University of Palermo

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    New York Times vs. OpenAI, Microsoft et al.: conflitti attuali fra intelligenza artificiale e diritto d'autore

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    Lo sviluppo delle intelligenze artificiali generative suscita pone una serie di interrogativi al giurista chiamato ad analizzare il fenomeno e le sue applicazioni. La domanda proposta lo scorso dicembre dal New York Times contro OpenAI e Microsoft offre lo spunto per approfondire le questioni legate al diritto d’autore. In particolare, si esaminerà l'allocazione del diritto d'autore tra tutti i soggetti coinvolti nell'utilizzo creativo delle intelligenze artificiali, esplorando la possibilità che attraverso tali strumenti si possa violare il diritto d'autore altrui.The development of generative artificial intelligences raises a series of questions for the legal experts tasked with analyzing the phenomenon and its applications. The complaint posed last December by The New York Times against OpenAI and Microsoft provides the starting point for delving into copyright-related issues. In particular, the allocation of copyright among all parties involved in the creative use of artificial intelligences will be examined, exploring the possibility that the use of such tools may lead to the infringement of others' copyrights

    European Society of Anaesthesiology and Intensive Care consensus document on sustainability: 4 scopes to achieve a more sustainable practice

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    Climate change is a defining issue for our generation. The carbon footprint of clinical practice accounts for 4.7% of European greenhouse gas emissions, with the European Union ranking as the third largest contributor to the global healthcare industry's carbon footprint, after the United States and China. Recognising the importance of urgent action, the European Society of Anaesthesiology and Intensive Care (ESAIC) adopted the Glasgow Declaration on Environmental Sustainability in June 2023. Building on this initiative, the ESAIC Sustainability Committee now presents a consensus document in perioperative sustainability. Acknowledging wider dimensions of sustainability, beyond the environmental one, the document recognizes healthcare professionals as cornerstones for sustainable care, and puts forward recommendations in four main areas: direct emissions, energy, supply chain and waste management, and psychological and self-care of healthcare professionals. Given the urgent need to cut global carbon emissions, and the scarcity of evidence-based literature on perioperative sustainability, our methodology is based on expert opinion recommendations. A total of 90 recommendations were drafted by 13 sustainability experts in anaesthesia in March 2023, then validated by 36 experts from 24 different countries in a two-step Delphi validation process in May and June 2023. To accommodate different possibilities for action in high- versus middle-income countries, an 80% agreement threshold was set to ease implementation of the recommendations Europe-wide. All recommendations surpassed the 80% agreement threshold in the first Delphi round, and 88 recommendations achieved an agreement >90% in the second round. Recommendations include the use of very low fresh gas flow, choice of anaesthetic drug, energy and water preserving measures, "5R" policies including choice of plastics and their disposal, and recommendations to keep a healthy work environment or on the importance of fatigue in clinical practice. Executive summaries of recommendations in areas 1, 2 and 3 are available as cognitive aids that can be made available for quick reference in the operating room

    Involvement of Astrocytes in the Formation, Maintenance, and Function of the Blood-Brain Barrier

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    : The blood-brain barrier (BBB) is a fundamental structure that protects the composition of the brain by determining which ions, metabolites, and nutrients are allowed to enter the brain from the blood or to leave it towards the circulation. The BBB is structurally composed of a layer of brain capillary endothelial cells (BCECs) bound to each other through tight junctions (TJs). However, its development as well as maintenance and properties are controlled by the other brain cells that contact the BCECs: pericytes, glial cells, and even neurons themselves. Astrocytes seem, in particular, to have a very important role in determining and controlling most properties of the BBB. Here, we will focus on these latter cells, since the comprehension of their roles in brain physiology has been continuously expanding, even including the ability to participate in neurotransmission and in complex functions such as learning and memory. Accordingly, pathological conditions that alter astrocytic functions can alter the BBB's integrity, thus compromising many brain activities. In this review, we will also refer to different kinds of in vitro BBB models used to study the BBB's properties, evidencing its modifications under pathological conditions

