News Article | March 28, 2017
While the short-term benefits of breastfeeding are known, a new study finds that there are no long-term cognitive advantages associated with breastfeeding. The study examined children when were born full term; when they were nine months old; and were then reexamined at three and five years of age. The research followed 7,478 Irish children and its results were published in the journal Pediatrics. At three years, the kids' parents were asked to fill out questionnaires aimed at evaluating problem-solving skills and vocabulary among the subjects. Additionally, the parents had to report parameters about behavior and cognition. Two years later, both teachers and parents were asked to go through the same procedure. "Breastfeeding reduces all-cause and infection-related child mortality, sudden infant death syndrome related mortality, and maternal breast cancer and cardiovascular risk; the effect of breast milk is dose-dependent, with exclusivity and longer duration increasing benefits," noted the research. Researchers found out that kids who were breastfed for at least half a year were less predisposed to being hyperactive, and they also scored higher in problem-solving assessments at the age of three. However, by the time the children turned five, these differences were negligible. "[The study] ] fits well in the body of literature that long-term benefits of breastfeeding look a whole lot smaller or non-existent if you properly control for your confounding variables," noted Dr. Brooke Orosz, professor of mathematics at the Essex County College and adviser to the organization Fed is Best. Orosz was not involved in the research but mentioned that while the mothers' IQ scores weren't taken into account, other indicators such as income and education level provided enough data for the study. Initially, breastfeeding was associated with a series of long-term benefits. However, when the socio-economic data were taken into account, these differences became negligible. It is true that kids who are breastfed have better overall outcomes. However, these outcomes are not solely associated with breastfeeding, but with the entire socio-economic context that comes with having educated and richer parents. There are numerous cases of new mothers debating whether or not to breastfeed their children. Nancy Hurst, director of Women's Support Services at Texas Children's Hospital Pavilion for Women gives women advice about this dilemma. According to Hurst, who is also an international board certified lactation consultant, breastfeeding may be important. However, what really makes the difference in raising a child is the quality of the human contact created and sustained by a mother between her and her kid. Another study, published in 2016, showed that antibiotics can reduce the benefits of breastfeeding. That research was published in the journal JAMA Pediatrics. The research showed that breast milk, unlike formula milk, transmits gut bacteria to infants from their mothers' bodies — along with specific sugar compounds that help the growth of specific gut bacteria. At the same time, mothers who use antibiotics are less capable of transmitting these beneficial bacteria to their kids' bodies. "Early use of antibiotics unfavorably modifies intestinal microflora [gut bacteria], and this may have lifetime consequences, even in those babies who receive a long duration breastfeeding," noted Dr. Pietro Vajro, professor of pediatric gastroenterology at the University of Salerno in Italy, co-author of the study's editorial. © 2017 Tech Times, All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: FCH2-RIA | Phase: FCH-02-5-2016 | Award Amount: 3.15M | Year: 2017
The INSIGHT project aims at developing a Monitoring, Diagnostic and Lifetime Tool (MDLT) for Solid Oxide Fuel Cell (SOFC) stacks and the hardware necessary for its implementation into a real SOFC system. The effectiveness of the MDLT will be demonstrated through on-field tests on a real micro-Combined Heat and Power system (2.5 kW), thus moving these tools from Technology Readiness Level (TRL) 3 to beyond 5. INSIGHT leverages the experience of previous projects and consolidates their outcomes both at methodological and application levels. The consortium will specifically exploit monitoring approaches based on two advanced complementary techniques: Electrochemical Impedance Spectroscopy (EIS) and Total Harmonic Distortion (THD) in addition to conventional dynamic stack signals. Durability tests with faults added on purpose and accelerated tests will generate the data required to develop and validate the MDL algorithms. Based on the outcome of experimental analysis and mathematical approaches, fault mitigation logics will be developed to avoid stack failures and slow down their degradation. A specific low-cost hardware, consisting in a single board able to embed the MDLT will be developed and integrated into a commercial SOFC system, the EnGenTM 2500, which will be tested on-field. INSIGHT will then open the perspective to decrease the costs of service and SOFC stack replacement by 50%, which would correspond to a reduction of the Total Cost of Ownership by 10% / kWh. To reach these objectives, INSIGHT is a cross multidisciplinary consortium gathering 11 organisations from 6 member states (France, Italy, Denmark, Slovenia, Austria, Finland) and one associated country (Switzerland). The partnership covers all competences necessary: experimental testing (CEA, DTU, EPFL), algorithms developments (UNISA, IJS, AVL), hardware development (BIT), system integration and validation (VTT, SP, HTC), supported by AK for the project management and dissemination.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: GV-2-2014 | Award Amount: 6.39M | Year: 2015
