Investigation | Year: 2017

Jusepe or Jòse de Ribera (1591–1652), known as Lo Spagnoletto (“the Little Spaniard”), has been a leading painter of the Spanish Baroque movement. In one of the portraits, de Ribera represented a scene in which the Magdalene shows a swelling at the base of the neck suggestive of a thyroid nodule. © 2016, Italian Society of Endocrinology (SIE).

Frisoni G.B.,IRCCS Fatebenefratelli | Frisoni G.B.,University of Geneva | Perani D.,Vita-Salute San Raffaele University | Bastianello S.,University of Pavia | And 8 more authors.
Neurobiology of Aging | Year: 2017

Biomarkers of brain amyloidosis and neurodegeneration/synaptic dysfunction are featured in recent diagnostic criteria for Alzheimer's disease. Several gaps in our knowledge, however, need to be filled before they can be adopted clinically. The aim of this article is to describe a roadmap, developed by a multidisciplinary task force, to rationally implement biomarkers for Italian Memory Clinics. This roadmap is based on a framework comprising 5 sequential phases: identification of leads for potentially useful biomarkers; development of clinical assays for clinical disease; evaluation of detection of early stages; definition of operating characteristics in relevant populations; and estimation of reducing disease-associated mortality, morbidity, and disability. The roadmap was devised by identifying current evidence of validity, still missing evidence, and action needed to collect this missing evidence. With appropriate adaptation to local, country-specific circumstances, the roadmap can be translated to other countries. © 2016 Elsevier Inc.

Vizzarri A.,University of Rome Tor Vergata
2016 2nd International Conference on Frontiers of Signal Processing, ICFSP 2016 | Year: 2016

4G wireless standard, Long Term Evolution (LTE), promises to guarantee delivering of band-consuming applications. In this context data-based services as web browsing with equipped video and video streaming are the most requested services by end user. In order to be able to use all LTE innovative features, Mobile Network Operators (MNO) need to also guarantee both an opportune Quality of Service (QoS) both an acceptable Quality of Experience (QoE) perceived by end user. End-To-end approach for QoS is strongly recommended not only for data-based services but also for delay sensitive services as Voice over LTE (VoLTE). This work presents a method for QoE estimation of a VoLTE service in realistic situations basing on QoS informations. Multiuser and multiservice scenarios are modeled with VoLTE application delivered in conjunction with HTTP web browsing application. An IP cloud is used for modeling network impairments in terms of additive delay and IP packet loss. Simulations are performed using OPNET modeler 17.5. A final comparison of simulation results is provided in order to identity the best mathematical models for QoE estimation for VoLTE application. © 2016 IEEE.

Stewart C.,University of Rome Tor Vergata
Remote Sensing | Year: 2017

Buried archaeological structures, such as earthworks and buildings, often leave traces at the surface by altering the properties of overlying material, such as soil and vegetation. These traces may be better visible from a remote perspective than on the surface. Active and passive airborne and spaceborne sensors acquiring imagery from the ultraviolet to infrared have been shown to reveal these archaeological residues following the application of various processing techniques. While the active microwave region of the spectrum, in the form of Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) has been used for archaeological prospection, particularly in desert regions, it has yet to be fully exploited to detect buried structures indirectly though proxy indicators in overlying materials in vegetated areas. Studies so far have tended to focus on the intensity of the SAR signal, without making full use of the phase. This paper demonstrates that SAR backscatter intensity, coherence and interferometry can be used to identify archaeological residues over a number of areas in the vicinity of Rome, Italy. SAR imagery from the COnstellation of small Satellites for the Mediterranean basin Observation (COSMO-SkyMed) have been obtained for the analysis: 77 scenes in Stripmap and 27 in Spotlight mode. Processing included multitemporal speckle filtering, coherence generation and Digital Elevation Model (DEM) creation from Small Baseline Subsets (SBAS). Comparison of these datasets with archaeological, geological, soil, vegetation and meteorological data reveal that several products derived from SAR data can expose various types of archaeological residues under different environmental conditions. © 2017 by the authors.

Sammarco P.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | di Risio M.,University of L'Aquila
Journal of Waterway, Port, Coastal and Ocean Engineering | Year: 2017

The last mile of rivers often represents an option worth considering for the development of ports. This is particularly true in coastal areas that are densely developed. The simplest form of a port canal, i.e., boats moored along the banks, is an attractive option for the low investment required and the often acceptable residual wave motion. Some of the major rivers have thousands of boats moored along their banks. The effect of these floaters on the river levels during floods must be taken into account. The authors present a methodology based on the computation of the forces on a single boat or an array of boats that yields a quantification of the effect on the river levels. It essentially provides an iterative procedure for computing the value of the resistance coefficient to be used in hydraulic analysis. Theoretical predictions are satisfactorily confirmed by ad hoc experimental investigation. © 2016 American Society of Civil Engineers.

Tomei P.,University of Rome Tor Vergata
Automatica | Year: 2017

Linear single-input single-output discrete-time systems P(z) with unknown parameters, order and relative degree are considered, which are perturbed by biased sinusoidal disturbances. Under the assumption that the disturbance frequencies, the sign of the static gain P(1), the sign of either Re[P(ejωi)] or Im[P(ejωi)], for any disturbance frequency ωi, are known, linear disturbance compensators are proposed which achieve exponential disturbance suppression. Such results are then locally extended to the case of disturbances with unknown frequencies. © 2017 Elsevier Ltd

Scarciotti G.,Imperial College London | Astolfi A.,Imperial College London | Astolfi A.,University of Rome Tor Vergata
Automatica | Year: 2017

Theory and methods to obtain reduced order models by moment matching from input/output data are presented. Algorithms for the estimation of the moments of linear and nonlinear systems are proposed. The estimates are exploited to construct families of reduced order models. These models asymptotically match the moments of the unknown system to be reduced. Conditions to enforce additional properties, e.g. matching with prescribed eigenvalues, upon the reduced order model are provided and discussed. The computational complexity of the algorithms is analyzed and their use is illustrated by two examples: we compute converging reduced order models for a linear system describing the model of a building and we provide, exploiting an approximation of the moment, a nonlinear planar reduced order model for a nonlinear DC-to-DC converter. © 2017 The Author(s)

Artioli E.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Battaglia R.,University of Ferrara | Tralli A.,University of Ferrara
Engineering Structures | Year: 2017

This study provides some insights into the seismic events of Emilia 2012, with an emphasis on the emblematic case of the severely damaged water lifting plants in the area of the mainshocks of the earthquake. The examined case studies point out the extreme vulnerability of such strategic infrastructures from combined natural hazards, which in areas densely populated, can cause enormous costs in terms of human loss and goods destruction, and the need of revising existing design codes to include multi-hazard paradigms. © 2017 Elsevier Ltd

Verrelli C.M.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Tomei P.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Lorenzani E.,University of Modena and Reggio Emilia
2016 European Control Conference, ECC 2016 | Year: 2016

In this paper we show that, when the rotor position is not measured in (nonsalient-pole surface) PMSMs with unknown constant load torque and stator resistance (with the rotor speed being available along with the stator currents), it is possible to guarantee exponential rotor position tracking and-mainly-regulation without resorting to persistency of excitation conditions which involve a non-definitely zero rotor speed reference. A new output feedback control is accordingly designed, which relies on a novel adaptive observer. The only price to be paid is constituted by a non-constant reference for the stator current vector d-component. © 2016 EUCA.

Lettieri-Barbato D.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Giovannetti E.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Aquilano K.,University of Rome Tor Vergata
Aging | Year: 2016

In developing countries the rise of obesity and obesity-related metabolic disorders, such as cardiovascular diseases and type 2 diabetes, reflects the changes in lifestyle habits and wrong dietary choices. Dietary restriction (DR) regimens have been shown to extend health span and lifespan in many animal models including primates. Identifying biomarkers predictive of clinical benefits of treatment is one of the primary goals of precision medicine. To monitor the clinical outcomes of DR interventions in humans, several biomarkers are commonly adopted. However, a validated link between the behaviors of such biomarkers and DR effects is lacking at present time. Through a systematic analysis of human intervention studies, we evaluated the effect size of DR (i.e. calorie restriction, very low calorie diet, intermittent fasting, alternate day fasting) on healthrelated biomarkers. We found that DR is effective in reducing total and visceral adipose mass and improving inflammatory cytokines profile and adiponectin/leptin ratio. By analysing the levels of canonical biomarkers of healthy aging, we also validated the changes of insulin, IGF-1 and IGFBP-1,2 to monitor DR effects. Collectively, we developed a useful platform to evaluate the human responses to dietary regimens low in calories.

Baldelli S.,University Telematica San Raffaele Rome | Ciriolo M.R.,University of Rome Tor Vergata
Aging | Year: 2016

p53 transcriptional activity has been proposed to regulate both homeostasis and sarcopenia of skeletal muscle during aging. However, the exact molecular function of p53 remains to be clearly defined. We demonstrated a requirement of nuclear p53 S-nitrosylation in inducing a nitric oxide/PGC-1a-mediated antioxidant pathway in skeletal muscle. Importantly, mutant form of p53-DNA binding domain (C124S) did not undergo nuclear Snitrosylation and failed in inducing the expression of antioxidant genes (i.e. SOD2 and GCLC). Moreover, we found that during aging the nuclear S-nitrosylation of p53 significantly declines in gastrocnemius/soleus leading to an impairment of redox homeostasis of skeletal muscle. We suggested that decreased level of nuclear neuronal nitric oxide synthase (nNOS)/Syntrophin complex, which we observed during aging, could be responsible for impaired nuclear S-nitrosylation. Taken together, our data indicate that altered S-nitrosylation of p53 during aging could be a contributing factor of sarcopenia condition and of other skeletal muscle pathologies associated with oxidative/nitrosative stress.

Paudel N.,Third University of Rome | Georgiadis L.,University of Ioannina | Italiano G.F.,University of Rome Tor Vergata
Proceedings of the Workshop on Algorithm Engineering and Experiments | Year: 2017

We consider the critical node detection problem (CNDP) in directed graphs. Given a directed graph G and a parameter k, we wish to remove a subset S of at most k vertices of G such that the residual graph G n S has minimum pairwise strong connectivity. This problem is NP-hard, and thus we are interested in practical heuristics. We present a sophisticated linear-time algorithm for the k = 1 case, and, based on this algorithm, give an efficient heuristic for the general case. Then, we conduct a thorough experimental evaluation of various heuristics for CNDP. Our experimental results suggest that our heuristic performs very well in practice, both in terms of running time and of solution quality.

Mandolini A.,The Second University of Naples | Viggiani G.M.B.,University of Rome Tor Vergata
Procedia Engineering | Year: 2017

The design of a deep excavation must address a number of issues such as, for instance, the choice of an adequate support system, the definition of the sequence of construction phases, the computation of the stresses in the structural members, and the evaluation of the magnitude and distribution of ground displacements connected to the construction phases and to possible changes of groundwater pressures connected with the excavation. Under these premises, in the paper it is presented a summary of the main results obtained by an intense monitoring program carried out in the occasion of the construction of deep excavations in the densely urban environment of Napoli (Italia) for the completion of the existing Underground Line 1. © 2017 The Authors.

Fraioli M.F.,University of Rome Tor Vergata
Journal of Craniofacial Surgery | Year: 2017

ABSTRACT: Medical therapy with dopamine agonist is very effective in controlling prolactin serum levels and it usually represents the first therapeutic choice for prolactin secreting pituitary adenomas. However, many patients present increase of prolactinemia after withdrawal of medical therapy which consequently should be taken for long time; other present intolerance to medical therapy; women with pregnancy need to withdraw dopamine agonists with consequent potential related problems: in these patients transsphenoidal surgery can be requested. The presented study concerns the efficacy of transsphenoidal surgery in patients affected by microprolactinoma after treatment with medical therapy for different periods of time. Different postsurgical results were achieved in 2 groups of 24 (group 1) and 25 (group 2) patients affected by microprolactinoma who had taken medical therapy for a period of time respectively longer or shorter than 1 year. In summary, the authors observed in group 1 a rate of hormonal remission of 33.3% and an overall prolactinemia improvement with possibility of medical therapy withdrawal in 49.9% of patients. In group 2, the authors observed a rate of hormonal remission of 84% and an overall rate of improvement with no necessity of medical therapy of 92%. Therefore, the authors’ experience showed that the surgical option for the therapy of microprolactinomas should be indicated within 1 year from the beginning of medical therapy with dopamine agonist, to achieve a high rate of hormonal remission and possibility to withdraw medical therapy. The authors’ protocol for microprolactinoma treatment is presented. © 2017 by Mutaz B. Habal, MD.

Pinzari M.,University of Rome Tor Vergata
Journal of Entomological and Acarological Research | Year: 2016

During an extensive collection of Lepidoptera in Reatini Mountains (Central Apennines, Italy) a male of Scythris clavella (Zeller, 1855) was collected. This species is distributed in Central and Southern Europe and eastwards to Bulgaria, Greece, Southern Ural Mountains, Altai Mountains and Central Asia (Kazakhstan, Kirgisia). It was cited for Italy; however, accurate data of its presence are not present in literature. Our data support the conclusion that it is the first record for Peninsular Italy. © M. Pinzari.

Iuppa R.,University of Rome Tor Vergata
Frascati Physics Series | Year: 2012

In recent years very important results were obtained from cosmic ray experiments about the arrival direction distribution of primaries in the TeV energy range. As most of these particles are charged nuclei, they are deflected by the magnetic field they pass through before reaching the Earth surface, the effect of the Lorentz force being inversely proportional to the particle energy. As far as the local interstellar medium is known, the gyroradius of a 10 TeV proton is expected to be only 100 a.u., small enough to make the arrival direction distribution isotropic. Since 1930s a "large scale" (90-120) anisotropy is known to exist, generally interpreted as the combined effect of sources far away and magnetic fields nearby. Nonetheless, in the last decade experiments like Tibet- ASg, Milagro, ARGO-YBJ and IceCube discovered structures as wide as 10-30 all over the sky at 10 TeV energy, what is unexplainable within the standard model of cosmic rays. In this paper a review of the most recent experimental results about cosmic ray anisotropy is given, together with the status of the art of theoretical efforts aimed at interpreting them within the current cosmic ray paradigma. Copyright © 2012 by INFN.

Panico B.,University of Rome Tor Vergata
Frascati Physics Series | Year: 2012

The study of cosmic rays physic of 1012 -1015 primary cosmic energy is one of the main goals of ARGO-YBJ experiment. The detector, located at the Yangbajing Cosmic Ray Laboratory (Tibet, 4300 m a.s.l., 606 g/cm2), is an EAS array consisting of a continuous carpet of RPCs. The low energy threshold of the detector allows to study an energy region characterized by the transition from the direct to the indirect measurements. In this paper we will report on the measurement of the cosmic rays energy spectrum at different zenith angles. The phenomenology of horizontal air shower (> 70°) will be described and discussed. Copyright © 2012 by INFN.

Cattani G.,University of Rome Tor Vergata
Frascati Physics Series | Year: 2012

The forward-backward asymmetry, Afb, is one of the first precision measurements that can be performed at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC). It will improve the knowledge of Standard Model parameters giving a direct insight on the vector (gf V ) and axial-vector (g f V) couplings to the Z/γ*, and thus to the effective weak mixing angle and at the same time it tests the existence of possible New Physics scenarios. In this paper I will present a preliminary measurement of the ongoing studies on the mass dependence of the forward-backward asymmetry in pp → Z/γ* → μ+μ- interactions with collision data corresponding to approximately 4.7 fb-1 of integrated luminosity, collected by the ATLAS experiment at the LHC at √s = 7 TeV during 2011 data taking. Copyright © 2012 by INFN.

BACKGROUND:: Lower eyelid retraction can be the unfortunate result of aesthetic surgery, trauma, disease or simply aging processes. The purpose of this article is to assess whether midface lifting based on purely vertical repositioning constitutes an effective procedure for its correction. METHODS:: A retrospective study was carried out on 199 patients (311 eyelids) operated on between January 2004 and January 2014. The various causes of eyelid retraction in this population comprised cosmetic blepharoplasty (56.8%), involutional ectropion (23.1%), tumour resection (9.5%), facial nerve paralysis (8.5%), and trauma and related surgery (2%). The study was restricted exclusively to cases of moderate and severe lower eyelid retraction addressed by means of midface lifting.The mean follow-up time was 16.8 months. All the patients were subjected to midface lifting with strengthening of the lateral canthus. A spacer graft was also used in 37.7% of the cases. RESULTS:: 195 (97.9%) patients displayed objective improvement of the eyelid retraction as well as a marked degree of improvement both in aesthetic terms and as regards the functional disorders reported. Only 4 patients(2%) presented complications such as to require another operation. CONCLUSIONS:: Midface lifting based on purely vertical repositioning makes it possible to recruit a considerable amount of 'new' skin at the lower eyelid, thus ensuring a decrease in vertical distraction and correct recovery of the height of the external lamellar plane. ©2017American Society of Plastic Surgeons

Basili R.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Croce D.,University of Rome Tor Vergata
CEUR Workshop Proceedings | Year: 2017

Recent results achieved by statistical approaches involving Deep Neural Learning architectures suggest that semantic inference tasks can be solved by adopting complex neural architectures and advanced optimization techniques. This is achieved even by simplifying the representation of the targeted phenomena. The idea that representation of structured knowledge is essential to reliable and accurate semantic inferences seems to be implicitly denied. However, Neural Networks (NNs) underlying such methods rely on complex and beneficial representational choices for the input to the network (e.g., in the so-called pre-Training stages) and sophisticated design choices regarding the NNS inner structure are still required. While optimization carries strong mathematical tools that are crucially useful, in this work, we wonder about the role of representation of information and knowledge. In particular, we claim that representation is still a major issue, and discuss it in the light of Spoken Language capabilities required by a robotic system in the domain of service robotics. The result is that adequate knowledge representation is quite central for learning machines in real applications. Moreover, learning mechanisms able to properly characterize it, through expressive mathematical abstractions (i.e. trees, graphs or sets), constitute a core research direction towards robust, adaptive and increasingly autonomous AI systems.

Ialongo C.,University of Rome La Sapienza | Ialongo C.,University of Rome Tor Vergata
Biochemia Medica | Year: 2017

Hypothesis testing is a methodological paradigm widely popularized outside the field of pure statistics, and nowadays more or less familiar to the largest part of biomedical researchers. Conversely, the equivalence testing is still somehow obscure and misunderstood, although it represents a conceptual mainstay for some biomedical fields like pharmacology. In order to appreciate the way it could suit laboratory medicine, it is necessary to understand the philosophy behind it, and in turn how it stemmed and differentiated along the history of classical hypothesis testing. Here we present the framework of equivalence testing, the various tests used to assess equivalence and discuss their applicability to laboratory medicine research and issues. © Croatian Society of Medical Biochemistry and Laboratory Medicine.

Morabito C.,University of Rome Tor Vergata
Nuncius | Year: 2017

While representing one of the most important developments in the knowledge of the brain, both for its theoretical advances and its medical consequences, the work of David Ferrier met with strong criticism from conservative circles in Victorian society. At the end of 19th century certain British neurologists and neurosurgeons - including Ferrier - faced vehement public attacks by those aristocrats who, under the banner of antivivisectionism and "natural theology", expressed their fears of the reorganization of medicine into a scientific discipline. The debate that developed in Victorian society after these events led not only to the diffusion of Ferrier's ideas and public recognition of the advanced neurosurgical practices that stemmed from his work, but also contributed to the affirmation of the medical community in the scientific world of the time. © 2017 Copyright 2017 by Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands.

Spallone V.,University of Rome Tor Vergata
Diabetes/Metabolism Research and Reviews | Year: 2017

Despite the high prevalence and impact on quality of life, costs, and survival, there are still unresolved issues regarding diabetic polyneuropathy (DPN): the lack of definite knowledge of its pathogenesis; the limited preventive action of glycaemic control in type 2 diabetes; and the unavailability of evidence-based effective disease-modifying treatment. How can genetics provide the tools to address these gaps? Ziegler et al for the GDS Group explore the novel hypothesis that genetic variability in transketolase (TKT) might contribute to susceptibility to DPN in patients with newly diagnosed type 1 and type 2 diabetes (well characterised for DPN). Transketolase diverts excess glycolytic metabolites from the hexosamine, protein kinase C, and advanced glycation endproduct pathways to the pentose phosphate pathway, with a protective effect against hyperglycaemia-induced damage. Moreover, thiamine and its derivative benfotiamine are among the few disease-modifying agents still under consideration as DPN treatment. The authors find significant associations of single-nucleotide polymorphisms of the TKT gene with the Total Symptom Score and thermal thresholds, in particular in male participants with type 2 diabetes. Moreover, they measure plasma methylglyoxal (a glycating agent, whose availability is hindered by TKT) without however finding a relation with TKT single-nucleotide polymorphisms. The link found between TKT genetic variability and nerve function measures is considered here in the context of DPN genetic studies and of experimental and clinical findings regarding thiamine and benfotiamine. The conclusion is that available data supports the decision to maintain focus on both the search for DPN genetic biomarkers and the therapeutic attempts to target thiamine, TKT, and methylglyoxal. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Georgiadis L.,University of Ioannina | Italiano G.F.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Parotsidis N.,University of Rome Tor Vergata
Proceedings of the Annual ACM-SIAM Symposium on Discrete Algorithms | Year: 2017

Let G be a directed graph (digraph) with m edges and n vertices, and let G n e (resp., G n v) be the digraph obtained after deleting edge e (resp., vertex v) from G. We show how to compute in O(m+n) worst-case time: The total number of strongly connected components in G n e (resp., G n v), for all edges e (resp., for all vertices v) in G. The size of the largest and of the smallest strongly connected components in G n e (resp., G n v), for all edges e (resp., for all vertices v) in G. Let G be strongly connected. We say that edge e (resp., vertex v) separates two vertices x and y, if x and y are no longer strongly connected in Gn e (resp., Gn v). We also show how to build in O(m+n) time O(n)-space data structures that can answer in optimal time the following basic connectivity queries on digraphs: Report in O(n) worst-case time all the strongly connected components of G n e (resp., G n v), for a query edge e (resp., vertex v). Test whether an edge or a vertex separates two query vertices in O(1) worst-case time. Report all edges (resp., vertices) that separate two query vertices in optimal worst-case time, i.e., in time O(k), where k is the number of separating edges (resp., separating vertices). (For k = 0, the time is O(1)). All our bounds are tight and are obtained with a common algorithmic framework, based on a novel compact representation of the decompositions induced by 1-edge and 1-vertex cuts in digraphs, which might be of independent interest. With the help of our data structures we can design efficient algorithms for several other connectivity problems on digraphs and we can also obtain in linear time a strongly connected spanning sub graph of G with O(n) edges that maintains the 1-connectivity cuts of G and the decompositions induced by those cuts. Copyright © by SIAM.

Chechik S.,Tel Aviv University | Hanseny T.D.,University of Aarhus | Italiano G.F.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Loitzenbauer V.,University of Vienna | Parotsidis N.,University of Rome Tor Vergata
Proceedings of the Annual ACM-SIAM Symposium on Discrete Algorithms | Year: 2017

Connectivity related concepts are of fundamental interest in graph theory. The area has received extensive attention over four decades, but many problems remain unsolved, especially for directed graphs. A directed graph is 2-edge-connected (resp., 2-vertex-connected) if the removal of any edge (resp., vertex) leaves the graph strongly connected. In this paper we present improved algorithms for computing the maximal 2-edge and 2- vertex-connected subgraphs of a given directed graph. These problems were first studied more than 35 years ago, with eO(mn) time algorithms for graphs with m edges and n vertices being known since the late 1980s. In contrast, the same problems for undirected graphs are known to be solvable in linear time. Henzinger et al. [ICALP 2015] recently introduced O(n2) time algo- rithms for the directed case, thus improving the running times for dense graphs. Our new algorithms run in time O(m3=2), which further improves the running times for sparse graphs. The notion of 2-connectivity naturally generalizes to k-connectivity for k > 2. For constant values of k, we extend one of our algorithms to compute the maximal k-edge-connected in time O(m3=2 log n), improving again for sparse graphs the best known algorithm by Henzinger et al. [ICALP 2015] that runs in O(n2 log n) time. Copyright © by SIAM.

News Article | April 24, 2017

Plasmonic nanoparticles exhibit properties based on their geometries and relative positions. Researchers have now developed an easy way to manipulate the optical properties of plasmonic nanostructures that strongly depend on their spatial arrangement. The plasmonic nanoparticles can form clusters, plasmonic metamolecules, and then interact with each other. Changing the geometry of the nanoparticles can be used to control the properties of the metamolecules. “The challenge is to make the structures change their geometry in a controlled way in response to external stimuli.  In this study, structures were programmed to modify their shape by altering the pH,” tells Assistant Professor Anton Kuzyk from Aalto University. Utilization of Programmable DNA Locks In this study plasmonic metamolecules were functionalized with pH-sensitive DNA locks. DNA locks can be easily programmed to operate at a specific pH range. Metamolecules can be either in a “locked” state at low pH or in relaxed state at high pH. Both states have very distinct optical responses. This in fact allows creating assemblies of several types of plasmonic metamolecules, with each type designed to switch at different a pH value. The ability to program nanostructures to perform a specific function only within a certain pH window could have applications in the field of nanomachines and smart nanomaterials with tailored optical functionalities. This active control of plasmonic metamolecules is promising for the development of sensors, optical switches, transducers and phase shifters at different wavelengths. In the future, pH-responsive nanostructures could also be useful in the development of controlled drug delivery. The study was carried out by Anton Kuzyk from Aalto University, Maximilian Urban and Na Liu from Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems and the Heidelberg University, and Andrea Idili and Francesco Ricci from the University of Rome Tor Vergata.

News Article | May 8, 2017

An international team of researchers from the University of Rome Tor Vergata and the University of Montreal has reported, in a paper published this week in Nature Communications, the design and synthesis of a nanoscale molecular slingshot made of DNA that is 20,000 times smaller than a human hair. This molecular slingshot could "shoot" and deliver drugs at precise locations in the human body once triggered by specific disease markers. The molecular slingshot is only a few nanometres long and is composed of a synthetic DNA strand that can load a drug and then effectively act as the rubber band of the slingshot. The two ends of this DNA "rubber band" contain two anchoring moieties that can specifically stick to a target antibody, a Y-shaped protein expressed by the body in response to different pathogens such as bacteria and viruses. When the anchoring moieties of the slingshot recognize and bind to the arms of the target antibody the DNA "rubber band" is stretched and the loaded drug is released. "One impressive feature about this molecular slingshot," says Francesco Ricci, Associate Professor of Chemistry at the University of Rome Tor Vergata, "is that it can only be triggered by the specific antibody recognizing the anchoring tags of the DNA 'rubber band'. By simply changing these tags, one can thus program the slingshot to release a drug in response to a variety of specific antibodies. Since different antibodies are markers of different diseases, this could become a very specific weapon in the clinician's hands." "Another great property of our slingshot," adds Alexis Vallée-Bélisle, Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Montreal, "is its high versatility. For example, until now we have demonstrated the working principle of the slingshot using three different trigger antibodies, including an HIV antibody, and employing nucleic acids as model drugs. But thanks to the high programmability of DNA chemistry, one can now design the DNA slingshot to 'shoot' a wide range of threrapeutic molecules." "Designing this molecular slingshot was a great challenge," says Simona Ranallo, a postdoctoral researcher in Ricci's team and principal author of the new study. "It required a long series of experiments to find the optimal design, which keeps the drug loaded in 'rubber band' in the absence of the antibody, without affecting too much its shooting efficiency once the antibody triggers the slingshot." The group of researchers is now eager to adapt the slingshot for the delivery of clinically relevant drugs, and to demonstrate its clinical efficiency. "We envision that similar molecular slingshots may be used in the near future to deliver drugs to specific locations in the body. This would drastically improve the efficiency of drugs as well as decrease their toxic secondary effects," concludes Ricci. The next step in the project is to target a specific disease and drug for which the therapeutic slingshot can be adapted for testing on cells in vitro, prior to testing in mice. Carl Prévost-Tremblay (UofM) and Andrea Idili (UofT) are also co-authors on this study. This study was funded by Associazione Italiana per la Ricerca sul Cancro (project no. 14420), by the European Research Council (project no. 336493) by the International Research Staff Exchange Scheme (IRSES), by the National Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (grant no. 2014- 06403) and by the Canada Research Chair in Bioengineering and Bio-nanotechnology, Tier II (AVB).

News Article | May 8, 2017

The molecular slingshot is only a few nanometres long and is composed of a synthetic DNA strand that can load a drug and then effectively act as the rubber band of the slingshot. Credit: Marco Tripodi An international team of researchers from the University of Rome Tor Vergata and the University of Montreal has reported, in a paper published this week in Nature Communications, the design and synthesis of a nanoscale molecular slingshot made of DNA that is 20,000 times smaller than a human hair. This molecular slingshot could "shoot" and deliver drugs at precise locations in the human body once triggered by specific disease markers. The molecular slingshot is only a few nanometres long and is composed of a synthetic DNA strand that can load a drug and then effectively act as the rubber band of the slingshot. The two ends of this DNA "rubber band" contain two anchoring moieties that can specifically stick to a target antibody, a Y-shaped protein expressed by the body in response to different pathogens such as bacteria and viruses. When the anchoring moieties of the slingshot recognize and bind to the arms of the target antibody the DNA "rubber band" is stretched and the loaded drug is released. "One impressive feature about this molecular slingshot," says Francesco Ricci, Associate Professor of Chemistry at the University of Rome Tor Vergata, "is that it can only be triggered by the specific antibody recognizing the anchoring tags of the DNA 'rubber band'. By simply changing these tags, one can thus program the slingshot to release a drug in response to a variety of specific antibodies. Since different antibodies are markers of different diseases, this could become a very specific weapon in the clinician's hands." "Another great property of our slingshot," adds Alexis Vallée-Bélisle, Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Montreal, "is its high versatility. For example, until now we have demonstrated the working principle of the slingshot using three different trigger antibodies, including an HIV antibody, and employing nucleic acids as model drugs. But thanks to the high programmability of DNA chemistry, one can now design the DNA slingshot to 'shoot' a wide range of threrapeutic molecules." "Designing this molecular slingshot was a great challenge," says Simona Ranallo, a postdoctoral researcher in Ricci's team and principal author of the new study. "It required a long series of experiments to find the optimal design, which keeps the drug loaded in 'rubber band' in the absence of the antibody, without affecting too much its shooting efficiency once the antibody triggers the slingshot." The group of researchers is now eager to adapt the slingshot for the delivery of clinically relevant drugs, and to demonstrate its clinical efficiency. "We envision that similar molecular slingshots may be used in the near future to deliver drugs to specific locations in the body. This would drastically improve the efficiency of drugs as well as decrease their toxic secondary effects," concludes Ricci. The next step in the project is to target a specific disease and drug for which the therapeutic slingshot can be adapted for testing on cells in vitro, prior to testing in mice. More information: Ranallo, S. et al. "Antibody powered nucleic acid release using a DNA-based nanomachine." Nature Communications (2017). DOI: 10.1038/ncomms15150

Bisegna P.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Caruso G.,CNR Construction Technologies Institute
Journal of Sound and Vibration | Year: 2011

This paper put forth a new approach, based on the mathematical theory of homogenization, to study the vibration localization phenomenon in disordered rotationally periodic structures. In order to illustrate the method, a case-study structure is considered, composed of pendula equipped with hinge angular springs and connected one to each other by linear springs. The structure is mistuned due to mass and/or stiffness imperfections. Simple continuous models describing the dynamical behavior of the structure are derived and validated by comparison with a well-known discrete model. The proposed models provide analytical closed-form expressions for the eigenfrequencies and the eigenmodes, as well as for the resonance peaks of the forced response. These expressions highlight how the features of the dynamics of the mistuned structure, e.g. frequency split and localization phenomenon, depend on the physical parameters involved. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd.

Bottini M.,Sanford Burnham Institute for Medical Research | Bottini M.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Rosato N.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Rosato N.,IRCCS Neuromed Institute | Bottini N.,La Jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology
Biomacromolecules | Year: 2011

Since their discovery at the end of the previous millennium, carbon nanotubes (CNTs) have been the object of thousands of papers describing their applications in fields ranging from physics to electronics, photonics, chemistry, biology, and medicine. The development of chemical approaches to modify their graphitic sidewalls enabled the generation of poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG)-modified CNTs and their exploration in multiple biomedical applications. Studies at the cellular and organism level revealed that PEG-modified CNTs have favorable pharmacokinetic and toxicology profiles. Recently, PEG-modified CNTs have been successfully tested in preclinical studies in the fields of oncology, neurology, vaccination, and imaging, suggesting that they are well suited for the generation of novel multifunctional nanodrugs. Here we will review published data about the application of PEG-modified CNTs as in vitro and in vivo therapeutic and imaging tools and describe what is known about the interaction between PEG-modified CNTs and biological systems. Although several pieces of the puzzle are still missing, we will also attempt to formulate a preliminary structure-function model for PEG-modified CNT cellular trafficking, disposition, and side effects. © 2011 American Chemical Society.

De Grijs R.,Peking University | Wicker J.E.,CAS National Astronomical Observatories | Bono G.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Bono G.,National institute for astrophysics
Astronomical Journal | Year: 2014

The distance to the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC) represents a key local rung of the extragalactic distance ladder yet the galaxy's distance modulus has long been an issue of contention, in particular in view of claims that most newly determined distance moduli cluster tightly - and with a small spread - around the "canonical" distance modulus, (m-M)0 = 18.50 mag. We compiled 233 separate LMC distance determinations published between 1990 and 2013. Our analysis of the individual distance moduli, as well as of their two-year means and standard deviations resulting from this largest data set of LMC distance moduli available to date, focuses specifically on Cepheid and RR Lyrae variable-star tracer populations, as well as on distance estimates based on features in the observational Hertzsprung-Russell diagram. We conclude that strong publication bias is unlikely to have been the main driver of the majority of published LMC distance moduli. However, for a given distance tracer, the body of publications leading to the tightly clustered distances is based on highly non-independent tracer samples and analysis methods, hence leading to significant correlations among the LMC distances reported in subsequent articles. Based on a careful, weighted combination, in a statistical sense, of the main stellar population tracers, we recommend that a slightly adjusted canonical distance modulus of (m-M)0 = 18.49 ± 0.09 mag be used for all practical purposes that require a general distance scale without the need for accuracies of better than a few percent. © 2014. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.

De Grijs R.,Peking University | Bono G.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Bono G.,National institute for astrophysics
Astronomical Journal | Year: 2014

The accuracy of extragalactic distance measurements ultimately depends on robust, high-precision determinations of the distances to the galaxies in the local volume. Following our detailed study addressing possible publication bias in the published distance determinations to the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC), here we extend our distance range of interest to include published distance moduli to M31 and M33, as well as to a number of their wellknown dwarf galaxy companions. We aim at reaching consensus on the best, most homogeneous, and internally most consistent set of Local Group distance moduli to adopt for future, more general use based on the largest set of distance determinations to individual Local Group galaxies available to date. Based on a careful, statistically weighted combination of the main stellar population tracers (Cepheids, RR Lyrae variables, and the magnitude of the tip of the red-giant branch), we derive a recommended distance modulus to M31 of (m - M) M31 0 = 24.46 ± 0.10 mag - adopting as our calibration an LMC distance modulus of (m - M)LMC 0 = 18.50 mag - and a fully internally consistent set of benchmark distances to key galaxies in the local volume, enabling us to establish a robust and unbiased, near-field extragalactic distance ladder. © 2014. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.

Scodeller S.,University of Oslo | Hansen F.K.,University of Oslo | Marinucci D.,University of Rome Tor Vergata
Astrophysical Journal | Year: 2012

We have developed a new needlet-based method to detect point sources in cosmic microwave background (CMB) maps and have applied it to the Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP) 7 year data. We use both the individual frequency channels as well as internal templates, the latter being the difference between pairs of frequency channels and hence having the advantage that the CMB component is eliminated. Using the area of the sky outside the Kq85 galactic mask, we detect a total of 2102 point sources at the 5σ level in either the frequency maps or the internal templates. Of these, 1116 are detected either at 5σ directly in the frequency channels or at 5σ in the internal templates and ≥3σ at the corresponding position in the frequency channels. Of the 1116 sources, 603 are detections that have not been reported so far in WMAP data. We have made a catalog of these sources available with position and flux estimated in the WMAP channels where they are seen. In total, we identified 1029 of the 1116 sources with counterparts at 5GHz and 69 at other frequencies. © 2012. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.

Dymarsky A.,Institute for Advanced Study | Martucci L.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Martucci L.,Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich
Journal of High Energy Physics | Year: 2011

We study how non-perturbative dynamics on D-branes affects the tendimensional geometry. We show that a gaugino condensate changes the complex and the symplectic structures of the original manifold by deforming the supersymmetry conditions. The cases of D5, D6 and D7-branes are discussed in detail. In the latter case we find the explicit form of the resulting back-reacted background at linear order in the gaugino condensate. © SISSA 2011.

Astolfi A.,Imperial College London | Astolfi A.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Ortega R.,Supelec | Venkatraman A.,University of Groningen
Automatica | Year: 2010

The problem of velocity estimation for general, n degrees-of-freedom, mechanical systems, is of great practical and theoretical interest. For unconstrained systems many partial solutions have been reported in the literature. However, even in this case, the basic question of whether it is possible to design a globally convergent speed observer remains open. In this paper, an affirmative answer to the question is given for general mechanical systems with k non-holonomic constraints, by proving the existence of a 3 n - 2 k + 1-dimensional globally exponentially convergent speed observer. An observer for unconstrained mechanical systems is obtained as a particular case of this general result. Instrumental for the construction of the speed observer is the use of the Immersion and Invariance technique, in which the observer design problem is recast as a problem of rendering attractive and invariant a manifold defined in the extended state-space of the plant and the observer. © 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Chen W.-M.,National Taiwan University | Huang Y.-T.,National Taiwan University | Huang Y.-T.,Institute for Advanced Study | Wen C.,University of Rome Tor Vergata
Physical Review Letters | Year: 2015

Soft limits of a massless S matrix are known to reflect the symmetries of the theory. In particular, for theories with Goldstone bosons, the double-soft limit of scalars reveals the coset structure of the vacuum manifold. In this Letter, we propose that such universal double-soft behavior is not only true for scalars, but also for spin-1/2 particles in four dimensions and fermions in three dimensions. We first consider the Akulov-Volkov theory and demonstrate that the double-soft limit of Goldstinos yields the supersymmetry algebra. More surprisingly, we also find that amplitudes in 4≤N≤8 supergravity theories in four dimensions as well as N=16 supergravity in three dimensions behave universally in the double-soft-fermion limit, analogous to the scalar ones. The validity of the new soft theorems at loop level is also studied. The results for supergravity are beyond what is implied by supersymmetry Ward identities and may impose nontrivial constraints on the possible counterterms for supergravity theories. © 2015 American Physical Society. © 2015 American Physical Society.