    Polymorphous Adenocarcinoma: A Systematic Review of the Literature and Presentation of Two Cases in a Less-Considered Anatomical Site

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    Background: Polymorphous adenocarcinoma (PAC) is the second-most common malignant tumour of the minor salivary glands. Although PAC predominantly affects the palate, it can also involve the buccal mucosa. This systematic review aims to investigate the literature data about PAC. Furthermore, we report two cases of patients affected by PAC in an infrequently considered anatomical site. Methods: According to PRISMA guidelines, a systematic review search was conducted on PubMed, Scopus, and Web of Science. Observational studies conducted on patients with a histological diagnosis of PAC were selected and analysed. Furthermore, two cases of patients with PAC affecting the buccal mucosa were reported. Results: Twenty-nine studies were included, and 143 patients affected by PAC were analysed (62 males, 75 females, and 6 undefined, with a mean age of 57.4 ± 14.5 years). The palate was the most affected site (99/143, 69.2%), followed by the buccal mucosa (12/143, 8.4%). Moreover, we report two cases of patients with PAC affecting the buccal mucosa (one male and one female, with a mean age of 70.5 ± 2.5 years). Conclusions: The present study underscores the importance of considering the buccal mucosa as a possible location of minor salivary gland tumours; although it is a less-considered affliction, it is not uncommon

    Hubris research in business: taking stock and moving forward

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    Purpose – There is growing interest in how hubris bias shapes managerial and entrepreneurial judgments and decisions and, in turn, firm strategy and performance. Based on a 44-years dataset of articles reaching the beginning of 2023, the authors offer a synthesis of hubris research published within business journals. Design/methodology/approach – The authors implement a mixed-method approach offering a content representation of 600 peer-reviewed articles extracted from Scopus. The authors conduct a bibliometric investigation – employing Excel, VOSViewer and Biblioshiny software – and perform a qualitative review. Findings – The analysis unveils four thematic clusters: hubris bias in financial policies (Cluster 1), hubris bias in restructuring deals (Cluster 2), hubris bias in entrepreneurial contexts (Cluster 3) and hubris bias in strategic decision-making (Cluster 4). Moreover, the authors infer that hubris research in business predominantly developed from three disciplinary perspectives – finance, entrepreneurship and strategic management – and progressed with limited interdisciplinary dialogue. Practical implications – The authors call practitioners’ attention to the impact of the hubris bias in forming financial, entrepreneurial and strategic choices. Managers get conscious of the risks of hubristic choices; hence, they implement organizational practices that move forward with unbiased (or less biased) judgments and decisions. Originality/value – The authors offer an up-to-date and comprehensive view of hubris research in business. Furthermore, the authors provide an integrative framework and a research agenda

    Aristotle to Pythagoras? Nigidius Figulus’ Biology in Late Republican Rome

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    The destiny of silence and oblivion that obscured the figure of Nigidius Figulus seems to have affected with particular severity Nigidius’ works on human and animal biology, of which only tiny fragments survive. In the present paper, I shall attempt to set Nigidius Figulus’ biological fragments against the background of their time, reading them in connection with the renewed interest of late Republican writers in physical laws, animal behavior, and the related moral issues – an interest which was often coupled with a reinterpretation of Peripatetic and Hellenistic zoological knowledge. The years in which Nigidius Figulus wrote his ‘commentationes’ – and, according to Cicero, revived Pythagoreanism – were the same years in which Aristotle’s and Theophrastus’ biological writings attracted increased attention, owing also to their growing availability in both direct and indirect textual traditions. Nigidius’ ‘commentationes’ seem to have been heavily influenced by Aristotle’s History of Animals – especially by its ninth book, which has been reasonably attributed to Theophrastus, has an impressive ‘Nachleben’ in Hellenistic literature, and is widely echoed in both Cicero and Lucretius. As a closer reading of the extant fragments will show, several issues of Peripatetic anatomy, ethology, and epistemology are reframed by Nigidius in the context of Roman culture, religion, and folklore – with an eye on the then prevailing Stoic philosophy and with the clear purpose of offering a thought-provoking contribution to the Roman ‘Republic of Letters’