Optimised energy management and use (OPTEMUS) represents an opportunity for overcoming one of the biggest barriers towards large scale adoption of electric and plug-in hybrid cars: range limitation due to limited storage capacity of electric batteries. The OPTEMUS project proposes to tackle this bottleneck by leveraging low energy consumption and energy harvesting through a holistic vehicle-occupant-centred approach, considering space, cost and complexity requirements. Specifically, OPTEMUS intends to develop a number of innovative core technologies (Integrated thermal management system comprising the compact refrigeration unit and the compact HVAC unit, battery housing and insulation as thermal and electric energy storage, thermal energy management control unit, regenerative shock absorbers) and complementary technologies (localised conditioning, comprising the smart seat with implemented TED and the smart cover panels, PV panels) combined with intelligent controls (eco-driving and eco-routing strategies, predictive cabin preconditioning strategy with min. energy consumption, electric management strategy). The combined virtual and real-life prototyping and performance assessment in a state of the art, on-the-market A-segment electric vehicle (Fiat 500e) of this package of technologies will allow demonstrating a minimum of 32% of energy consumption reduction for component cooling and 60% for passenger comfort, as well as an additional 15% being available for traction, leading to an increase of the driving range in extreme weather conditions of at least 44 km (38%) in a hot ambient (\35C and 40% rH) and 63 km (70%) in a cold ambient (-10C and 90% rH).
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.
Rizzo L.,University of Salerno
Water Research | Year: 2011
Advanced oxidation processes (AOPs) have been widely used in water and wastewater treatment for the removal of organic and inorganic contaminants as well as to improve biodegradability of industrial wastewater. Unfortunately, the partial oxidation of organic contaminants may result in the formation of intermediates more toxic than parent compounds. In order to avoid this drawback, AOPs are expected to be carefully operated and monitored, and toxicity tests have been used to evaluate whether effluent detoxification takes place. In the present work, the effect of AOPs on the toxicity of aqueous solutions of different classes of contaminants as well as actual aqueous matrices are critically reviewed. The dualism toxicity-biodegradability when AOPs are used as pre-treatment step to improve industrial wastewater biodegradability is also discussed. The main conclusions/remarks include the followings: (i) bioassays are a really useful tool to evaluate the dangerousness of AOPs as well as to set up the proper operative conditions, (ii) target organisms for bioassays should be chosen according to the final use of the treated water matrix, (iii) acute toxicity tests may be not suitable to evaluate toxicity in the presence of low/realistic concentrations of target contaminants, so studies on chronic effects should be further developed, (iv) some toxicity tests may be not useful to evaluate biodegradability potential, in this case more suitable tests should be applied (e.g., activated sludge bioassays, respirometry). © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.
Di Bartolomeo A.,University of Salerno
Physics Reports | Year: 2016
In the past decade graphene has been one of the most studied materials for several unique and excellent properties. Due to its two dimensional nature, physical and chemical properties and ease of manipulation, graphene offers the possibility of integration with the existing semiconductor technology for next-generation electronic and sensing devices. In this context, the understanding of the graphene/semiconductor interface is of great importance since it can constitute a versatile standalone device as well as the building-block of more advanced electronic systems. Since graphene was brought to the attention of the scientific community in 2004, the device research has been focused on the more complex graphene transistors, while the graphene/semiconductor junction, despite its importance, has started to be the subject of systematic investigation only recently. As a result, a thorough understanding of the physics and the potentialities of this device is still missing. The studies of the past few years have demonstrated that graphene can form junctions with 3D or 2D semiconducting materials which have rectifying characteristics and behave as excellent Schottky diodes. The main novelty of these devices is the tunable Schottky barrier height, a feature which makes the graphene/semiconductor junction a great platform for the study of interface transport mechanisms as well as for applications in photo-detection, high-speed communications, solar cells, chemical and biological sensing, etc. In this paper, we review the state-of-the art of the research on graphene/semiconductor junctions, the attempts towards a modeling and the most promising applications. © 2015 Elsevier B.V.