Curatolo P.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Jozwiak S.,Childrens Memorial Health Institute
European Journal of Paediatric Neurology | Year: 2012

Tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC) is a leading genetic cause of epilepsy. TSC-associated epilepsy generally begins during the first year of life, and is associated with neurodevelopmental and cognitive problems. Management is challenging and seizures tend to persist in a large proportion of patients despite pharmacological and surgical treatment. This report summarizes the clinical recommendations for the management of TSC-associated epilepsy made by a panel of European experts in March 2012. Current treatment options and outstanding questions are outlined. © 2012 European Paediatric Neurology Society. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Longo R.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Witten E.,Institute for Advanced Study
Communications in Mathematical Physics | Year: 2011

We build up local, time translation covariant Boundary Quantum Field Theory nets of von Neumann algebras Av on the Minkowski half-plane M+ starting with a local conformal net of von Neumann algebras on ℝ and an element V of a unitary semigroup ε(A) associated with A. The case V = 1 reduces to the net A+ considered by Rehren and one of the authors; if the vacuum character of A is summable, A+ is locally isomorphic to ε(A). We discuss the structure of the semigroup ε(A). By using a one-particle version of Borchers theorem and standard subspace analysis, we provide an abstract analog of the Beurling-Lax theorem that allows us to describe, in particular, all unitaries on the one-particle Hilbert space whose second quantization promotion belongs to ε(A(0)) with A(0) the U(1)-current net. Each such unitary is attached to a scattering function or, more generally, to a symmetric inner function. We then obtain families of models via any Buchholz-Mack-Todorov extension of A(0). A further family of models comes from the Ising model. © 2010 Springer-Verlag.

Carlesimo G.A.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Pontieri F.E.,University of Rome La Sapienza | Caltagirone C.,University of Rome Tor Vergata
Neurology | Year: 2012

Objectives: Investigating in a case-control study whether the performance scores of a group of patients with Parkinson disease (PD) without dementia on tests of declarative memory could be predicted by hippocampal volume reduction (as assessed by automatic segmentation of cerebral magnetic resonance [MR] images) or by the rate of microstructural alterations (as evaluated by diffusion tensor analysis of MR images). Method: Twenty-five individuals with PD and 25 matched healthy control subjects underwent a 3-T MRI protocol with whole-brain T1-weighted and diffusion tensor imaging and a neuropsychological assessment. Images were processed to obtain indices of macrostructural (volume) and microstructural (mean diffusivity [MD]) variation of bilateral hippocampi. Neuropsychological evaluation included tests of verbal memory (15-minute delayed recall of a 15-word list) and visuospatial memory (20-minute delayed reproduction of Rey complex figure). Results: MD in the hippocampi of patients with PD was significantly increased with respect to that of the group of control subjects. Moreover, patients with high hippocampal MD values obtained low memory scores. In contrast, no difference emerged between patients with PD and healthy control subjects for hippocampal size, and no relationship could be found between hippocampal volumes and memory scores. Conclusions: These data confirm that the declarative memory impairment in patients with PD without dementia may be predicted by the rate of microstructural alterations in the hippocampal formation as detected by diffusion tensor imaging analysis. Copyright © 2012 by AAN Enterprises, Inc.

Amelio I.,Medical Research Council Toxicology Unit | Inoue S.,Ontario Cancer Institute | Markert E.K.,Institute for Advanced Study | Levine A.J.,Institute for Advanced Study | And 4 more authors.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America | Year: 2015

Tumor hypoxia and hypoxia-inducible factor 1 (HIF-1) activation are associated with cancer progression. Here, we demonstrate that the transcription factor TAp73 opposes HIF-1 activity through a nontranscriptional mechanism, thus affecting tumor angiogenesis. TAp73-deficient mice have an increased incidence of spontaneous and chemically induced tumors that also display enhanced vascularization. Mechanistically, TAp73 interacts with the regulatory subunit (α) of HIF-1 and recruits mouse double minute 2 homolog into the protein complex, thus promoting HIF-1α polyubiquitination and consequent proteasomal degradation in an oxygen-independent manner. In human lung cancer datasets, TAp73 strongly predicts good patient prognosis, and its expression is associated with low HIF-1 activation and angiogenesis. Our findings, supported by in vivo and clinical evidence, demonstrate a mechanism for oxygen-independent HIF-1 regulation, which has important implications for individualizing therapies in patients with cancer. © 2014, National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.

Stefani A.,University of Rome Tor Vergata
Movement Disorders | Year: 2015

With the silver anniversary of deep brain stimulation (DBS) behind us, this would seem to be a good juncture to consider its successes and unanswered questions. Bilateral subthalamic nucleus (STN) stimulation has changed the clinical perspective of several thousand Parkinson's disease (PD) patients worldwide. A recent reappraisal animates the field with strong arguments in favor of an anticipation of the stereotactic approach in patients with as little as 5 to 6 years of disease history if they manifest motor complications. From what was once a no-choice option, STN-DBS is now becoming more and more attractive to neurologists dealing with movement disorders. Despite the development of new pharmacological treatment and renewed rehabilitation programs able to modify the severity of drug-related complications, a resurgence of stimulation therapy reminiscent of an old era of medicine with an attendant blinkered mindset has emerged. Yet, the DBS-mediated effects are modest on critical aspects such as gait impairment and extremely variable depending on the clinical phenotype and individual clinical profile. Hence, the indication for DBS should become more, and not less, individually tailored. Those physicians considering deep brain stimulation (DBS) as a therapeutic option need to evaluate results beyond short-term quality of life, giving the correct weight to the direct and indirect costs over the longer term as well as to life prognosis. Unequivocal recourse to early-stimulation surgery necessitates investigations not limited to a mere comparative assessment versus drug-mediated benefits, but instead showing evidence of a clear degree of disease-modifying effect or a rescue of basal ganglia plasticity. © 2015 International Parkinson and Movement Disorder Society.

Jozwiak S.,Childrens Memorial Health Institute | Curatolo P.,University of Rome Tor Vergata
European Journal of Paediatric Neurology | Year: 2013

Subependymal giant cell astrocytoma (SEGA) is a type of brain tumour that develops in 10-15% of individuals with tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC). SEGAs can be unilateral or bilateral, developing from benign subependymal nodules (hamartomas) located near the foramen of Monro. These are usually slow-growing, glialneuronal tumours that develop within the first 2 decades of life. Traditionally, the management of SEGA involved monitoring using periodic neuroimaging, and surgical resection of tumours that exhibited growth and/or caused clinical signs of intracranial hypertension. Recent clinical research has demonstrated that mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) inhibitors can induce partial regression of SEGA associated with TSC and so might provide an acceptable alternative to neurosurgery for these tumours. This report summarizes the clinical recommendations for the management of SEGA made by a panel of European experts in March 2012. Current treatment options and outstanding questions are outlined. © 2013 European Paediatric Neurology Society. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Sidorenko V.V.,RAS Keldysh Institute of Applied Mathematics | Celletti A.,University of Rome Tor Vergata
Celestial Mechanics and Dynamical Astronomy | Year: 2010

This paper is devoted to the dynamics in a central gravity field of two point masses connected by a massless tether (the so called "spring-mass" model of tethered satellite systems). Only the motions with straight strained tether are studied, while the case of "slack" tether is not considered. It is assumed that the distance between the point masses is substantially smaller than the distance between the system's center of mass and the field center. This assumption allows us to treat the motion of the center of mass as an unperturbed Keplerian one, so to focus our study on attitude dynamics. A particular attention is given to the family of planar periodic motions in which the center of mass moves on an elliptic orbit, and the point masses never leave the orbital plane. If the eccentricity tends to zero, the corresponding family admits as a limit case the relative equilibrium in which the tether is elongated along the line joining the center of mass with the field center. We study the bifurcations and the stability of these planar periodic motions with respect to in-plane and out-of-plane perturbations. Our results show that the stable motions take place if the eccentricity of the orbit is sufficiently small. © 2010 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

Bisegna P.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Caruso G.,CNR Construction Technologies Institute
Journal of Sound and Vibration | Year: 2012

This paper deals with the analysis and optimization of tuned mass dampers (TMDs). It provides design formulas for maximizing the exponential time-decay rate (ETDR) of the system transient response. A detailed analysis is presented for the classical TMD configuration, involving an auxiliary mass attached to the main structure by means of a spring and a dashpot. Analytic expressions of the optimal ETDR are obtained for any mass ratio and tuning condition. Then, a further optimization with respect to the latter is performed. The proposed method is applied also to other TMD configurations involving an auxiliary mass connected to both the main structure and the ground, as well as to a piezoelectric damping device. A justification to the well-known heuristic optimality condition based on the enforcement of coincident couples of complex conjugate poles is presented. That condition is shown, however, to fail in providing optimal solutions for some mass ratio values and/or TMD configurations, and the optimality conditions prevailing in those cases are derived. The present analysis, besides its theoretical interest, may be useful in practical applications, e.g., to assess the sensitivity of the optimal ETDR with respect to the design parameters or to promptly adjust some of those parameters during service, after any variation of the operative conditions. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

van der Molen T.,University of Groningen | Cazzola M.,University of Rome Tor Vergata
Primary Care Respiratory Journal | Year: 2012

Bronchodilators are central to the management of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Clinical studies combining different classes of bronchodilators, in particular a long-acting muscarinic antagonist (LAMA) and a long-acting β2-agonist (LABA), have demonstrated greater improvements in lung function (forced expiratory volume in 1 second, FEV1) in patients with COPD than monotherapy. FEV1 has served as an important diagnostic measurement of COPD, and the majority of clinical studies of currently available pharmacotherapies grade effectiveness of treatment regimens based on improvements in FEV1. However, FEV1 alone may not adequately reflect the overall health status of the patient. Published evidence suggests that LABA/LAMA combination therapies demonstrate greater improvements in patient-centred outcomes such as dyspnoea, symptoms, rescue medication use, and quality of life than individual drugs used alone. Evaluating patient-centred outcomes associated with COPD is likely to play an important role in future research as a measure of overall treatment effectiveness. Raising awareness of the importance of outcomes beyond lung function alone, particularly in primary care where most patients initially present themselves for medical evaluation, should form a fundamental part of a more holistic approach to COPD management. © 2010 Primary Care Respiratory Society UK.

Rinaldi A.,ENEA | Rinaldi A.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Rinaldi A.,International Research Center for Mathematics and Mechanics of Complex Systems
Nanoscale | Year: 2011

Micro-compression tests have demonstrated that plastic yielding in nanoscale pillars is the result of the fine interplay between the sample-size (chiefly the diameter D) and the density of bulk dislocations ρ. The power-law scaling typical of the nanoscale stems from a source-limited regime, which depends on both these sample parameters. Based on the experimental and theoretical results available in the literature, this paper offers a perspective about the joint effect of D and ρ on the yield stress in any plastic regime, promoting also a schematic graphical map of it. In the sample-size dependent regime, such dependence is cast mathematically into a first order Weibull-type theory, where the power-law scaling the power exponent β and the modulus m of an approximate (unimodal) Weibull distribution of source-strengths can be related by a simple inverse proportionality. As a corollary, the scaling exponent β may not be a universal number, as speculated in the literature. In this context, the discussion opens the alternative possibility of more general (multimodal) source-strength distributions, which could produce more complex and realistic strengthening patterns than the single power-law usually assumed. The paper re-examines our own experimental data, as well as results of Bei et al. (2008) on Mo-alloy pillars, especially for the sake of emphasizing the significance of a sudden increase in sample response scatter as a warning signal of an incipient source-limited regime. © 2011 The Royal Society of Chemistry.

Monteleone I.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Pallone F.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Monteleone G.,University of Rome Tor Vergata
Current Opinion in Gastroenterology | Year: 2012

Purpose of review: The aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR), a transcription factor activated by a large number of environmental agents, modulates the activity of immune and nonimmune cells in the gut, and may represent an important link between the environment and the immune perturbations which underlie the pathogenesis of inflammatory bowel disease. This review will summarize the current knowledge of the role of AhR in regulation of intestinal immune homeostasis and inflammation. RECENT FINDINGS: Activation of AhR by dietary ligands is necessary for the maintenance or expansion of innate immune cells in the gut, such as intraepithelial lymphocytes (IELs) and interleukin (IL)-22-producing lymphoid cells (ILC22). AhR-deficient mice lack IELs, have reduced number of ILC22 cells, and are more susceptible to bacterial infections and experimental colitis. In animal models, AhR activators inhibit proinflammatory cytokine synthesis and attenuate colitis by a pathway that involves IL-22. Analysis of AhR in the human gut reveals that intestinal T cells and natural killer cells isolated from Crohn's disease patients express low levels of AhR and respond to AhR ligands by downregulating inflammatory cytokines and upregulating IL-22. Summary: These novel findings may help explain how environmental factors may regulate mucosal immune responses. © 2012 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

Caltagirone C.,IRCCS Fondazione Santa Lucia | Caltagirone C.,University of Rome Tor Vergata
Expert Review of Neurotherapeutics | Year: 2014

Aphasia is a highly disabling language disorder usually caused by a left-lateralized brain damage. Even if traditional linguistic-based therapies have been proved to induce an adequate clinical improvement, a large percentage of patients are left with some degree of language impairments. Therefore, new approaches to common speech therapies are urgently needed in order to maximize the recovery from aphasia. The recent application of non-invasive neurostimulation techniques to language rehabilitation has already provided promising results particularly for the recovery of word-retrieval deficits in chronic stroke aphasic patients. Positive outcomes also come from action observation therapy. Indeed, some very recent studies have shown that the observation and/or execution of gestures positively influences language recovery especially for words related to human actions. This article gives an overview of the most important results achieved using these two approaches and discusses how the application of these treatments might potentiate aphasia recovery. © 2014 Informa UK, Ltd.

Svicher V.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Ceccherini-Silberstein F.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Antinori A.,I.N.M.I. L. Spallanzani | Aquaro S.,University of Calabria | Perno C.F.,University of Rome Tor Vergata
Current HIV/AIDS Reports | Year: 2014

The spectrum of HIV-1 cellular reservoirs is highly diversified, and their role varies according to the milieu of the anatomical sites in which the virus replicates. In this light, mechanisms underlying HIV-1 persistence in anatomical compartments may be profoundly different from what is observed in peripheral blood. This scenario is further complicated by sub-optimal drug penetration in tissues allowing persistent and cryptic HIV-1 replication in body districts despite undetectable viremia. On this basis, this review aims at providing recent insights regarding the critical role of HIV-1 cellular reservoirs in different anatomical compartments, and their relationship with the pathogenesis of HIV-1 infection. A comprehensive definition of the complex interplay between the virus and its reservoir is critical in order to set up prophylactic and therapeutic strategies aimed at achieving the maximal virological suppression and hopefully in the near future the cure of HIV-1 infection (either functional or biological). © 2014 Springer Science+Business Media.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ENERGY.2012.10.2.1 | Award Amount: 2.69M | Year: 2012

Organic semiconductor solar cells are a promising route to scalable, economically viable, energy conversion technologies due to the potential for development of low-cost, flexible, large-area cells and modules. In order to achieve the goal of obtaining efficient bulk heterojunction solar cells (BHJ-SCs), graphene electrodes have been recently proposed as a promising candidate. Research is however at the very beginning, so that if graphene will manage to accomplish this task still has to be proved. In particular, many questions remains open like the degree of interaction of graphene with the polymeric layer, which could degrade the outstanding graphene electron conductivity, as well as the graphene/polymer electron affinity, which plays an important role in the overalls solar cell efficiency. Furthermore, up to now no analysis on light management improvements induced by structuring graphene as photonic crystal for light trapping in BHJ-SC has been reported. The GO-NEXTS project, will focus its attention on new kind of electrodes based on doped, textured (ie 3D) graphene electrodes, in order to increase the overall efficiency and performance of bulk heterojunction solar cells. To our knowledge, this represents the first proposal to enhance light trapping in a solar cell by structuring one or more graphene contact electrode(s) to act as photonic crystal(s). The project will leverage the combination of two different fabrication processes, and in particular the doping of the graphene, to obtain semi-transparent electrodes as well as the texturing of the electrodes. This approach, which has never been proposed before, represents a high-risk, high-impact approach. If successful, it should lead to improvements in solar cell efficiency by up to 14%. Furthermore, all the technologies proposed are suitable for large area realization paving the way for a scalable, economic fabrication technologies on low-cost flexible substrates.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: SPA.2013.1.1-07 | Award Amount: 2.84M | Year: 2013

The E-GEM project proposes to evolve the current status of GNSS Reflectometry (GNSS-R) methods for the purpose of Earth monitoring, paving the way for operational applications in the domains of ocean altimetry and scaterometry (mainly wave height and surface winds, but also soil moisture, and biomass, monitoring of ice layers). The approach of the E-GEM project is to bring together lead experts in GNSS-R technologies and experienced teams in Earth Observation domains, in order to address the data needs and requirements of GMES services and other Earth monitoring initiatives, and how can GNSS-R methods best respond to the identified challenges in these domains. A strong connection with the users basis as well as with institutional, public and private stakeholders interested in the development and usage of the technology, will also steer the projects efforts, and increase the awareness of this promising technology. Within the E-GEM project, three experimental platforms will be developed for GNSS-R data acquisition: a space-borne, an airborne and a ground instrument will acquire large amounts of data to support the development of algorithms. This data, together with the large effort put on the development and validation of algorithms and processing chains, will aim at obtaining high-resolution products for altimetry, wave height and surface winds. The expected improvements should largely result from the usage of the GPS P code (with the space- and airborne acquired signal), and Galileos AltBOC signals. For these purposes, the E-GEM project will rely strongly on the achievements of the GNSS-R community so far - in which European teams have historically had a leading role so far - and will bring together the individual efforts and other on-going projects into a joint working platform dedicated to the development and integration of GNSS-R technologies into GMES operational services.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: HEALTH.2013.1.2-1 | Award Amount: 10.28M | Year: 2013

Microbubbles (MBs) are used as contrast agent in ultrasound (US) imaging for a variety of tumours while little has been done for glioblastomas, a rare cancer. Intraoperative Contrast-Enhanced US-imaging (CEUS) using lipidic MBs hold promises in increasing extent of resection of such tumors. Furthermore, MBs gained recently interest as a delivery system for drugs. We will develop a new generation of multimodal MBs, acting simultaneously as contrast agent for Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), CEUS and intra-operative fluorescence for multimodal real-time image-guided resection of glioblastomas. We plan to transform MBs by replacing air with perfluorcarbon gas and/or attaching super-paramagnetic-iron-oxide nanoparticles for MRI visualization. We will also engineer MBs with RGD-motif to adhere selectively to pathological endothelial integrins and with near-infrared fluorophores for simultaneous US deep tissue imaging and direct microscopic tumour visualization to maximize resection. A software will be developed for integration of preoperative MRI, intraoperative US and microscopic imaging. We will focus on lipidic and polymeric MBs. Lipidic MBs are approved for clinical use; therefore, once modified, more easily translatable into clinical applications to reach a feasibility study on patients. In addition, we will improve multifunctional, polymer-based MBs. Multifunctional-stabilized-polymer-MBs are more stable and more versatile to be complexed with different molecules or nanoparticles as compared to lipidic Mbs and will be designed as a platform for delivering standard and/or experimental chemotherapeutic drugs to the tumour, acting as an innovative way for local targeting and delivering any kind of agent to a specific target, in a safe and controlled fashion. This would be a big step forward in the field of personalized medicine, moving standard MG image-guided treatment towards more effective, safer, molecular-based tailored interventions to specific patients.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-ITN | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2011-ITN | Award Amount: 3.89M | Year: 2012

The objectives of the proposal are: - To introduce ESRs and ERsto a range of astrodynamical concepts and problems and the relevant new mathematical theories and techniques. To develop their expertise in a number of these fields and to train them to conduct research, collaborate, and communicate their results. - To deepen and and broaden the knowledge and skills of ERs working in the areas of astrodynamics and dynamical systems theory. To encourage the more mathematical scientists to apply their skills to spacecraft dynamics and control, and the more applied scientists to apply new ideas and theories from mathematics to their problems - To provide both ESRs and ERs with the complementary communications and project management skills that are needed, in addition to scientific skills, for a successful career in either an academic or a non-academic enviroment.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: BSG-SME | Phase: SME-2013-1 | Award Amount: 1.26M | Year: 2014

Inasmuch as it is expected that cork stoppers will continue to be the preferred choice of wine bottlers, it is necessary to address a major drawback associated with the use of cork. Cork taint refers to a common fault in wine, associated with the presence of haloanisole compounds (particularly, 2,4,6-trichloroanisole or TCA) in large enough concentrations above 2ppt (2ng/l) to degrade the sensorial attributes of wine. Recent studies have proven that TCA contamination affects over 5% of commercial bottled wine. Though oak trees are not the only source of TCA contamination, cork is indeed the primary carrier, which explains the designation cork taint. Providing means to prevent contaminated cork stoppers to be used in the bottles would have positive impact in wine consumers satisfaction and confidence in the use of cork as raw material for manufacturing cork stoppers with significant economic consequences. The proposed system would be based in the odor detection technology successfully applied in electronic noses that allow sensing of very low concentration levels of Volatile Organic Compounds (V.O.C.). Using an electronic nose to detect the presence of contaminants in the cork stoppers would allow the separation of the contaminated ones before they enter the supply chain. The technological foundation already exists but it is necessary to improve the applied cost and speed of operation, tailoring them to the application. This technology could be applied in bottling lines, testing each cork stopper individually before its insertion and discarding those that have unacceptable levels of contaminants. In the cork stopper production plant it could be used in for individual cork stopper verification. This would allow the creation of a new category of value added product.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: NOE | Phase: ICT-2007.1.1 | Award Amount: 20.70M | Year: 2008

Future networks became a central topic with a large debate whether moving towards the new networked society will be evolutionary or disruptive. In the future networked society the physical and the digital worlds will merge based on the massive usage of wireless sensor networks. Objects will be able to identify and locate themselves and to communicate through radio interfaces. Self-organized edge networks will become more and more common. Virtualization and programmability will allow for providing different networking environments over the same infrastructure. Autonomic networking will deal with the increasing complexity of IandC systems. End-users empowerment will increase with his capacity of providing services and content, as well as connectivity support.\nThis new environment forces the scientific community to develop new principles and methods to design/dimension/control/manage future multi-technology architectures. The new paradigms raise new challenging scientific and technological problems embedded in complex policy, governance, and worldwide standards issues. Dealing with the diversity of these scientific and socio-economic challenges requires the integration of a wide range of research capacities; a role that Euro-NF will fulfil.\nIndeed, Euro-NF extends, in scope and duration, the successful Euro-NGI/FGI NoE that has integrated the required critical mass on the networks of the future and is now a major worldwide player in this area. The consortium has evolved in order to have an optimal coverage of the new scope. Euro-NF will therefore cover the integration of a wide range of European research capacities, including researchers and research and dissemination activities. As such Euro-NF will continue to develop a prominent European center of excellence in Future networks design and engineering, acting as a Collective Intelligence Think Tank, representing a major support for the European Society leading towards a European leadership in this area.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: PHC-08-2014 | Award Amount: 8.00M | Year: 2015

Tuberculosis (TB) is a global health problem, killing 1.5 million of people every year. The only currently available vaccine, Mycobacterium bovis BCG, is effective against severe childhood forms, but it demonstrates a variable efficacy against the pulmonary form of TB in adults. Many of these adult TB cases result from the reactivation of an initially controlled, latent Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB) infection. Effective prophylactic vaccination remains the key long-term strategy for combating TB. Continued belief in reaching this goal requires unrelenting innovation in the formulation and delivery of candidate vaccines. It is also based on the assumption, that the failure of recent human vaccine trials could have been due to a sub-optimal vaccine design and delivery, and therefore should not erode the key principle that a TB vaccine is an attainable target. This proposal focuses on mucosal vaccination, which has been considered in the past, but not implemented efficiently. The innovation of the proposal is focused on several important aspects of vaccine development and testing, including the use of novel technologies for vaccine delivery, novel ways of specific targeting of mucosal immune cells and tissues, the use of polypeptides incorporating early and latent MTB antigens and putative CD8\ T cell epitopes, and application of novel tools for identifying early predictors and correlates of vaccine-induced protection. The overall objective is to design a vaccine that will induce a broad-ranging immune response to MTB both systemically and in the mucosa of the lungs, and provide the currently missing links in protective immunity to this pathogen.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-CSA-Infra | Phase: INFRA-2012-1.1.17. | Award Amount: 8.57M | Year: 2014

Solar Energy, as the primary source of renewable energy, will contribute a major part of this share, and its conversion by concentrating technologies for concentrating solar power (CSP) and heat generation has long been proven cost-effective for a wide range of applications. Several CSP projects have recently been put into operation. Some 2.400 MW are under construction and several GW are in advanced stages of planning, particularly in Spain, but also in other Southern European countries, like France, Greece and Portugal. In view of this challenge for research, development and application of concentrating solar systems involving a growing number of European industries and utilities in global business opportunities, the purpose of this project is to integrate, coordinate and further focus scientific collaboration among the leading European research institutions in solar concentrating systems that are the partners of this project and offer European research and industry access to the best-qualified research and test infrastructures. This proposal deals with the continuation of the successful SFERA, now looking for a closer approach to the European CSP industry.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: LCE-02-2015 | Award Amount: 5.04M | Year: 2016

The aim of CHEOPS is to develop very low-cost but highly performing photovoltaic (PV) devices based on the emerging perovskite (PK) technology. At lab scale (<0.5cm2), PK energy conversion was rapidly advanced to efficiencies >20%. But only few attempts at upscaling have been made, yielding significantly reduced efficiencies <9% on aperture area. In addition, the very question about material stability and reliable measurement procedures are still debated. CHEOPS will now scale up the lab results to single junction modules manufactured in a pre-production environment while maintaining high efficiencies (>14% stable for aperture area in modules >15x15cm2). This will demonstrate the potential of PK as a very low-cost technology (target <0.3/Wp) well suited for building-integrated PV. In parallel, CHEOPS will develop materials and processes to achieve very high efficiency (>29% on 2x2cm2 cells) at low cost (target <0.4/Wp) using a tandem configuration with a crystalline silicon heterojunction cell. CHEOPS will also perform a sustainability assessment from a life-cycle perspective to anticipate potential risks for the technology (including business, technological, environmental, social & political risks). CHEOPS will establish a quantified future development roadmap as well as protocols for stability testing and for reliable measurements. CHEOPS partners cover the whole value added chain: key PK researchers, groups with track records of scaling up high efficiency and tandem cell developments, specialised technology and service providers as well as SMEs and industry partners with already strong IP portfolios, ready to exploit the CHEOPS results. Transferring the results to other growing industry sectors such as lighting or organic large area electronics will additionally benefit European industry. In summary, CHEOPS will decisively advance the potentially game-changing PK technology towards the market and will thus help to face the energy challenge in Europe and beyond.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: BSG-SME | Phase: SME-2012-1 | Award Amount: 1.18M | Year: 2012

The FCHR project proposes the implementation of an integrated pasteuriser and homogenizer for fluid foods based on an alternative approach induced only by mechanical means: hydrodynamic cavitation, which consists in the generation of huge amounts of energy in the form of shock waves, due to the turbulence produced in a fluid by pressure fluctuations. Opposite to currently studied alternatives, such as pulsed electric field or ultrasound cavitation, FCHR is highly scalable, due to the absence of electric field or ultrasound emitters. Substituting thermal pasteurization with a process working at lower temperature, it will deliver a safe product that preserves the sensory characteristics and freshness, while reducing processing cost, thanks to improvement in energy efficiency in the manufacturing steps (pasteurization and homogenization). S&T objectives consist in: 1. optimization of the design of the reactor and the rotor for the specific food industry needs, through simulating the hydrodynamic behavior , 2. mechanical design of the reactor, structural optimization, noise reduction and material selection to avoid any wear 3. implement a specific control system for the control of cavitation and of the pasteurising/homogenizing process 4. test the microbiological, chemical, physical and nutritional quality of 2-3 food products selected 5. Definition of a pasteurizing/homogenizing process design applicable at industrial scale 6. Evaluation of results against commercial benchmark for energetic, economic and quality aspects. The FCHR technology is applicable potentially to all fluid food in which pasteurisation and homogenization is needed: all products in the dairy industry, emulsions of flavorings, fruit nectars, vegetables puree, egg yolks, sauces and tomato sauces, formulations for early childhood, etc. The potential application to these products, and to intermediates used for their production, represent a huge potential market for the technology.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: HEALTH.2011.2.4.3-3 | Award Amount: 7.70M | Year: 2011

Modern lifestyle has dramatically changed the daily rhythms of life. Physical activity, diet and light exposure are no longer restricted to daytime hours, as technical and economical de-mands fuel the necessity to work outside usual working hours. Recent studies show that al-tered light exposure, shifted exercise patterns and untimely food intake following extended active periods into the night disturb the circadian clocks and severely disrupt endocrine and metabolic processes, contributing to an increased risk of type 2 diabetes/obesity. Especially shift workers constituting 20% of the European working population are affected by this prob-lem. Until now only few studies investigating circadian rhythm disturbances in the context of type 2 diabetes/obesity have been conducted in man. Within EuRhythDia a consortium of leading scientists supported by research-intensive SMEs aims to close this gap. The objective of the project is to achieve breakthroughs in the understanding of the causality between inner clock rhythm disturbances and the development of type 2 diabetes/obesity, and to verify whether re-setting the circadian clock through lifestyle interventions (exercise, diet, light exposure and melatonin intake) alters cardiometabolic risk to a clinically relevant degree. The project is based on shift workers as a model and combines genetic, epigenetic, proteomic, metabolomic, physiological, and clinical approaches. The consortium has direct access to well characterised human data incl. individuals predisposed to type 2 diabetes via LUPS co-hort. Additional small interventional and validation cohorts of shift workers and high risk juveniles will be recruited, and supportive animal studies will be conducted. Through the de-velopment of novel diagnostic assays enabling identification of patients at risk and elaboration of targeted prevention guidelines focusing on shift workers and juveniles, EuRhythDia will contribute to a positive impact on European citizens` health.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: BSG-SME-AG | Phase: SME-2013-2 | Award Amount: 2.94M | Year: 2013

The main scientific and technological objective of the current project is: producing prototypes of fully recyclable PET trays for food preservation by using recycled PET (RPET). The proposed idea will be able to give a solution to this problem by providing a mono-material tray in virgin PET (for food contact) and RPET for the rest of the tray. The necessary barrier properties will be guaranteed by an active oxygen barrier. The second objective of this project is: the study, designing and dissemination of a dedicated recycling model, inspired to replication and spreading of the recycling model of the 100% PET soft drink bottles, in the post-consumer phase, adapting its characteristics to the specific food package features. The recycling model will focus on the management of a cradle to cradle loop, from and to the starting manufacturing process, promoting the reduction of manufacturing costs and the carbon foot print of PET packaging for food. Although PET packaging solutions currently on the market fully satisfy the required performances, with respect to each single application, there is still a lack of these performances to be bridged respect to the basic need of the PET trays recycling. The main drawbacks of the current solutions for the PET trays manufacturing are due essentially to the presence of different plastic materials in the packages. In other terms they are manufactured by sticking different layers of different plastic materials, PET included. The multi-material feature poses severe limitations, and sometimes the impossibility, to the effective recycling of manufacturing scraps and of the trays at the end of their life. The major outputs and results of the project will be exploited by the participant SME-AGs on the following markets: 1) PET additives; 2) PET film production; 3) PET packaging production; 4) PET recycling.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: INFRA-2007-2.1-01 | Award Amount: 6.78M | Year: 2008

This is the project definition for the Conceptual Design Study of the large aperture European Solar Telescope (EST). EST is a pan-European project involving 29 partners from 14 different countries. A consortium EAST (European Association for Solar Telescopes) exists with the aim, among others, of undertaking the development of EST, to keep Europe in the frontier of Solar Physics in the world. EST will be optimised for studies of magnetic coupling between the deep photosphere and upper chromosphere. This will require diagnostics of the thermal, dynamic and magnetic properties of the plasma over many scale heights, by using multiple wavelength imaging, spectroscopy and spectropolarimetry. The EST design will strongly emphasise the use of a large number of visible and near-infrared instruments simultaneously, thereby improving photon efficiency and diagnostic capabilities relative to other existing or proposed ground-based or space-borne solar telescopes. To achieve these goals, EST must specialise in high spatial and temporal resolution using instruments that can efficiently produce two-dimensional spectral information. The study aims at demonstrating the scientific, technical and financial feasibility of EST. It includes key aspects needed for a conceptual design of the whole telescope, such as optomechanical design, cooling mechanisms, adaptive optics, instrumentation and control. Different existing alternatives will be analysed for all systems and subsystems, with decisions taken on the most adequate ones that are compatible with the scientific goals and the technical strategies. Technical specifications will be given at the end of the Design Study for all systems and subsystems.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: ERC-SG | Phase: ERC-SG-PE1 | Award Amount: 850.00K | Year: 2012

The scope of this project is to perform an analytical study of the geometric properties of the interafaces arising in the scalar Ginzburg-Landau-Allen-Cahn equation, with particular attention to possible 1D symmetries. Also, we would like to analyze the cases in which the operator is singular, degenrate, subelliptic or fractional and to obtain results for PDEs in manifold and in inverse overdetermined problems, since all these models share some important features with classical semilinear PDEs and possess a wide range of potential applications. To achieve our goals, we would like to build a small, mobile and specialized team of young researchers with outstanding professional skills, specialized in the above subjects, which has a long history together, new upcoming projects and a network to spread out to.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: KBBE-2007-2-3-01 | Award Amount: 7.33M | Year: 2008

The objective of the CAFE project is to provide new paradigms for the smart control of food processes, on the basis of four typical processes in the areas of bioconversion, separation, preservation and structuring. The novelty of the project lies in the capacity of combining PAT and sensing devices with models and simulation environment with the following objectives : (1) to extract as much as possible information from the process/plant in the form of precise estimations of unmeasured variables defining, in particular, product quality, and of physical parameters changing as the process dynamics does or difficult to know beforehand; (2) to save and encode in a reliable and usable way, basically via physical/deterministic models; and (3) to develop control methods to keep uniform quality and production despite the variability in the raw material and/or to respond to sudden changes in the demand.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-SICA | Phase: HEALTH-2007-2.3.4-1 | Award Amount: 4.49M | Year: 2008

Visceral leishmaniasis is caused by the protozoan parasites Leishmania donovani and Leishmania infantum and is a potentially fatal disease in endemic areas around the world. During the infectious cycle, Leishmania alternate between the insect promastigote stage and the vertebrate aflagellate amastigote stage that proliferates inside infected host macrophages provoking the pathology of the disease. This consortium uses a highly interdisciplinary approach to reveal Leishmania signaling molecules associated with amastigote virulence, with the major aim to exploit parasite-specific pathways for anti-leishmanial drug development. We use innovative drug screening concepts not applied previously on parasitic systems. We will utilize visual high-content screening to discover compounds capable to kill intracellular Leishmania amastigotes without deteriorating the host cell. This phenotype-based strategy relies on fluorescent parasites and macrophages as read-outs and will allow simultaneous assessment of anti-leishmanial activity and host cell toxicity under physiological conditions. We will apply a target-based strategy utilizing recombinant Leishmania protein kinases for inhibitor identification and structure-guided drug design. The identification of appropriate target kinases, with only limited homology to their mammalian counterparts will rely on in silico analysis by applying novel bioinformatic tools developed by consortium members, and in vitro assay based on their phospho-transferase activity towards recombinant Leishmania phospho-proteins. The major objectives of this proposal are (i) to screen small molecule and peptide libraries for hit compounds with leishmanicidal activity using phenotype- and target-based strategies, (ii) to identify anti-parasitic lead compounds and assess their pharmacokinetic profiles using cell-culture and experimental infection models for leishmaniasis, and (iii) to initiate lead optimization by structure-based drug design.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: CSA | Phase: INFRADEV-02-2016 | Award Amount: 9.05M | Year: 2017

The European Solar Telescope (EST) will be a revolutionary Research Infrastructure that will play a major role in answering key questions in modern Solar Physics. This 4-meter class solar telescope, to be located in the Canary Islands, will provide solar physicists with the most advanced state-of-the-art observing tools to transform our understanding of the complex phenomena that drive the solar magnetic activity. The principal objective of the present Preparatory Phase is to provide both the EST international consortium and the funding agencies with a detailed plan regarding the implementation of EST. The specific objectives of the proposed preparatory phase are: (1) to explore possible legal frameworks and related governance schemes that can be used by agencies to jointly establish, construct and operate EST as a new research infrastructure, with the implementation of an intermediate temporary organisational structure, as a previous step for future phases of the project; (2) to explore funding schemes and funding sources for EST, including a proposal of financial models to make possible the combination of direct financial and in-kind contributions towards the construction and operation of EST; (3) to compare the two possible sites for EST in the Canary Islands Astronomical Observatories and prepare final site agreements; (4) to engage funding agencies and policy makers for a long-term commitment which guarantees the construction and operation phases of the Telescope; (5) to involve industry in the design of EST key elements to the required level of definition and validation for their final production; (6) to enhance and intensify outreach activities and strategic links with national agencies and the user communities of EST. To accomplish the aforementioned goals, this 4-year project, promoted by the European Association for Solar Telescopes (EAST) and the PRE-EST consortium, encompassing 23 research institutions from 16 countries, will set up the Project Office

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: BSG-SME-AG | Phase: SME-2011-2 | Award Amount: 2.55M | Year: 2012

End of Life Tyres represent both a waste problem and a resource opportunity, for both the society and the large recycling trade community. Even though tyres are 100 % recyclable and their chemical and physical properties make them an outstandingly valuable resource, still energy recovery and land filling constitute the greatest share of destination. The tyre recycling sector is constituted by large communities of SMEs which is in a compelling need of exploiting ELT resource and seeking for an innovative and decisive solution to increase the competitiveness of tyres recycling when compared to energy recovery. SMART participant SME-AGs strongly believe that the starting point, upon which it is necessary to build the future of tyre recycling is unquestionably to focus on totally eliminating the pricy resins usually integrated in the moulding process and serving as rubber fragmented parts binders, and to achieve recyclable products with mechanical properties comparable to primary rubber products, at least for what concerns the performance to compression. Strategic value statement of SMART project is to increase the competitiveness of tyres rubber recycling and enlarge the target application products in new industrial sectors, making it more economically, energetically and environmentally convenient with respect to energy recovery, while providing a viable and clean solution to completely substitute and recovery land filling. Hence, SMART technological objectives are to realise innovative recycled rubber products in high added value sectors (sport, transport and industry) with specifically produced machine, by means of exhausted tyres grinding without the addition of any linking agent or virgin rubber. The product will be fully further recyclable, being no additive in it. A prudential estimate of the savings coming from the cost reduction itself, without any increase of the output, can be estimated in 20 Million per year.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA-CA | Phase: HEALTH-2007-2.1.2-6 | Award Amount: 1.75M | Year: 2009