    Jordan algebras of a degenerate bilinear form: Specht property and their identities

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    Let K be a field and let Jn,k be the Jordan algebra of a degenerate symmetric bilinear form b of rank n - k over K. Then one can consider the decomposition Jn,k = Bn-k (R) Dk, where Bn-k represents the corresponding Jordan algebra, denoted as Bn-k = K (R) V. In this algebra, the restriction of b on the (n - k)-dimensional subspace V is non-degenerate, while Dk accounts for the degenerate part of Jn,k. This paper aims to provide necessary and sufficient conditions to check if a given multilinear polynomial is an identity for Jn,k. As a consequence of this result and under certain hypothesis on the base field, we exhibit a finite basis for the T-ideal of polynomial identities of Jn,k. Over a field of characteristic zero, we also prove that the ideal of identities of Jn,k satisfies the Specht property. Moreover, similar results are obtained for weak identities, trace identities and graded identities with a suitable Z2-grading as well. In all of these cases, we employ methods and results from Invariant Theory. Finally, as a consequence from the trace case, we provide a counterexample to the embedding problem given in [8] in case of infinite dimensional Jordan algebras with trace

    Human Rights Reloaded in Palermo

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    The paper traces the framework in which the writings of the PhD students in Human Rights matured during the Summer School held at the University of Palermo in June 2023

    Mixing phenomena in circular and rectangular cross-sectional T-mixers: Experimental and numerical assessment

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    In the present work, the mixing performance of square and circular cross-sectional millimetre-sized T-mixers was experimentally and numerically investigated. The pure dilution of non-reacting species (blue and yellow food dyes) and the chemical reaction of two-coloured reactants (i.e., strong acid and strong base with a pH indicator) were captured experimentally by adopting a low-cost colorimetric digital image analysis technique. Turbulence was modelled by k − ε model coupled with the β-PDF approach to account for turbulence-chemistry interactions. The circular cross-sectional T-mixer showed better mixing efficiency than the square one. Moreover, an even larger mixing performances were obtained by setting unbalanced fluid flow rates. To exploit the low computational demanding k − ε model, the Cε2 parameter was tuned, showing good reliability in describing the phenomena in the mixers. Mixing time estimations were based on both time averages and instantaneous quantities, and some possible limits of the approaches commonly adopted in the literature were identified

    Inequities in primary liver cancer in Europe: The State of Play

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    : The liver cancer burden in Europe is increasing and to improve health outcomes equitably, it is crucial to investigate how social determinants of health (SDoH) affect liver cancer risk factors and access to care. This paper summarises the available evidence on the differential distribution of liver cancer risk factors, incidence, and health outcomes in the European Economic Area and the United Kingdom from an SDoH perspective. Vulnerable and marginalised populations have low socio-economic and educational backgrounds and are the most affected by liver cancer risk factors. Reasons for this include that access to hepatitis B virus vaccination varies, while viral hepatitis screening, harm reduction, and treatment access are limited. Additionally, alcohol-related liver disease remains prevalent among individuals with low education, insecure employment, economic instability, migrants, and deprived populations. Moreover, significant variation exists across Europe in the proportion of adults with steatotic liver disease, overweight/obesity, and diabetes, based on geographical area, gender, socio-economic, educational background, and density of ultra-processed foods outlets. Inequities in cirrhosis mortality rates have been reported, with the highest death rates among individuals living in socio-economically disadvantaged areas and those with lower educational levels. Furthermore, insufficient healthcare access for key populations with primary liver cancer is influenced by complex healthcare systems, stigmatisation, discrimination, low education, language barriers, and fear of disclosure. These challenges contribute to the liver cancer care pathway inequities. Future studies are needed to explore the different SDoH-interlinked effects on liver cancer incidence and outcomes in European countries. The ultimate goal is to develop evidence-based multilevel public health interventions that reduce the SDoH impact in precipitating and perpetuating a disproportionate liver cancer level among specific populations


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