Lamberti G.,University of Salerno
Chemical Society Reviews | Year: 2014
This tutorial review describes the state of current research and findings on the phenomena of polymer crystallisation under processing conditions, with particular emphasis on the effects of fluid flow. Preliminarily, it is stated why the crystallisation processes are relevant in polymer science, then the motivation of the study is briefly outlined. The remaining of the paper is divided in two parts. In the first part of the review, the basics of polymer crystallisation are summarized; the main factors acting on the process are identified; and the methods to investigate and to quantify the crystallization are described. A brief summary of the modelling approaches is also proposed. In the second part of the review, a similar path was followed in order to analyse the complex framework of phenomena collectively known as flow induced crystallisation. Therefore, the experimental techniques used are listed and the main findings are reported. A reference to the modelling approaches proposed in the literature is also summarized. Throughout the review, a selection of the literature in the field is of course cited. This journal is © the Partner Organisations 2014.
Siano P.,University of Salerno
Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews | Year: 2014
The smart grid is conceived of as an electric grid that can deliver electricity in a controlled, smart way from points of generation to active consumers. Demand response (DR), by promoting the interaction and responsiveness of the customers, may offer a broad range of potential benefits on system operation and expansion and on market efficiency. Moreover, by improving the reliability of the power system and, in the long term, lowering peak demand, DR reduces overall plant and capital cost investments and postpones the need for network upgrades. In this paper a survey of DR potentials and benefits in smart grids is presented. Innovative enabling technologies and systems, such as smart meters, energy controllers, communication systems, decisive to facilitate the coordination of efficiency and DR in a smart grid, are described and discussed with reference to real industrial case studies and research projects. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: MSCA-RISE | Phase: MSCA-RISE-2016 | Award Amount: 1.94M | Year: 2017
Graphene 3D project proposes highly innovative pathway for the development of optimized, multifunctional graphene-based polymer composites and structures with desired properties for specific applications, based on combination of three main approaches: (i) controlled processing and materials characterization; (ii) robust nanocomposite design; and (iii) modeling/optimization of nanocomposite cellular structures with predefined properties. Graphene 3D methodology will result in two major outcomes: Multifunctional nanocomposite material for 3D printing application, as well as Optimized and experimentally validated, 3D printed nanocomposite cellular structures with tunable electromagnetic, thermal and mechanical properties. To reach the goal, the proposal will pursue the following main objectives: (1) to develop an effective processing technique for graphene-based polymer nanocomposite; (2) to correlate processing variables with final micro and nanostructure features; (3) to obtain highly improved nanocomposite properties (electrical, electromagnetic, mechanical, thermal); (4) to propose robust design tool for optimizing process-structure-property-performance parameters, resulting in optimized nanocomposite formulation for 3D printing application; (5) to design nanocomposite-based cellular structures with optimum configuration (structure, geometry) and tunable multifunctional characteristics in view of predefined performances; (6) to prove the design concept by fabrication and experimental validation of both nanocomposite material and 3D printed cellular structures that achieve unique properties. Project research & innovation ideas will bring up the research results from TRL 1-2 to TRL 3-4, with potential for application specified towards high power electronics. Graphene 3D will create a Joint Laboratory on graphene-polymer research for knowledge share in a multidisciplinary international/inter-sectoral consortium having long-term implication.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: MSCA-RISE | Phase: MSCA-RISE-2016 | Award Amount: 688.50K | Year: 2017
PROMECA strategic objective is to substantially contribute to the increase of knowledge, skills, and competitiveness in the European research area and industry, through the design and deployment of a thorough plan of research and secondment of researchers between top-level EU academia and industrial partners, contributing to the main European Policies on innovation. In line with the MSCA-RISE general objectives, the project will: Support career development and training of 44 researchers through international and inter-sectoral mobility among 3 academia and 3 industrial partners in 4 European countries; Promote sharing of knowledge and ideas from research to the market (and vice versa) in a systematic way, through the participation of researchers to 3 focused research groups where scientific and industrial mix of competences are ensured, and the organization of 8 project meetings, where research findings will be assessed and validated among groups. Carry out a thorough training of researchers in 6 dedicated workshops, each with a different focus, also adding key entrepreneurial skills and innovation management. As an ultimate R&D goal, PROMECA will develop, test, and validate an innovative membrane reactor integrating new structured catalysts and selective membranes to improve the overall performance, durability, cost effectiveness, and sustainability over different industrially interesting processes, with distributed hydrogen production as the main focus of the project. The project will bring substantial impacts in terms of skills and knowledge development of the researchers, as well as higher R&I output, contributing to convert more ideas into products. Organizations involved will strongly boost their capacity to carry out R&I activities in multidisciplinary and inter-sectorial collaborations. Finally, the project will enhance the innovation potential and competitiveness of the EU industry, reinforcing its world leadership as a true knowledge-driven industry