The aim of the PSIMEx proposal is to systematically make published molecular interaction data computationally accessible. We plan to further develop the existing standard for molecular interactions developed by the HUPO Proteomics Standards Initiative, and to promote its implementation in the entire chain from experiment planning via data formatting and analysis to data representation in journal publications and public databases. Key aspects will be the dissemination of and user training on minimum requirements for publication of molecular interaction data; the further development of the PSI-MI standard for representation of data fulfilling these minimal requirements; the specification of efficient data deposition tools and data flow from data producers to public repositories as part of the publication process; implementation of international data exchange among databases; training and exchange of curation staff in the participating databases; and the definition of analysis tools for the efficient use of data following the PSI-MI standards.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: EUJ-03-2016 | Award Amount: 2.06M | Year: 2016

Information access on the Internet is exploding. Usage is shifting to multimedia applications, social networking and IoE. Cellular networks are moving to the next generation. Networking technology is shifting towards virtualization, with SDN and NFV likely to change the infrastructure landscape. The cloud concept is transforming the Internet to a network of data centers, with a communication model consisting of computer-to-cloud-to-computer interactions. Security concerns are leading to an encryption of all traffic, wreaking havoc with established network mechanisms. In this scenario with dramatic growth and evolution, where abstractions and interfaces become fundamental, ICN is just the perfect solution. ICN2020 will build on the wealth of studies performed on ICN with six main aims: a) design and develop a set of innovative applications such as video delivery, interactive videos and social networks to exploit ICN; b) augment ICN with IoT features and cloud/CDN/virtualization services; c) accordingly enhance existing ICN solutions/architectures; d) build local and global test-bed(s) to experiment the applications, services and ICN enhancements; e) contribute to common APIs and standards, by continuing the work that project partners are already doing; and f) Industry POCs of products and services exploiting ICN. The ICN2020 consortium includes leading experts in ICN and contributors to ICN testbeds in EU, Japan and USA, thus making the goal of federating them a credible one. Partners are also coordinators of running projects on 5G and Cloud topics, allowing fruitful cooperation with fellow projects of the EU-JP1, EU-JP2 calls and increasing the overall expected impact of the EU-Japan cooperation. In a time when 5G networks are being designed, with foreseen unprecedented flexibility due to the virtualization and slice concepts, the development of compelling demonstrations of ICN for real-world use-cases will encourage critical industry investment of resources.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA-CA | Phase: HEALTH-2007-4.1-8 | Award Amount: 679.12K | Year: 2009

The EECAlink is a coordination action aimed at identification of joint research priorities of the EU and EECA countries and strengthening scientific collaboration among them. International Cooperation Partner Countries targeted by our proposal are: Armenia, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Moldova, Russia, Ukraine and Uzbekistan. EECAlink represents (i) a measure of active encouragement of the international Health research related cooperation and allows (ii) strengthening of the existing bi-lateral scientific collaboration of all participating university/academia partners. Project consortium was balanced to be able to act as a pipe-line for communication of the (iii) research priorities of EECA countries to relevant EU policy makers and vice versa, (iv) help to coordinate future joint calls relevant to the Health Theme. Last, but not least, (v) to build capacities for proposal submission in FP7. EECAlink is proposed to run for 30 months. For the project communication and impact evaluation purposes, we have defined three major target stakeholder groups: 1. Policy makers this target group is further divided into (i) European and (ii) national. The first stakeholder group represents a key element for creation of European added value through identification of joint research opportunities for future calls in the area of Health research 2. Universities and academia partners the project is coordinated by the Charles University in Prague and represents a consortium of ten academic partners, who wish to both strengthen and extend their international collaboration in topics identified in FP7-TP Health programme 3. Wider RTD public research and innovation managers and individual scientific group leaders from participating countries interested in submitting own FP7 proposals

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: HEALTH-2007-2.4.5-2 | Award Amount: 3.88M | Year: 2008

The inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) which comprise Crohns disease and ulcerative colitis are chronic relapsing and remitting inflammatory disorders of the gastrointestinal tract. The frequency of these conditions has increased in recent decades, particularly in countries making the transition from developing to developed nation status. In western Europe, IBD now affects between 1/1000 and 5/1000 of the population, and the prevalence of the conditions in new EU accession countries appears to be growing as they develop. Few conditions in all of clinical medicine are linked with as much morbidity and potential mortality as IBD. Current treatment is based upon steroid therapy or neutralizing the effect of pro-inflammatory cytokines, especially TNFalpha. Despite their efficacy, many patients eventually require surgery for refractory disease or complications (stricture, perforation, abscess). In response to the call we have assembled a multidisciplinary team of international experts to delineate the role of intestinal proteases and their inhibitors in the pathophysiology of IBD. A particularly innovative aspect of our approach is the examination of both bacterial and host derived proteases and interactions between the two. The ultimate aim is develop novel therapeutics and increased understanding of the disease both of which will impact within the wider EU community and globally.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: BSG-SME | Phase: SME-1 | Award Amount: 1.14M | Year: 2011

SEAKERS originates from a joint initiative of top level SMEs and players of the marine yachting sector, aiming at introducing a high impact potential innovation, which it is expected to provide a valuable market and economic return; the SMEPs partnered together in order to develop a research and industrial action plan. SEAKERS intends to make available an innovative device, both in is concept and in its functions, consisting in a kinetic energy recovery system for yachts, exploiting undesired boat body movements caused by the sea, performing the simultaneous function of electricity generator and inertial dumper, improving onboard comfort. The expectations of the SMEPS is to impact current yachting technology and lead to the market a special boat concept, characterised by a strong distinctive character, easily recognised and appreciated by yacht customers.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: NMP-2008-2.2-1 | Award Amount: 11.95M | Year: 2009

Solid state light sources based on compound semiconductors are opening a new era in general lighting and will contribute significantly to a sustainable energy saving. For a successful and broad penetration of LEDs into the general lighting market two key factors are required: high efficiency and low cost. Two new disruptive technologies based on nanostructured semiconductors are proposed to address these key factors. A novel epitaxial growth technique based on nanorod coalescence will be explored to realize ultra-low defect density templates which will enable strain-relieved growth of LEDs and thus achieve higher efficiency. The second highly innovative approach is the growth of directly emitting Gallium nitride based nanorod structures. These structures are expected to produce exceptionally high efficiency devices covering the whole visible spectrum and even phosphor-free white LEDs. Significantly, our new nanostructured compound semiconductor based technology will enable LED growth on low-cost and large-area substrates (e.g., Silicon) as wafer bowing will be eliminated and thus lead to a dramatic reduction in production costs. The main objectives over the three years are: Profound understanding of the growth mechanisms and properties of nanorod systems New materials and process technologies (wafer-scale nanoimprinting, dry etching, device processing) for LEDs based on nanostructured templates and nanorod-LEDs Demonstrators: -Phosphor-converted white LEDs based on nanostructured sapphire templates (efficacy 150 lm/W @ 350 mA) and Silicon templates (efficacy 100 lm/W @ 350 mA) -Blue, green, yellow and red emitting Nano-LEDs (external quantum efficiency 10%) -Novel phosphor-free white-emitting Nano-LEDs (external quantum efficiency 2%) Realising the objectives of SMASH will start a new generation of affordable, energy-efficient solid state light sources for the general lighting market and will push the LED lamp and luminaire business in Europe.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: OCEAN 2013.1 | Award Amount: 5.56M | Year: 2013

SMS will deliver a novel automated networked system that will enable real-time in situ monitoring of marine water chemical and ecological status in coastal areas by the detection of a series of contaminants regulated by the MSFD. SMS will design a multi-modular apparatus that will host in a single unitthe Main Box (MB)a Sampling Module and an Analysis Module. The former will contain sample collection and treatment components, whereas the latter will include four biosensor sub-modules that will enable detection and measurement of algal toxins and their associated algal species; several hazardous compounds (tributyltin, diuron and pentaBDPE); sulphonamides and a series of standard water quality parameters. The MB will be equipped with a communication module for real-time data transfer to a control center, where data processing will take place, enabling alarm functionality to Health Warning Systems, whenever some critical value exceeds a pre-defined threshold. It will be placed on a floating platform or buoy positioned in loco at defined locations. SMS will also develop a Specific Marine Pollution Metric that will combine real-time data of pollutant concentrations and water quality parameters, to produce a quantitative assessment of marine water quality. All work will culminate in showcasing the projects results in three demonstration sites: in La Spezia, Italy, in the Slovenian Adriatic Sea and in the Alonissos marine park in Greece. The consortium brings together skills from industry and academia to address the proposed work program. The record track of the partners is a strong indication that the project will achieve its ambitious objectives and make a lasting impact through its exploitation plan. The technology development and test cases bring together a multi-sectorial team of experts interacting with endusers and marine water stakeholders, demonstrating that ICT, biotechnology and nanotechnology can increase the potential of biosensors for marine applications

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-ITN | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2011-ITN | Award Amount: 3.74M | Year: 2011

TRANSPATH is a multisectorial Network designed to facilitate the exchange of knowledge and technology between 7 leading European research teams and 3 SME partners and 2 associate SME Partners involved in basic and applied research into transglutaminase (TG) related human diseases. Its ambitions are to accelerate the development of new strategies for the treatment and diagnosis of human diseases related to transglutaminases, including metastatic cancer, neurodegeneration and celiac disease. The subject is highly relevant as deregulation of tissue transglutaminase activity is observed in a number of human diseases while the exact mechanisms are still largely unknown. The project targets this unmet clinical need. The main objectives are :1) to establish the molecular nature of the role of transglutaminases in the pathogenesis of diseases which are known to involve these multifunctional enzymes with a view to developing novel specific inhibitors and new therapeutic approaches which will have a major impact on their treatment ;2) provide an extensive cross sectorial scientific and supporting training network that will increase the capabilities of highly skilled researchers for the European biotechnology industry and academia.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: NMP.2013.1.2-1 | Award Amount: 5.25M | Year: 2013

Water-borne viral diseases pose high risks for public health worldwide. The urban wastewater contains large number of pathogen viruses, and even the most advanced wastewater treatment is not safe for full removal of virus particles. The conventional biological water quality indicators do not provide adequate information about the presence of pathogenic viruses. The currently available reliable virus test - based on molecular biology - is expensive, time consuming and labour intensive, thus limited to few laboratories with sophisticated facilities and well-trained personnel, even though the protection of water networks against pathogenic viruses is crucial. In this project we aim to develop a novel, cost effective, portable, on-site detection system, which is capable for monitoring human enteric viruses in different freshwater bodies. The method is based on disposable microfluidic chip, in which the virus particles can be up-concentrated and detected by electrical readout with a detection limit of 0.01-1 virus/L. We will focus on selective detection of norovirus, Hepatitis A and rotavirus (the most prevalent viruses), but the sensor is capable to detect any other virus with relevant functionalization. The plug-and-play virus sensor chip will be integrated into a measurement unit, which will send the data to the monitoring station. The project will include laboratory and field tests and validation of the monitoring unit, development an early warning system and epidemic risk assessment, provide with exploitation possibilities at the end-users, economical assessment for positive production capacity and preparation for future standardization.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: NMP.2011.4.0-2 | Award Amount: 14.75M | Year: 2012

The NeTTUN 54M project will enable groundbreaking change in the construction, management and maintenance of tunnels in pursuit of the goals of NMP.2011.4.0-2 via 9 focussed WPs addressing key scientific and technical challenges: (i) a multi-sensor ground prediction system for TBMs to enable effective look-ahead during boring; (ii) a robotic maintenance system that enables automation of inspection and exchange of drag bits and disc cutters; (iii) the design of cutter tools with increased lifetime; (iv) a system for modelling of global risks on tunnel projects in order to quantify and manage uncertainties; (v) systems for modelling and controlling the impact of tunnelling on surrounding structures; (vi) a Decision Support system for tunnel maintenance management. The improvements enabled by this work programme will enhance every aspect of the lifecycle of tunnelling: from design, to construction, and maintenance of Europes extensive tunnel legacy. Each of the 21 partners in the NeTTUN Consortium Industrial, Research and Development and SME has been invited to participate because of unique scientific expertise and tunnelling sector experience. Ecole Centrale de Lyon, a French top-level engineering school involved in international research, will be the NeTTUN project coordinator. NFM, the French Tunnel Boring Machine manufacturer, will manage the scientific and technical aspects of the project. Both these organisations will work as a team. NeTTUN project results will impact the tunnelling industry by enlarging business perspectives, with productivity increase; delivering underground operations with zero impact on surroundings; answering societal needs by improving safety; and strengthening competitiveness of European industry. The Consortium will demonstrate project results on the site of Metro Line C construction under Romes ancient monuments, as well as with OHL on the Guadalquivir, and Razel on the Frjus Tunnels. Dissemination, Exploitation and Gender Equality Committees will ensure the Consortiums activities and successful project results are promoted to the target audiences of the general public, the tunnelling industry and education and academic sectors.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-ITN | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2012-ITN | Award Amount: 3.32M | Year: 2013

PIMIC is a cooperative effort by a team of western medievalists, Arabists and Byzantinists -eight partners from prestigious academic institutions and two private sector companies- in order to propose a four years ITN program. For this project, we will take advantage of the wide-ranging expertise and complementarities of all ITN partners, composed of some of the most relevant research in mediaeval history sharing a common scientific interest which they approach using different perspectives. PIMIC will coordinate scholarly works at pre and post doctoral level, which will address particular questions from different perspectives, but which will integrate a common and ambitious research programme on a vital historical question: why did certain sorts of institutionalisation and institutional continuity come to characterise government and society in Christendom by the later Middle Ages, but not the Islamic world, whereas the reverse might have been predicted on the basis of the early medieval situation? In addressing this question, the PIMIC-ITN aims to produce a number of interpretative answers stressing the fact that even though the whole Mediterranean basin shared a common classical legacy, institutions acquired distinctive configurations in different regions and periods. The training will allow not merely geographical, chronological, and cultural comparison, but also comparison of historiographical traditions. The novelty of this approach and the relevance of the topic have attracted the interest of private companies that will help the project in implementing ambitious schemes for the diffusion and transference of its conclusions. If successful, PIMIC-ITN will train a new generation of researchers who are professionally equipped to bridge this humanities social science divide and able to communicate a rigorously historical new medieval dimension to contemporary pan-European political and socio-cultural debates and actions.

News Article | April 6, 2016

It is the elephant in the room for dark-matter research: a claimed detection that is hard to believe, impossible to confirm and surprisingly difficult to explain away. Now, four instruments that will use the same type of detector as the collaboration behind the claim are in the works or poised to go online. Within three years, the experiments will be able to either confirm the existence of dark matter — or rule the claim out once and for all, say the physicists who work on them. “This will get resolved,” says Frank Calaprice of Princeton University in New Jersey, who leads one of the efforts. The original claim comes from the DAMA collaboration, whose detector sits in a laboratory deep under the Gran Sasso Massif, east of Rome. For more than a decade, it has reported overwhelming evidence1 for dark matter, an invisible substance thought to bind galaxies together through its gravitational attraction. The first of the new detectors to go online, in South Korea, is due to start taking data in a few weeks. The others will follow over the next few years in Spain, Australia and, again, Gran Sasso. All will use sodium iodide crystals to detect dark matter, which no full-scale experiment apart from DAMA’s has done previously. Scientists have substantial evidence that dark matter exists and is at least five times as abundant as ordinary matter. But its nature remains a mystery. The leading hypothesis is that at least some of its mass is composed of weakly interacting massive particles (WIMPs), which on Earth should occasionally bump into an atomic nucleus. DAMA’s sodium iodide crystals should produce a flash of light if this happens in the detector. And although natural radioactivity also produces such flashes, DAMA’s claim to have detected WIMPs, first made in 1998, rests on the fact that the number of flashes produced per day has varied with the seasons. This, they say, is exactly what is expected if the signal is produced by WIMPs that rain down on Earth as the Solar System moves through the Milky Way’s dark-matter halo2. In this scenario, the number of particles crossing Earth should peak when the planet’s orbital motion lines up with that of the Sun, in early June, and should hit a low when its motion works against the Sun’s, in early December. There is one big problem. “If it’s really dark matter, many other experiments should have seen it already,” says Thomas Schwetz-Mangold, a theoretical physicist at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology in Germany — and none has. But at the same time, all attempts to find weaknesses in the DAMA experiment, such as environmental effects that the researchers had not taken into account, have failed. “The modulation signal is there,” says Kaixuan Ni at the University of California, San Diego, who works on a dark-matter experiment called XENON1T. “But how to interpret that signal — whether it’s from dark matter or something else — is not clear.” No other full-scale experiment has used sodium iodide in its detector, although the Korea Invisible Mass Search (KIMS), in South Korea, used caesium iodide. So the possibility remains that dark matter interacts with sodium in a different way to other elements. “Not until someone has turned on a detector made of the same material will you grow convinced that nothing is there,” says Juan Collar at the University of Chicago, Illinois, who has worked on several dark-matter experiments. Many have found it challenging to grow sodium iodide crystals with the required purity. Contamination by potassium, which has a naturally occurring radioactive isotope, is a particular problem. But now three dark-matter-hunting teams — KIMS; DM-Ice, run from Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut; and ANAIS, at the University of Zaragoza, Spain — have each obtained crystals with about twice the level of background radioactivity of DAMA’s. That is pure enough to test its results, they say. The KIMS and DM-Ice teams have built a sodium iodide detector together at Yangyang Underground Laboratory, 160 kilometres east of Seoul. This instrument uses an ‘active veto’ sensor that will enable it to separate the dark-matter signal from the noise better than DAMA does, says Yeongduk Kim, the director of South Korea’s Center for Underground Physics in Daejeon, which manages KIMS. ANAIS is building a similar detector in the Canfranc Underground Laboratory in the Spanish Pyrenees. Together, KIMS/DM-Ice and ANAIS will have about 200 kilograms of sodium iodide, and they will pool their data. That is comparable to DAMA’s 250 kilograms, enabling them to catch a similar number of WIMPs, they say. Even though the newer detectors will have higher levels of background noise, it should still be possible to either falsify or reproduce the very large DAMA signal, says Reina Maruyama of Yale, who leads DM-Ice. But Calaprice argues that high purity is more important than mass. He and his collaborators have developed a technique to lower contamination, and in January announced that they were the first to obtain crystals purer than DAMA’s. He expects to reduce the background levels further, to one-tenth of DAMA’s. The project, SABRE (Sodium-iodide with Active Background Rejection), will put one detector at Gran Sasso and the other at the Stawell Underground Physics Laboratory, which is being built in a gold mine in Victoria, Australia. SABRE will also use a sensor to pull out the dark-matter signal from noise, and will have a total mass of 50 kilograms. SABRE should complete its research and development stage in about a year, and will build its detectors soon after that, says Calaprice. It will then make its technology available to other labs — something that DAMA did not do. And having twin detectors in both the Northern and Southern hemispheres could clarify whether environmental effects could have mimicked dark matter’s seasonality in DAMA’s results — if the signal is from WIMPs, then both detectors should see peaks at the same time. DAMA will wait at least until 2017 to release its latest results, says spokesperson Rita Bernabei of the University of Rome Tor Vergata. She is not holding her breath about the upcoming sodium iodide detectors. “Our results have already been verified in countless cross-checks in 14 annual cycles, so we have no reason to get excited about what others may do,” she says. If other experiments do not see the annual modulation, she adds, her collaboration will conclude that they do not yet have sufficient sensitivity. Could the teams prove DAMA right? “I was unwilling to believe the DAMA results or even take them seriously at first,” says Katherine Freese, a theoretical astroparticle physicist at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, who with her collaborators first proposed the seasonal modulation technique used by DAMA2. But, as DAMA’s data have accumulated, and no other explanation for their signal has arisen, Freese is now excited by the possibility that dark matter may have been discovered after all. The fact that many have tried and failed to repeat DAMA’s experiment shows that it is not easy, says Elisabetta Barberio at the University of Melbourne, who leads the Australian arm of SABRE. “The more one looks into their experiment, the more one realizes that it is very well done.”

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: HEALTH-2007-2.3.2-7 | Award Amount: 13.02M | Year: 2009

CHAIN is a large scale integrating project aimed to effectively and durably combat new and existing anti-HIV drug resistance in clinical settings, with a special emphasis on Eastern Europe and in heavily affected resource-poor regions in Africa. This will be achieved through our pan-European network of surveillance and basic research activities, the involvement of all main actors in the field of HIV and anti-HIV drug resistance, monitoring how resistances develop and evolve, improved understanding of mechanisms of resistance development, performing molecular epidemiology studies, providing improved and new strategies to evaluate and limit the emergence and transmission of HIV drug resistance, setting up training and dissemination activities and supporting evidence-based public health policy and action. CHAIN brings together Europes leading internationally recognised scientific expertise in basic science, molecular epidemiology, bioinformatics and surveillance of HIV and HIV resistance including the WHO, strong links to Eastern Europe through the existing FP6 funded cohort network Europe HIVresistance and strategic links to relevant pan-European cohort networks and national cohort networks (PENTA/ECS, CASCADE, EuroSIDA, COHERE, ICoNa, UK-CHIC, SHCS). Our balanced programme of work is informed by optimising the synergistic skills represented by the applicants, and also through harmonising with existing initiatives, that ensures lack of duplication, but rather maximises the impact of European activities. Thus, our African and Eastern European work will be linked to WHO policy, our European surveillance studies will be guided by ECDC (through our advisory board), and our clinical research will generate questions best addressed through the NEAT clinical trial network. Finally, our partnership with the key biotechnology companies in HIV resistance will ensure maximal impact of our basis research activities.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA-CA | Phase: REGIONS | Award Amount: 2.96M | Year: 2010

Thanks to the developments in Medical Imaging Diagnosis is earlier than ever. Physicians have more information and insight. Care is less invasive and less painful for patients. Access to tests and treatments is easier as imaging procedures are available in convenient settings, such as independent imaging centers. In addition, patient outcomes from fewer complications to saved livesare dramatically improved. And we are not at the end of our journey, yet!. The Next Generation of Medical Imaging is just here out of the integration and cross-disciplinary use of NanoMedicine, Pharmacological breakthroughs, Biotechnologies for healthcare and ICT combined with standard Medical Imaging evolution. Unfortunately, the healthcare sector is quite diverse and collaboration has been difficult as a result, so the challenge is to build expertise in the development of integrated systems that address unmet clinical needs while providing a solid and consistent network of R&D \ Innovation groups. Co-ordination and integration of Research-Driven Clusters under the so called Triple Helix III approach is a must in order to achieve the growth and competitiveness opportunities that Advanced Medical Imaging brings to the European society. AMI-4EUROPE is to co-ordinate, integrate and set up a newly defined EU-based Value Chain on Advanced, Cross-disciplinary and Integrated Medical Imaging by taking full advantage of all strengths that European stakeholders have while targeting the market niches that are arising as the Next Generation Medical Imaging unfolds itself out of the convergence of Nanomedicine, Pharmaceutical and Biotechnologies for healthcare and taking advantage of the ICT developments. Socio-economic impact at European level will be significant. Sustainability and synergy-searching are assured: Many regional governments are backing up AMI-4EUROPE.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: SGA-RIA | Phase: FETFLAGSHIP | Award Amount: 89.00M | Year: 2016

This project is the second in the series of EC-financed parts of the Graphene Flagship. The Graphene Flagship is a 10 year research and innovation endeavour with a total project cost of 1,000,000,000 euros, funded jointly by the European Commission and member states and associated countries. The first part of the Flagship was a 30-month Collaborative Project, Coordination and Support Action (CP-CSA) under the 7th framework program (2013-2016), while this and the following parts are implemented as Core Projects under the Horizon 2020 framework. The mission of the Graphene Flagship is to take graphene and related layered materials from a state of raw potential to a point where they can revolutionise multiple industries. This will bring a new dimension to future technology a faster, thinner, stronger, flexible, and broadband revolution. Our program will put Europe firmly at the heart of the process, with a manifold return on the EU investment, both in terms of technological innovation and economic growth. To realise this vision, we have brought together a larger European consortium with about 150 partners in 23 countries. The partners represent academia, research institutes and industries, which work closely together in 15 technical work packages and five supporting work packages covering the entire value chain from materials to components and systems. As time progresses, the centre of gravity of the Flagship moves towards applications, which is reflected in the increasing importance of the higher - system - levels of the value chain. In this first core project the main focus is on components and initial system level tasks. The first core project is divided into 4 divisions, which in turn comprise 3 to 5 work packages on related topics. A fifth, external division acts as a link to the parts of the Flagship that are funded by the member states and associated countries, or by other funding sources. This creates a collaborative framework for the entire Flagship.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: IA | Phase: GALILEO-3-2014 | Award Amount: 1.31M | Year: 2015

Biomass mapping has gained increased interest for bioenergy, climate research and mitigation activities, such as reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, sustainable management of forests and enhancement of forest carbon stocks (e.g. REDD initiative). However, continuous deforestation activity and forest management requires frequent and accurate monitoring which can be expensive and difficult to attain. In Brazil, optical satellite data is typically used by government but even such does not allow accurate enough mapping due cloud coverage, requiring combination of other sources such as in-situ and air-borne measurements. Furthermore, satellite radar signals can penetrate clouds but still today the spatial resolution is not sufficient. In COREGAL, a low cost unmanned fixed-plane Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) and service for biomass mapping will allow wide scale mapping in the Brazilian context of forest management. A first of a kind combined Position-Reflectometry Galileo receiver will be developed as main sensor for platform positioning and biomass estimation, the latter using reflected GNSS signals (also called GNSS-R) on tree canopies. High positioning accuracy (centimetre level) is required for surface point reflection determination, which is challenging for remote areas where no GNSS infrastructure is available as in the case of many forests in Brazil. However, Galileo AltBOC E5 signals offer unprecedented pseudorange measurement quality which can be used for novel high accuracy positioning. The UAV will be equipped and tested with a COREGAL receiver and optical cameras for aerial mapping and biomass estimation, enabling wide scale low cost mapping: UAV mapping is at least one order of magnitude lower cost than manned air-borne missions while GNSS-R can be seen as bi-static radar replacing expensive, heavy and power consuming radars. The consortium includes universities and companies for successful services and technology exploitation.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-CSA | Phase: ENERGY.2013.10.1.5 | Award Amount: 13.28M | Year: 2014

Europe has invoked the SET-Plan to design and implement an energy technology policy for Europe to accelerate the development and deployment of cost-effective renewable energy systems, including photovoltaics. With lower cost of solar electricity, PV could significantly contribute to the achievements of the 20-20-20 objectives. The Joint Program on PV of the European Energy Research Alliance (EERA-PV) aims to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of PV R&D through alignment and joint programming of R&D of its member institutes, and to contribute to the R&D-needs of the Solar Europe Industry Initiative. In CHEETAH, all EERA-PV members will, through collaborative R&D activities, (1) focus on solving specific bottlenecks in the R&D Joint Program of EERA-PV, (2) strengthen the collaboration between PV R&D performers in Europe through sharing of knowledge, personnel and facilities, and (3) accelerate the implementation of developed technologies in the European PV industry. Specifically, CHEETAH R&D will support Pillar A (performance enhancement & energy cost reduction) of the SEII Implementation Plan, through materials optimization and performance enhancement. CHEETAHs objectives are threefold: 1) Developing new concepts and technologies for wafer-based crystalline silicon PV (modules with ultra-thin cells), thin-film PV (advanced light management) and organic PV (very low-cost barriers), resulting in (strongly) reduced cost of materials and increased module performance; 2) Fostering long-term European cooperation in the PV R&D sector, by organizing workshops, training of researchers, efficient use of infrastructures; 3) Accelerating the implementation of innovative technologies in the PV industry, by a strong involvement of EPIA and EIT-KIC InnoEnergy in the program It is the ambition of CHEETAH to develop technology and foster manufacturing capabilities so that Europe can regain and build up own manufacturing capacity in all parts of the value chain in due time.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-CSA-Infra | Phase: INFRA-2012-1.1.26. | Award Amount: 8.20M | Year: 2013

This project aims at integrating the major European infrastructures in the field of high-resolution solar physics. The following actions will be taken: (i) realise Trans-national Access to external European users; (ii) enhance and spread data acquisition and processing expertise to the Europe-wide community; (iii) increase the impact of high-resolution data by offering science-ready data and facilitating their retrieval and usage; (iv) encourage combination of space and ground-based data by providing unified access to pertinent data repositories; (v) foster synergies between different research communities by organising meetings where each presents state-of-the-art methodologies; (vi) train a new generation of solar researchers through setting up schools and an ambitious mobility programme; (vii) develop prototypes for new-generation post-focus instruments; (vii) study local and non-local atmospheric turbulence, their impact on image quality, and ways to negate their effects; (viii) improve the performance of existing telescopes; (ix) improve designs of future large European ground-and space-based solar telescopes; (x) lay foundations for combined use of facilities around the world and in space; (xi) reinforce partnership with industry to promote technology transfer through existing networks; and (xii) dissemination activities towards society. The project involves all pertinent European research institutions, infrastructures, and data repositories. Together, these represent first-class facilities. The additional participation by private companies and non-European research institutions maximizes the impact on the world-wide scale. In particular, the project achievements will be of principal importance in defining the exploitation of the future 4-meter European Solar Telescope.

Potgieter M.S.,North West University South Africa | Vos E.E.,North West University South Africa | Boezio M.,National Institute of Nuclear Physics, Italy | De Simone N.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | And 2 more authors.
Solar Physics | Year: 2014

The last solar minimum activity period, and the consequent minimum modulation conditions for cosmic rays, was unusual. The highest levels of galactic protons were recorded at Earth in late 2009 in contrast to expectations. Proton spectra observed for 2006 to 2009 from the PAMELA cosmic ray detector on-board the Resurs-DK1 satellite are presented together with the solutions of a comprehensive numerical model for the solar modulation of cosmic rays. The model is used to determine what mechanisms were mainly responsible for the modulation of protons during this period, and why the observed spectrum for 2009 was the highest ever recorded. From mid-2006 until December 2009 we find that the spectra became significantly softer because increasingly more low energy protons had reached Earth. To simulate this effect, the rigidity dependence of the diffusion coefficients had to decrease significantly below ~ 3 GeV. The modulation minimum period of 2009 can thus be described as relatively more 'diffusion dominated' than previous solar minima. However, we illustrate that drifts still had played a significant role but that the observable modulation effects were not as well correlated with the waviness of the heliospheric current sheet as before. Protons still experienced global gradient and curvature drifts as the heliospheric magnetic field had decreased significantly until the end of 2009, in contrast to the moderate decreases observed during previous minimum periods. We conclude that all modulation processes contributed to the observed increases in the proton spectra for this period, exhibiting an intriguing interplay of these major mechanisms. © 2013 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht.

Candi E.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Agostini M.,University of Leicester | Melino G.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Melino G.,University of Leicester | And 2 more authors.
Human Mutation | Year: 2014

In mammals, the p53 family comprises two additional members, p63 and p73 (hereafter referred to as TP53, TP63, and TP73, respectively). The usage of two alternative promoters produces protein variants either with (transactivating [TA] isoforms) or without (ΔN isoforms) the N-terminal transactivation domain (TAD). In general, the TA proteins exert TP53-like tumor-suppressive activities through their ability to activate a common set of target genes. The ΔN proteins can act as dominant-negative inhibitors of the transcriptionally active family members. Additionally, they possess intrinsic-specific biological activities due to the presence of alternative TADs, and as a result of engaging a different set of regulators. This review summarizes the current understanding of upstream regulators and downstream effectors of the TP53 family proteins, with particular emphasis on those that are relevant for their role in tumorigenesis. Furthermore, we highlight the existence of networks and cross-talks among the TP53 family members, their modulators, as well as the transcriptional targets. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Squitti R.,AFaR Fatebenefratelli Hospital | Squitti R.,Biomedical University of Rome | Polimanti R.,University of Rome Tor Vergata
Journal of Alzheimer's Disease | Year: 2012

Sporadic Alzheimer's disease (LOAD) is the most common form of dementia and has a high heritability. The genes associated with LOAD explain a small proportion of the genetic contribution to LOAD, leaving several genetic risk factors to be identified. Some authors have suggested a shift from the paradigm "common disease-common gene variants", which is currently the basis for genome-wide association studies, to a "common disease-multiple rare gene variants" hypothesis aimed at identifying rarer allele variants with large effect size on LOAD onset, suggesting that they may account for the 'missing' heritability of LOAD. Recent studies have demonstrated the connection between copper imbalance and LOAD. Some studies have pointed out the pivotal role of 'free' copper, the portion of serum copper non-bound to ceruloplasmin. Free copper has been already identified as a biological marker of Wilson's disease (WD), the paradigmatic disease of free copper toxicosis or accumulation. The ATP7B gene controls free copper levels, and its mutations cause WD. The paradigm shift to "common disease-multiple rare variants" may suitably fit the ATP7B gene; the high heterogeneity of the ATP7B gene may have hidden multiple rare variants with large effect sizes for LOAD. Demonstrating that the ATP7B gene harbors rare variants which may account for some of the missing hereditability of LOAD would support previous evidence of copper involvement in LOAD from a new and totally different perspective and would bring almost immediate benefits in the clinical community in terms of early diagnosis, treatment efficacy, LOAD prevention, and cost savings. © 2012-IOS Press and the authors. All rights reserved.

Russo F.,University of Reggio Calabria | Comi A.,University of Rome Tor Vergata
Transportation | Year: 2010

The paper reports a modelling system to simulate goods movements at an urban scale. It allows joint analysis of choices made by end-consumers (assumed to be families) and retailers. These movements are examined at two levels: analysis of commodity flows, in terms of quantity, generated by the consumption of commodities; analysis of commodity flows, in terms of vehicles, due to restocking. The first level allows us to calculate the goods quantity flows due to consumption and restocking; the second level allows us to determine the service, vehicles used and target time, as well as the route chosen for restocking sales outlets in order to estimate vehicle flows on the urban/metropolitan transportation network. The modelling system is a multi-step model and considers a disaggregated approach for each decisional level. © 2010 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.

Italiano G.F.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Nussbaum Y.,Tel Aviv University | Sankowski P.,University of Warsaw | Wulff-Nilsen C.,Carleton University
Proceedings of the Annual ACM Symposium on Theory of Computing | Year: 2011

We study the min st-cut and max st-flow problems in planar graphs, both in static and in dynamic settings. First, we present an algorithm that given an undirected planar graph and two vertices s and t computes a min st-cut in O(n log log n) time. Second, we show how to achieve the same bound for the problem of computing a max st-flow in an undirected planar graph. These are the first algorithms breaking the O(n log n) barrier for those two problems, which has been standing for more than 25 years. Third, we present a fully dynamic algorithm maintaining the value of the min st-cuts and the max st-flows in an undirected plane graph (i.e., a planar graph with a fixed embedding): our algorithm is able to insert and delete edges and answer queries for min st-cut/max st-flow values between any pair of vertices s and t in O(n (2/3) log (8/3) n) time per operation. This result is based on a new dynamic shortest path algorithm for planar graphs which may be of independent interest. We remark that this is the first known non-trivial dynamic algorithm for min st-cut and max st-flow. © 2011 ACM.

Pigolotti S.,Polytechnic University of Catalonia | Benzi R.,University of Rome Tor Vergata
Physical Review Letters | Year: 2014

We study a stochastic spatial model of biological competition in which two species have the same birth and death rates, but different diffusion constants. In the absence of this difference, the model can be considered as an off-lattice version of the voter model and presents similar coarsening properties. We show that even a relative difference in diffusivity on the order of a few percent may lead to a strong bias in the coarsening process favoring the more agile species. We theoretically quantify this selective advantage and present analytical formulas for the average growth of the fastest species and its fixation probability. © 2014 American Physical Society.

Cazzola M.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Cazzola M.,San Raffaele Pisana Hospital | Page C.,King's College London | Matera M.G.,The Second University of Naples
Pulmonary Pharmacology and Therapeutics | Year: 2013

The use of muscarinic receptor antagonists in the treatment of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is well established. More recently, the potential for long-acting muscarinic receptor antagonists (LAMAs) in the treatment of asthma has also been investigated. While LAMAs offer advantages over short-acting muscarinic receptor antagonists, in terms of a reduced dosing frequency, there remains a need for therapies that improve symptom control throughout both the day and night, provide better management of exacerbations and deliver improved health-related quality of life. Furthermore, the potential for unwanted anticholinergic side effects, particularly cardiovascular effects, remains a concern for this class of compounds. Novel LAMAs in clinical development for the treatment of respiratory disease include: aclidinium bromide, NVA237 (glycopyrronium bromide), GP-MDI, EP-101, CHF-5259, umeclidinium bromide, CHF-5407, TD-4208, AZD8683 and V-0162. These compounds offer potential advantages in terms of onset of action, symptom control and safety. In addition, a number of LAMAs are also being developed as combination treatments with long-acting β2-agonists (LABAs) or inhaled glucocorticosteroids, potentially important treatment options for patients who require combination therapy to achieve an optimal therapeutic response as their disease progresses. More recently, compounds such as GSK961081 and THRX-198321 have been identified that combine LAMA and LABA activity in the same molecule, and have the potential to offer the benefits of combination therapy in a single compound. Here, we review novel LAMAs and dual action compounds in clinical development, with a particular focus on how they may address the current unmet clinical needs in the treatment of respiratory disease, particularly COPD. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

Cazzola M.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Cazzola M.,San Raffaele Pisana Hospital | Page C.P.,King's College London | Rogliani P.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Matera M.G.,The Second University of Naples
American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine | Year: 2013

β2-Agonists are effective bronchodilators due primarily to their ability to relax airway smooth muscle (ASM). They exert their effects via their binding to the active site of β2-adrenoceptors on ASM, which triggers a signaling cascade that results in a number of events, all of which contribute to relaxation of ASM. There are some differences between β2-agonists. Traditional inhaled short-acting β2-agonists albuterol, fenoterol, and terbutaline provide rapid as-needed symptom relief and short-term prophylactic protection against bronchoconstriction induced by exercise or other stimuli. The twice-daily β2-agonists formoterol and salmeterol represent important advances. Their effective bronchodilating properties and long-term improvement in lung function offer considerable clinical benefits to patients. More recently, a newer β2-agonist (indacaterol) with a longer pharmacodynamic half-life has been discovered, with the hopes of achieving once-daily dosing. In general, β2-agonists have an acceptable safety profile, although there is still controversy as to whether long-acting β2-agonists may increase the risk of asthma mortality. In any case, they can induce adverse effects, such as increasedheart rate, palpitations, transientdecrease inPaO2, and tremor. Desensitization of β2-adrenoceptors that occurs during the first few days of regular use of β2-agonist treatment may account for the commonlyobserved resolutionof themajority of these adverse events after the first few doses. Nevertheless, it can also induce tolerance to bronchoprotective effects of β2-agonists and has the potential to reduce bronchodilator sensitivity to them. Some novel once-daily β2-agonists (olodaterol, vilanterol, abediterol) are under development, mainly in combination with an inhaled corticosteroid or a long-acting antimuscarinic agent. Copyright © 2013 by the American Thoracic Society.

