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Legnaro, Italy

Cerdonio M.,University of Padua | De Marchi F.,University of Trento | De Pietri R.,University of Parma | Jetzer P.,University of Zurich | And 5 more authors.
Classical and Quantum Gravity | Year: 2010

We calculate the effect of the Earth-Moon (EM) system on the free-fall motion of LISA test masses. We show that the periodic gravitational pulling of the EM system induces a resonance with fundamental frequency 1 yr-1 and a series of periodic perturbations with frequencies equal to integer harmonics of the synodic month (≃ 3.92 × 10-7 Hz). We then evaluate the effects of these perturbations (up to the 6th harmonics) on the relative motions between each test mass couple, finding that they range between 3 mm and 10 pm for the 2nd and 6th harmonic, respectively. If we take the LISA sensitivity curve, as extrapolated down to 10-6 Hz in Bender (2003 Class. Quantum Grav. 20 301-10), we obtain that a few harmonics of the EM system can be detected in the Doppler data collected by the LISA space mission. This suggests that the EM system gravitational near field could provide an additional crosscheck to the calibration of LISA, as extended to such low frequencies. © 2010 IOP Publishing Ltd. Source

Romanets Y.,ITN | Bermudez J.,Viale dellUniversit | David J.C.,CEA Saclay Nuclear Research Center | Ene D.,CEA Saclay Nuclear Research Center | And 8 more authors.
Radiation Measurements | Year: 2010

One of the objectives of the EURISOL (EURopean Isotope Separation On-Line Radioactive Ion Beam) Design Study consisted of providing a safe and reliable facility layout and design for the following operational parameters and characteristics: (a) a 4 MW proton beam of 1 GeV energy impinging on a mercury target (the converter); (b) high neutron fluxes (∼3 × 1016 neutrons/s) generated by spallation reactions of the protons impinging in the converter and (c) fission rate on fissile 235U targets in excess of 1015 fissions/s. In this work, the state-of-the-art Monte Carlo codes MCNPX (Pelowitz, 2005) and FLUKA (Vlachoudis, 2009; Ferrari et al., 2008) were used to characterize the neutronics performance and to perform the shielding assessment (Herrera-Martínez and Kadi, 2006; Cornell, 2003) of the EURISOL Target Unit and to provide estimations of dose rate and activation of different components, in view of the radiation safety assessment of the facility. Dosimetry and activation calculations were performed for the different components, regions and systems of the Target Unit. The detailed description of the geometry and constituent materials were implemented and the time evolution of the dose rate and activity for the different components was performed, both during operation and after shutdown of the proton beam. The results obtained indicate that the very high activation of the structural materials in some components will require a detailed study and comparison of the behavior of different materials, namely their remaining activity several years after beam shutdown. The very high dose rates assessed in the computational studies performed and reported in this work, also impose stringent requirements in the radiological protection and radiation safety issues associated to the operation and maintenance of the EURISOL facility. © 2010 Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. Source

Galarini R.,Istituto Zooprofilattico | Buratti R.,Istituto Zooprofilattico | Fioroni L.,Istituto Zooprofilattico | Contiero L.,Viale dellUniversit | Lega F.,Viale dellUniversit
Analytica Chimica Acta | Year: 2011

Despite the growing importance of qualitative screening tests in routine laboratories involved in the EU official control, their validation is not as deeply explained in Commission Decision 2002/657/EC as the validation of quantitative confirmatory methods. At the same time, the issue of quality assurance of screening assays defining internal quality control (IQC) procedures as required by accreditation bodies is undoubtedly less developed in this analytical field. As an example the present study describes the development, the validation and the IQC implemented for a commercial enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) able to detect 17-α-19-nortestosterone (α-NT) and 17-β-19-nortestosterone (β-NT) isomers in bullock urine. In order to select a suitable sample treatment, two SPE purification protocols were preliminary compared. The chosen method was therefore fully validated determining the mandatory parameters required by Commission Decision 2002/657/EC: specificity, detection capability and robustness. An in-depth discussion was carried out illustrating the possible validation approaches and their implications especially in the assessment of the key performance characteristic: detection capability. Finally, the control charts implemented for continuous method verification during analyses of real samples were reported. © 2011 Elsevier B.V. Source