Lorenz R.D.,Johns Hopkins University | Newman C.,Ashima Research | Newman C.,California Institute of Technology | Lunine J.I.,University of Rome Tor Vergata
Icarus | Year: 2010

Motivated by radar and near-infrared data indicating that Titan's polar lakes are extremely smooth, we consider the conditions under which a lake surface will be ruffled by wind to form capillary waves. We evaluate laboratory data on wind generation and derive, without scaling for surface tension effects, a threshold for pure methane/ethane of ∼0.5-1. m/s. However, we compute the physical properties of predicted Titan lake compositions using the National Institute for Standards Technology (NIST) code and note that dissolved amounts of C3 and C4 compounds are likely to make Titan lakes much more viscous than pure ethane or methane, even without allowing for suspended particulates which would increase the viscosity further. Wind tunnel experiments show a strong dependence of capillary wave growth on liquid viscosity, and this effect may explain the apparent absence so far of waves, contrary to prior expectations that generation of gravity waves by wind should be easy on Titan. On the other hand, we note that winds over Titan lakes predicted with the TitanWRF Global Circulation Model indicate radar observations so far have in any case been when winds have been low (∼0.5-0.7. m/s), possibly below the wave generation threshold, while peak winds during summer may reach 1-2. m/s. Thus observations of Titan's northern lakes during the coming years by the Cassini Solstice mission offer the highest probability of observing wind-roughening of lake surfaces, while observations of Ontario Lacus in the south will likely continue to show it to be flat and smooth. © 2009.

Kurth S.,University of the Basque Country | Kurth S.,Ikerbasque | Kurth S.,European Theoretical Spectroscopy Facility | Stefanucci G.,European Theoretical Spectroscopy Facility | And 2 more authors.
Physical Review Letters | Year: 2013

For molecules weakly coupled to leads the exact linear Kohn-Sham (KS) conductance can be orders of magnitude larger than the true linear conductance due to the lack of dynamical exchange-correlation (xc) corrections. In this work we show how to incorporate dynamical effects in KS transport calculations. The only quantity needed is the static xc potential in the molecular junction. Our scheme provides a comprehensive description of Coulomb blockade without breaking the spin symmetry. This is explicitly demonstrated in single-wall nanotubes where the corrected conductance is in good agreement with experimental data whereas the KS conductance fails dramatically. © 2013 American Physical Society.

Russo F.,University of Reggio Calabria | Comi A.,University of Rome Tor Vergata
Journal of Urban Planning and Development | Year: 2011

Around the world, interest in urban and metropolitan goods movements is increasing because they account for a substantial share of traffic in urban and metropolitan areas. In this context, many city administrators have implemented measures to mitigate the negative effects of freight transportation. Starting from an analysis of existing studies relative to freight policies implemented at the urban scale in Europe, this paper proposes a general classification of measures adopted at the urban scale and an analysis of expected goals and tested results. Each described measure is analyzed by considering the temporal reference scale (strategic, tactical, and operative) of the actors and decision makers involved. Each measure pursues and is linked to one or more expected goal, and the empirical results obtained in the European cities and demonstrated by specific indicators representing the goal are presented. © 2011 American Society of Civil Engineers.

Cazzola M.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Cazzola M.,San Raffaele Pisana Hospital | Page C.P.,King's College London | Calzetta L.,San Raffaele Pisana Hospital | Matera M.G.,The Second University of Naples
European Respiratory Journal | Year: 2012

The hallmark of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is an enhanced or abnormal inflammatory immune response of the lungs to inhaled particles and gases, usually from cigarette smoke, characterised by increased numbers of neutrophils, activated macrophages and activated T-lymphocytes (Tc1 and Th1 cells). Therefore, suppression of the inflammatory response is a logical approach to the treatment of COPD. Despite the inflammatory nature of COPD, currently available anti-inflammatory therapies provide little or no benefit in COPD patients and may have detrimental effects. For this reason, there is an urgent need to discover effective and safe anti-inflammatory treatments that might prevent the relentless progression of the disease. In recent years, attention has largely been focused on inhibition of recruitment and activation of inflammatory cells, and on antagonism of their products. In this review, we put together a summary of the state-of-the-art development of clearly and/or potentially useful anti-inflammatory strategies in COPD. Copyright©ERS 2012.

Talj R.,French National Center for Scientific Research | Ortega R.,University Paris - Sud | Astolfi A.,Imperial College London | Astolfi A.,University of Rome Tor Vergata
Automatica | Year: 2011

Fuel cells are electrochemical devices that convert the chemical energy of a gaseous fuel directly into electricity. They are widely regarded as potential future stationary and mobile power sources. The response of a fuel cell system depends on the air and hydrogen feed, flow and pressure regulation, and heat and water management. In this paper, the study is concentrated on the control of the air subsystem that feeds the fuel cell cathode with oxygenwhose dynamics is described with a widely accepted nonlinear model. Due to the complexity of this model, the model-based controllers that have been proposed for this application are designed using its linear approximation at a given equilibrium point, which might lead to conservative stability margin estimates for the usually wide operating ranges of the system. On the other hand, practitioners propose the use of simple proportional or proportionalintegral controllers around the compressor flow, which ensures good performance in most applications. In this paper we provide the theoretical justification to this scheme, proving that this output variable has the remarkable property that the linearization (around any admissible equilibrium) of the inputoutput map is strictly passive. Hence, the controllers used in applications yield (locally) asymptotically stable loopsfor any desired equilibrium point and all values of the controller gains. Ensuring stability for all tuning gains overcomes the inherent conservativeness of linearized dynamics analysis, and assures the designer on the current use of robust, high performance loops. Instrumental to prove the passivity property is the exploitation of some monotonicity characteristics of the system that stem from physical laws. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Auf Der Maur M.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Pecchia A.,CNR Institute of Nanostructured Materials | Penazzi G.,University of Bremen | Rodrigues W.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Di Carlo A.,University of Rome Tor Vergata
Physical Review Letters | Year: 2016

White light emitting diodes (LEDs) based on III-nitride InGaN/GaN quantum wells currently offer the highest overall efficiency for solid state lighting applications. Although current phosphor-converted white LEDs have high electricity-to-light conversion efficiencies, it has been recently pointed out that the full potential of solid state lighting could be exploited only by color mixing approaches without employing phosphor-based wavelength conversion. Such an approach requires direct emitting LEDs of different colors, including, in particular, the green-yellow range of the visible spectrum. This range, however, suffers from a systematic drop in efficiency, known as the "green gap," whose physical origin has not been understood completely so far. In this work, we show by atomistic simulations that a consistent part of the green gap in c-plane InGaN/GaN-based light emitting diodes may be attributed to a decrease in the radiative recombination coefficient with increasing indium content due to random fluctuations of the indium concentration naturally present in any InGaN alloy. © 2016 American Physical Society.

Pigolotti S.,Niels Bohr Institute | Pigolotti S.,Polytechnic University of Catalonia | Benzi R.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Jensen M.H.,Niels Bohr Institute | Nelson D.R.,Harvard University
Physical Review Letters | Year: 2012

We study competition between two biological species advected by a compressible velocity field. Individuals are treated as discrete Lagrangian particles that reproduce or die in a density-dependent fashion. In the absence of a velocity field and fitness advantage, number fluctuations lead to a coarsening dynamics typical of the stochastic Fisher equation. We investigate three examples of compressible advecting fields: a shell model of turbulence, a sinusoidal velocity field and a linear velocity sink. In all cases, advection leads to a striking drop in the fixation time, as well as a large reduction in the global carrying capacity. We find localization on convergence zones, and very rapid extinction compared to well-mixed populations. For a linear velocity sink, one finds a bimodal distribution of fixation times. The long-lived states in this case are demixed configurations with a single interface, whose location depends on the fitness advantage. © 2012 American Physical Society.

Page C.,King's College London | Cazzola M.,University of Rome Tor Vergata
European Respiratory Journal | Year: 2014

Over the last decade, there has been a steady increase in the use of fixed-dose combinations of drugs for the treatment of a range of diseases, including hypertension, cancer, AIDS, tuberculosis and other infectious diseases. It is now evident that patients with asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) can also benefit from the use of fixed-dose combinations, including combinations of a long-acting β2-agonist and an inhaled corticosteroid, and combinations of long-acting β2-agonists and long-acting muscarinic receptor antagonists. In fact, there are now a number of "triple-inhaler" fixed-dose combinations under development, with the first such triple combination having been approved in India. This use of combinations containing drugs with complementary pharmacological actions in the treatment of patients with asthma or COPD has also led to the discovery and development of drugs having two different primary pharmacological actions in the same molecule, which we have called "bifunctional drugs". In this review, we discuss the state of the art of these new bifunctional drugs as novel treatments for asthma and COPD that can be categorised as bifunctional bronchodilators, bifunctional bronchodilator/antiinflammatory drugs and bifunctional anti-inflammatory drugs. Copyright ©ERS 2014.

Marinucci D.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Wigman I.,King's College London
Communications in Mathematical Physics | Year: 2014

We prove central limit theorems and Stein-like bounds for the asymptotic behaviour of nonlinear functionals of spherical Gaussian eigenfunctions. Our investigation combines asymptotic analysis of higher order moments for Legendre polynomials and, in addition, recent results on Malliavin calculus and total variation bounds for Gaussian subordinated fields. We discuss applications to geometric functionals like the defect and invariant statistics, e.g., polyspectra of isotropic spherical random fields. Both of these have relevance for applications, especially in an astrophysical environment. © 2014 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.

Galve-Roperh I.,Complutense University of Madrid | Chiurchiu V.,University of Teramo | Chiurchiu V.,European Center for Brain Research | Diaz-Alonso J.,Complutense University of Madrid | And 4 more authors.
Progress in Lipid Research | Year: 2013

Cannabinoids, the active components of cannabis (Cannabis sativa) extracts, have attracted the attention of human civilizations for centuries, much earlier than the discovery and characterization of their substrate of action, the endocannabinoid system (ECS). The latter is an ensemble of endogenous lipids, their receptors [in particular type-1 (CB1) and type-2 (CB 2) cannabinoid receptors] and metabolic enzymes. Cannabinoid signaling regulates cell proliferation, differentiation and survival, with different outcomes depending on the molecular targets and cellular context involved. Cannabinoid receptors are expressed and functional from the very early developmental stages, when they regulate embryonic and trophoblast stem cell survival and differentiation, and thus may affect the formation of manifold adult specialized tissues derived from the three different germ layers (ectoderm, mesoderm and endoderm). In the ectoderm-derived nervous system, both CB1 and CB2 receptors are present in neural progenitor/stem cells and control their self-renewal, proliferation and differentiation. CB1 and CB2 show opposite patterns of expression, the former increasing and the latter decreasing along neuronal differentiation. Recently, endocannabinoid (eCB) signaling has also been shown to regulate proliferation and differentiation of mesoderm-derived hematopoietic and mesenchymal stem cells, with a key role in determining the formation of several cell types in peripheral tissues, including blood cells, adipocytes, osteoblasts/osteoclasts and epithelial cells. Here, we will review these new findings, which unveil the involvement of eCB signaling in the regulation of progenitor/stem cell fate in the nervous system and in the periphery. The developmental regulation of cannabinoid receptor expression and cellular/subcellular localization, together with their role in progenitor/stem cell biology, may have important implications in human health and disease. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Matera M.G.,The Second University of Naples | Page C.,King's College London | Cazzola M.,University of Rome Tor Vergata
Expert Opinion on Investigational Drugs | Year: 2014

Introduction: PDE inhibitors could be useful in the treatment of asthma because of their bronchodilator and/or anti-inflammatory activities. Recently, some selective PDE3, PDE4 and PDE3/4 inhibitors have been shown to have beneficial effects in patients with asthma suggesting that such drugs may offer novel therapeutic options for the treatment of this disease.Areas covered: The authors describe the main PDE families that could be involved in asthma as well as the PDE inhibitors that have been evaluated for the treatment of asthma.Expert opinion: Although the potential therapeutic utility of PDE inhibitors has been demonstrated in various animal models of asthma, their clinical efficacy have been restricted by the dose-limiting side effects; no PDE inhibitor has yet been approved for the treatment of patients with asthma. Although new PDE inhibitors have been synthesised, most data are from cellular and tissue-level studies with human trials still on the horizon. Apparently, only CHF 6001, an inhaled PDE4 inhibitor, and RPL554, a dual PDE3/4 inhibitor, are still under clinical development. Further data from these new drugs are eagerly anticipated to better understand where these drugs might stand in the future treatment of asthma. © 2014 Informa UK, Ltd.

Longo R.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Rehren K.-H.,University of Gottingen | Rehren K.-H.,Courant Research Center
Communications in Mathematical Physics | Year: 2012

We construct local, boost covariant boundary QFT nets of von Neumann algebras on the interior of the Lorentz hyperboloid H R, x 2 - t 2 > R 2, x > 0, in the two-dimensional Minkowski spacetime. Our first construction is canonical, starting with a local conformal net on ℝ, and is analogous to our previous construction of local boundary CFT nets on the Minkowski half-space. This net is in a thermal state at Hawking temperature. Then, inspired by a recent construction by E. Witten and one of us, we consider a unitary semigroup that we use to build up infinitely many nets. Surprisingly, the one-particle semigroup is again isomorphic to the semigroup of symmetric inner functions of the disk. In particular, by considering the U(1)-current net, we can associate with any given symmetric inner function a local, boundary QFT net on H R. By considering different states, we shall also have nets in a ground state, rather than in a KMS state. © 2012 The Author(s).

Curatolo P.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Maria B.L.,Georgia Regents University
Handbook of Clinical Neurology | Year: 2013

Tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC) is a genetic multisystem disorder characterized by widespread hamartomas in several organs, including the brain, heart, skin, eyes, kidney, lung, and liver. The affected genes are TSC1 and TSC2, encoding hamartin and tuberin respectively. The hamartin-tuberin complex inhibits the mammalian-target-of-Rapamycin (mTOR) pathway, which controls cell growth and proliferation. Variations in the distribution, number, size, and location of lesions cause the clinical syndrome to vary even between relatives. About 85% of children and adolescents with TSC have CNS complications, including epilepsy, cognitive impairment, challenging behavioral problems, and autism-like symptoms. Epilepsy generally begins during the first year of life, with focal seizures and spasms. The discovery of the mTOR pathway upregulation in TSC-associated lesions presents new possibilities for treatment strategy. Increasing understanding of the molecular abnormalities caused by TSC may enable improved management of the disease. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.

Bartolucci D.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Malchiodi A.,University of Warwick | Malchiodi A.,International School for Advanced Studies
Communications in Mathematical Physics | Year: 2013

We consider a class of singular Liouville equations on compact surfaces motivated by the study of Electroweak and Self-Dual Chern-Simons theories, the Gaussian curvature prescription with conical singularities and Onsager's description of turbulence. We analyse the problem of existence variationally, and show how the angular distribution of the conformal volume near the singularities may lead to improvements in the Moser-Trudinger inequality, and in turn to lower bounds on the Euler-Lagrange functional. We then discuss existence and non-existence results. © 2013 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.

Casini F.,Polytechnic University of Catalonia | Viggiani G.M.B.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Springman S.M.,ETH Zurich
Granular Matter | Year: 2013

The mechanical behaviour of granular materials depends on their grading. Crushing of particles under compression or shear modifies the grain size distribution, with a tendency for the percentage of fine material to increase. It follows that the frictional properties of the material and the critical states are modified as a consequence of the changes in grain size distribution and the available range of packing densities. This paper illustrates an extended experimental investigation of the evolution of the grading of an artificial granular material, consisting of crushed expanded clay pellets under different loading conditions. The changes of grading of the material after isotropic, one-dimensional and constant mean effective stress triaxial compression were described using a single parameter based on the ratio of the areas under the current and an ultimate cumulative particle size distribution, which were both assumed to be consistent with self similar grading with varying fractal dimension. Relative breakage was related to the total work input for unit of volume. For poorly graded samples, the observed maximum rate of breakage is practically independent of initial uniformity. Further experiments at higher confining stress are required to investigate the mechanics of breakage of better graded samples. © 2013 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.

Biancheri P.,Blizard Institute | Powell N.,King's College London | Monteleone G.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Lord G.,King's College London | MacDonald T.T.,Blizard Institute
Trends in Immunology | Year: 2013

Immunotherapy with biological agents or small molecules is revolutionising the treatment of chronic inflammatory disease in humans; however, a significant proportion of patients fail to respond or lose responsiveness. This is particularly evident in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), a group of chronic, immune-mediated disorders of the gastrointestinal tract. Different responsiveness to treatment in IBD can be explained by substantial disease heterogeneity, which is being increasingly recognised by genetic and immunological studies. The current enthusiasm for stratified medicine suggests that it may become possible to identify clinical, immunological, biochemical or genetic biomarkers to target immunotherapy to patients more likely to respond. Here, we identify and highlight the opportunities and the challenges of this strategy in the context of IBD. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: NMP-20-2014 | Award Amount: 3.67M | Year: 2015

The lifetime, reliability, and efficiency of organic light emitting diodes (OLED) are critical factors precluding a number of novel devices from entering the market. Yet, these stability issues of OLEDs are poorly understood due to their notorious complexity, since multiple degradation and failure channels are possible at different length- and timescales. Current experimental and theoretical models of OLED stability are, to a large extent, empirical. They do not include information about the molecular and meso-scales, which prevents their integration into the workflow of the industrial R&D compound design. It is the idea of this project to integrate various levels of theoretical materials characterization into a single software package, to streamline the research workflows in order for the calculations to be truly usable by materials engineers, complementary to experimental measurements. Towards this goal, this project brings together the academic and industrial expertise of the leading experimental and theoretical groups in the field of organic semiconductors.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: NMP-2010-1.3-1 | Award Amount: 12.48M | Year: 2011

While there are standard procedures for product life cycle analysis, exposure, hazard, and risk assessment for traditional chemicals, is not yet clear how these procedures need to be modified to address all the novel properties of nanomaterials. There is a need to develop specific reference methods for all the main steps in managing the potential risk of ENM. The aim of MARINA is to develop such methods. MARINA will address the four central themes in the risk management paradigm for ENM: Materials, Exposure, Hazard and Risk. The methods developed by MARINA will be (i) based on beyond-state-of-the-art understanding of the properties, interaction and fate of ENM in relation to human health and the quality of the environment and will either (ii) be newly developed or adapted from existing ones but ultimately, they will be compared/validated and harmonised/standardised as reference methods for managing the risk of ENM. MARINA will develop a strategy for Risk Management including monitoring systems and measures for minimising massive exposure via explosion or environmental spillage.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: NMBP-03-2016 | Award Amount: 4.48M | Year: 2017

CREATE aims at developing innovative membrane electrode assemblies for low-temperature polymer-electrolyte fuel cell (FC) and electrolyzer (EL) with much reduced cost. This will be achieved via elimination or drastic reduction of critical raw materials in their catalysts, in particular platinum group metals (PGM). Key issues with present low-temperature FC & EL are the high contents of PGM in devices based on proton-exchange-membrane (PEM) and the need for liquid electrolytes in alkaline FC and EL. To overcome this, we will shift from PEM-based cells to 1) pure anion-conducting polymer-electrolytes and 2) to bipolar-membrane polymer electrolytes. The latter comprises anion and proton conducting ionomers and a junction. Bipolar membranes allow adapting the pH at each electrode, thereby opening the door to improved performance or PGM-free catalysts. Both strategies carry the potentiality to eliminate or drastically reduce the need for PGM while maintaining the advantages of PEM-based devices. In strategy 1, novel anion-exchange ionomers and membranes will be developed and interfaced with catalysts based on Earth-abundant metal oxides or metal-carbon composites for the oxygen reactions, and with ultralow PGM or PGM-free catalysts for the hydrogen reactions. In strategy 2, novel bipolar membrane designs, or designs unexplored for FC & EL, will be developed and interfaced with catalysts for the oxygen reactions (high pH side of the bipolar membrane) and with catalysts for the hydrogen reactions (low pH side). The ionomers and oxygen reaction catalysts developed in strategy 1 will be equally useful for strategy 2, while identified PGM-free and ultralow-PGM catalysts will be implemented for the hydrogen reactions on the acidic side. Polymer-electrolyte FC & EL based on those concepts will be evaluated for targeted applications, i.e. photovoltaic electricity storage, off-grid back-up power and H2 production. The targeted market is distributed small-scale systems.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: MSCA-RISE | Phase: MSCA-RISE-2015 | Award Amount: 873.00K | Year: 2016

Long-range research and innovation goal: The long-range goal of Nano-Supremi is to develop case studies to enable the advanced super-resolution microscopy to investigate nanoscale synthetic and biological structures and to probe nanoscale dynamic processes. Long-range biomedical research and technology goal: The implementation of Nano-Supremi will allow for tracking nanometer-scale bioprocesses such as (i) nanomedicines cellular uptake and trafficking and (ii) single-molecule dynamic processes of DNA-protein, (iii) protein-membrane interactions. Key Research Goals: The objective of Nano-Supremi is to turn the following creative research ideas into advanced microscopy technologies and services. This will ultimately results in the evaluation of in vitro protein and DNA activity and therapeutic efficacy of nanomedicines plugging the gap between innovative research and its exploitation in clinical setting. Scientific impact: We identified a few innovative case studies to explore the potentiality of super resolution microscopy techniques in solving nanoscale bio-structures and dynamic processes. Impact on early-stage researchers: Nano-Supremi involves key participation of junior researchers with outstanding record of achievements in education and research, providing strong support for the development of their careers. Intersectoral dimension: A synergistic approach in using advanced technologies developed by microscope manufacturers to answer fundamental and applied questions on bioprocesses will be pursued. Interdisciplinary dimension: A complementary research program, ranging from nanophotonics, materials science, to molecular biology and bio-analytical chemistry, will drive the implementation of research tasks towards the full achievement of the objectives. International dimension: Funding of this program will enable long-term, transformative research collaborations between groups settled in European Countries and in four non-EU Countries (AU, US, Brazil, Cu)

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: | Phase: | Award Amount: 4.37M | Year: 2008

The European Theoretical Spectroscopy Facility addresses an important need of European science and technology by providing experimental, industrial and other researchers with access to state-of-the-art computer simulation tools for electronic excited states in matter, together with high-quality support from ETSF personnel, mirroring the massive progress in the power and resolution of new European experimental facilities. All domains that need knowledge about electronic excitations, transport and spectroscopy will benefit from the ETSF, such as condensed matter physics and chemistry, biology, materials science and nanoscience, atmospheric science, and astrophysics. The ETSF provides users with computer codes, background knowledge, customised support and development, training, and collaborators to enhance their studies of the electronic and transport properties of complex or nanoscale materials. Its focus is on the rapid transfer of ground-breaking fundamental knowledge of matter, at the quantum-mechanical level, to detailed understanding and future-oriented design of prototypical or technologically relevant systems. The ETSF has been successfully designed and recently brought into operation by the Nanoquanta Network of Excellence with the support of national and local institutions. In the present ETSF-I3 project, the ETSF is partnered by the Barcelona Supercomputing Centre to create a framework for deploying the ETSF infrastructure to a much wider range of users, through user training and projects supported by ETSF scientists. The ETSF-I3 project will monitor the scientific and technological needs of users, and will boost the user-oriented development of ETSF software, algorithms and libraries made available on the most advanced computational platforms. ETSF-I3 will be crucial to keep the ETSF at the forefront of knowledge and establish it as the world-wide reference centre for modelling of electronic excited states.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: FETOPEN-01-2016-2017 | Award Amount: 3.76M | Year: 2017

The physical laws of diffraction generally limit the spatial resolution of optical systems, being about 200 nm for light in the visible range. Within ChipScope we want to overcome this limit by developing the scientific and technological basis for a completely new approach to optical superresolution, based on semiconductor nano Light Emitting Diode (nanoLED) arrays with individual pixel operation. The core idea of ChipScope is to use spatially resolved illumination instead of spatially resolved detection for achieving microscopy functionality with superresolution. This will be made possible by developing chip-based nanoLED arrays with light emitting diode (LED) dimensions and distances much smaller than the wavelength of visible light (i.e. <50 nm). Thus, ChipScope will develop the highest resolution LED arrays in the world. These new devices will enable novel science in general and superresolution in particular. Making optical superresolution ubiquitously available is expected to lead to foundational breakthroughs in virtually every field of research and technology that makes use of optical microscopes. Within the project, the first chip-sized ChipScope microscopes will be developed, tested, calibrated and compared with state-of-the-art microscopy systems. During the course of the project, a game changing real-time imaging device for scientific investigation of living tissue will be used to study the in-cell mechanisms in Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) syndrome as a proof-of-concept of the new science and applications that will follow.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ICT-2011.4.4 | Award Amount: 3.15M | Year: 2012

As the trend to open up data and provide them freely on the Internet intensifies, the opportunities to create added value by combining and cross-indexing heterogeneous data at a large scale increase. To seize them, we need infrastructure that is not only efficient, real-time responsive and scalable but is also flexible and robust enough to welcome data in any schema and form and to transparently relegate and translate queries from a unifying end-point to the multitude of data services that make up the open data cloud.This, relies on detailed and accurate data summaries and other data source annotations, and with increased data volumes and heterogeneity managing these annotations, it becomes by itself a challenging data problem. SemaGrow will (a) develop scalable and robust semantic storage and indexing algorithms that can take advantage of resource naming conventions and other natural groupings of URIs to compress data source annotations about extremely large datasets; (b) develop query decomposition, source selection, and distributed querying methods that take advantage of such algorithms to implement a scalable and robust infrastructure for data service federation; and (c) rigorously test its components and overall architecture over real, complex, interconnected datasets comprising data and document collections, sensor data, and GIS data.SemaGrow will be rigorously tested on the large-scale and complex agricultural data service ecosystem, comprising more than 20 currently operating data services providing today Gigatriples of RDF data, projected to double before SemaGrow ends and to reach Teratriples by 2020. Being able to query across these datasets is a real and present need. SemaGrow envisages to develop the scalable, efficient, and robust data services needed to take full advantage of the data-intensive and inter-disciplinary Science of 2020 and to re-shape the way that data analysis techniques are applied to the heterogeneous data cloud.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: SEC-2012.1.5-2 | Award Amount: 4.78M | Year: 2014

ISIS will provide public security by developing an advanced monitoring system for drinking water networks that instantly detects chemical or biological contamination and gives clear indication of the risk level. Water distribution systems are vulnerable to deliberate, accidental or natural contamination, having many potential entry points for rapid and extensive distribution of harmful substances. Recent increased terrorist activity has raised awareness of the threat. Surveillance platforms for intruder security are available but can only be adapted to alert for chemical and biological contamination if selective, sensitive and instantaneous detectors are available. However, current methods are limited to off-line laboratory analysis, which are too slow to initiate prompt action, or simple indicators (e.g. pH, conductivity), which are limited in the information that they provide, failing to cover many contaminants and rendering decision-making unreliable.. The ISIS project will combine advances in the state-of-the-art in four main areas: sensors; wireless networks; intelligent surveillance strategies and integrated risk analysis software. This combination of technologies is a major advance in security systems, giving a capability for water suppliers that is not currently available. It will enable immediate alert of chemical or biological contaminations and, crucially, indicate not only the location and nature of the hazard, but also the level of risk. This will allow appropriate informed action to be taken and will minimise the chance of false alarms, which not only cost water companies thousands of Euros, but also cause the panic and disruption that are also the aims of terrorist activity The ISIS consortium brings together two water company end-users with security and sensor specialists from the research, academic and SME communities. The partnership of 10 includes 4 SMEs, and has the capability to exploit the product.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP-SICA | Phase: HEALTH.2011.2.4.3-4 | Award Amount: 4.32M | Year: 2012

MEDIGENE project will study genetic and environmental (G x E) determinants of the metabolic syndrome (MetS) in recent immigrants in Europe by a novel approach integrating ancestry of Mediterranean populations in epidemiology, locus refining and Genome Wide Association Studies (GWAS). West Mediterranean shores are place of pre-historical termini of population expansion from Southern Europe and North Africa. Archaeogenetic studies in Europe indicated that Y chromosome and mitochondrial DNA patterns or Ancestry Informative Markers (AIMs) revealed a close relationship between genetic and geographic distances able to locate an individual DNA within few hundred kilometers. The project will use this information in mapping the genetic basis of insulin resistance, cardiovascular and metabolic complications in immigrants (Albanians, Romanians, Turkish, Tunisians, Algerians and Morocco) in host countries France, Spain, Italy and Greece. Ancestry markers and studies on ancient DNA from Roman historical migration in Catalonia will help to give a better picture of the genetic landscape of Europe and North Africa. Genes for MetS will be studied in existing samples from host and home countries by GWAS, locus refining by next-generation sequencing and haplotype mapping. Informative filtered SNPs will be then used in epidemiology and novel DNA samples to reveal G x E interactions and specificities of the pathogenesis of MetS. Genetic findings will be replicated in home countries (Anatolia and North Africa) in the goal to develop markers ethnic specific and significant at a clinical scale. Major impact is expected from dissemination of our findings to prevent the occurrence of MetS and obesity in children and adolescents or in descendants of modern immigration, understanding variability clinical manifestations of MetS in the context of malnutrition and from the novel approach of GWAS strategies by ameliorating the association signal and bursting R&D activities of SMEs.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: SPA.2013.2.2-01 | Award Amount: 3.42M | Year: 2013

Next generation of Guidance Navigation Satellite Systems will require an increase in the available power of navigation signals at the receiver on ground. Current FOC Galileo satellites under development make use of TWTAs to provide an output power of nearly 200W (E1 band). Next generation of Galileo satellites will require higher output powers (2dB more) what implies a challenge in the design and implementation of the high power amplifier unit. Obtaining the required output power levels with certain efficiency and within preset linearity requirements is a key requirement for the optimisation of the payload, which can be satisfied with GaN technology. At L-band efficiency of GaN SSPA in spacecraft is similar to efficiency of TWTAs and it presents as advantage that GaN SSPA requires 2 times smaller area than TWTAs which leads to a 2.5 times lower weight. There are important efforts in Europe focused on demonstrating the capabilities of GaN technology applied to HPAs. Despite of the promising results, the tests are carried out on breadboards. Thus, for real space application its necessary to fill the gap between breadboard and final HPA FM, taking into account all the constrains given by space segment: environmental, mass, consumption, The aim of SLOGAN project is to evaluate and apply the potentiality of mature UMS European GaN based technology (GH-50) through the realization of a GaN SSPA EQM for the next generation of Galileo satellites. The objective is to make the development for E1 band as it is the most challenging in terms of output power. The development of SLOGAN project will allow not only to show the feasibility of implementing a high output power GaN SSPA for Galileo application, but also will open the door to a wide variety of applications (such as radio broadcasting, Tx/Rx modules for Earth Observation space & airborne radars, etc.) in which GaN technology with its increased power and mass efficiency promises a clear advantage over current solutions.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-CSA-Infra | Phase: INFRA-2008-1.1.1 | Award Amount: 14.19M | Year: 2009

RadioNet is an integrating activity that has pulled together ALL of Europes leading radio astronomy facilities to produce a focused, coherent and integrated proposals that will significantly enhance the quality and quantity of science performed by European astronomers. RadioNet FP7 has 25 partners. They range from operators of major radio telescope facilities to laboratories that specialise in micro-electronics. This proposal has brought these institutes together in a unique partnership that builds and extends on RadioNet FP6. The programme of work includes: 7 Networking activities, 4 joint research activities and 9 transnational access projects. The three main objectives are to: (i) provide European astronomers access to world-class radio astronomy facilities; (ii) embark on a research and development plan that will further enhance and improve these facilities, and (iii) nurture and support a rapidly growing community of radio astronomers and engineers, so that can fully exploit the upgraded and next generation radio facilities that will become available over the next few years.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-ITN | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-ITN-2008 | Award Amount: 4.28M | Year: 2009

The discovery of Bose-Einstein condensation (BEC) of exciton-polaritons in 2006 and the demonstration of room-temperature polariton lasing in 2007 have opened the way to realisation of a new generation of optoelectronic devices referred to as polariton devices. The research on exciton-polaritons and polaritonics allows the quantum effects of superfluidity, entanglement, squeezing of light to be brought to the everyday life and used in new light sources, optical switches, modulators and memory elements. The fundamental principles of polariton physics have been established by our previous networks CLERMONT and CLERMONT2 within the 5th and 6th FP. The breakthrough achieved in 2006-2007 brings the polaritonics on a new level and makes its rapid development in Europe an overall strategic priority. Our present consortium composed by 10 European academic teams and supported by 6 leading industrial groups has a critical mass in polariton physics and technology. We intend to form a new generation of solid state physicists able to maintain the European leadership in this rapidly developing interdisciplinary research field. Four of the present partners took part in the discovery of the BEC of polaritons and polariton lasing, six others have given key contributions into polaritonics over the last decade. The Coordinator of the project holds the Marie Curie Chair of Excellence Polariton Devices at the university of Rome. We propose 16 full term PhD and 3 postdoc projects to be realized at two network nodes each with a compulsary training in industry. We shall organize the international conference on Optics of Excitons in Confined Systems in 2009, 3 international conferences on Physics of Light-Matter Coupling in Nanostructures and 2 Summer Schools on Nanophotonics. The project will form a world-leading international team of researchers capable to implement the ideas of polaritonics in a new generation of optoelectronic devices.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: HEALTH-2007-2.4.5-2 | Award Amount: 4.12M | Year: 2008

IBDase addresses the etiology and pathogenesis of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) with a multidisciplinary plan for innovative diagnosis and therapy focused on mucosal proteases and their inhibitors (P/PIs). The incidence of IBD, a multifactorial disease influenced by environmental factors in a background of complex genetic susceptibility, is rising, particularly among European children. Current therapies lack efficacy and specificity. The gut microflora plays a crucial role in IBD but the cause for this is still poorly understood. Research implicating P/PIs in gut mucosal inflammation requires further mechanistic insight and the P/PIs relevant in human IBD need to be identified. To this end we will identify human mucosal P/PI polymorphisms affecting expression levels and/or activity of P/PIs and analyse their genotype/phenotype associations in IBD patient cohorts across Europe. IBD-associated P/PIs will be characterised by biochemical properties, expression in human clinical samples and manipulation of experimental models. Their interaction with microflora will be examined in animal models with controlled colonisation of the gut and in vitro co-culture models of intestinal mucosa and bacteria. In vivo studies will use targeted, well-established and new mouse models and evaluate zebrafish as an IBD model. Molecular mechanisms for involvement of IBD specific P/PI gene variants in the inflammatory response will be proposed. Therapeutics development will focus on specific inhibition or promotion of proteolysis in the intestinal mucosa, and select at least three validated P/PI of the intestinal mucosa for follow-up in clinical trials. Embracing the concept of tailoring treatment to individual patient characteristics to increase efficacy and reduce side-effects, IBDase strengthens international visibility of IBD related research, policies and industry and fosters IBD related research to the benefit of European society in both patient care and economic interest.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: SEC-2012.3.4-4 | Award Amount: 2.61M | Year: 2014

Integration of a handheld artificial sniffer system for customs/police inspection purposes e.g. the control of freight containers. The artificial system should be able to seek first hidden persons and second also controlled goods, illicit drugs and safety and security hazards. The instrument consists of a gas- and vapour sampling pump unit, an enrichment unit, a desorption unit, a detection unit (sensor array) and an alarm indicator unit. The air sampling modus needs a high air flow in order to sample and enrich a lot of target gases and the detection modus needs a low air flow modus for transporting the targets after the desorption process as low diluted as possible to the detector. The target gases cover human perspirations like carbonic acids, aldehydes, thiolic compounds and nitrogen compounds and the human breathing product CO2. Different kinds of sensors will be used so that each target can be detected as selective as possible. For providing an estimation of the probability of the presence of humans inside the inspected area pattern recognition will be used. The sniffer instrument will be benchmarked towards dogs and towards ion mobility spectrometry.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ENV.2011.3.1.9-1 | Award Amount: 4.77M | Year: 2012

Within the FP7 PEOPLE project (Blue4Glue), Fraunhofer Institute (IFAM) and Procter and Gamble discovered a (PPO based) enzymatic process used by marine-organisms, which produce polymers in a much simpler way (less process steps) than industry does in classical chemistry. BIO-MIMETIC aims to transfer this new scientific knowledge into a blueprint for a novel (pre-)industrial enzymatic-based bio-polymerization process. It involves research partners (IFAM and UNITOV) with experience in enzymatic transformation and bio-based synthetic polymers, as well as expert SMEs such as Dyadic (enzymes), CIMV (biomass transformation into bio-chemistry) and CULGI (computational modeling of bio-chemical processes) to develop the process that firstly transforms biomass (lignin) into new bio-based polymers (pseudo peptides). These will used to create respectively: 1) Bioconjugated copolymers, that will be tested in detergents (by P&G) 2) Bio-cross-linked adhesive gels, to be experimented in antiageing cosmetics and in bio-textiles preparation (by an SME cosmetic producer MAVI). Potential environmental benefits are over 124 kton/yr less toxic solvents to produce chemicals, over 1 Billion kWh of energy savings (room temperature process) and a drastically reduced CO2 footprint i.e. replace 8000 Mtons of petrochemical based deposition aides and in the future substitute a large amount of phenol and phenolic derivatives, which are used to produce chemical intermediates for a myriad of applications. BIO-MIMETIC will carry out LCA and LCC (cost) assessments over the value chain as input to business plan and will use a new SME LCA tool (cCALC) to develop an LCA showcase, which will come available for SMEs. The cCALC tool and showcase will be freely downloadable as part of the exploitation plan targeted at the market uptake of project results in the emerging European market of bio-based products, projected to grow towards 250 billion Euro by 2020.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: AAT.2013.4-2. | Award Amount: 3.47M | Year: 2013

Due to strong competitiveness and considerable increasing of techno-logical demand in terms of performance and reliability of constituting components, aircraft manufacturers are constantly urged to invest in innovative design technologies so as to reduce aircraft development costs and delivery time. Moreover, manufacturing restrictive quality constraints and the limits imposed to industrial budget require aircraft design to be cheaper and more effective at the same time. To this end, to reduce the aerodynamic design process as well as satisfy the ever-growing demand of the aeronautical optimisation, a significant enhancement of the CFD prediction capability is required. Moreover, to face with the requirements of top-level aeronautical design, the geometries optimiser is requested to fulfil process integration, multi-objective and multi-disciplinary strategy, mesh-independent solution, parallelism, large models and arbitrary mesh element type management. The RBF4AERO project is properly conceived to tackle all the above-indicated aspects by making the CFD model parametric through an innovative shape optimisation tool based on a high-performance meshless morphing technique. This technique is founded on Radial Basis Functions (RBF) theoretical approach which offers a number of distinct advantages over the more traditional optimisation approaches. This new optimisation methodology will guarantee very fast and highly detailed CFD optimisation analyses such to significantly reduce costs of optimisation of aircraft aerodynamics without losing accuracy or domain extent.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: SST-2007-2.1-03 | Award Amount: 10.50M | Year: 2008

SMART_CM aims to do advanced technology implementation and research in order to overhaul the complete container door-to-door transport chain so that it is more efficient, secure, market driven, and competitive. It systematically analyses current processes and systems, produces new innovative concepts for processes and technologies, and demonstrates all these in a set of 2 world scale Demonstrators covering 4 supply chain corridors. Its view, analyses, and recommendations fall in the following four areas thus ensuring a fully comprehensive coverage of the call subject: 1.Innovation / Technology 2.Commercial / market issues 3.Business / organisational issues 4.Legal / Security issues The SmartCM project objectives may be summarized as following: - Stimulate interoperable B2B co-operation in door-to-door container transport security. - Develop compliant application of B2B and B2A container security data solutions with international Customs operations. - Develop a neutral approach and service platform for secure and interoperable data communications. - Define added value services and chain visibility enabling techniques for fulfilling operational requirements of the actors - Develop prototypes of advanced applications in global container management, such dynamic scheduling at the containers - Assess large applicability of the above-mentioned project solutions by considering costs and benefits - Analyze existing business models in global container chain management and operation and study e-managing business models - Contribute to standards development for advancing of interoperability of technologies SMART-CM involves all type of actors and big global players in the container trade today, such as: K&N, DHL, COSCO, PSA and DPW, as well as SMEs, and International Organizations that are world players in setting standards, promoting Intermodal Transport or Container registration, and security

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: SST.2010.1.1-1.;SST.2010.2.1-1. | Award Amount: 4.46M | Year: 2011

MARATHON aims at extracting the maximum productivity from the existing rail infrastructure for producing efficiency, reducing operating costs and attracting new traffic to rail. This represents a market requirement for producing efficiency, reducing operating costs and attracting new traffic to rail. In fact, due to its fragmentation, the railway system efficiency is created through harmonisation and standardisation of the operating rules generating uniformity in the EU Rail Freight space as far as allowed by the existing infrastructure. In pursuing this overall objective the fast implementation of technologies and business solutions capable of delivering operational and visible cost effective results, is a fundamental improvement. MARATHON project is scheduled to prove a business case by demonstrating the effectiveness of the introduction up to market uptake of longer and heavier trains on a selected high-volume Trans European freight corridor. This would be achieved taking into account that the upgrade of the maximum speed for freight trains on currently constrained line sections up to 100/120 km/h with old or new generation wagons secures better trains paths for improved service performance. In fact, the bundling of volumes combining conventional and intermodal traffic whenever applicable between large scale terminals/hubs/yards is expected to generate the critical mass to foster the industrialized production of advanced rail freight services. This would be supported by the ability to rejuvenate the system by adopting management, booking, trains priorities and emergency management tools. MARATHON would become an example for an extension to other part of the EU network contributing to create an agreed EU standard, facilitating the adoption of recognised Safety Rules and a step change towards achieving greater effectiveness on Rail Tracks delivering the EU citizens the ultimate results of improving the use of an environment friendly transport modality.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: MSCA-ITN-ETN | Phase: MSCA-ITN-2015-ETN | Award Amount: 3.81M | Year: 2016

CELTA: Convergence of Electronics and Photonics Technologies for Enabling Terahertz Applications aims to produce the next generation of researchers who will enable Europe to take a leading role in the multidisciplinary area of utilizing Terahertz technology for applications involving components and complete systems for sensing, instrumentation, imaging, spectroscopy, and communications. All these technologies are key to tackle important solutions in a large number of focus areas relevant for the societal challenges identified in the Horizon2020 work programme. To achieve this objective, CELTA is comprised of eleven leading research institutions and assembled a comprehensive research training programme for all the fifteen early stage researchers (ESRs). CELTA integrates multidisciplinary scientific expertise, complementary skills, and experience working in academia and industry to empower ESRs to work in interdisciplinary teams, integrate their activities, share expertise, and promote a vision of a converged co-design and common engineering language between electronics and photonics for Terahertz technologies. Therefore, CELTA will introduce the strategy of converged electronics and photonics co-design in its research program and makes a special effort on establishing a common engineering language in its training program across the electronics, photonics and applications disciplines. We believe this common engineering language and converged co-design is mandatory to make the next logical step towards efficient and innovation solutions that can reach the market. The detailed compendium of lectures on state-of-the art technology, soft skills and entrepreneurship is accompanied by a research programme that focuses on THz key technologies. CELTA ESRs will develop three demonstrators: beam steering technology for communication applications, a photonic vector analyser for spectroscopy and materials characterization, and a THz imager for sensing applications.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: CSA | Phase: ISSI-5-2015 | Award Amount: 3.50M | Year: 2016

STAR BIOS 2 (Structural Transformation to Attain Responsible BIOSciences),coordinated by the University of Tor Vergata (IT), has been designed to respond to the Topic ISSI 5 (Workprogramme Science With And For Society). The general aim of project is that of contributing to the advancement of the Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) strategy, which underpins Horizon 2020, by promoting 6 Action Plans (APs) oriented to attain a RRI structural change in research institutions from Europe and developing 3 further APs in non-european entities, all active in the field of biosciences. This strategy is geared to cope more in general with one of the main risk, for European research, i.e., its inadequate connection with society, by promoting its increasing alignment, in terms of both process and outcomes, with the needs and values of European society. This entails, in the RRI perspective, an increasing involvement of stakeholders at any level of the research and innovation process. The project has three main focuses: 1) Develop RRI-oriented structural change processes in the already mentioned institutions involved in biosciences research. This aim will be pursued through designing, implementing and evaluating RRI Action Plans. In order to secure the results emerging from the APs, a sustainability strategy will be developed and implemented during the project lifespan. APs will be supported by a central technical assistance and the project will be monitored and assessed. 2) Develop a learning process concerning: a) resistances and barriers to RRI (which are they, how they manifest themselves, which impact they have, etc.); b) key factors favouring or supporting RRI; c) strategic options and RRI-oriented tools. 3) Develop a sustainable model for RRI in biosciences.

Chen J.,University of California at San Francisco | Melton C.,University of California at San Francisco | Suh N.,University of California at San Francisco | Oh J.S.,University of California at San Francisco | And 6 more authors.
Genes and Development | Year: 2011

Oocyte maturation, fertilization, and early embryonic development occur in the absence of gene transcription. Therefore, it is critical to understand at a global level the post-transcriptional events that are driving these transitions. Here we used a systems approach by combining polysome mRNA profiling and bioinformatics to identify RNA-binding motifs in mRNAs that either enter or exit the polysome pool during mouse oocyte maturation. Association of mRNA with the polysomes correlates with active translation. Using this strategy, we identified highly specific patterns of mRNA recruitment to the polysomes that are synchronized with the cell cycle. A large number of the mRNAs recovered with translating ribosomes contain motifs for the RNA-binding proteins DAZL (deleted in azoospermia-like) and CPEB (cytoplasmic polyadenylation element-binding protein). Although a Dazl role in early germ cell development is well established, no function has been described during oocyte-to-embryo transition. We demonstrate that CPEB1 regulates Dazl post-transcriptionally, and that DAZL is essential for meiotic maturation and embryonic cleavage. In the absence of DAZL synthesis, the meiotic spindle fails to form due to disorganization of meiotic microtubules. Therefore, Cpeb1 and Dazl function in a progressive, self-reinforcing pathway to promote oocyte maturation and early embryonic development. © 2011 by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press.

University of Rome Tor Vergata and Foundation University | Date: 2010-10-20

The subject invention discloses a method for the preparation of a dual structure cellular ceramic object where a dispersion of a ceramic precursor a chain-growth or step-growth polymer precursor and a solvent is heated to a first temperature at a first rate followed by heating to a second temperature at a second rate and holding the temperature to form a sintered dual structure cellular ceramic object which is then cooled at a third rate to room temperature. The dual structure cellular ceramic object has a dense surface layer over at least a portion of the object that abruptly yet smoothly and continuously transitioning into a porous ceramic.

Cazzola M.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Page C.,King's College London
Breathe | Year: 2014

Bronchodilators are central to the treatment of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) because they alleviate bronchial obstruction and airflow limitation, reduce hyperinflation, and improve emptying of the lung and exercise performance. For this reason, all guidelines highlight that inhaled bronchodilators are the mainstay of the current management of all stages of COPD. However, there are still fundamental questions regarding their use that require clarification to optimise utilisation of these drugs. It is crucial to address the following questions. Is it appropriate to treat all COPD patients with long-acting bronchodilators? Is it better to start treatment with a β2-agonist or with an anti-muscarinic agent in patients with stable mild/moderate COPD? Is it useful to use a bronchodilator with rapid onset of action? Is it preferable to administer a bronchodilator on a once- or twice-daily basis? Can a second bronchodilator be introduced for patients with stable COPD ("dual" bronchodilator therapy), and if so when? Are inhaled corticosteroids (ICSs) really useful in COPD patients without chronic bronchitis, since long-lasting bronchodilators may prevent exacerbations even in the absence of an ICS in frequent exacerbators? Finally, is combined therapy really useful in non-frequent exacerbators? Due to the the central role of bronchodilators in the treatment of COPD, there is still considerable interest in finding novel classes of bronchodilator drugs. However, new classes of bronchodilators have proved difficult to develop because either new emerging targets are not really important and/or it is difficult to find substances capable of interacting with them. As a consequence, many research groups have sought to improve the existing classes of bronchodilators.

News Article | November 29, 2016

ATLANTA--Dr. Stuart Jefferies, professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Georgia State University, will lead a multi-institutional team in opening the South Pole Solar Observatory in Antarctica and installing and operating instruments that will record high-resolution images of the Sun. The project, sponsored by the National Science Foundation's Division of Polar Programs, will begin in December. The South Pole Solar Observatory will be 4 kilometers away from the United States Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station in Antarctica. The two instruments being installed will log high-resolution images of the Sun every five seconds at two different heights in its atmosphere. The goals of the project are to measure and characterize internal gravity waves omnipresent in the Sun's atmosphere, identify the role of these waves in transporting energy and momentum, and use the properties of these waves to provide a mapping of the structure and dynamics of the Sun's atmosphere. The data will also have applications in several other areas of interest in solar physics, including studying the triggers of space weather events (solar flares and coronal mass ejections) that have direct societal impact, mapping of the Sun's sub-surface structure and dynamics, and investigating the solar coronal heating enigma, a long-standing puzzle of why the temperature of the Sun's atmosphere rises from about 6,000 degrees at its visible surface (the photosphere) to a few million degrees in its outer atmosphere (the corona). The team will consist of scientists from Georgia State, the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the University of Rome Tor Vergata, the University of Hawaii and the European Space Agency.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: CSA | Phase: INSO-4-2015 | Award Amount: 3.50M | Year: 2016

FabSpace 2.0 aims at making universities open innovation centres for their region and improving their contribution to the performance of societies. It will concentrate on one innovation area with high expected socio-economic and environmental impact: geodata-driven innovation, by leveraging space data in particular. When Universities must endorse a new role as co-creators of innovations in the context of Science 2.0 principles, the future realisation of open data as a new innovation scene needs to set up a creative environment in which developers from the civil society or industry or the academic research, public administrations and civil organisations can meet, work together, co-create new tools and business models. The proposal consists in a new kind of fab labs: FabSpaces. A fab lab is a one-stop shop access to any materials, machines and tools to digitally manufacture new products, a FabSpace will be a one-stop shop-access to a range of data (incl. space data), free software & data processing tools, to develop new applications. FabSpace 2.0 will provide a new free-access service and place dedicated to collaborative data-driven innovation in 6 European universities (13 at the end of the project). Through online support, entrepreneurship & innovation leadership trainings for students and researchers, the human capital among FabSpace users will be enhanced. The link between universities, industry, the public sector and civil society will be strengthened with local and European actions/events consisting in developing new applications to tackle challenges launched by ONGs & companies. 1500 students and researchers are expected to use FabSpaces, half of them will participate in workshops and 21 teams will be invited to events were they will meet experts and start-ups. FabSpace sustainability will be ensured before the end of the project. By doing so, FabSpace 2.0 intends to make universities regional catalysts and leaders of innovation in the area of data-driven innovations

Meneely J.P.,Queen's University of Belfast | Ricci F.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | van Egmond H.P.,RIKILT Institute of Food Safety | Elliott C.T.,Queen's University of Belfast
TrAC - Trends in Analytical Chemistry | Year: 2011

This article describes the trends in analytical techniques for the determination of trichothecene mycotoxins, namely deoxynivalenol, and T-2 and HT-2 toxins in cereals and cereal products with particular emphasis on screening and rapid approaches. The driving force behind the changing methodologies is mainly attributed to legislative demands. However, for commercial and governmental testing laboratories, the need to use validated official methods is ever increasing to ensure quality assurance of results. Much research has been undertaken to improve screening assays, highlighted by the number of new methods using a variety of formats and platforms, including optical and electrochemical biosensors. Significant advances in the traditional reference methods have also been demonstrated in addition to the emergence of a variety of commercial immunoaffinity and solid-phase extraction columns for clean up. The use of liquid chromatography coupled to tandem mass spectrometry for mycotoxin detection is ever increasing, allowing simultaneous determination of many toxins in various sample matrices. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd.

Aquilano K.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Baldelli S.,San Raffaele Scientific Institute | Ciriolo M.R.,University of Rome Tor Vergata
Frontiers in Pharmacology | Year: 2014

The physiological roles played by the tripeptide glutathione have greatly advanced over the past decades superimposing the research on free radicals, oxidative stress and, more recently, redox signalling. In particular, GSH is involved in nutrient metabolism, antioxidant defence and regulation of cellular metabolic functions ranging from gene expression, DNA and protein synthesis to signal transduction, cell proliferation and apoptosis. This review will be focused on the role of GSH in cell signalling by analysing the more recent advancements about its capability to modulate nitroxidative stress, autophagy and viral infection. © 2014 Aquilano, Baldelli and Ciriolo.

Sisto R.,INAIL Ex ISPESL | Sanjust F.,INAIL Ex ISPESL | Moleti A.,University of Rome Tor Vergata
Journal of the Acoustical Society of America | Year: 2013

The input/output functions of the different-latency components of human transient-evoked and stimulus-frequency otoacoustic emissions are analyzed, with the goal of relating them to the underlying nonlinear dynamical properties of the basilar membrane response. Several cochlear models predict a cubic nonlinearity that would yield a correspondent compressive response. The otoacoustic response comes from different generation mechanisms, each characterized by a particular relation between local basilar membrane displacement and otoacoustic level. For the same mechanism (e.g., reflection from cochlear roughness), different generation places would imply differently compressive regimes of the local basilar membrane dynamics. Therefore, this kind of study requires disentangling these contributions, using suitable data acquisition and time-frequency analysis techniques. Fortunately, different generation mechanisms/places also imply different phase-gradient delays, knowledge of which can be used to perform this task. In this study, the different-latency otoacoustic components systematically show differently compressive response, consistent with two simple hypotheses: (1) all emissions come from the reflection mechanism and (2) the basilar membrane response is strongly compressive in the resonance region and closer to linear in more basal regions. It is not clear if such a compressive behavior also extends to arbitrarily low stimulus levels. © 2013 Acoustical Society of America.

Loreni F.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Mancino M.,San Raffaele Scientific Institute | Biffo S.,San Raffaele Scientific Institute
Oncogene | Year: 2014

Gene expression is shaped by translational control. The modalities and the extent by which translation factors modify gene expression have revealed therapeutic scenarios. For instance, eukaryotic initiation factor (eIF)4E activity is controlled by the signaling cascade of growth factors, and drives tumorigenesis by favoring the translation of specific mRNAs. Highly specific drugs target the activity of eIF4E. Indeed, the antitumor action of mTOR complex 1 (mTORc1) blockers like rapamycin relies on their capability to inhibit eIF4E assembly into functional eIF4F complexes. eIF4E biology, from its inception to recent pharmacological targeting, is proof-of-principle that translational control is druggable. The case for eIF4E is not isolated. The translational machinery is involved in the biology of cancer through many other mechanisms. First, untranslated sequences on mRNAs as well as noncoding RNAs regulate the translational efficiency of mRNAs that are central for tumor progression. Second, other initiation factors like eIF6 show a tumorigenic potential by acting downstream of oncogenic pathways. Third, genetic alterations in components of the translational apparatus underlie an entire class of inherited syndromes known as 'ribosomopathies' that are associated with increased cancer risk. Taken together, data suggest that in spite of their evolutionary conservation and ubiquitous nature, variations in the activity and levels of ribosomal proteins and translation factors generate highly specific effects. Beside, as the structures and biochemical activities of several noncoding RNAs and initiation factors are known, these factors may be amenable to rational pharmacological targeting. The future is to design highly specific drugs targeting the translational apparatus. © 2014 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.

Baldelli S.,San Raffaele Scientific Institute | Aquilano K.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Ciriolo M.R.,University of Rome Tor Vergata
Cell Death and Disease | Year: 2014

Mitochondrial biogenesis and mitophagy are recognized as critical processes underlying mitochondrial homeostasis. However, the molecular pathway(s) coordinating the balance between these cellular programs is still poorly investigated. Here, we show an induction of the nuclear and mitochondrial peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma, coactivator 1 alpha (PGC-1α) during myogenesis, which in turn co-activates the transcription of nuclear and mtDNA-encoded mitochondrial genes. We demonstrate that PGC-1α also buffers oxidative stress occurring during differentiation by promoting the expression of antioxidant enzymes. Indeed, by downregulating PGC-1α, we observed an impairment of antioxidants expression, which was accompanied by a significant reactive oxygen species (ROS) burst and increase of oxidative damage to proteins. In parallel, we detected a decrease of mitochondrial mass and function as well as increased mitophagy through the ROS/FOXO1 pathway. Upon PGC-1α downregulation, we found ROS-dependent nuclear translocation of FOXO1 and transcription of its downstream targets including mitophagic genes such as LC3 and PINK1. Such events were significantly reverted after treatment with the antioxidant Trolox, suggesting that PGC-1α assures mitochondrial integrity by indirectly buffering ROS. Finally, the lack of PGC-1α gave rise to a decrease in MYOG and a strong induction of atrophy-related ubiquitin ligases FBXO32 (FBXO32), indicative of a degenerative process. Overall, our results reveal that in myotubes, PGC-1α takes center place in mitochondrial homeostasis during differentiation because of its ability to avoid ROS-mediated removal of mitochondria. © 2014 Macmillan Publishers Limited All rights reserved.

Caizzone S.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Caizzone S.,German Aerospace Center | Marrocco G.,University of Rome Tor Vergata
IEEE Transactions on Antennas and Propagation | Year: 2011

The RFID Grid is a model for generally coupled multitudes of tags including single-chip tags in close mutual proximity or a single tag with a plurality of embedded microchips. Some properties of this new entity, useful for passive Sensing and for Security, are the possibility to increase the read-range and to provide responses rather insensitive to the interrogation modalities. These recently introduced issues are here experimented for the first time with many real-world examples comprising multi-chip configurations designed for improved power scavenging and for passive sensing of things. © 2011 IEEE.

Leonori T.,University of Granada | Porretta A.,University of Rome Tor Vergata
Archive for Rational Mechanics and Analysis | Year: 2011

Let Ω be a bounded smooth domain in RN, N ≧ 2, and let us denote by d(x) the distance function d(x, ∂Ω). We study a class of singular Hamilton-Jacobi equations, arising from stochastic control problems, whose simplest model is where f belongs to W 1,∞loc (Ω) and is (possibly) singular at ∂Ω, C ε W1,∞ (Ω)(with no sign condition) and the field B ε W1,∞ (Ω)N has an outward direction and satisfies B · v ≧ α at ∂Ω (ν is the outward normal). Despite the singularity in the equation, we prove gradient bounds up to the boundary and the existence of a (globally) Lipschitz solution. We show that in some cases this is the unique bounded solution. We also discuss the stability of such estimates with respect to α, as α vanishes, obtaining Lipschitz solutions for first order problems with similar features. The main tool is a refined weighted version of the classical Bernstein method to get gradient bounds; the key role is played here by the orthogonal transport component of the Hamiltonian. © 2011 Springer-Verlag.

Castagna C.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Alvarez J.C.B.,University of Granada
Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research | Year: 2010

The aim of this study was to provide evidence for specific physiological demands of a futsal time-motion analysis devised progressive and intermittent shuttle-running test (futsal intermittent endurance test [FIET]). Eighteen full-time professional futsal players (age 20.6 ± 3.1 years, body mass 71.6 ± 8.5 kg, height 175 ± 7.9 cm) volunteered to participate in this study. In a random order and on separate days, they performed the FIET and a treadmill test (TM) to assess aerobic fitness. Physiological demands were examined by monitoring exercise heart rates (HRs), V̇O2, and blood-lactate concentration (BLac) during FIET and TM conditions. During the FIET, players covered 1,464 ± 136 m attaining a mean speed at exhaustion of 16.5 ± 0.6 km h-1. The mean FIET duration was of 13.24 ± 1.13 minutes. Peak V̇O2, HR, and BLac were 95 ± 6.4, 99 ± 2, and 108 ± 25% of treadmill V̇O2max, HRmax, and BLac, respectively. Large correlations were found between speed at ventilatory threshold and maximal speed at V̇O2max with FIET performance (r = 0.60 and 0.61, p < 0.01, respectively). Peak V̇O2 during the FIET was significantly lower than V̇O2max. Although there was no mean difference between peak exercise HR in the TM and FIET conditions, significant intraindividual bias was evident. This study showed that FIET heavily stresses both the aerobic and anaerobic energy systems to a level that is similar to what was reported in futsal game play. Coaches may use the FIET to examine futsal players' ability to cope with intermittent high-intensity exercise. It is suggested that the highest HR found during the FIET should be regarded as peak HR and not as individual HRmax. © 2010 National Strength and Conditioning Association.

Colonna D.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Colodrero S.,CSIC - Institute of Materials Science | Lindstrom H.,NLAB Solar Laboratories | Di Carlo A.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Miguez H.,CSIC - Institute of Materials Science
Energy and Environmental Science | Year: 2012

Herein we analyze experimentally the effect that introducing highly reflecting photonic crystals, operating at different spectral ranges, has on the conversion efficiency of dye sensitized solar cells. The interplay between structural colour and cell performance is discussed on the basis of the modified spectral response of the photogenerated current observed and the optical characterization of the cells. We demonstrate that, with the approach herein discussed, it is possible to achieve relatively high efficiencies using thin electrodes while preserving transparency. At the same time, the appearance of the device can be controllably modified, which is of relevance for their potential application in building integrated photovoltaics (BIPV) as window modules. This journal is © The Royal Society of Chemistry 2012.

Marrocco G.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Caizzone S.,German Aerospace Center | Caizzone S.,University of Rome Tor Vergata
IEEE Transactions on Antennas and Propagation | Year: 2014

The UHF passive radio frequency identification technology generally enables an asymmetric interaction between the reader and the tag, the latter only being able to respond to the query of the reader through backscattering modulation. Very recently, some experiments put into evidence the possibility to set up a tag-to-tag communication by using a simple illuminator. The key issues and the physical limitation of such a cross-link are here investigated both theoretically and numerically by fully accounting for the mutual coupling among the tags, their radiation properties and the impedance modulation. The analysis reveals that the cross-link range may be optimized by a proper design of the tags' input impedance and that alignment of a multiplicity of tags could be able to communicate according to a simple routing strategy. © 2012 IEEE.

Ascione F.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Feo L.,University of Salerno | MacEri F.,University of Rome Tor Vergata
Composites Part B: Engineering | Year: 2010

This paper presents results summary of an experimental investigation aimed at evaluating the influence of the bolt diameter on the bearing failure strength of glass fibre reinforced polymer (GFRP) bolted laminates with epoxy matrix, for different values of fibre-to-load inclination angle. In this study, three different types of laminates were tested: one of them is mono-directional while the other two are bi-directional, with two different stacking sequence. Reductions in the pin-bearing ultimate load was found to be linearly dependent on bolt diameter. A pin-bearing design formula is also proposed based on experimental results. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd.

Ascione F.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Mancusi G.,University of Salerno
Mechanics of Advanced Materials and Structures | Year: 2010

In this paper a finite element analysis of the behavior of adhesive joints between FRP (fiber-reinforced polymers) adherents is presented. In particular, double-lap joints, in the case of both normal and shear/flexure stresses, are considered. The problem is nonlinear due to the mathematical formulation of the cohesive laws introduced to model the interfacial interactions. On the contrary, the adherents are supposed to be linear elastic up to failure. The common approach of analyzing shear/flexure behavior separately from extensional behavior, as well as disregarding the mutual effects between the normal and tangential stresses acting at the joint interfaces, has been updated. The paper takes into account the coupling effects between shear/flexure and extensional equilibrium problems. As highlighted in literature, only a coupled analysis can be considered correct when the mechanical characteristics of the adherents are quite different, as usually occurs in practice. Furthermore it also has been assumed that the adherents are shear deformable. The numerical results obtained by such an approach are presented, discussed and compared with others available in literature.

Carri M.T.,Fondazione Santa Lucia IRCCS | Carri M.T.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Cozzolino M.,Fondazione Santa Lucia IRCCS
Journal of Bioenergetics and Biomembranes | Year: 2011

Mutant Cu,Zn superoxide dismutase (mutSOD1) is found in a subset of patients with familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a fatal progressive paralysis due to loss of motor neurons. In the present article, we review existing evidence linking the expression of mutSOD1 to the many facets of mitochondrial dysfunction in ALS, with a focus on recent studies suggesting that the association and misfolding of the mutant protein (and possibly of the wild type protein as well) within these organelles is causally linked to their functional and structural alterations. Energy deficit, calcium mishandling and oxidative stress are paralleled by alteration in mitochondrial motility, dynamics and turnover and most probably lead to mitochondriadependent cell death. Thus, the development of new, selective mitochondria-targeted therapies may constitute a promising approach in the treatment of SOD1-linked ALS. © 2011 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.

Clementi A.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Pasquale F.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Pasquale F.,University of Salerno | Silvestri R.,University of Rome La Sapienza
IEEE/ACM Transactions on Networking | Year: 2013

Opportunistic mobile ad hoc networks (MANETs) are a special class of sparse and disconnected MANETs where data communication exploits sporadic contact opportunities among nodes. We consider opportunistic MANETs where nodes move independently at random over a square of the plane. Nodes exchange data if they are at a distance at most r within each other, where r > 0 is the node transmission radius. The flooding time is the number of time-steps required to broadcast a message from a source node to every node of the network. Flooding time is an important measure of how fast information can spread in dynamic networks. We derive the first upper bound on the flooding time, which is a decreasing function of the maximal speed of the nodes. The bound holds with high probability, and it is nearly tight. Our bound shows that, thanks to node mobility, even when the network is sparse and disconnected, information spreading can be fast. © 1993-2012 IEEE.

Moleti A.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Longo F.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Sisto R.,INAIL Ex ISPESL
Journal of the Acoustical Society of America | Year: 2012

Time-domain filtering is a standard analysis technique, which is used to disentangle the two main vector components of the distortion product otoacoustic emission response, exploiting their different phase-frequency relation. In this study, a time-frequency filtering technique based on the continuous wavelet transform is proposed to overcome the intrinsic limitations of the time-domain filtering technique and to extend it also to the analysis of stimulus-frequency and transient-evoked otoacoustic emissions. The advantages of the proposed technique are first discussed on a theoretical basis, then practically demonstrated by applying it to the analysis of synthesized and real otoacoustic data. The results show that the time-frequency approach can be empirically optimized to get effective separation of the components of the otoacoustic response associated with either different generation mechanisms or different generation places. Focusing on a single component of the otoacoustic response with a given time-frequency signature may also improve significantly the signal-to-noise ratio, because the random noise contribution tends to be uniformly distributed on the time-frequency plane. © 2012 Acoustical Society of America.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ICT-2011.3.5 | Award Amount: 11.76M | Year: 2012

NEWLED will develop high efficiency and high brightness monolithic and hybrid all-semiconductor WHITE light-emitting GaN-based diodes. Power losses due to phosphor conversion and the problem of different ageing rates of the GaN LED pump will be eliminated by the development of phosphor free structures with increased brightness (power emitted per surface per angle). NEWLED will enhance the efficiency of yellow InGaAlP/AlGaAs LEDs by bandgap engineered superlattices. Novel light extraction approaches will target advanced directionality and colour adjustment. Values of 50 to 60% overall efficiency with a conversion of greater than 200 lm/W in the exploited warm white LEDs are targeted as well as the realisation of a colour rendering index (CRI) of greater than 95. Advanced packaging will enable effective heat dissipation and light management. The devices will have immediate applications in automotive, industrial lighting and displays industries. Widespread implementation would reduce global energy consumption by approximately 10% and reduce CO2 emissions by 3Bn tonnes with consequent economic and environmental benefits.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: SEC-2012.3.4-5 | Award Amount: 4.74M | Year: 2013

Security checks at borders are required to be increasingly thorough and fast. There are currently two types of technologies available for this application: those that automatically detect objects concealed on a person, and those that rely on human operator analysis and interpretation in order to classify or identify body-borne threats. The objective of TeraSCREEN is to combine these two capabilities, thus providing automatic detection and classification of body-borne threats for security screening. This will significantly improve both efficiency and security at border checks. TeraSCREEN aims to develop passive and active operation at several Terahertz frequencies. The resulting multi-frequency, multi-mode images will be processed automatically in real-time to reveal the location of potentially harmful objects concealed on a person. Privacy Enhancing Technologies will be used: the information will be displayed to the operator on a generic computerised silhouette and no anatomical details will be shown or saved. Terahertz radiation is non-ionizing, and reliable studies have shown that active operation in this frequency band is harmless to humans. The automatic recognition of threats, in addition to removing privacy issues, reduces the level of attention required from the operator, which implies a reduction in the personnel necessary for continuous operation. The TeraSCREEN Prototype System will be demonstrated at a live control point in Bristol International Airport. The feedback from the End-User and Advisory Board members will facilitate, outside this project, the conversion of the prototype into an innovative security screening product that will significantly improve the security and efficiency at, and experience of, border checks. The consortium consists of 12 partners from academia, research and industry across Europe, who each play complementary roles in the project and are interested in exploiting the results together.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: IA | Phase: FTIPilot-1-2015 | Award Amount: 2.69M | Year: 2016

The GREENERNET project will develop a new highly innovative organic redox flow battery, integrated in an optimized microgrid infrastructure operated by an intelligent Energy Management System. The redox flow battery is a promising technology for both medium and large-scale renewable and grid energy storage, but is limited by its high price, low energy density and poor stability of the electrolyte solutions (e.g. vanadium, zinc). Starting form an internally developed prototype of an energy storage system (ESS) of 1kW based on new organic AQDS (anthraquinone di-sulphonate), we will enhance and scale up this prototype flow battery into an innovative cheap (< 150 / kWh) and safe 10 kW ESS, integrated in a smart microgrid for distributed energy applications, with a significant improvement over the existing technology. We are focusing on the distributed storage and renewables integration for residential and communities microgrids that represent a large market in Europe, that is estimated to grow with a CAGR of 35% from $ 0.7 billion in 2014 to $ 4.2 billion in 2020. The innovation of this action is twofold: Develop and commercialize a storage system module of 10 kW, 40 kWh based on a breakthrough technology, originally developed by Harvard University and implemented in the 1kW battery prototype by GES and UTV, that relies on the electrochemistry of naturally abundant, inexpensive, small organic (carbon-based) molecules called quinones, which are similar to molecules that store energy in plants and animals. Develop an innovative Microgrid Management Platform to optimize the use of the AQDS flow battery, able to monitor microgrid components (loads, energy sources, storage) and to continuously perform a multi-objective optimisation of the energy flows between them and the Power Distribution Grid whose requests will be taken into account by dynamically adhering to Demand Response programs. The Consortium revenue target is to reach 70m by 2020 with a market share of 2%

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CPCSA | Phase: INFRA-2011-1.2.2. | Award Amount: 7.72M | Year: 2011

The aim of this initiative is to address priorities a) and c) of the call INFRA-2011-1.2.2: Data infrastructures for e-Science. It is about delivering long-term preservation services as part of the data infrastructure for e-Science.\nWe aim to deliver generic infrastructure services for science data preservation that address the persistent storage, access and management required by the call and to build on the experience of the ESA Earth Observation Long Term Data Preservation (LTDP) programme to favour the set-up of a European Framework for the long term preservation of Earth Science (ES) data through the definition of common preservation policies, the harmonization of metadata and semantics and the deployment of the generic infrastructure services in the ES domain.\nThe generic services will build on the already proven research prototype services from the CASPAR project. We will evaluate and tune these services in depth, using Earth Science as pathfinder, and broadly but less deeply across other disciplines linked to the Alliance for Permanent Access (APA) and ESFRI clusters. Earth Science presents an enormous challenge to the providers of data-infrastructure because it is inherently a very broad and scattered domain with completely different instruments operated by different entities, which at the moment apply different data preservation policies or none at all. This work is important because it will allow our society to properly preserve the digitally encoded information on which we all depend, in particular Earth Science measurements which can never be repeated and yet on which a multitude of ecological, economic and political decisions must be based in the future. The generic services will allow all kinds of data to be usable by researchers from many different domains and will enable the cost for long-term usability across disciplines to be shared supporting the creation of strong business cases for the long term support of that data.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: HEALTH.2013.2.2.1-4 | Award Amount: 13.02M | Year: 2013

Despite a great progress in the management of epilepsy, still one third of patients is refractory to available medications. The incidence of epilepsy is highest in infancy and 50% of children experience epilepsy-related comorbidities, such as developmental delay and autism. The development of epilepsy (epileptogenesis), extensively studied in animals, is barely studied in humans, as patients usually present AFTER the seizure onset. EPISTOP is the first prospective study of epileptogenesis in humans, beginning BEFORE seizures and continuing through age 2\ years, permitting detailed analysis of the onset, drug-resistance, and comorbidities of epilepsy. To maximize information derived from the study we have chosen homogenous group of patients with prenatal or early infantile diagnosis of Tuberous Sclerosis Complex (TSC). A clinical randomized study of pre-seizure treatment in TSC infants is a part of the project. The aim of EPISTOP is to examine the risk factors and biomarkers of epilepsy and to identify possible new therapeutic targets to block or otherwise modify epileptogenesis in humans. Biomarker analysis will be performed by a multidisciplinary, systematic approach in three clinical settings: 1/ prospective study of epilepsy development in infants with TSC, including analysis of clinical, neuroimaging, and molecular, blood-derived biomarkers at predefined time points: before the onset of seizures, at the onset of epileptiform discharges on EEG, at seizure onset and at the age of 24 months 2/ prospective study of blood-based biomarkers in infants with TSC treated with antiepileptic drugs prior to seizure onset in comparison to children treated only after clinical seizures appearance. 3/ analysis of biomarkers of epileptogenesis and drug-resistant epilepsy in brain specimens obtained from TSC patients who have had epilepsy surgery and TSC autopsy cases. EPISTOP will be carried out by a consortium of 14 partners from 9 countries, including 2 SMEs.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: ICT-03-2016 | Award Amount: 3.10M | Year: 2017

The main objective of the project is to design and implement a parameterized, knowledge-based, multi-target food sensitive mini-portable system, with heterogeneous micro-scale photonics for on-the-spot food quality sensing and shelf-life prediction. In particular, the miniaturized smart integrated system will be able to detect food hazards, spoilage (incl. early sign of spoilage) and food fraud through the combined bio-chemical data analysis and additionally will be able to perform food components/additives analysis, food identification and prediction of food shelf-life. The following use case will be addressed during the project: Use case 1: Detection of mycotoxins in various grains and nuts. Aflatoxins detection. A simple, convenient ultraviolet test makes it possible to detect the possible presence of aflatoxin. Use case 2: Detection of early sign of spoilage and spoilage in fruits, vegetables, meat, fish: combined with estimation on product expiration date. Use case 3: Detection of food fraud: Adulteration of alcoholic beverages, oil, milk and meat. 3 sensor devices will be integrated in the miniaturised smart sensor node: i) a MEMS-based near IR spectrometer (950-1900 nm), ii) a UV-VIS spectrometer (450-900 nm) and iii) a micro-camera. Moreover 3 light sources will also be integrated to support the sensing functionality: i) UV-LED, ii) white LED and iii) a miniaturised IR emitter. Smart signal processing of the spectrum images will be performed by an advanced microcontroller, integrated in the sensing device. The data will be communicated to a smartphone device, where the spectroscopy analysis will take place with the help of a cloud-base application connected to a reference database. Advanced detection algorithms will be deployed both in the level of cloud and the smartphone application. PhasmaFOOD system will enable common consumers for on the spot food quality sensing and shelf-life prediction.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: SGA-CSA | Phase: INNOVATION | Award Amount: 223.69K | Year: 2015

The action Establishing services enhancing the innovation management capacity of SMEs in the Enterprise Europe Network represents an important breakthrough in delivering the EEN services. Until now the EEN consortia partners role was mainly catalyzing the SMEs innovation needs with the innovative product, services and processes provided by other companies or research centres, with the aim of fostering their internationalization. Strengthening the target of internationalization, the EEN consortia partners will improve their action providing on site support to SMEs, and becoming a part of the companies for assessing their capacity in the innovation management issues. The ELSE SIM (Enterprise Lazio and Sardegna for Europe- SMEs Innovation Management) consortium as a whole is able to provide the expected services: Key Account Management Assess SME gaps and needs, Facilitate the identification and the initial coach-SME interaction to prepare coaching plan, Support companies in the project management and administration, Enhancing SME innovation management capacity, Asses innovation management capacity based on performance, Action plan implementation.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: HEALTH-2009-1.1-3 | Award Amount: 14.62M | Year: 2010

The Affinomics programme aims to leverage existing efforts in Europe to generate large-scale resources of validated protein-binding molecules (binders) as affinity reagents for characterisation of the human proteome and to apply them in comprehensive structural and functional analyses of protein expression, interactions and complexes. Proteome targets will be focused on five categories of inter-related human proteins involved in signal transduction, cell regulation and cancer, namely protein kinases, SH2 domain-containing proteins, protein tyrosine phosphatases, proteins somatically mutated in cancers and candidate cancer biomarkers. Binders to about 1000 protein targets will be made over the course of the programme. A high throughput, coordinated production pipeline for antigens and binders will be established. Target antigens will be expressed in three forms, as folded full-length proteins or domains, as large peptide fragments (PrESTs) based on low homology to other human proteins and as small peptides, in some cases phosphorylated. Binder types to be generated include affinity-purified polyclonal antibodies, monoclonal antibodies, recombinant antibody fragments and non-immunoglobulin scaffolds. An important aspect will be the development of highly efficient next generation recombinant selection methods, based on phage, cell and ribosome display, capable of producing high quality binders at greater throughput and lower cost than hitherto. Systems and procedures for thorough binder validation and quality control will be established. The affinity reagents will be applied in advanced innovative and sensitive technologies for specific detection of target proteins and interacting protein complexes in cells, tissues and fluids, for improved understanding of protein function and new classes of diagnostic assays.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: HEALTH-2009-2.4.4-1 | Award Amount: 7.54M | Year: 2009

The rapidly expanding knowledge of NMDs genetic diagnosis, pathogenesis and therapeutic possibilities has provided new targets for disease characterisation, early diagnosis, drug discovery and development as well as has raised many questions about how to translate this knowledge into clinical practice as (initial) clinical trials typically run for such a short time that clinical improvement can hardly be expected within that time frame. This militates for the discovery of surrogate endpoints for establishing the efficacy of clinical trials. The concept of biomarkers represents measurable bio-parameters able to flank the process of diagnosis, functional characterisation and therapy in NMDs. OMIC sciences (genomic, transcriptomics, proteomics) offer opportunities to identify biomarkers for finely defining and tuning the NMDs bases. This approach can make available non-invasive biomarkers, to be used for monitoring disease progression, prognosis and drugs response, therefore optimising the choice of appropriate and often personalised therapies. Validated biomarkers will increase therapy efficiency (meaning optimal dose of drug to get responders) and efficacy (responders vs non responders for example if we will identify genomic biomarkers linked to the lack of any therapeutic effect). In this case we could address a truly efficacious therapy (avoiding inefficacious treatment due to unfavourable genomic contexts). The new genomic and proteomic biomarkers discovered within BIO-NMD will be validated both in animal models and in human samples, before entering into a qualification process at the EMEA. The qualified biomarkers resulting from the BIO-NMD project will be ready for ongoing and further clinical trials for the patient benefit. This will increase the therapy efficacy and efficiency and also reduce adverse effects, with impact on patients quality of life with also economical relevance. The BIO-NMD consortium is led by the University of Ferrara, an internationally recognised university in the field of genomics of hereditary neuromuscular disorders. In addition the consortium is composed of 7 leading European academic partners bringing their expertise in all OMIC sciences as well as in bio-informatics and patient sample collection, 1 SME providing its skills in bio-informatics and 1 global company specialised in the development of patient samples screening.