Catania S.,Viale dellUniversit | Bilato D.,Viale dellUniversit | Gobbo F.,Viale dellUniversit | Granato A.,Viale dellUniversit | And 3 more authors.
Avian Diseases | Year: 2010

Eggshell abnormalities were seen in the apex of eggs in two of three flocks of multi-age, Hy-Line layer chickens housed on a farm in Northern Italy. Approximately 1.3 to 1.8 of eggs in one flock were affected, amounting to 300400 eggs per day; the abnormalities resulted in a great deal of breakage and spoilage of healthy eggs. The mean weight of eggs was also reduced. Egg abnormalities in a second flock were less severe. Mycoplasma synoviae was detected in birds from both of the affected flocks by serologic, cultural, and molecular techniques, but not in a third, adjacent flock where no eggshell abnormalities were seen. Treatment with tylosin, administered in the drinking water for 5 days, resulted in an immediate improvement of eggshell quality and egg weight. There was no evidence of infectious bronchitis virus in the flocks. © 2010 American Association of Avian Pathologists. Source

Capelli G.,Viale dellUniversit | Ravagnan S.,Viale dellUniversit | Montarsi F.,Viale dellUniversit | Ciocchetta S.,Viale dellUniversit | And 7 more authors.
Parasites and Vectors | Year: 2012

Background: Ixodes ricinus, a competent vector of several pathogens, is the tick species most frequently reported to bite humans in Europe. The majority of human cases of Lyme borreliosis (LB) and tick-borne encephalitis (TBE) occur in the north-eastern region of Italy. The aims of this study were to detect the occurrence of endemic and emergent pathogens in north-eastern Italy using adult tick screening, and to identify areas at risk of pathogen transmission. Based on our results, different strategies for tick collection and pathogen screening and their relative costs were evaluated and discussed. Methods. From 2006 to 2008 adult ticks were collected in 31 sites and molecularly screened for the detection of pathogens previously reported in the same area (i.e., LB agents, TBE virus, Anaplasma phagocytophilum, Rickettsia spp., Babesia spp., "Candidatus Neoehrlichia mikurensis"). Based on the results of this survey, three sampling strategies were evaluated a-posteriori, and the impact of each strategy on the final results and the overall cost reductions were analyzed. The strategies were as follows: tick collection throughout the year and testing of female ticks only (strategy A); collection from April to June and testing of all adult ticks (strategy B); collection from April to June and testing of female ticks only (strategy C). Results: Eleven pathogens were detected in 77 out of 193 ticks collected in 14 sites. The most common microorganisms detected were Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato (17.6%), Rickettsia helvetica (13.1%), and "Ca. N. mikurensis" (10.5%). Within the B. burgdorferi complex, four genotypes (i.e., B. valaisiana, B. garinii, B. afzelii, and B. burgdorferi sensu stricto) were found. Less prevalent pathogens included R. monacensis (3.7%), TBE virus (2.1%), A. phagocytophilum (1.5%), Bartonella spp. (1%), and Babesia EU1 (0.5%). Co-infections by more than one pathogen were diagnosed in 22% of infected ticks. The prevalences of infection assessed using the three alternative strategies were in accordance with the initial results, with 13, 11, and 10 out of 14 sites showing occurrence of at least one pathogen, respectively. The strategies A, B, and C proposed herein would allow to reduce the original costs of sampling and laboratory analyses by one third, half, and two thirds, respectively. Strategy B was demonstrated to represent the most cost-effective choice, offering a substantial reduction of costs, as well as reliable results. Conclusions: Monitoring of tick-borne diseases is expensive, particularly in areas where several zoonotic pathogens co-occur. Cost-effectiveness studies can support the choice of the best monitoring strategy, which should take into account the ecology of the area under investigation, as well as the available budget. © 2012 Capelli et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. Source

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