Massaro F.,Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory | Grindlay J.E.,Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory | Paggi A.,University of Rome Tor Vergata
Astrophysical Journal Letters | Year: 2010

Gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) show evidence of different light curves, duration, afterglows, and host galaxies and explode within a wide redshift range. However, their spectral energy distributions (SEDs) appear to be very similar, showing a curved shape. Band etal. proposed a phenomenological description of the integrated spectral shape for the GRB prompt emission, the so-called Band function. In this Letter, we suggest an alternative scenario to explain the curved shape of GRB SEDs: the log-parabolic model. In comparison with the Band spectral shape our model is statistically favored because it fits the GRB spectra with one parameter less than the Band function and is motivated by a theoretical acceleration scenario. The new Fermi observations of GRBs will be crucial for disentangling these two models. © 2010. The American Astronomical Society. All rights reserved.

Rosso F.,University of Turin | Bisicchia S.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Bonasia D.E.,AO CTO M | Amendola A.,University of Iowa
American Journal of Sports Medicine | Year: 2015

Background: Meniscal allograft transplantation (MAT) was developed as a means of treating the symptoms of compartmental overload after meniscectomy. Despite more than 20 years of research in this field, many controversies still exist regarding meniscal transplantation. Purpose: The aims of this study were to assess (1) the quality of the published studies on MAT; (2) the indications for this type of surgery; (3) the methods used for preservation, sizing, and fixation of the allograft; and (4) the clinical and radiographic outcomes of this procedure and its role in preventing osteoarthritis. Study Design: Systematic review. Methods: Inclusion criteria for the articles were (1) English language, (2) peer-reviewed clinical studies with evidence levels 1 to 4, (3) reported clinical and/or radiological outcomes of MAT isolated or combined with other procedures, (4) minimum 12-month follow-up, (5) case series of at least 10 patients, and (6) a follow-up rate of at least 80% (no more than 20% of patients lost to follow-up). Results: A total of 55 studies matched the inclusion criteria (2 level 2, 7 level 3, and 46 level 4). The average Coleman methodology score was 49.73 ± 12.41 (range, 24-81). There was agreement in the literature regarding the indications for MAT: joint line pain and tenderness correlated with previous meniscectomy, young patients, without diffuse Outerbridge grade III and no grade IV cartilage damage, and a stable and well-aligned knee. Different graft types have been used: viable, fresh frozen, cryopreserved, and lyophilized. The most common method for graft sizing was plain radiography. Different fixation techniques have been described, with only a few studies comparing the clinical results of the different techniques and with no proven superiority of one method over the other. All the studies showed clinical improvement at last follow-up visit compared with preoperatively. The chondroprotective effect of MAT is still unclear. Conclusion: Meniscal allograft transplantation seems to provide good clinical results at short-term and midterm follow-up, with improvement in knee function as well as acceptable complication and failure rates. Higher quality studies are necessary to better assess the potential chondroprotective effect of MAT and to identify differences in terms of outcomes between different surgical techniques. © 2015 The Author(s).

Cannuccia E.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Cannuccia E.,European Theoretical Spectroscopy Facility | Marini A.,CNR Institute of Structure of Matter
Physical Review Letters | Year: 2011

The quantum zero-point motion of the carbon atoms is shown to induce strong effects on the optical and electronic properties of diamond and trans-polyacetylene, a conjugated polymer. By using an ab initio approach, we interpret the subgap states experimentally observed in diamond in terms of entangled electron-phonon states. These states also appear in trans-polyacetylene causing the formation of strong structures in the band structure that even call into question the accuracy of the band theory. This imposes a critical revision of the results obtained for carbon-based nanostructures by assuming the atoms frozen in their equilibrium positions. © 2011 American Physical Society.

Gravante G.,Pilgrim Hospital | Venditti D.,University of Rome Tor Vergata
Surgical Laparoscopy, Endoscopy and Percutaneous Techniques | Year: 2013

Introduction:: Low-cost box models (BMs) are a valuable tool alternative to virtual-reality simulators. We aim to provide surgical trainees with a description of most common BMs and to present their validity to achieve basic and advanced laparoscopic skills. Materials and Methods:: A literature search was undertaken for all studies focusing on BMs, excluded were those presenting data on virtual-reality simulators only. Databases were screened up to December 2011. Results:: Numerous studies focused on various BMs to improve generic tasks (ie, instrument navigation, coordination, and cutting). Only fewer articles described models specific for peculiar operations. All studies showed a significant improvement of basic laparoscopic skills after training with BMs. Furthermore, their low costs make them easily available to most surgical trainees. Conclusions:: BMs should be developed by all surgical trainees during their training. Fields for future improvement regard endoscopy and complex laparoscopic operations for which ad hoc BMs are not available. © 2013 by Lippincott Williams and Wilkins.

Stefanucci G.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Stefanucci G.,National Institute of Nuclear Physics, Italy | Stefanucci G.,European Theoretical Spectroscopy Facility | Kurth S.,European Theoretical Spectroscopy Facility | And 2 more authors.
Physical Review Letters | Year: 2011

We demonstrate that the zero-temperature conductance of the Anderson model can be calculated within the Landauer formalism combined with static density-functional theory. The proposed approximate functional is based on finite-temperature density-functional theory and yields the exact Kohn-Sham potential at the particle-hole symmetric point. Furthermore, in the limit of zero temperature it correctly exhibits a derivative discontinuity which is shown to be essential to reproduce the conductance plateau. On the other hand, at the Kondo temperature the exact Kohn-Sham conductance overestimates the real one by an order of magnitude. To understand the failure of density-functional theory, we resort to its time-dependent version and conclude that the suppression of the Kondo resonance must be attributed to dynamical exchange-correlation corrections. © 2011 American Physical Society.

Huang Y.-T.,National Taiwan University | Wen C.,University of Rome Tor Vergata
Journal of High Energy Physics | Year: 2015

Abstract: We discuss constraints imposed by soft limits for effective field theories arising from symmetry breaking. In particular, we consider those associated with anomalous conformal symmetry as well as duality symmetries in supergravity. We verify these soft theorems for the dilaton effective action relevant for the a-theorem, as well as the one-loop effective action for N=4 supergravity. Using the universality of leading transcendental coefficients in the α′ expansion of string theory amplitudes, we study the matrix elements of operator R4 with half maximal supersymmetry. We construct the non-linear completion of R4 that satisfies both single and double soft theorems up to seven points. This supports the existence of duality invariant completion of R4. © 2015, The Author(s).

Roubicek T.,Charles University | Roubicek T.,Czech Institute of Thermomechanics | Tomassetti G.,University of Rome Tor Vergata
Archive for Rational Mechanics and Analysis | Year: 2013

We derive a thermodynamically consistent general continuum-mechanical model describing mutually coupled martensitic and ferro/paramagnetic phase transformations in electrically-conductive magnetostrictive materials such as NiMnGa. We use small-strain and eddy-current approximations, yet large velocities and electric current injected through the boundary are allowed. Fully nonlinear coupling of magneto-mechanical and thermal effects is considered. The existence of energy-preserving weak solutions is proved by showing convergence of time-discrete approximations constructed by a carefully designed semi-implicit regularized scheme. © 2013 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.

Benzarti K.,University Paris Est Creteil | Freddi F.,University of Parma | Fremond M.,University of Rome Tor Vergata
Construction and Building Materials | Year: 2011

Presented in this paper is a coupled damage model to predict the durability of concrete elements strengthened by external bonding of fiber reinforced polymer (FRP) plates. Both the concrete, the strengthening FRP and the glue are modeled as damageable materials. The damage model is developed within the framework of the principle of virtual power. The adopted power of the internal forces depends on the damage velocity and on its gradient to take into account local interactions. An interaction between the domain damage and the damage along the interface is introduced. Preliminary comparison between numerical results and experimental tests are proposed showing that the model captures well the debonding fracture initiation, and provides an accurate description of the rupture mode. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Gherardini P.F.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Ausiello G.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Russell R.B.,University of Heidelberg | Helmer-Citterich M.,University of Rome Tor Vergata
Nucleic Acids Research | Year: 2010

Recently, modularity has emerged as a general attribute of complex biological systems. This is probably because modular systems lend themselves readily to optimization via random mutation followed by natural selection. Although they are not traditionally considered to evolve by this process, biological ligands are also modular, being composed of recurring chemical fragments, and moreover they exhibit similarities reminiscent of mutations (e.g. the few atoms differentiating adenine and guanine). Many ligands are also promiscuous in the sense that they bind to many different protein folds. Here, we investigated whether ligand chemical modularity is reflected in an underlying modularity of binding sites across unrelated proteins. We chose nucleotides as paradigmatic ligands, because they can be described as composed of well-defined fragments (nucleobase, ribose and phosphates) and are quite abundant both in nature and in protein structure databases. We found that nucleotide-binding sites do indeed show a modular organization and are composed of fragment-specific protein structural motifs, which parallel the modular structure of their ligands. Through an analysis of the distribution of these motifs in different proteins and in different folds, we discuss the evolutionary implications of these findings and argue that the structural features we observed can arise both as a result of divergence from a common ancestor or convergent evolution. © The Author(s) 2010. Published by Oxford University Press.

Cento V.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Chevaliez S.,University Paris Est Creteil | Perno C.F.,University of Rome Tor Vergata
Current Opinion in HIV and AIDS | Year: 2015

Purpose of review This article examines the dynamics and factors underlying hepatitis C virus (HCV) resistance, along with their impact on daily clinical management of HCV-infected patients. Recent findings Across available treatment-regimens, GT-3 is the most difficult-to-cure genotype, but also genotype-1a may show lower success-rates compared with genotype-1b. Natural resistance to NS3, NS5A and NS5B inhibitors may contribute to treatment failures. The Q80K NS3-protease mutation affects sensibility to simeprevir+peg-interferon/ribavirin combinations. It reaches up to 48% prevalence in genotype-1a in some studies (but it is lower in other). Resistant variants (particularly in NS5A) developed at failure can persist, in a substantial proportion of patients, even 3 years after treatment-discontinuation, potentially affecting readministration of the same direct-acting antiviral agent (DAA)-class. This will become an issue for those patients failing all-oral regimens with multiple-resistant viruses. Summary Recent data support the importance of an accurate genotype and genotype-1 subtype (1a/1b) assignment prior therapy. Resistance testing at baseline has no clear indication so far in clinical practice for all-DAA regimens selection, while it remains a valuable option at the retreatment of patients who failed DAAcontaining regimens, provided that data are generated to inform treatment decisions based on the results of resistance testing. In this context, long-term RAVs persistence after failure should be taken into account. Copyright © 2015 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.

Marino R.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Scalzi S.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Netto M.,INRETS
Control Engineering Practice | Year: 2011

In this paper a nested PID steering control in vision based autonomous vehicles is designed and experimentally tested to perform path following in the case of roads with an uncertain curvature. The control input is the steering wheel angle: it is designed on the basis of the yaw rate, measured by a gyroscope, and the lateral offset, measured by the vision system as the distance between the road centerline and a virtual point at a fixed distance from the vehicle. No lateral acceleration and no lateral speed measurements are required. A PI active front steering control based on the yaw rate tracking error is used to improve the vehicle steering dynamics. The yaw rate reference is computed by an external control loop which is designed using a PID control with a double integral action based on the lateral offset to reject the disturbances on the curvature which increase linearly with respect to time. The proposed control scheme leads to a nested architecture with two independent control loops that allows us to design standard PID controls in a multivariable context (two outputs, one input). The robustness of the controlled system is theoretically investigated with respect to speed variations and uncertain vehicle physical parameters. Several simulations are carried out on a standard big sedan CarSim vehicle model to explore the robustness with respect to unmodelled effects. The simulations show reduced lateral offset and new stable μ-split braking maneuvres in comparison with the model predictive steering controller implemented by CarSim. Finally the proposed control law is successfully tested by experiments using a Peugeot 307 prototype vehicle on the test track in Satory, 20. km west of Paris. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.

Corsello S.M.,University Cattolica | Barnabei A.,Regina Elena Cancer Institute | Marchetti P.,University of Rome La Sapienza | De Vecchis L.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | And 2 more authors.
Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism | Year: 2013

Context: In recent years, progress has been made in cancer immunotherapy by the development of drugs acting as modulators of immune checkpoint proteins, such as the cytotoxic T-lymphocyte antigen-4(CTLA4) and programmed death-1 (PD-1), two co-inhibitory receptors thatareexpressed on T cells upon activation. These molecules play crucial roles in maintaining immune homeostasis by down-regulating T-cell signaling, thereby preventing unbridled T-cell proliferation while maintaining tolerance to self-antigens, such as tumor-associated antigens. CTLA4 blockade through systemic administration of the CTLA4-blocking antibody ipilimumab was shown to confer significant survival benefit and prolonged stable disease in patients affected by advanced cutaneous melanoma. Other immune checkpoint inhibitors are under clinical evaluation. However, immune checkpoint blockade can lead to the breaking of immune self-tolerance, thereby inducing a novel syndrome of autoimmune/autoinflammatory side effects, designatedas "immune-related adverse events," mainly including rash, colitis, hepatitis, and endocrinopathies. Data Acquisition: We searched the medical literature using the words "hypophysitis," "hypopituitarism," "thyroid," "adrenal insufficiency," and "endocrine adverse events" in association with "immune checkpoint inhibitors," "ipilimumab," "tremelimumab," "PD-1," and "PD-1-L." Evidence Synthesis: The spectrum of endocrine disease experienced by patients treated with ipilimumab includes most commonly hypophysitis, more rarely thyroid disease or abnormalities in thyroid function tests, and occasionally primary adrenal insufficiency. Hypophysitis has emerged as a distinctive side effect of CTLA4-blocking antibodies, establishing a new form of autoimmune pituitary disease. This condition, if not promptly recognized, may be life-threatening (due to secondary hypoadrenalism). Hypopituitarism caused by these agents is rarely reversible, and prolonged or lifelong substitutive hormonal treatment is often required. The precise mechanism of injury to the endocrine system triggered by these drugs is yet to be fully elucidated. Conclusions: Although reports of endocrine side effects caused by cancer immune therapy are abundant, their exact prevalence and mechanism are unclear. Well-designed correlative studies oriented to finding and validating predictive factors of autoimmune toxicity are urgently needed. Copyright © 2013 by The Endocrine Society.

Quercellini C.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Amendola L.,University of Heidelberg | Balbi A.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Cabella P.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Quartin M.,Federal University of Rio de Janeiro
Physics Reports | Year: 2012

In recent years, improved astrometric and spectroscopic techniques have opened the possibility of measuring the temporal change of radial and transverse position of sources in the sky over relatively short time intervals. This has made at least conceivable to establish a novel research domain, which we dub real-time cosmology". We review for the first time most of the work already done in this field, analysing the theoretical framework as well as some foreseeable observational strategies and their capability to constrain models. We first focus on real-time measurements of the overall redshift drift and angular separation shift in distant sources, which allows the observer to trace the background cosmic expansion and large scale anisotropy, respectively. We then examine the possibility of employing the same kind of observations to probe peculiar and proper accelerations in clustered systems, and therefore their gravitational potential. The last two sections are devoted to the future change of the cosmic microwave background on "short" time scales, as well as to the temporal shift of the temperature anisotropy power spectrum and maps. We conclude revisiting in this context the usefulness of upcoming experiments (like CODEX and Gaia) for real-time observations. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.

Vaclavkova A.,Actelion Pharmaceuticals | Chimenti S.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Arenberger P.,Charles University | Hollo P.,Semmelweis University | And 4 more authors.
The Lancet | Year: 2014

Background We assessed the efficacy, safety, and tolerability of ponesimod, an oral, selective, reversible modulator of sphingosine 1-phosphate receptor 1, in patients with moderate to severe chronic plaque psoriasis.Methods Between Sept 22, 2010, and Oct 24, 2012, patients with psoriasis area and severity index (PASI) scores higher than 10 were enrolled into this multicentre double-blind, phase 2 study. They received 20 mg or 40 mg ponesimod or placebo once daily for 16 weeks. Those with at least 50% reduction in PASI score at 16 weeks and who were receiving ponesimod were rerandomised to receive maintenance ponesimod therapy or placebo until week 28. The primary endpoint was reduction in PASI score from baseline of at least 75% (PASI75) at week 16. This study is registered with, number NCT01208090.Findings Of 326 patients initially randomised (20 mg ponesimod n=126, 40 mg ponesimod n=133, and placebo n=67) PASI75 was achieved at week 16 in 58 (46·0%), 64 (48·1%), and nine (13·4%), respectively. The treatment effect was significant for the two ponesimod doses (both p<0·0001). Of 219 patients who entered the maintenance period, PASI75 was achieved by week 28 in 35 (71·4%) of 49 who continued on 20 mg ponesimod and 41 (77·4%) of 53 on 40 mg ponesimod, and in 19 (42·2%) of 45 who swapped from 20 mg to placebo and 19 (40·4%) of 47 from 40 mg to placebo. Ponesimod was associated with dyspnoea, raised liver enzyme concentrations, and dizziness.Interpretation Significant clinical benefit was seen at week 16 that increased with maintenance therapy.Funding Actelion Pharmaceuticals. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-CSA-Infra | Phase: INFRA-2012-1.1.20. | Award Amount: 8.53M | Year: 2013

Advances in key economical and societal issues facing Europe, like transport, energy generation, climate change, or industrial, environmental and geophysical mixing processes are obstructed by the lack of understanding of turbulence. To date, models fail to explain many fundamental features of turbulence, from boundary layers and particle transport, to heat transport and turbulence in complex and quantum fluids. This has led several European countries to fund new large-scale turbulence facilities, unsurpassed in flow properties and measurement technologies. Currently these are not easily accessible to the larger EU scientific community. This inhibits the rapid advancement of research across Europe and hinders the optimal use of the resources, and their impact on the development of new advanced technologies and solutions. Recognizing this deficiency, the leading groups in turbulence research with members from 9 countries propose to form the European High-performance Infrastructures in Turbulence (EuHIT) within the Integrated Infrastructure Initiative (I3). 14 Top-notch European infrastructures agreed to provide the research community with transnational access to their facilities. Joint research activities of the consortium will innovate and explore new fundamental technologies that will ensure efficient and joint use of these research infrastructures by creating harmonised and enhanced interfaces, improving data processing methods, and optimizing the quality and increasing the quantity of the services provided to researchers from academia and industry alike. A networking and educational program will be established to foster cooperation among research infrastructures and the scientific community, to train the next generation researchers in using the most modern equipment and data analysis techniques, and thus to develop a more efficient and attractive European Research Area.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: MSCA-RISE | Phase: MSCA-RISE-2014 | Award Amount: 441.00K | Year: 2015

The long-range goal of this project is to develop a molecular nanodevice, based on nucleic acid-protein conjugates, for the multiplexed, quantitative imaging of biomarkers in tissue samples and cultured cells. The Immuno-nanodecoder will be used for the accurate molecular characterization of skin cancer (melanoma) and glycogenosis type II cellular models and to evaluate the in vitro response to experimental therapies. The nanodevices (nanodecoders) will consist of self-assembled DNA nanostructures that can reversibly change their fluorescence signal output in response to hybridization to nucleic acid sequences, or to a specific enzymatic reaction. Each nanodevice will be coupled to a specific molecular probe, such as an antibody, peptide, or protein that uniquely recognize disease biomarkers. The coupling will allow the nanodecoder to detect biomarker presence and distribution in cells and tissues, in a layer-by-layer fashion, using optical fluorescence microscopy. The number of biomarkers that can be detected will be limited only by the capacity to design nanodecoders with differing specificities, which is essentially unlimited. The creation of nanodecoders and optimization of their function will greatly advance biomarker imaging, which currently lacks a high-throughput, convenient method for the in situ, quantitative microscopic analysis of altered tissue regions. This project will be driven by knowledge exchange and the expertise of an interdisciplinary team comprised of both early-stage and experienced university and hospital researchers. Complementary research programs, ranging from nanotechnology to molecular medicine and pathology will support each step of the developmental and applicative parts of the project towards the achievement of its objectives. Funding of this program will enable long-term, transformative collaborations that will contribute to the integration and collaboration of research groups between European Countries and key Third Countries.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: BSG-SME | Phase: SME-1 | Award Amount: 1.49M | Year: 2010

The INSEARCH project aims to develop an information system, based on advanced knowledge search, retrieval and analysis techniques, able to support European SMEs in their technological innovation process in particular in facing one of their main challenges: how to find and use available knowledge present in the form of structured and unstructured data in the World Wide Web. Such an information system will support human decision and action, it is neither pure information brokering, nor automatic execution. INSEARCH will use advanced filtering, recommendation, and monitoring techniques to search and retrieve relevant knowledge, as well as Natural language Processing and text mining techniques to analyse the retrieved knowledge thus providing useful information for the innovation process. The INSEARCH expected final result will be a fully operational information retrieval (IR) and analysis system, eventually integrated within SMEs internal existing knowledge management systems. The IR and Analysis system will consist on: 1) A data modelling toolbox able to support users in providing coherent and structured queries, in line with the organisational databases used for data storage and analysis; 2) An advanced search and retrieve system for relevant knolwdge present in the Web, based on content filtering, reccomendation, monitoring, and ranking of achieved results; 3) An analysis module of retrieved knolwdge through Natural Language Processing and Text Mining, to provide users with already analysed information useful for product/proces innovation; 4) An overall Data Management platform based on Semantic Technologies and innovation-targeted ontologies to store and manage the innovation-related knolwdge.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: CSA | Phase: INNOSUP | Award Amount: 151.73K | Year: 2014

The action Establishing services enhancing the innovation management capacity of SMEs in the Enterprise Europe Network represents an important breakthrough in delivering the EEN services. Until now the EEN consortia partners role was mainly catalyzing the SMEs innovation needs with the innovative product, services and processes provided by other companies or research centres, with the aim of fostering their internationalization. Strengthening the target of internationalization, with the New Action, the EEN consortia partners will improve their action providing on site support to SMEs, and becoming a part of the companies for assessing their capacity in the innovation management issues. The SCRIPT consortium as a whole is able to provide the expected services: Key Account Management Assess SME gaps and needs, Facilitate the identification and the initial coach-SME interaction to prepare coaching plan, Support companies in the project management and administration Enhancing SME innovation management capacity Asses innovation management capacity based on performance, Action plan implementation.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: HEALTH-2009-2.4.5-1 | Award Amount: 7.49M | Year: 2010

As worldwide metabolic disease pandemics rise relentlessly with their concomitant clinical complications such as non alcoholic fatty liver disease, FLORINASH proposes an innovative research concept to address the role of intestinal microfloral activity in the pathogenesis of NAFLD. Firstly, to discover novel metabolic markers for the differential diagnosis and prediction of patient risk. Secondly, to identify HITS as targets for new therapeutic or interventional approaches. The strength of the FLORINASH proposal lies in: i) The construction a large bank of tissues and biofluids (liver biopsies, urine, faeces, plasma) from NAFLD patients that have been phenotyped for obesity and for insulin resistance by hyperinsulinemic clamping. ii) The application of coupled bioinformatic and chemometric modelling of phenotypes via advanced system level omics metrics (utilizing metabolomic, proteomic, transcriptomic, and metagenomic platforms). iii) The mechanistic refinement and validation of human markers and target-HITS in complementary animal models and innovative humanized mice. iv) To validate currently available therapeutic candidates for the target-HITS and synthesize new chemical entities to interfere with these target-HITS. v) To elucidate and widely disseminate the systemic and long range metabolic impacts of intestinal microflora modulation on molecular pathways such as ER stress, lipogenic transcription factors and inflammatory agents. Hence, in addition to fundamental scientific advances that can be tranlated to individual healthcare scenarios, the European community will benefit more widely from numerous social, economical, clinical, scientific impacts resulting from the FLORINASH project.

Amendola L.,University of Heidelberg | Pettorino V.,International School for Advanced Studies | Quercellini C.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Vollmer A.,University of Heidelberg
Physical Review D - Particles, Fields, Gravitation and Cosmology | Year: 2012

Coupling dark energy to dark matter provides one of the simplest way to effectively modify gravity at large scales without strong constraints from local (i.e. Solar System) observations. Models of coupled dark energy have been studied several times in the past and are already significantly constrained by cosmic microwave background experiments. In this paper we estimate the constraints that future large-scale observations will be able to put on the coupling and in general on all the parameters of the model. We combine cosmic microwave background, tomographic weak lensing, redshift distortions and power spectrum probes. We show that next-generation observations can improve the current constraint on the coupling to dark matter by two orders of magnitude; this constraint is complementary to the current Solar System bounds on a coupling to baryons. © 2012 American Physical Society.

News Article | October 26, 2016

The SuperB factory, a particle accelerator to be built on the campus of the University of Rome Tor Vergata over the next six years, was officially launched on Friday. But the project faces uncertain funding and competition from a Japanese project. The accelerator will be what physicists call a B-factory, where electrons and their antiparticles, positrons, will race around two 1.3-kilometre-long rings, then collide and produce heavy B mesons. By studying the way these particles decay, physicists hope to fill some of the gaps in the standard model of physics, such as why there is more matter than antimatter in the Universe, and whether the exotic particles predicted by the theory of supersymmetry really exist. SuperB will produce 100 times more collision events each year than did the two B factories previously built: the BaBar experiment at the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory in Menlo Park, California, which shut down in April 2008, and the ongoing Belle experiment at the KEKB accelerator in Tsukuba, Japan. This increased luminosity should allow researchers to study even the rarest of physical phenomena. Italy's National Institute for Nuclear Physics (INFN) is running the project. Under an agreement signed by the INFN and Tor Vergata on Friday, the two will set up an international laboratory to oversee the construction and operation of SuperB; the lab will be named after Italian physicist Nicola Cabibbo. Roberto Petronzio, who will soon give up his post as president of the INFN to become director general of the new laboratory, says that SuperB will complement the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) particle accelerator at CERN, Europe's high-energy physics laboratory near Geneva, Switzerland, by helping to build a theoretical model around the LHC's future discoveries. "Whereas the LHC uses high energies to produce as-yet-unknown particles, SuperB will look for the indirect effects of those particles on the ones we already know," says Petronzio. The Italian Institute of Technology in Genoa is expected to join the collaboration within a few months. It will build synchrotron laboratories, which will conduct microscopy using the high-energy radiation produced by the accelerator. However, more partners will be needed to ensure SuperB's success. The Italian Ministry for Research has promised to provide funds of €250 million (US$340 million), but the INFN estimates that the final price tag for the facility will be between €450 million and €600 million. Some assistance will come from the United States, which plans to provide reusable components from the BaBar detector, worth about €70 million; an agreement with Russia is currently under negotiation; and other European countries have expressed an interest in joining the project, says Petronzio. Further financial help from the United States is unlikely. In August 2010, an expert panel at the US Department of Energy suggested that the country should limit its participation in the Italian project to the recycled components already committed. The panel recommended that the United States should give direct financial support only to an upgrade of the Japanese Belle experiment, to be called Belle II, work on which will begin next year. Construction of SuperB is expected to begin next year and operations are scheduled to start in 2017 — a breakneck timetable brought on by the competition with Belle II. Although it will not reach SuperB's luminosity, the upgraded Japanese experiment is expected to start taking data in 2016. "We'll probably be one year late," says Petronzio. "We can catch up because we will see many more collisions, but we cannot afford to be later than that." Not everyone in the Italian physics community is happy with the project. When SuperB was being presented to the ministry for funding last December, Mario Calvetti, then director of INFN's Frascati National Laboratory, resigned in order to voice his opposition. "My reckoning is that SuperB will take 15 years to complete, and it will end up draining resources from the other INFN experiments," he says. INFN activities include many other large-scale experiments, such as neutrino and dark-matter research at the Gran Sasso Laboratories, the Virgo gravitational-wave observatory near Pisa and a strong involvement in the LHC. Fernando Ferroni, incoming president of the INFN, says that Calvetti is not alone in his doubts. "There is some opposition to the project, particularly from those working on other research lines," he says. "SuperB is a great, innovative project, but we will have to make sure that extra money and personnel for it do not come from the INFN's current budget."

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: ENV.2010.3.1.5-2 | Award Amount: 4.47M | Year: 2010

HOMBRE seeks to achieve a paradigm shift in sustainable brownfield land management practice. This strategic goal can be expressed in four underlying objectives: Better understanding why, how, where and when brownfields are formed in order to avoid future brownfields. Better solutions for long term land use of current and potential future brownfields. Better operations, better implementation of state of the art technologies into practice and development of more sustainable integrated regeneration technologies for successful brownfield regeneration Improving the dividend from brownfield remediation for the environment, economy and society in the surrounding area by means of integrative management methodologies in cooperation with stakeholders The project recognizes four different main tasks as part of a HOlistic Management of Brownfield REgeneration (HOMBRE) to be accomplished in associated case studies (mining, urban, industrial) with stakeholder participation: Zero brownfields strategy: a better understanding of the life cycle of urban, industrial and mining sites and the origination of brownfields in these settings is necessary to device a successful overall brownfield redevelopment program. Assessment of brownfield regeneration scenarios: development of an improved sustainable spatial (land-, urban) planning and decision making processes to enhance the up-take of brownfield regeneration projects based on a holistic approach. Integrated Regeneration Technologies: combination of technologies that address different site aspects or issues (eg. linking soil, water, energy and materials) to create faster and cheaper solutions during brownfield regeneration. Intermediate Renewal: solutions for greening, landscaping and amenity improvement of brownfields to ensure social, economical and environmental cohesion with the surrounding land use.

Spalletta G.,IRCCS Santa Lucia Foundation | Piras F.,IRCCS Santa Lucia Foundation | Caltagirone C.,IRCCS Santa Lucia Foundation | Caltagirone C.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Orfei M.D.,IRCCS Santa Lucia Foundation
Human Brain Mapping | Year: 2014

Lack of insight into illness is a multidimensional phenomenon that has relevant implications on clinical course and therapy compliance. Here, we focused on metacognitive insight in schizophrenia, that is, the ability to monitor one's changes in state of mind and sensations, with the aim of investigating its neuroanatomical, psychopathological, and neuropsychological correlates. Fifty-seven consecutive patients with Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (Fourth Edition, Text Revision) diagnosis of schizophrenia were administered the Insight Scale, and comprehensive psychopathological and neuropsychological batteries. They underwent a high-resolution T1-weighted magnetic resonance imaging investigation. Gray matter (GM) and white matter (WM) volumes were analyzed on a voxel-by-voxel basis using Statistical Parametric Mapping 8. Reduced metacognitive insight was related to reduced GM volumes in the left ventrolateral prefrontal cortex, right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and insula, and bilateral premotor area and putamen. Further, it was related to reduced WM volumes of the right superior longitudinal fasciculum, left corona radiata, left forceps minor, and bilateral cingulum. Increased metacognitive insight was related to increased depression severity and attentional control impairment, while the latter was related to increased GM volumes in brain areas linked to metacognitive insight. Results of this study suggest that prefrontal GM and WM bundles, all implied in cognitive control and self-reflection, may be the neuroanatomical correlates of metacognitive insight in schizophrenia. Further, higher metacognitive insight is hypothesized to be a risk factor for depression which may subsequently impair attention. This line of research may provide the basis for the development of cognitive interventions aimed at improving self-monitoring and compliance to treatment. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Piras F.,IRCCS Santa Lucia Foundation | Chiapponi C.,IRCCS Santa Lucia Foundation | Girardi P.,University of Rome La Sapienza | Caltagirone C.,IRCCS Santa Lucia Foundation | And 2 more authors.
Cortex | Year: 2015

The most widely accepted model of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) assumes brain abnormalities in the "affective circuit", mainly consisting of volume reduction in the medial orbitofrontal, anterior cingulate and temporolimbic cortices, and tissue expansion in the striatum and thalamus. The advent of whole-brain, voxel-based morphometry (VBM) has provided increasing evidence that regions outside the "affective" orbitofronto-striatal circuit are involved in OCD. Nevertheless, potential confounds from the different image analysis methods, as well as other factors, such as patients' medication and comorbidity status, may limit generalization of results.In the present paper, we systematically reviewed the whole-brain VBM literature on OCD by focussing specifically on degree of consistency between studies, extent to which findings have been replicated and interrelation between clinical variables and OCD anatomy, a potentially crucial factor that has been systematically examined only in a limited number of studies. The PubMed database was searched through February 2012. A total of 156 studies were identified; 18 of them fulfilled the inclusion/exclusion criteria and included 511 patients and 504 controls. Results support the notion that the brain alterations responsible for OCD are represented at the network level, and that widespread structural abnormalities may contribute to neurobiological vulnerability to OCD. Apart from defects in regions within the classic "affective" circuit, volume reduction of the cortical source of the dorsolateral (DL) prefronto-striatal "executive" circuit (dorsomedial, DL, ventrolateral and frontopolar prefrontal cortices), and of reciprocally connected regions (temporo-parieto-occipital associative areas) is consistently described in OCD patients. Moreover, increased volume of the internal capsule and reduced frontal and parietal white matter volumes may account for altered anatomical connectivity in fronto-subcortical circuitry. Morphometric changes in both "affective" and "executive" parallel the disease clinical course, being at the same time responsible for variation in symptom severity. Thus, OCD mechanisms involve a more widespread network of cerebral dysfunctions than previously thought, which may explain the heterogeneity in clinical manifestations and symptom severity. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

Aloisio R.,National Institute of Nuclear Physics, Italy | Boncioli D.,University of Rome Tor Vergata
Astroparticle Physics | Year: 2011

The recent results of the Pierre Auger Observatory on the possible correlation of Ultra High Energy Cosmic Rays events and several nearby discrete sources could be the starting point of a new era with charged particles astronomy. In this paper we introduce a simple model to determine the effects of any local distribution of sources on the expected flux. We consider two populations of sources: faraway sources uniformly distributed and local point sources. We study the effects on the expected flux of the local distribution of sources, referring also to the set of astrophysical objects whose correlation with the Auger events is experimentally claimed. © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Costanzo F.,IRCCS Childrens Hospital Bambino Gesu | Vicari S.,IRCCS Childrens Hospital Bambino Gesu | Carlesimo G.A.,IRCCS Santa Lucia Foundation | Carlesimo G.A.,University of Rome Tor Vergata
Cortex | Year: 2013

Interest is being shown in a componential analysis of performance on declarative memory tasks that distinguishes two different kinds of access to stored memories, recollection and familiarity. From a developmental perspective, it has been hypothesized that recollection emerges later and shows more developmental changes than familiarity. Nevertheless, the contribution of recollection and familiarity to the recognition performance of individuals with intellectual disabilities (ID) has been rarely examined. The present study was aimed at investigating the qualitative profile of declarative long-term memory in a group of individuals with Williams syndrome (WS). We compared 13 individuals with WS and 13 mental-age-matched typically developing children in two different experimental paradigms to assess the contribution of familiarity and recollection to recognition performance. We adopted a modified version of the process dissociation procedure and a task dissociation procedure, both of which are suited to individuals with ID. Results of both experimental paradigms demonstrated reduced recollection and spared familiarity in the declarative memory performances of individuals with WS. These results provide direct evidence of a dissociation between recollection and familiarity in a neurodevelopmental disorder and are discussed in relation to alternative approaches for explaining abnormal cognition in individuals with ID. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.

Ricci F.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Ricci F.,Italian National Institute of Biosystems and Biostructures | Adornetto G.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Palleschi G.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Palleschi G.,Italian National Institute of Biosystems and Biostructures
Electrochimica Acta | Year: 2012

In this brief review we want to give a guidance to all the researchers who want to challenge themselves in the task of developing electrochemical immunosensors for the first time. We will focus here only on practical aspects trying to give the readers useful insights that should be considered such as the choice of the electrode to be used, the best electrochemical and immunological procedures, the immobilization procedures, the instruments to purchase and other basic aspects of electrochemical immunosensors. In doing so we offer a wide view of the research on electrochemical immunosensor applications that have appeared in the literature in the last 5 years. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.

Naganuma T.,Japan International Center for Materials Nanoarchitectonics | Traversa E.,Japan International Center for Materials Nanoarchitectonics | Traversa E.,University of Rome Tor Vergata
Nanoscale | Year: 2012

A high concentration of Ce 3+ ions, above 80%, was created in 5 nm thick cerium oxide nanoparticle (nanoceria) layers deposited on a polymer substrate. The reduction from Ce 4+ to Ce 3+ was achieved by irradiating the nanoceria layers with Ar ions, which resulted in the formation of oxygen vacancies at the surface. The samples were exposed to ambient air and compared with nanoceria pellets. Ce retained the 3+ valence state in the particle layers, but not in the pellets, even after 47 days of exposure to humid air. Thus, the irradiated nanoceria particle layers contain a high level of Ce 3+ ions and possess an outstanding stability in air. © 2012 The Royal Society of Chemistry.

Perfetto E.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Stefanucci G.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Stefanucci G.,National Institute of Nuclear Physics, Italy | Cini M.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Cini M.,National Institute of Nuclear Physics, Italy
Physical Review Letters | Year: 2010

We demonstrate the remnant presence of initial correlations in the steady-state electrical current jS flowing between low-dimensional interacting leads. The leads are described as Luttinger liquids and electrons can tunnel via a quantum point contact. We derive an analytic result for the time-dependent current and show that ground-state correlations have a large impact on the relaxation and long-time behavior. In particular, the I-V characteristic is not reproduced by quenching the interaction in time. We further present a universal formula of jS for an arbitrary sequence of interaction quenches and it is established that jS is history dependent for nonsmooth switching process. © 2010 The American Physical Society.

Lacquaniti F.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Lacquaniti F.,IRCCS Santa Lucia Foundation | Ivanenko Y.P.,IRCCS Santa Lucia Foundation | Zago M.,IRCCS Santa Lucia Foundation
Journal of Physiology | Year: 2012

There is much experimental evidence for the existence of biomechanical constraints which simplify the problem of control of multi-segment movements. In addition, it has been hypothesized that movements are controlled using a small set of basic temporal components or activation patterns, shared by several different muscles and reflecting global kinematic and kinetic goals. Here we review recent studies on human locomotion showing that muscle activity is accounted for by a combination of few basic patterns, each one timed at a different phase of the gait cycle. Similar patterns are involved in walking and running at different speeds, walking forwards or backwards, and walking under different loading conditions. The corresponding weights of distribution to different muscles may change as a function of the condition, allowing highly flexible control. Biomechanical correlates of each activation pattern have been described, leading to the hypothesis that the co-ordination of limb and body segments arises from the coupling of neural oscillators between each other and with limb mechanical oscillators. Muscle activations need only intervene during limited time epochs to force intrinsic oscillations of the system when energy is lost. © 2012 The Authors. The Journal of Physiology © 2012 The Physiological Society.

Adriano F.,IRCCS Santa Lucia Foundation | Caltagirone C.,IRCCS Santa Lucia Foundation | Caltagirone C.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Spalletta G.,IRCCS Santa Lucia Foundation
Neuroscientist | Year: 2012

Several magnetic resonance imaging studies have reported hippocampal volume reduction in patients with schizophrenia, but other studies have reported contrasting results. In this review and meta-analysis, the authors aim to clarify whether a reduction in hippocampal volume characterizes patients with schizophrenia by considering illness phase (chronic and first episode) and hippocampus side separately. They made a detailed literature search for studies reporting physical volumetric hippocampal measures of patients with schizophrenia and healthy control (HC) participants and found 44 studies that were eligible for meta-analysis. Individual meta-analyses were also performed on 13 studies of first-episode patients and on 22 studies of chronic patients. The authors also detected any different findings when only males or both males and females were considered. Finally, additional meta-analyses and analyses of variance investigated the role of the factors "illness phase" and "side" on hippocampal volume reduction. Overall, the patient group showed significant bilateral hippocampal volume reduction compared with HC. Interestingly, first-episode and chronic patients showed same-size hippocampal volume reduction. Moreover, the left hippocampus was smaller than the right hippocampus in patients and HC. This review and meta-analysis raises the question about whether hippocampal volume reduction in schizophrenia is of neurodevelopmental origin. Future studies should specifically investigate this issue. © The Author(s) 2012.

Idili A.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Idili A.,Italian National Institute of Biosystems and Biostructures | Vallee-Belisle A.,University of Montréal | Ricci F.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Ricci F.,Italian National Institute of Biosystems and Biostructures
Journal of the American Chemical Society | Year: 2014

We have designed programmable DNA-based nanoswitches whose closing/opening can be triggered over specific different pH windows. These nanoswitches form an intramolecular triplex DNA structure through pH-sensitive parallel Hoogsteen interactions. We demonstrate that by simply changing the relative content of TAT/CGC triplets in the switches, we can rationally tune their pH dependence over more than 5 pH units. The ability to design DNA-based switches with tunable pH dependence provides the opportunity to engineer pH nanosensors with unprecedented wide sensitivity to pH changes. For example, by mixing in the same solution three switches with different pH sensitivity, we developed a pH nanosensor that can precisely monitor pH variations over 5.5 units of pH. With their fast response time (<200 ms) and high reversibility, these pH-triggered nanoswitches appear particularly suitable for applications ranging from the real-time monitoring of pH changes in vivo to the development of pH sensitive smart nanomaterials. © 2014 American Chemical Society.

Porchetta A.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Porchetta A.,Italian National Institute of Biosystems and Biostructures | Porchetta A.,University of Montréal | Vallee-Belisle A.,University of California at Santa Barbara | And 3 more authors.
Journal of the American Chemical Society | Year: 2012

Here we demonstrate multiple, complementary approaches by which to tune, extend, or narrow the dynamic range of aptamer-based sensors. Specifically, we employ both distal-site mutations and allosteric control to tune the affinity and dynamic range of a fluorescent aptamer beacon. We show that allosteric control, achieved by using a set of easily designed oligonucleotide inhibitors that competes against the folding of the aptamer, allows rational fine-tuning of the affinity of our model aptamer across 3 orders of magnitude of target concentration with greater precision than that achieved using mutational approaches. Using these methods, we generate sets of aptamers varying significantly in target affinity and then combine them to recreate several of the mechanisms employed by nature to narrow or broaden the dynamic range of biological receptors. Such ability to finely control the affinity and dynamic range of aptamers may find many applications in synthetic biology, drug delivery, and targeted therapies, fields in which aptamers are of rapidly growing importance. © 2012 American Chemical Society.

Minguez P.,European Molecular Biology Laboratory | Letunic I.,Biobyte solutions GmbH | Parca L.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Bork P.,European Molecular Biology Laboratory | Bork P.,Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine
Nucleic Acids Research | Year: 2013

Post-translational modifications (PTMs) are involved in the regulation and structural stabilization of eukaryotic proteins. The combination of individual PTM states is a key to modulate cellular functions as became evident in a few well-studied proteins. This combinatorial setting, dubbed the PTM code, has been proposed to be extended to whole prote-omes in eukaryotes. Although we are still far from deciphering such a complex language, thousands of protein PTM sites are being mapped by high-throughput technologies, thus providing sufficient data for comparative analysis. PTMcode ( aims to compile known and predicted PTM associations to provide a framework that would enable hypothesis-driven experimental or computational analysis of various scales. In its first release, PTMcode provides PTM functional associations of 13 different PTM types within proteins in 8 eukaryotes. They are based on five evidence channels: a literature survey, residue co-evolution, structural proximity, PTMs at the same residue and location within PTM highly enriched protein regions (hotspots). PTMcode is presented as a protein-based searchable database with an interactive web interface providing the context of the co-regulation of nearly 75000 residues in >10 000 proteins. © The Author(s) 2012.

Cecconi F.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Cecconi F.,IRCCS Santa Lucia Foundation
Nature Cell Biology | Year: 2012

Autophagy can promote both cancer cell survival and death, and the mechanisms by which it mediates these disparate processes are under intense investigation. Autophagosomes are now shown to entrap and promote degradation of the active tyrosine kinase Src, enabling tumour cell survival. The E3 ubiquitin ligase c-Cbl acts as an autophagosome cargo receptor for Src.

Matthes L.,Friedrich - Schiller University of Jena | Pulci O.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Bechstedt F.,Friedrich - Schiller University of Jena
New Journal of Physics | Year: 2014

We compute the optical conductivity of 2D honeycomb crystals beyond the usual Dirac-cone approximation. The calculations are mainly based on the independent-quasiparticle approximation of the complex dielectric function for optical interband transitions. The full band structures are taken into account. In the case of silicene, the influence of excitonic effects is also studied. Special care is taken to derive converged spectra with respect to the number of k points in the Brillouin zone and the number of bands. In this way both the real and imaginary parts of the optical conductivity are correctly described for small and large frequencies. The results are applied to predict the optical properties reflection, transmission and absorption in a wide range of photon energies. They are discussed in the light of the available experimental data. © 2014 IOP Publishing Ltd and Deutsche Physikalische Gesellschaft.

Campello S.,IRCCS | Strappazzon F.,IRCCS | Strappazzon F.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Cecconi F.,IRCCS | And 2 more authors.
Biochimica et Biophysica Acta - Bioenergetics | Year: 2014

Mitochondria are double-membraned highly dynamic organelles; the shape, location and function of which are determined by a constant balance between opposing fusion and fission events. A fine modulation of mitochondrial structure is crucial for their correct functionality and for many physiological cell processes, the status of these organelles, being thus a key aspect in a cell's fate. Indeed, the homeostasis of mitochondria needs to be highly regulated for the above mentioned reasons, and since a) they are the major source of energy; b) they participate in various signaling pathways; albeit at the same time c) they are also the major source of reactive oxygen species (ROS, the main damaging detrimental players for all cell components). Elaborate mechanisms of mitochondrial quality control have evolved for maintaining a functional mitochondrial network and avoiding cell damage. The first mechanism is the removal of damaged mitochondrial proteins within the organelle via chaperones and protease; the second is the cytosolic ubiquitin-proteasome system (UPS), able to eliminate proteins embedded in the outer mitochondrial membrane; the third is the removal of the entire mitochondria through mitophagy, in the case of extensive organelle damage and dysfunction. In this review, we provide an overview of these mitochondria stability and quality control mechanisms, highlighting mitophagy, and emphasizing the central role of mitochondrial dynamics in this context. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Dynamic and ultrastructure of bioenergetic membranes and their components. © 2013 The Authors.

Dall'agata G.,University of Padua | Dall'agata G.,National Institute of Nuclear Physics, Italy | Inverso G.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Inverso G.,National Institute of Nuclear Physics, Italy | And 2 more authors.
Physical Review Letters | Year: 2012

In this note we discuss the classification of duality orbits of N=8 gauged supergravity models. Using tensor classifiers, we show that there is a one-parameter family of inequivalent SO(8) gauged supergravity theories. We briefly discuss the couplings of such models and show that, although the maximally symmetric vacuum has the same quadratic spectrum, the supersymmetry transformations, the couplings, and the scalar potential are parameter dependent. We also comment on the possible M theory uplift and on the meaning of the parameter for the dual gauge theories. © 2012 American Physical Society.

Dall'Agata G.,University of Padua | Dall'Agata G.,National Institute of Nuclear Physics, Italy | Inverso G.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Inverso G.,National Institute of Nuclear Physics, Italy
Nuclear Physics B | Year: 2012

We discuss a simple procedure for finding vacua of gauged supergravity models, based on the variation of the embedding tensor rather than on a direct minimization of the scalar potential. We apply this procedure to N=8 gauged supergravity in 4 dimensions. We easily recover many of the previously known vacua, also completing their scalar mass spectrum, and we apply our procedure to find a dozen of new analytical vacuum solutions. The analysis shows an interesting structure on the moduli spaces of these vacua and provides new criteria to determine the expected value of the cosmological constant by a simple inspection of the group properties of the embedding tensor. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.

Oleas J.,University of Florida | Yokoi F.,University of Florida | Deandrade M.P.,University of Florida | Pisani A.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Li Y.,University of Florida
Movement Disorders | Year: 2013

Dystonia is a neurological disorder characterized by abnormal involuntary movements that are prolonged and often cause twisting and turning. Several genetically modified worms, fruit flies, and rodents have been generated as models of genetic dystonias, in particular DYT1, DYT11, and DYT12 dystonias. Although these models do not show overt dystonic symptoms, the rodent models exhibit motor deficits in specialized behavioral tasks, such as the rotarod and beam-walking tests. For example, in a rodent model of DYT12 dystonia, which is generally stress triggered, motor deficits are observed only after the animal is stressed. Moreover, in a rodent model of DYT1 dystonia, the motor and electrophysiological deficits can be rescued by trihexyphenidyl, a common anticholinergic medication used to treat dystonic symptoms in human patients. Biochemically, the DYT1 and DYT11 animal models also share some similarities to patients, such as a reduction in striatal D2 dopamine receptor and binding activities. In addition, conditional knockout mouse models for DYT1 and DYT11 dystonia demonstrate that loss of the causal dystonia-related proteins in the striatum leads to motor deficits. Interestingly, loss of the DYT1 dystonia causal protein in Purkinje cells shows an improvement in motor performance, suggesting that gene therapy targeting of the cerebellum or intervention in its downstream pathways may be useful. Finally, recent studies using DYT1 dystonia worm and mouse models led to a potential novel therapeutic agent, which is currently undergoing clinical trials. These results indicate that genetic animal models are powerful tools to elucidate the pathophysiology and to further develop new therapeutics for dystonia. © 2013 Movement Disorder Society.

Lo-Coco F.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Hasan S.K.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Hasan S.K.,Advanced Center for Treatment
Best Practice and Research: Clinical Haematology | Year: 2014

Acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL) is a distinct subset of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) associated with peculiar biologic and clinical features and requiring specific management. At the genetic level, APL is featured by a unique chromosome translocation t(15;17) which results in the PML-RARα gene fusion and chimeric protein. APL is the first example of differentiation therapy targeted to a defined genetic target i.e. PML-RARα. PML-RARα behaves as an altered retinoic acid receptor with an ability of transmitting oncogenic signaling leading to accumulation of undifferentiated promyelocytes. All-trans-retinoic acid (ATRA) induces disease remission in APL patients by triggering terminal differentiation of leukemic promyelocytes. More recently, arsenic trioxide (ATO) has been shown to contribute degradation of the PML-RARα oncoprotein through bonding the PML moiety and has shown excellent synergism with ATRA in clinical trials. Elucidating the oncogenic signaling of PML-RARα through various transcription factors and the study of APL mouse models have greatly helped to understand the molecular pathogenesis of APL. However, the precise molecular mechanism by which t(15;17) is formed and initiates leukemia remains unknown. While transforming oncogenic potential of PML-RARα has been described extensively, the mechanistic events important for the formation of t(15;17) have been taken from the model of Therapy-related APL (t-APL). © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Porchetta A.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Porchetta A.,Italian National Institute of Biosystems and Biostructures | Vallee-Belisle A.,University of Montréal | Plaxco K.W.,University of California at Santa Barbara | And 2 more authors.
Journal of the American Chemical Society | Year: 2013

Here we demonstrate the rational design of allosterically controllable, metal-ion-triggered molecular switches. Specifically, we designed DNA sequences that adopt two low energy conformations, one of which does not bind to the target ion and the other of which contains mismatch sites serving as specific recognition elements for mercury(II) or silver(I) ions. Both switches contain multiple metal binding sites and thus exhibit homotropic allosteric (cooperative) responses. As heterotropic allosteric effectors we employ single-stranded DNA sequences that either stabilize or destabilize the nonbinding state, enabling dynamic range tuning over several orders of magnitude. The ability to rationally introduce these effects into target-responsive switches could be of value in improving the functionality of DNA-based nanomachines. © 2013 American Chemical Society.

Esposito A.,Columbia University | Guerrieri A.L.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Piccinini F.,National Institute of Nuclear Physics, Italy | Pilloni A.,University of Rome La Sapienza | Polosa A.D.,University of Rome La Sapienza
International Journal of Modern Physics A | Year: 2015

The past decade witnessed a remarkable proliferation of exotic charmonium-like resonances discovered at accelerators. In particular, the recently observed charged states are clearly not interpretable as $q\bar q$ mesons. Notwithstanding the considerable advances on the experimental side, conflicting theoretical descriptions do not seem to provide a definitive picture about the nature of the so-called XYZ particles. We present here a comprehensive review about this intriguing topic, discussing both those experimental and theoretical aspects which we consider relevant to make further progress in the field. At this state of progress, XYZ phenomenology speaks in favor of the existence of compact four-quark particles (tetraquarks) and we believe that realizing this instructs us in the quest for a firm theoretical framework. © 2015 World Scientific Publishing Company.

Moscatelli A.,Laboratory of Neuromotor Physiology | Lacquaniti F.,Laboratory of Neuromotor Physiology | Lacquaniti F.,University of Rome Tor Vergata
Journal of Vision | Year: 2011

In contrast with the anisotropies in spatial and motion vision, anisotropies in the perception of motion duration have not been investigated to our knowledge. Here, we addressed this issue by asking observers to judge the duration of motion of a target accelerating over a fixed length path in one of different directions. Observers watched either a pictorial or a quasiblank scene, while being upright or tilted by 45°relative to the monitor and Earth's gravity. Finally, observers were upright and we tilted the scene by 45°. We found systematic anisotropies in the precision of the responses, the performance being better for downward motion than for upward motion relative to the scene both when the observer and the scene were upright and when either the observer or the scene were tilted by 45°, although tilting decreased the size of the effect. We argue that implicit knowledge about gravity force is incorporated in the neural mechanisms computing elapsed time. Furthermore, the results suggest that the effects of a virtual gravity can be represented with respect to a vertical direction concordant with the visual scene orientation and discordant with the direction of Earth's gravity. © ARVO.

Guerrieri A.L.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Piccinini F.,National Institute of Nuclear Physics, Italy | Pilloni A.,University of Rome La Sapienza | Polosa A.D.,University of Rome La Sapienza
Physical Review D - Particles, Fields, Gravitation and Cosmology | Year: 2014

The high prompt production cross section of X(3872) at hadron colliders has shown to be very informative about the quark nature of the X, Y, Z states. We present here a number of results on X production in pp(p̄) collisions obtained with Monte Carlo hadronization methods and illustrate what can be learned from their use to improve our understanding of exotic states. In particular, a comparison between antideuteron and X production cross sections is proposed. Hadronization might be the key to solve the problem of the extra states expected in diquark-antidiquark models which are naturally favored after the recent confirmation of the Z(4430) tetraquark, together with its lower partners Zc(3900) and Zc′(4020). © 2014 American Physical Society.

Picozza P.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Boezio M.,National Institute of Nuclear Physics, Italy
Astroparticle Physics | Year: 2013

Cosmic rays are a sample of solar, galactic and extragalactic matter. Their origin and properties are one of the most intriguing question in modern astrophysics. The most energetic events and active objects in the Universe: supernovae explosion, pulsars, relativistic jets, active galactic nuclei, have been proposed as sources of cosmic rays although unambiguous evidences have still to be found. Electrons, while comprising 1% of the cosmic radiation, have unique features providing important information regarding the origin and propagation of cosmic rays in the Galaxy that is not accessible from the study of the cosmic-ray nuclear components due to their differing energy-loss processes. In this paper we will analyse, discussing the experimental uncertainties and challenges, the most recent measurements on cosmic-ray nuclei and, in particular, electrons with energies from tens of GeV into the TeV region. © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Dall Agata G.,University of Padua | Dall Agata G.,National Institute of Nuclear Physics, Italy | Inverso G.,University of Rome Tor Vergata
Physics Letters, Section B: Nuclear, Elementary Particle and High-Energy Physics | Year: 2013

In this Letter we discuss de Sitter vacua in maximal gauged supergravity in 4 dimensions. We show that, using the newly deformed theories introduced in Dall Agata et al. (2012) [1], we can obtain de Sitter vacua with arbitrarily flat tachyonic directions in the SO(4,4)c models. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.

Matthes L.,Friedrich - Schiller University of Jena | Matthes L.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Gori P.,CNR Institute of Structure of Matter | Pulci O.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Bechstedt F.,Friedrich - Schiller University of Jena
Physical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics | Year: 2013

We show that the low-frequency absorbance of undoped graphene, silicene, and germanene has a universal value, only determined by the Sommerfeld fine-structure constant. This result is derived by means of ab initio calculations of the complex dielectric function for optical interband transitions applied to two-dimensional (2D) crystals with honeycomb geometry. The assumption of chiral massless Dirac fermions is not necessary. The low-frequency absorbance does not depend on the group-IV atom, neither on the sheet buckling nor on the orbital hybridization. We explain these findings via an analytical derivation of the relationship between absorbance and fine-structure constant for 2D Bloch electrons. The effect of deviations of the electronic bands from linearity is also discussed. © 2013 American Physical Society.

Matthes L.,Friedrich - Schiller University of Jena | Pulci O.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Bechstedt F.,Friedrich - Schiller University of Jena
Journal of Physics Condensed Matter | Year: 2013

We present first-principles studies of the optical absorbance of the group IV honeycomb crystals graphene, silicene, germanene, and tinene. We account for many-body effects on the optical properties by using the non-local hybrid functional HSE06. The optical absorption peaks are blueshifted due to quasiparticle corrections, while the influence on the low-frequency absorbance remains unchanged and reduces to a universal value related to the Sommerfeld fine structure constant. At the Dirac points spin-orbit interaction opens fundamental band gaps; parabolic bands with a very small effective mass emerge. Consequently, the low-frequency absorbance is modified with a spin-orbit-induced transparency region and an increase of the absorbance at the fundamental absorption edge. © 2013 IOP Publishing Ltd.

Viticchie B.,European Space Agency | Viticchie B.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Sanchez Almeida J.,Institute of Astrophysics of Canarias
Astronomy and Astrophysics | Year: 2011

Aims. A recent analysis of polarization measurements of HINODE SOT/SP in the quiet Sun pointed out very complex shapes of Stokes V profiles. Here we present the first classification of the SOT/SP circular polarization measurements with the aim of highlighting exhaustively the whole variety of Stokes V shapes emerging from the quiet Sun. Methods. k-means is used to classify HINODE SOT/SP Stokes V profiles observed in the quiet Sun network and internetwork (IN). We analyze a 302 × 162 arcsec2 field-of-view (FOV) that can be considered a complete sample of quiet Sun measurements performed at the disk center with 0.32 arcsec angular resolution and 10 -3 polarimetric sensitivity. This classification allows us to divide the whole dataset into classes, with each class represented by a cluster profile, i.e., the average of the profiles in the class. Results. The set of 35 cluster profiles derived from the analysis completely characterizes the SOT/SP quiet Sun measurements. The separation between network and IN profile shapes is evident - classes in the network are not present in the IN, and vice versa. Asymmetric profiles are approximately 93% of the total number of profiles. Among these, about 34% of the profiles are strongly asymmetric, and they can be divided into three families: blue-lobe, red-lobe, and Q-like profiles. The blue-lobe profiles tend to be associated with upflows (granules), whereas the red-lobe and Q-like ones appear in downflows (intergranular lanes). Conclusions. These profiles need to be interpreted considering model atmospheres different from a uniformly magnetized Milne-Eddington (ME) atmosphere, i.e., characterized by gradients and/or discontinuities in the magnetic field and velocity along the line-of-sight (LOS). We propose the use of cluster profiles as a standard archive to test inversion codes, and to check the validity and/or completeness of synthetic profiles produced by MHD simulations. © 2011 ESO.

Ellwood N.T.W.,Third University of Rome | Di Pippo F.,CNR Institute for Coastal Marine Environment | Albertano P.,University of Rome Tor Vergata
Water Research | Year: 2012

The responses of cultured phototrophic biofilms to diverse phosphorus (P) regimes were assessed using a semi-continuous flow incubator. Three biofilms were grown over 18 days under three different P regimes: replete inorganic P, organic P-only and limited inorganic P. Assessing the response of the biofilms took into account the rate of phosphomonoesterase and phosphodiesterase activities, biofilm nutrient contents and biomass accrual across the growth period. Phosphorus limitation was indicated by slower biomass accumulation and higher phosphatase activities of the organic P-only and P-limited biofilms compared to the P-replete biofilms. The cyanobacterium Phormidium sp. dominated the later stages in all the treatments forming a dense layer at the biofilm-medium interface. This layer possibly led to a reduction of light and nutrient diffusion to sub-surface cells and may account for the production of phosphatases under P replete conditions. In addition, the Phormidium-layer possibly produced a top-heavy P (and N) distribution and could explain the large reductions in areal nutrient concentrations. End-product repression and de-repression of phosphatase activity was suggested to be a main controlling factor of phosphatase activity. Consequently, it is proposed that for efficient nutrient removal from wastewaters that biofilms should be regularly removed to continually maintain biofilms at the initial stages (3-7 days). © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.

Merlo P.,IRCCS Santa Lucia Foundation | Cecconi F.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Cecconi F.,Danish Cancer Society
EMBO Journal | Year: 2013

Autophagy is a catabolic mechanism that selectively eliminates long-lived proteins, aggregates and damaged organelles and is thereby fundamental in maintaining cellular homeostasis. As a prosurvival mechanism, autophagy is carefully regulated and its dysfunction is associated with cancer development. Work of Huang et al (2013) in this issue of The EMBO Journal identifies the apoptosis inhibitor XIAP as a novel repressor of autophagy-a function that significantly contributes to its tumorigenecity. © 2013 European Molecular Biology Organization.

Bechstedt F.,Friedrich - Schiller University of Jena | Matthes L.,Friedrich - Schiller University of Jena | Matthes L.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Gori P.,CNR Institute of Structure of Matter | Pulci O.,University of Rome Tor Vergata
Applied Physics Letters | Year: 2012

Calculating the complex dielectric function for optical interband transitions we show that the two-dimensional crystals silicene and germanene possess the same low-frequency absorbance as graphene. It is determined by the Sommerfeld finestructure constant. Deviations occur for higher frequencies when the first interband transitions outside K or K′ contribute. The low-frequency results are a consequence of the honeycomb geometry but do not depend on the group-IV atom, the sheet buckling, and the orbital hybridization. The two-dimensional crystals may be useful as absorption normals in silicon technology. © 2012 American Institute of Physics.

Fakharuddin A.,Universiti Malaysia Pahang | Jose R.,Universiti Malaysia Pahang | Brown T.M.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Fabregat-Santiago F.,Jaume I University | And 2 more authors.
Energy and Environmental Science | Year: 2014

Dye-sensitized solar cells (DSCs) are well researched globally due to their potential as low-cost photovoltaic (PV) devices especially suited for building and automobile integrated PV (BIPV, AIPV) and portable or indoor light harvesting applications. Since 1991, large monetary and intellectual investments have been made to develop DSCs into deployable technologies, creating a wealth of knowledge about nano-interfaces and devices through an increasing number of research reports. In response to these investments, the dawn of the new millennium witnessed the emergence of a corporate sector of DSC development. Advances in their design, their incorporation on flexible substrates, the development of solid state modules, their enhanced stability in outdoor environments, and their scalable fabrication tools and techniques have allowed DSCs to move from the laboratory to real-life applications. Although photoconversion efficiencies are not on a par with commercially available CIGS or single crystalline silicon solar cells, they possess many features that compel the further development of DSC modules, including transparency, light weight, flexibility, conformability, workability under low-light conditions, and easy integration in buildings as solar windows. In fact, DSC panels have been shown to deliver even more electricity than their silicon and thin film counterparts of similar power ratings when exposed to low light operating conditions due to their workability in such conditions; thus, they are potential market leaders in BIPV and indoor light harvesting photovoltaic technology. However, large area dye-solar modules lack in performance compared to their laboratory scale devices and also suffer from long term stability issues. Herein, we discuss the main factors behind their inferior photovoltaic performance and identify possible opportunities for the design of more efficient DSC modules. © 2014 The Royal Society of Chemistry.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: JTI-CP-FCH | Phase: SP1-JTI-FCH.2009.4.2 | Award Amount: 5.29M | Year: 2010

A total of 19 market-ready fuel cell systems from 2 suppliers (ElectroPS, FutureE) will be installed as UPS/ backup power sources in selected sites across the EU. Real-world customers from the telecommunications and hotel industry will utilize these fuel cell-based systems, with power levels in the 1-10kW range, in their sites. These units will demonstrate a level of technical performance (start-up time, reliability, durability, number of cycles) that qualifies them for market entry, thereby accelerating the commercialisation of this technology in Europe and elsewhere. The demonstration project will involve the benchmarking of units from both fuel cell suppliers according to a test protocol to be developed within the project. It will employ this test protocol to conduct extensive tests in field trials in sites selected by final users in Italy, Switzerland and Turkey. The performance will be logged and analysed to draw conclusions regarding commercial viability and degree to which they meet customer requirements, as well as suggesting areas for improvement. A lifecycle cost analysis using data from the project will be carried out to determine economic value proposition over incumbent technologies such as batteries or diesel generators. The system producers use the results to obtain valuable first hand feedback from customers, optimise their systems as needed, and demonstrate commercial viability. On the other hand, final users from the telecommunications and hotel industry will experience first-hand the advantages of fuel cells for their applications under real world conditions. The optimisation potential is expected from the production process itself, from the installation of a significant amount of fuel cell systems and from the testing. The project will also develop a certification procedure valid in the EU27 under the lead of TV Sd.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ICT-2007.3.5 | Award Amount: 4.10M | Year: 2008

This proposal focuses on the development of an application-specific component that works in the Terahertz (THz) regime; in this context, we propose to realize a THz source with innovative features specific for monitoring systems for safety and security. Until now the use of THz monitoring system has been strongly limited due to the very low power and the large dimensions of the existing sources in the THz.The OPTHER project aims at solving this limitation with a breakthrough with respect to all the other solutions up to know available in Europe, U.S. and Asia. We plan to use available optical THz sources (such as Quantum Cascade Lasers (QCL) or photomixing systems) and boost their performances by designing and fabricating compact, efficient and reliable novel vacuum THz amplifier.\nThe breakthrough of this proposal is the enhancement of the performance of THz optical source by using vacuum THz amplifiers purposely designed and integrated with the optical driver. The novel THz amplifier will be based on field emitting carbon nanotubes (CNT) used as cold cathodes. Two alternative schemes will be employed for amplification.\n- In the first one (THz drive signal amplifier) the continuous wave electron beam emitted by the CNT cathode is modulated by the electric field in the interaction structure driven by a THz signal\n- In the second one (optically modulated beam THz amplifier) the emission of current is driven by the THz signal. With this second scheme the delivery of high power output should be facilitated.\nThe source output signal will be fully characterized using commercial broadband detectors such as Schottky diodes or bolometers. The composition of the consortium has been carefully arranged for including all the expertise necessary for a successful conclusion of the research activity. In fact, the present consortium is composed by 6 partners, with complementary research expertise and background: two universities, a research institute and three industries

Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: MSCA-ITN-EJD | Phase: MSCA-ITN-2014-EJD | Award Amount: 3.72M | Year: 2015

Progress in computers and algorithms in the last years has made numerical simulation and modelling a key research methodology in both academia and industry, which in turn drives exascale computing in order to maintain excellence in research and innovation. A disruptive evolution in computer technologies is required for attaining exascale performances in the coming years bringing challenges that urgently need to be addressed across science and engineering fields. Therefore new interdisciplinary strategies are required in order to educate the next generation of scientists to address such challenges enabling them to be at the forefront of their respective research fields. Instead of the traditional domain-specific training, integrated approaches are needed that can be best implemented by collaborative networks of universities, research institutes and industrial partners. We propose a highly interdisciplinary joint doctorate program realized by bringing together world-leading experts in applied mathematics, high performance computing technologies, particle and nuclear physics, fluid dynamics and life sciences to appropriately train researchers in Europe to exploit high performance computing, advance science and promote innovation. Students will be trained in mathematical and computational concepts underpinning current and future numerical simulations in turbulent flows, computational biology and lattice quantum chromodynamics. The research projects are designed to enhance collaborations and interactions across these disciplines, integrating non-academic partners, and to develop methodologies that efficiently use large-scale numerical simulations on future high performance computer systems. Students who complete this training program will be versatile to undertake highly interdisciplinary projects, well positioned to embark on a successful career in academia or the industrial sector.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: ERC-SG | Phase: ERC-SG-PE7 | Award Amount: 1.17M | Year: 2010

Real-time (RT) sensing with enhanced video capabilities is a powerful tool capturing a significant variety of data, thus providing an excellent substrate to build up an accurate context abstraction. Machine capability of creating a good context abstraction will boost several applications. 3D video allows the recognition of objects shapes, human gestures and facial expressions, improving human-to-machine interaction. Surveillance systems, empowered by automatic recognition of gestures, will suddenly detect a threat. Facial expressions may reveal the status of elderly or disabled people. Remote driving and decision making process of robots for scientific or rescue expeditions will improve. VISION aims to developing an innovative infrastructure providing RT sensing services, with particular emphasis on 3D video, with mobile and context-aware operation. Hence, it will address the numerous challenges raised by the limitations of current technology for wireless sensor networks. VISION will exploit the 60 GHz UWB radios enabling broadband transmissions, miniaturized devices and reduced interference. Due to the inherent high resource consumption of broadband wireless necessary for RT 3D video, VISION sensor network will be optimized at all layers. A comprehensive channel model, based on propagation measurements, will be derived and used to design the UWB signal waveform for reliable broadband transmission. Novel techniques to manage the huge number of nodes required by ubiquitous sensing, and innovative tools to support the development process of intelligent services will be designed. Full cross-layer adaptability to external conditions will assure the system be able to manage the available resources to provide the best achievable quality of service guaranteeing graceful degradation for video, audio and sensing applications. Innovative sensor nodes based on the above concepts will be designed and prototyped for the VISION demonstration.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-ITN | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2012-ITN | Award Amount: 3.85M | Year: 2012

The DESTINY initial training network will tackle major challenges in the development of stable dye-sensitized solar cells, DSC. DSC offer exciting possibilities for applications in building integrated photovoltaics and consumer electronics. However they possess a complex structure with disparate materials. For DSC to be marketable and to compete with its inorganic counterparts, fundamental science has to be done to understand the causes of degradation and find ways of enhancing cell and module life time and stability without sacrificing performance and scalability. Ten internationally leading European research groups from six countries [including Dyesol UK, part of Europes leading industrial supplier of DSC] have joined forces as full participants with a commercial associated partner, combining expertise in synthetic chemistry, spectroscopy, nanoscale physics and device engineering. Our highly integrated approach to understanding degradation causes and proposing solutions will take a major step towards the commercialization of DSC. This consortium is strongly committed to promote breakthroughs at the frontiers of science and engineering. The training dimension of DESTINY is reflected in the high priority we give to the training of early stage and experienced researchers, ESRs and ERs, through education and knowledge dissemination via Tutorial Courses, Annual Network Meetings, Training Schools, Conferences and Mobility Programmes. The network, with a strong focus on interdisciplinary training, builds on fruitful collaborations between the partners. Development of complementary skills (presentation, management, technology transfer, IP protection) will take place throughout the project lifetime. Interaction with stakeholders beyond those involved primarily in research will be maintained to enhance the international and societal dimension of our research and provide the wider community with information on this new technology.

Filomeni G.,Danish Cancer Society | Filomeni G.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | De Zio D.,Danish Cancer Society | De Zio D.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | And 2 more authors.
Cell Death and Differentiation | Year: 2015

Autophagy is a catabolic process aimed at recycling cellular components and damaged organelles in response to diverse conditions of stress, such as nutrient deprivation, viral infection and genotoxic stress. A growing amount of evidence in recent years argues for oxidative stress acting as the converging point of these stimuli, with reactive oxygen species (ROS) and reactive nitrogen species (RNS) being among the main intracellular signal transducers sustaining autophagy. This review aims at providing novel insight into the regulatory pathways of autophagy in response to glucose and amino acid deprivation, as well as their tight interconnection with metabolic networks and redox homeostasis. The role of oxidative and nitrosative stress in autophagy is also discussed in the light of its being harmful for both cellular biomolecules and signal mediator through reversible posttranslational modifications of thiol-containing proteins. The redox-independent relationship between autophagy and antioxidant response, occurring through the p62/Keap1/Nrf2 pathway, is also addressed in order to provide a wide perspective upon the interconnection between autophagy and oxidative stress. Herein, we also attempt to afford an overview of the complex crosstalk between autophagy and DNA damage response (DDR), focusing on the main pathways activated upon ROS and RNS overproduction. Along these lines, the direct and indirect role of autophagy in DDR is dissected in depth. © 2015 Macmillan Publishers Limited All rights reserved.

Zelik K.E.,IRCCS Santa Lucia Foundation | La Scaleia V.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Ivanenko Y.P.,IRCCS Santa Lucia Foundation | Lacquaniti F.,IRCCS Santa Lucia Foundation | Lacquaniti F.,University of Rome Tor Vergata
Journal of Neurophysiology | Year: 2014

Each human lower limb contains over 50 muscles that are coordinated during locomotion. It has been hypothesized that the nervous system simplifies muscle control through modularity, using neural patterns to activate muscles in groups called synergies. Here we investigate how simple modular controllers based on invariant neural primitives (synergies or patterns) might generate muscle activity observed during multidirectional locomotion. We extracted neural primitives from unilateral electromyographic recordings of 25 lower limb muscles during five locomotor tasks: walking forward, backward, leftward and rightward, and stepping in place. A subset of subjects also performed five variations of forward (unidirectional) walking: self-selected cadence, fast cadence, slow cadence, tiptoe, and uphill (20% incline). We assessed the results in the context of dimensionality reduction, defined here as the number of neural signals needing to be controlled. For an individual task, we found that modular architectures could theoretically reduce dimensionality compared with independent muscle control, but we also found that modular strategies relying on neural primitives shared across different tasks were limited in their ability to account for muscle activations during multi- and unidirectional locomotion. The utility of shared primitives may thus depend on whether they can be adapted for specific task demands, for instance, by means of sensory feedback or by being embedded within a more complex sensorimotor controller. Our findings indicate the need for more sophisticated formulations of modular control or alternative motor control hypotheses in order to understand muscle coordination during locomotion. © 2014 the American Physiological Society.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: INFRADEV-1-2014 | Award Amount: 3.96M | Year: 2015

The present project is intended to take the European Solar Telescope (EST) to the next level of development by undertaking crucial activities to improve the performance of current state-of-the-art instrumentation. Legal, industrial and socio-economic issues will also be addressed, as key questions for the attainment of EST. The particular developments and strategic tasks proposed here can be summarised in the following specific objectives: (i) Boosting new generation detectors, with the development of two prototype sensors, one for large-format imaging and a the other for high-precision polarimetry, the evaluation of an existing large format wavefront sensing camera is also addressed; (ii) Development of a capacitance-stabilised Fabry-Perot prototype for a high quality control of the parallelism of the etalon plates; (iii) new techniques for 2D solar spectro-polarimetry; with integral field units based on multi-slit image slicers or a microlens-fed spectrograph; (iv) development of large format liquid-crystal modulators, required for the large-format sensors that will be needed for the new generation large aperture telescopes ; (v) evaluation of the performance of the EST-MCAO deformable mirrors to improve the design and performance of this system; and (vi) strategic work to covering industrial, financial and legal issues related the future construction and operation of EST. The following issues will be addressed: Elaboration of a census of the European solar physics community Analysis of the technological expertise of European companies in the different countries and their potential expertise related with the construction needs of EST Revision and update of the construction budget of EST Stimulation of a discussion of all these aspects within the consortium EAST With all these elements in hand, the project will be in the condition to present a definite proposal for detailed design, construction, managing and operation of EST.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-ITN | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2012-ITN | Award Amount: 3.12M | Year: 2012

The Edusafe project is a 4-year ITN with 10 ESR and 2 ER researchers, which focuses on research into the use of Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) during planned and emergency maintenance in extreme environments (nuclear installations, space, deep sea etc). The scientific objective of this project is research into advanced VR and AR technologies for a personnel safety system platform, including features, methods and tools. Current technology is not acceptable because of significant time-lag in communication and data-transmission, missing multi-input interfaces, and simultaneous supervision of multiple workers who are working in the extreme environment. The aim is to technically advance and combine several technologies and integrate them as integral part of a personnel safety system to improve safety, maintain availability, reduce errors and decrease the time needed for scheduled or sudden interventions. The research challenges lie in the development of real-time (time-lags less than human interaction speed) data-transmission, instantaneous analysis of data coming from different inputs (vision, sound, touch, buttons), interaction with multiple on-site users, complex interfaces, portability and wearability, wear/tear. The result will be an integrated wearable VR/AR system (\control system) which can be implemented and tested as a prototype. The LHC at CERN and its existing Personnel Safety System, requirements and protocols will be used as a test and demonstration platform. The project will deliver a comprehensive local and network-wide training programme incl. several secondments for each fellow, combined with dissemination and outreach activities. The Fellows will gain valuable scientific skills and highly valued soft skills from expert and experienced organisations, which will be beneficial for their career development in academia or industry. All fellows will be offered PhD places. The project comprises 9 partners of which 3 from industry (2 SMEs).

Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: ERC-COG | Phase: ERC-CoG-2014 | Award Amount: 1.97M | Year: 2015

Our understanding of the subatomic world and of the very fabric of the space-time is encompassed in a theory which is the result of all past experimental observations and theoretical developments: the Standard Model of Particle Physics. Yet cosmological observations and theoretical arguments lead us to conclude that new phenomenology, new particles, forces, or a new space-time structure is waiting to be uncovered. Naturalness of the recently discovered Higgs boson suggests that new phenomena should appear at the tera-electronvolt (TeV) scale, and will be accompanied by modifications to the dynamics of the heaviest elementary particle known: the top quark. The aim of this proposal is to perform five measurements involving top quarks with the data that will be collected by the ATLAS experiment at the upcoming Run II (2015-18) of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC): the top quark mass, the CP violation in B hadron decays from the top, the top-Z boson couplings, the search for the tops Flavour Changing Neutral decays, and the search for heavy resonances decaying to top pairs. While measuring these properties is nothing new, the measurements are performed coherently using novel techniques beyond state-of-the-art to push the boundaries on the sensitivity of the limited Run II data, hence allowing the discovery of new phenomena at the LHC before 2020.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-ITN | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2012-ITN | Award Amount: 4.05M | Year: 2013

Asteroids and space debris represent a significant hazard for space and terrestrial assets; at the same time asteroids represent also an opportunity. In recent years it has become clear that the increasing population of space debris could lead to catastrophic consequences in the near term. The Kessler syndrome (where the density of objects in orbit is high enough that collisions could set off a cascade) is more realistic than when it was first proposed in 1978. Although statistically less likely to occur, an asteroid impact would have devastating consequences for our planet. Although an impact with a large (~10 km) to medium (~300 m) sized, or diameter, asteroid is unlikely, still it is not negligible as the recent case of the asteroid Apophis has demonstrated. Furthermore impacts with smaller size objects, between 10 m to 100 m diameter, are expected to occur more frequently and hence are, proportionally, equally dangerous for humans and assets on Earth and in space. Asteroids and space debris share a number of commonalities: both are uncontrolled objects whose orbit is deeply affected by a number of perturbations, both have an irregular shape and an uncertain attitude motion, both are made of inhomogeneous materials that can respond unexpectedly to a deflection action, for both, accurate orbit determination is required, both need to be removed before they impact with something valuable for us. The observation, manipulation and disposal of space debris and asteroids represent one of the most challenging goals for modern space technology. It represents a key scientific and commercial venture for the future in order to protect the space and Earth environment. Such a significant multidisciplinary technical challenge, with real societal benefit for the future, represents a compelling topic for a training network.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: JTI-CP-FCH | Phase: SP1-JTI-FCH-3.3 | Award Amount: 2.68M | Year: 2010

The present proposal aims at the development of SPG&CHP systems based on Polymeric Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cell Hydrogen (PEMFCH). A drawback in the state-of-the-art systems is the too low operating temperatures (70-80C) of PEMFCHs for cogeneration purposes. Operating temperatures above 100C would have several advantages including easier warm water distribution in buildings, reduced anode poisoning due to carbon monoxide impurities in the fuel and improved fuel oxidation kinetics. A PEMFCH operating in the temperature range of 100-130C is highly desirable and could be decisive for the development of SPG&CHP systems based on PEMFCHs. The main objective of the present project is to give a clear demonstration that long-life SPG&CHP systems based on PEMFCHs operating above 100C can now be developed on the basis of recent knowledge on the degradation mechanisms of ionomeric membranes and on innovative synthetic approaches recently disclosed by some participants of this project. Main research tasks: (1) Develop long life (longer 40000 hrs) perfluoro sulfonic acid membranes and sulfonated aromatic polymer membranes operating at 100-130C with current density of at least 4000A/m2; (2) Create new long-life catalytic electrodes and MEAs working in the above temperature range; (3) Perform accelerated ageing tests and long-term single cell tests to understand degradation mechanisms, to make lifetime predictions and to give input to objectives 1 and 2; (4) Develop a prototype of a modular SPG&CHP system based on multi-PEMFCHs realized with the new long-life MEAs; (5) Benchmarking the single-cell and the modular prototype performance at temperatures above 100C against the best literature results. The project will benefit from the synergy arising from the know-how of leading research groups of universities and research institutes as well as from the technical knowledge and expertise of industries and utility companies involved in fuel cell development and testing.

News Article | October 13, 2016

A sponge-like structure made from carbon nanotubes could be the ideal scaffold to help damaged neural tissue regenerate, according to researchers [Usmani et al., Sci. Adv. 2 (2016) e1600087]. The team from the International School for Advanced Studies (SISSA/ISAS) in Trieste, together with colleagues from the University of Trieste, ELETTRA Synchrotron Light Source, the University of Rome Tor Vergata, CIC biomaGUNE in San Sebastian and Ikerbasque in Bilbao created a three-dimensional mesh from interconnected multiwalled carbon nanotubes. When spinal cord tissue is introduced into the scaffold, the carbon nanotubes guide the formation of nerve fibers. Crucially, the nerve fibers intertwine with the carbon nanotubes creating a hybrid structure. “The nerves integrate perfectly with the carbon nanotube scaffold, leading to a very promising hybrid,” explains Maurizio Prato of the University of Trieste, CIC biomaGUNE and Ikerbasque. Without a scaffold, nerve fibers regrow in all directions – not necessarily bridging a gap between damaged sections. But when a piece of the carbon nanotube sponge is inserted into the space between the two segments of severed spinal tissue, the situation is completely different. The nerve fiber-carbon nanotube mesh hybrid material directs the cells to reconnect separated segments of spinal tissue. “We show... the spontaneous formation of webs of nerve fibers invading and following the nanotube structure,” says Prato. But a simple physical connection is not enough – there must also be a functional connection between the two groups of neurons so that signals can be passed along. “With signal analysis techniques, we demonstrate that spontaneous nervous activity in the two samples [is] correlated, indicating a connection, and by applying an electrical signal to one sample, activity of the second sample can be triggered – but only when the nanotubes are present,” explains colleague David Zoccolan. The team also tested how the body’s immune system reacts to the carbon nanotube scaffold by implanting samples of the pure material into rats’ brains. After an initial inflammatory response, there was no sign of further adverse tissue reactions. But better than that,the researchers found neurons inside the implanted scaffold indicating that the approach is promising for central nervous system repair and regeneration. “We show a perfect integration of nerve tissues with an artificial scaffold,” says Prato. “The compatibility of this new material is impressive and could lead to alternative solutions to still unsolved problems.” Those problems could include the treatment of movement disorders like Parkinson’s, where implanted electrodes stimulate neural tissue to recover or rehabilitate lost function. The new carbon nanotube mesh could be used to coat these electrodes to encourage their acceptance by the body. This article was originally published in Nano Today (2016), doi:10.1016/j.nantod.2016.08.004

Guazzaroni M.,University of Tuscia | Crestini C.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Saladino R.,University of Tuscia
Bioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry | Year: 2012

Agaricus bisporous tyrosinase was immobilized on commercial available epoxy-resin Eupergit®C250L and then coated by the Layer-by-Layer method (LbL). The two novel heterogeneous biocatalysts were characterized for their morphology, pH and storage stability, kinetic properties (K m, V max, V max/K m) and reusability. These biocatalysts were used for the efficient and selective synthesis of bioactive catechols under mild and environmental friendly experimental conditions. Ascorbic acid was added in the reaction medium to inhibit the formation of ortho-quinones, thus avoiding the known enzyme suicide inactivation process. Catechols were obtained mostly in quantitative yields and conversion of substrate. Tyrosinase immobilized on Eupergit®C250L and coated by the LbL method showed better catalytic activities, higher pH and storage stability, and reusability with respect to immobilized uncoated tyrosinase. Since chemical procedures to synthesize catechols are often expensive and with high environmental impact, the use of immobilized tyrosinase represents an efficient alternative for the preparation of this family of bioactive compounds. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Dolgopyat D.,University of Maryland University College | Liverani C.,University of Rome Tor Vergata
Communications in Mathematical Physics | Year: 2011

We consider a finite region of a lattice of weakly interacting geodesic flows on manifolds of negative curvature and we show that, when rescaling the interactions and the time appropriately, the energies of the flows evolve according to a nonlinear diffusion equation. This is a first step toward the derivation of macroscopic equations from a Hamiltonian microscopic dynamics in the case of weakly coupled systems. © 2011 Springer-Verlag.

Lange H.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Decina S.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Decina S.,University of Tuscia | Crestini C.,University of Rome Tor Vergata
European Polymer Journal | Year: 2013

Lignin is the second most abundant natural polymer. Its use and targeted functionalisation within biomass refinery processes, however, still needs to be further explored and developed. The oxidative functionalisation, and thus valorisation of lignin, is a very promising way to go, since it holds the possibilities to yield highly functionalised, monomeric or oligomeric products that can serve as starting materials for other valorisation processes in the chemical and pharmaceutical industries. Gaining a profound knowledge about the structure of lignin, being able to analyse structural features, and understanding the mechanisms that guide the reactions leading to the oxidative derivatisation, depolymerisation and functionalisation of lignin samples from different renewable sources are key requirements for developing successful valorisation protocols for lignin. In this review, we wish to revisit, and set into context, some important achievements in the field of oxidatively upgrading lignin. We will focus on organometal catalyses (MTO, salen complexes, POMs), biomimetic catalyses (porphyrins), and enzymatic catalyses (laccase, peroxidase) for upgrading lignin and lignin model compounds. Details of mechanistic implications and means of potential manipulations of reaction outcomes are discussed. © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Benzi R.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Pinton J.-F.,French National Center for Scientific Research
Physical Review Letters | Year: 2010

We study a simple magnetohydrodynamical approach in which hydrodynamics and MHD turbulence are coupled in a shell model, with given dynamo constraints in the large scales. We consider the case of a low Prandtl number fluid for which the inertial range of the velocity field is much wider than that of the magnetic field. Random reversals of the magnetic field are observed and it shown that the magnetic field has a nontrivial evolution-linked to the nature of the hydrodynamics turbulence. © 2010 The American Physical Society.

Galardi S.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Mercatelli N.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Mercatelli N.,French National Center for Scientific Research | Farace M.G.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Ciafre S.A.,University of Rome Tor Vergata
Nucleic Acids Research | Year: 2011

MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are potent negative regulators of gene expression involved in all aspects of cell biology. They finely modulate virtually all physiological pathways in metazoans, and are deeply implicated in all main pathologies, among which cancer. Mir-221 and miR-222, two closely related miRNAs encoded in cluster from a genomic region on chromosome X, are strongly upregulated in several forms of human tumours. In this work, we report that the ectopic modulation of NFκ-kB modifies miR-221/222 expression in prostate carcinoma and glioblastoma cell lines, where we had previously shown their oncogenic activity. We identify two separate distal regions upstream of miR-221/222 promoter which are bound by the NF-kB subunit p65 and drive efficient transcription in luciferase reporter assays; consistently, the site-directed mutagenesis disrupting p65 binding sites or the ectopical inhibition of NF-kB activity significantly reduce luciferase activity. In the most distal enhancer region, we also define a binding site for c-Jun, and we show that the binding of this factor cooperates with that of p65, fully accounting for the observed upregulation of miR-221/222. Thus our work uncovers an additional mechanism through which NF-kB and c-Jun, two transcription factors deeply involved in cancer onset and progression, contribute to oncogenesis, by inducing miR-221/222 transcription. © 2011 The Author(s).

Fanelli P.,University of Tuscia | Vivio F.,University of Rome Tor Vergata
AIP Conference Proceedings | Year: 2015

This paper regards the analysis of structural behavior of Friction Stir Spot Welds (FSSW) in order to assess the failure mode and its dependence on mechanical properties distribution of the sheets material and on process parameters. In particular, in this paper is investigated the influence of non-axisymmetric anisotropy of material characteristics on static strengthand failure mode of FSSW. FSSW joint is analyzed by means of a complex 3D Finite Elements model, which allows to evaluate, in a parametric manner, the multifaceted internal geometry of the joint and the actual distribution of material mechanical characteristics after welding. Experimental tests allowed to verify the results and to calibrate the material model in the Finite Elementsanalyses. © 2015 AIP Publishing LLC.

Kauppi L.,Sloan Kettering Cancer Center | Kauppi L.,University of Helsinki | Barchi M.,Sloan Kettering Cancer Center | Barchi M.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | And 5 more authors.
Genes and Development | Year: 2013

Different organisms display widely different numbers of the programmed double-strand breaks (DSBs) that initiate meiotic recombination (e.g., hundreds per meiocyte in mice and humans vs. dozens in nematodes), but little is known about what drives these species-specific DSB set points or the regulatory pathways that control them. Here we examine male mice with a lowered dosage of SPO11, the meiotic DSB catalyst, to gain insight into the effect of reduced DSB numbers on mammalian chromosome dynamics. An approximately twofold DSB reduction was associated with the reduced ability of homologs to synapse along their lengths, provoking prophase arrest and, ultimately, sterility. In many spermatocytes, chromosome subsets displayed a mix of synaptic failure and synapsis with both homologous and nonhomologous partners ("chromosome tangles"). The X chromosome was nearly always involved in tangles, and small autosomes were involved more often than large ones. We conclude that homolog pairing requirements dictate DSB set points during meiosis. Importantly, our results reveal that karyotype is a key factor: Smaller autosomes and heteromorphic sex chromosomes become weak links when DSBs are reduced below a critical threshold. Unexpectedly, unsynapsed chromosome segments trapped in tangles displayed an elevated density of DSB markers later in meiotic prophase. The unsynapsed portion of the X chromosome in wild-type males also showed evidence that DSB numbers increased as prophase progressed. These findings point to the existence of a feedback mechanism that links DSB number and distribution with interhomolog interactions. © 2013 by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press.

Fanelli P.,University of Tuscia | Vivio F.,University of Rome Tor Vergata
Theoretical and Applied Fracture Mechanics | Year: 2014

An analytical procedure for the evaluation of the elastic-plastic behaviour of spot welded joints, in terms of global stiffness is presented in this paper. The analytical procedure is based on a new reference theoretical model of the sheet region close to spot welded joint able to follow the evolution of plastic flow close to the joint. The new closed-form solutions allow to define the deflection of spot joint when an axial load is applied and plasticization occurred. The reference theoretical model is based on theory of elasticity and consists in a circular plate having two annular portions with different variable thickness and having a central rigid core representing the spot weld. This model allows to correctly simulate the actual plasticization radius when load increases and the global stiffness of the actual joint. The analytical procedure presented is new and lead to the definition of a spot weld finite element, able to precisely evaluate both local and overall stiffness of spot joints, also in elastic plastic field. This spot weld element lead to accurate simulation of multi spot welded structures with a very low computational effort. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.

Menasce D.A.,George Mason University | Casalicchio E.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Dubey V.,George Mason University
Performance Evaluation | Year: 2010

Service Oriented Architectures enable a multitude of service providers to provide loosely coupled and interoperable services at different Quality of Service and cost levels. This paper considers business processes composed of activities that are supported by service providers. The structure of a business process may be expressed by languages such as BPEL and allows for constructs such as sequence, switch, while, flow, and pick. This paper considers the problem of finding the set of service providers that minimizes the total execution time of the business process subject to cost and execution time constraints. The problem is clearly NP-hard. However, the paper presents an optimized algorithm that finds the optimal solution without having to explore the entire solution space. This algorithm can be used to find the optimal solution in problems of moderate size. A heuristic solution is also presented. Thorough experimental studies, based on random business processes, demonstrate that the heuristic algorithm was able to produce service provider allocations that result in execution times that are only a few percentage points (less than 2.5%) worse than the allocations obtained by the optimal algorithm while examining a tiny fraction of the solution space (tens of points versus millions of points). © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Crestini C.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Melone F.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Sette M.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Saladino R.,University of Tuscia
Biomacromolecules | Year: 2011

The degree of polymerization (DP) of softwood and hardwood milled wood lignin samples and their branching degrees were quantitatively evaluated by a novel end-group titration approach composed of QQ-HSQC, 31P NMR, and DFRC coupled with 31P NMR analysis techniques. The DP of lignin can be calculated when the C9 formula, the amounts of phenolic groups, pinoresinol (β-β), diphenylethane (β-1), and phenolic diphenyl (5-5′) lignin subunits have been determined. Data on the degree of polymerization of lignin obtained by NMR techniques were not affected by supramolecular aggregation processes. 31P NMR analysis coupled with DFRC and QQ-HSQC allowed a detailed evaluation of the occurrence of condensed units in lignin and showed the terminal nature of diphenyl ether and diphenyl subunits. The resulting data unequivocally show that milled wood lignin is a linear oligomer. © 2011 American Chemical Society.

D'Amelio M.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | D'Amelio M.,Laboratory of Molecular Neuroembryology | Cavallucci V.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Cavallucci V.,Laboratory of Molecular Neuroembryology | And 2 more authors.
Cell Death and Differentiation | Year: 2010

Caspases are a family of cysteinyl aspartate-specific proteases that are highly conserved in multicellular organisms and function as central regulators of apoptosis. A member of this family, caspase-3, has been identified as a key mediator of apoptosis in neuronal cells. Recent studies in snail, fly and rat suggest that caspase-3 also functions as a regulatory molecule in neurogenesis and synaptic activity. In this study, in addition to providing an overview of the mechanism of caspase-3 activation, we review genetic and pharmacological studies of apoptotic and nonapoptotic functions of caspase-3 and discuss the regulatory mechanism of caspase-3 for executing nonapoptotic functions in the central nervous system. Knowledge of biochemical pathway(s) for nonapoptotic activation and modulation of caspase-3 has potential implications for the understanding of synaptic failure in the pathophysiology of neurological disorders. Fine-tuning of caspase-3 lays down a new challenge in identifying pharmacological avenues for treatment of many neurological disorders. © 2010 Macmillan Publishers Limited All rights reserved.

Conti L.,University of Tuscia | Scardi M.,University of Rome Tor Vergata
Marine Ecology Progress Series | Year: 2010

Primary productivity (PP) and fisheries yield were analysed in 14 large marine ecosystems (LMEs), which encompassed temperate boreal shelves and the Eastern Boundary Currents (EBCs), from 1998 to 2002. PP was estimated by means of a depth-integrated neural network model based on Sea-viewing Wide Field-of-view Sensor (SeaWiFS) data and aimed at providing conservative PP estimates. Landings records were extracted from the global spatial database provided by the Sea Around Us Project (SAUP). Correspondence analysis performed on yield data outlined the role played by different trophic levels (TLs) in LME catches. PP temporal variability was significantly and positively correlated to average trophic level of catches (TLc) so that higher yields in less variable ecosystems were characterised by a lower TLc. From a functional perspective, high PP temporal variability was associated preferentially with demersal fishes and lower yields, while pelagic-dominated catches were harvested in conditions with lower PP variability. Primary production required (PPR) to sustain fisheries in each LME showed that the highest yield occurred in combination with moderate fishing pressure especially when TLc was intermediate to low. High fishing pressures were associated with intermediate total yields and high TLc, a condition which seemed to occur in high-latitude boreal LMEs. The %PPR and TLc were used to assess fisheries impact on ecosystems. PP model choice affects the assessment of exploitation levels, in that a more conservative estimation of PP could contribute to a more precautionary approach to fisheries management where high levels of exploitation are more easily attained. Copyright © Inter-Research 2010.

Breccia M.,University of Rome La Sapienza | Coco F.L.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Coco F.L.,Laboratory of Neuro Oncohematology
Thrombosis Research | Year: 2014

Acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL) has become the most curable form of acute myeloid leukemia after the advent of all-trans retinoic acid (ATRA). However, early deaths (ED) mostly due to the disease-associated coagulopathy remain the major cause of treatment failure. In particular, hemorrhagic events account for 40-65% of ED and several prognostic factors have been identified for such hemorrhagic deaths, including poor performance status, high white blood cell (WBC) count and coagulopathy. Occurrence of thrombosis during treatment with ATRA may be associated with differentiation syndrome (DS) or represent an isolated event. Some prognostic factors have been reported to be associated with thrombosis, including increased WBC or aberrant immunophenotype of leukemic promyelocytes. Aim of this review is to report the incidence, severity, possible pathogenesis and clinical manifestations of thrombo-haemorrhagic deaths in APL. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.

Cannarsa P.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Frankowska H.,University Pierre and Marie Curie
Systems and Control Letters | Year: 2013

It is well-known that the value function V of a Bolza optimal control problem fails to be everywhere differentiable. In this paper, however, we show that, if V is proximally subdifferentiable at (t,x), then it is smooth on a neighborhood of (t,x). Our result yields that V stays smooth on a neighborhood of any optimal trajectory starting at a point where the proximal subdifferential is nonempty. This leads to sufficient conditions for the regularity of optimal trajectories and optimal controls. © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Biferale L.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Musacchio S.,French National Center for Scientific Research | Toschi F.,TU Eindhoven | Toschi F.,CNR Institute for applied mathematics Mauro Picone
Physical Review Letters | Year: 2012

We study the statistical properties of homogeneous and isotropic three-dimensional (3D) turbulent flows. By introducing a novel way to make numerical investigations of Navier-Stokes equations, we show that all 3D flows in nature possess a subset of nonlinear evolution leading to a reverse energy transfer: from small to large scales. Up to now, such an inverse cascade was only observed in flows under strong rotation and in quasi-two-dimensional geometries under strong confinement. We show here that energy flux is always reversed when mirror symmetry is broken, leading to a distribution of helicity in the system with a well-defined sign at all wave numbers. Our findings broaden the range of flows where the inverse energy cascade may be detected and rationalize the role played by helicity in the energy transfer process, showing that both 2D and 3D properties naturally coexist in all flows in nature. The unconventional numerical methodology here proposed, based on a Galerkin decimation of helical Fourier modes, paves the road for future studies on the influence of helicity on small-scale intermittency and the nature of the nonlinear interaction in magnetohydrodynamics. © 2012 American Physical Society.

Giuliani A.,Third University of Rome | Mastropietro V.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Porta M.,ETH Zurich
Annals of Physics | Year: 2012

The effects of gauge interactions in graphene have been analyzed up until now in terms of effective models of Dirac fermions. However, in several cases lattice effects play an important role and need to be taken consistently into account. In this paper, we introduce and analyze a lattice gauge theory model for graphene, which describes tight binding electrons hopping on the honeycomb lattice and interacting with a three-dimensional quantum U(1) gauge field. We perform an exact renormalization group analysis, which leads to a renormalized expansion that is finite at all orders. The flow of the effective parameters is controlled thanks to Ward identities and a careful analysis of the discrete lattice symmetry properties of the model. We show that the Fermi velocity increases up to the speed of light and Lorentz invariance spontaneously emerges in the infrared. The interaction produces critical exponents in the response functions; this removes the degeneracy present in the non interacting case and allows us to identify the dominant excitations. Finally, we add mass terms to the Hamiltonian and derive by a variational argument the correspondent gap equations, which have an anomalous non-BCS form, due to the non trivial effects of the interaction. © 2011 Elsevier Inc.

Sacca S.C.,St Martino Hospital | Centofanti M.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Izzotti A.,University of Genoa
Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science | Year: 2012

PURPOSE. The aim of this study was to investigate the expression level of several biomarkers in the in the aqueous humor of 14 patients with primary open angle glaucoma who underwent glaucoma surgery, and 11 nonglaucomatous normals who underwent cataract extraction surgery. METHODS. The aqueous humor proteome of 25 patients was analyzed using an antibody microarray. Fourteen patients with uncontrolled intraocular pressure-despite profound therapeutic interventions-who underwent filtering procedures and 11 control subjects who underwent surgery for senile cataracts were included in the present study. Protein expression was evaluated using Cy3/Cy5 labeling, column purification, and hybridization on antibody-spotted glass microarrays. Fluorescent signals were detected by fluorescence laser scanning. RESULTS. The levels of 13 proteins were significantly increased in the aqueous humor of glaucomatous patients compared with expression levels in healthy controls. One of the 13 proteins (ELAM 1) was involved in inflammation. Two of these proteins (apolipoprotein B and E) were involved in the delivery of cholesterol to cells. Five of the 13 proteins (myotrophin, myoblast determination protein 1, myogenin, vasodilatorstimulated phosphoprotein, and ankyrin-2) were involved in muscle cell differentiation and function. Three proteins (heat shock 60 kilodaltons (kDa) and 90 kDa proteins, and ubiquitin fusion degradation 1-like) were involved in stress response and the removal of damaged proteins; and two proteins (phospholipase C β and γ) were involved in signal transduction and neural development. CONCLUSIONS. The expressions of these proteins in the aqueous humor of glaucomatous patients reflect the damage occurring in anterior chamber endothelia, mainly including the trabecular meshwork, which is the main structure of this ocular segment injured by glaucoma. © 2012 The Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, Inc.

Sharapov S.G.,NASU Bogolyubov Institute for Theoretical Physics | Sharapov S.G.,Mediterranean Institute for Fundamental Physics | Varlamov A.A.,Mediterranean Institute for Fundamental Physics | Varlamov A.A.,University of Rome Tor Vergata
Physical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics | Year: 2012

There exist experiments indicating that at certain conditions, such as an appropriate substrate, a gap of the order of 10 meV can be opened at the Dirac points of a quasiparticle spectrum of graphene. We demonstrate that the opening of such a gap can result in the appearance of a fingerprint bump of the Seebeck signal when the chemical potential approaches the gap edge. The magnitude of the bump can be up to one order higher than the already large value of the thermopower occurring in graphene. Such a giant effect, accompanied by the nonmonotonous dependence on the chemical potential, is related to the emergence of a new channel of quasiparticle scattering from impurities with the relaxation time strongly dependent on the energy. We analyze the behavior of conductivity and thermopower in such a system, accounting for quasiparticle scattering from impurities with the model potential in a self-consistent scheme. Reproducing the existing results for the case of gapless graphene, we demonstrate a failure of the simple Mott formula in the case under consideration. © 2012 American Physical Society.

Saladino R.,University of Tuscia | Crestini C.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Pino S.,University of Rome La Sapienza | Costanzo G.,CNR Institute of Molecular Biology and Pathology | Di Mauro E.,University of Rome La Sapienza
Physics of Life Reviews | Year: 2012

The complexity of life boils down to the definition: "self-sustained chemical system capable of undergoing Darwinian evolution" (Joyce, 1994) [1]. The term "self-sustained" implies a set of chemical reactions capable of harnessing energy from the environment, using it to carry out programmed anabolic and catabolic functions. We briefly present our opinion on the general validity of this definition.Running anabolic and catabolic functions entails complex chemical information whose stability, reproducibility and evolution constitute the core of what is dubbed genetics.Life as-we-know-it is made of the intimate interaction of metabolism and genetics, both built around the chemistry of the most common elements of the Universe (hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, carbon). Other elements like phosphorus and sulphur play important but ancillary and potentially replaceable roles.The reproducible interaction of metabolic and genetic cycles results in the hypercycles of organization and de-organization of chemical information that we consider living entities. In order to approach the problem of the origin of life it is therefore reasonable to start from the assumption that both metabolism and genetics had a common origin, shared a common chemical frame, were embedded in physical-chemical conditions favourable for the onset of both.The most abundant three-atoms organic compound in interstellar environment is hydrogen cyanide HCN, the most abundant three-atoms inorganic compound is water H 2O. The combination of the two results in the formation of formamide H 2NCOH. We have explored the chemistry of formamide in conditions compatible with the synthesis and the stability of compounds of potential pre-genetic and pre-metabolic interest. We discuss evidence showing (i) that all the compounds necessary for the build-up of nucleic acids are easily obtained abiotically, (ii) that essentially all the steps leading to the spontaneous generation of RNA are abiotically possible, (iii) that the key compounds of extant metabolic cycles are obtained in the same chemical frame, often in the same test tube.How close are these observations to a plausible scenario for the origin of life?. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.

Cataldo F.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Cataldo F.,Lupi Chemical Research Srl | Ursini O.,CNR Methodological Chemistry Institute | Angelini G.,CNR Methodological Chemistry Institute
Carbon | Year: 2013

Prolonged treatment of C60 in benzene with very high concentrations of N2O4 leads to a new polynitro[60] fullerene whose composition was determined as C60(NO 2)14 by thermogravimetric analysis. The compound is unstable and deflagrates above 170 C when heated under nitrogen or in air with the release of a considerable amount of heat as observed by the differential thermal analysis and as measured by differential scanning calorimetry. The decomposition steps of C60(NO2)14 were followed by the thermogravimetric analysis coupled with Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy analytical technique. At the deflagration point C 60(NO2)14 releases a mixture of nitrogen oxides: NO2 and NO with minor amounts of N2O. The deflagration leaves a residue of oxidized carbon which by heating releases CO2 and CO and at 700 C is reduced to a carbonaceous matter free from residual oxygenated groups showing also the presence of small amounts (≤10%) of C60 fullerene. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Giuliani A.,Third University of Rome | Mastropietro V.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Porta M.,ETH Zurich
Communications in Mathematical Physics | Year: 2012

The Hubbard model on the honeycomb lattice describes charge carriers in graphene with short range interactions. While the interaction modifies several physical quantities, like the value of the Fermi velocity or the wave function renormalization, the a. c. conductivity has a universal value independent of the microscopic details of the model: there are no interaction corrections, provided that the interaction is weak enough and that the system is at half filling. We give a rigorous proof of this fact, based on exact Ward Identities and on constructive Renormalization Group methods. © 2012 Springer-Verlag.

Moretti V.,University of Trento | Pinamonti N.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Pinamonti N.,University of Genoa
Communications in Mathematical Physics | Year: 2012

Tunnelling processes through black hole horizons have recently been investigated in the framework of WKB theory, discovering an interesting interplay with Hawking radiation. In this paper, we instead adopt the point of view proper of QFT in curved spacetime, namely, we use a suitable scaling limit towards a Killing horizon to obtain the leading order of the correlation function relevant for the tunnelling. The computation is done for a certain large class of reference quantum states for scalar fields, including Hadamard states. In the limit of sharp localization either on the external side or on opposite sides of the horizon, the quantum correlation functions appear to have thermal nature. In both cases the characteristic temperature is referred to the surface gravity associated with the Killing field and thus connected with the Hawking one. Our approach is valid for every stationary charged rotating non-extremal black hole. However, since the computation is completely local, it covers the case of a Killing horizon which just temporarily exists in some finite region, too. These results provide strong support to the idea that the Hawking radiation, which is detected at future null infinity and needs some global structures to be defined, is actually related to a local phenomenon taking place even for local geometric structures (local Killing horizons), existing just for a while. © 2011 Springer-Verlag.

Filippone S.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Buttari A.,French National Center for Scientific Research
ACM Transactions on Mathematical Software | Year: 2012

The efficiency of a sparse linear algebra operation heavily relies on the ability of the sparse matrix storage format to exploit the computing power of the underlying hardware. Since no format is universally better than the others across all possible kinds of operations and computers, sparse linear algebra software packages should provide facilities to easily implement and integrate new storage formats within a sparse linear algebra application without the need to modify it; it should also allow to dynamically change a storage format at run-time depending on the specific operations to be performed. Aiming at these important features, we present an Object Oriented design model for a sparse linear algebra package which relies on Design Patterns. We show that an implementation of our model can be efficiently achieved through some of the unique features of the Fortran 2003 language. Experimental results show that the proposed software infrastructure improves the modularity and ease of use of the code at no performance loss. © 2012 ACM.

Giuliani A.,Third University of Rome | Mastropietro V.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Porta M.,ETH Zurich
Physical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics | Year: 2011

The exact vanishing of the interaction corrections to the zero temperature optical conductivity of undoped graphene in the presence of weak short-range interactions is rigorously established. Our results are in agreement with measurements of graphene's ac conductivity in a range of frequencies between the temperature and the bandwidth. Even if irrelevant in the renormalization group sense, lattice effects and nonlinear bands are essential for the universality of the conductivity. © 2011 American Physical Society.

Crestini C.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Crucianelli M.,University of L'Aquila | Orlandi M.,University of Milan Bicocca | Saladino R.,University of Tuscia
Catalysis Today | Year: 2010

Novel processing methods and product concepts are required to extend the role of lignin for future biomass and biofuel applications in emerging platforms such as the biorefinery. The possible strategies of lignin valorisation are focused into two main directions, namely the selective functionalisation of the lignin polymer or in its oxidative depolymerization to get polyfunctional monomeric compounds. Here we report a panel of biocatalysis, organometallic catalysis, biomimetic catalysis and plasma oxidation processes developed by our research group for the activation of the environmental friendly oxidants oxygen and hydrogen peroxide in the oxidative functionalisation of lignin and lignin model compounds. © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Bagnis A.,University of Genoa | Izzotti A.,University of Genoa | Centofanti M.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Sacca S.C.,San Martino Hospital
Experimental Eye Research | Year: 2012

The purpose of this work was to investigate the expression of glutamine synthase (GS), nitric oxide synthase (NOS) superoxide dismutase (SOD) and glutathione transferase (GST) in the aqueous humor of patients with primary open angle glaucoma and controls. Aqueous humor proteome was analyzed by antibody microarray. The expression of tested proteins was detected by protein Cy3/Cy5 labeling, column purification and hybridization on antibody-spotted glass microarray. Fluorescent signals were detected by fluorescence laser scanning. Aqueous humor levels of SOD as well as of GST were significantly lower (2.0- and 2.2-fold, p < 0.01) among patients than controls; both NOS and GS expression were significantly higher (2.2- and 2.6 fold, p < 0.01) among patients than controls. Our data showed substantial differences of GS, NOS2, SOD and GST aqueous humor levels between glaucomatous patients and controls as measured by antibody microarray technology. The overproduction of NO through inducible NOS can form toxic products and change the metabolic conditions of the TM. The GS over-expression might be related to neuronal injury or to the potential role of glutamate as a modulator in the ciliary body signaling. The reduced expression of the antioxidant enzymes SOD and GST could aggravate the unbalance between both oxygen- and nitrogen-derived free radicals production and detoxification. Based on our results, GS, NOS2, SOD and GST as measured by antibody microarray technology may be useful oxidative markers in aqueous humor of glaucomatous patients. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.

Van Leeuwen R.,University of Jyväskylä | Stefanucci G.,University of Rome Tor Vergata
Journal of Physics: Conference Series | Year: 2013

We present a unified framework for equilibrium and nonequilibrium many-body perturbation theory. The most general nonequilibrium many-body theory valid for general initial states is based on a time-contour originally introduced by Konstantinov and Perel'. The various other well-known formalisms of Keldysh, Matsubara and the zero-temperature formalism are then derived as special cases that arise under different assumptions. We further present a single simple proof of Wick's theorem that is at the same time valid in all these flavors of many-body theory. It arises simply as a solution of the equations of the Martin-Schwinger hierarchy for the noninteracting many-particle Green's function with appropriate boundary conditions. We further discuss a generalized Wick theorem for general initial states on the Keldysh contour and derive how the formalisms based on the Keldysh and Konstantinov-Perel'-contours are related for the case of general initial states.

Facci A.L.,Parthenope University of Naples | Andreassi L.,University of Rome Tor Vergata | Ubertini S.,University of Tuscia
Energy | Year: 2014

In this paper we introduce an enhanced methodology to determine the optimal control strategy for a complex trigeneration plant. The plant is designed to meet the thermal and electrical loads of a user and is connected to the electrical grid. We consider a single working-day and the plant set-points are determined on an hourly basis minimizing total energy cost, plant maintenance costs, and costs associated to switching on and off the power plant components. To realistically simulate the behavior of large power plants, a constraint on the minimum duration of on and off intervals is considered for each plant section.The problem in study is discretized in time and plant states, represented as weighted graph, and the strategy that minimizes the total cost is determined using backward dynamic programming, whose computational effort is compatible with real practical applications.Validity and usefulness of the proposed methodology are demonstrated optimizing the set-point of a combined heat, power and cooling system,