University of Sassari

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    Impacts of fluoride contamination on food crops grown in rural areas of the African Rift Valley

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    The consumption of fluoride-rich food products can represent a major source of fluoride (F) exposure for humans, contributing, together with the consumption of F-rich drinking-water, to enhance the hazard of incurring severe diseases known under the name of endemic fluorosis. Even though the connection between the environmental F contamination and the fluorosis disease is well recognised, the analyses of literature brought to the light the gap of knowledge on the uptake behaviour and the effects of F on food crops, particularly regarding some of the strongest affected areas, such as the East African Rift Valley. Field experiments conducted in rural areas of North Tanzania confirmed, as previous observed in the literature, the tendency of plants to accumulate F mostly in the root system to the disadvantage of those crops whose edible part is the underground organs. However, a substantial accumulation of F in other plants edible parts (e.g. leaves, fruits or seeds) was also observed, underlining that the consumption of the considered food items can substantially contribute to F-correlated diseases, especially in earlier ages. Moreover, the protracted use of high-F contaminated waters along the crop cycle, as tested in a greenhouse pot experiment, was observed to considerably affect the quality of the soil leading to a significant rise of its water-soluble F concentration and the increase of F accumulation in plants organs such leaves and stems in a dose-dependent manner

    Caratterizzazione della distribuzione della coppia ergotioneina/ercinina e valutazione delle potenzialità dell’ercinina quale marker delle attività redox dell’ergotioneina

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    Given that redox activity of ergothioneine might explain the presence of hercynine in biological fluids, measurement of hercynine might serve to indirectly detect oxidative stress states or other biological processes involving ergothioneine. This could be particularly advantageous as the peculiar redox behavior of ergothioneine, which acts to rapidly restore ergothioneine concentrations, can minimize its potential fluctuations. Little is known about this betaine of the histidine in the body, which is in part due to the lack of reliable analytical methods and the difficulty in purchasing commercial standards. Following in-house chemical synthesis of hercynine and considering different analytical strategies, a LC-MS/MS method was developed for the measurement of hercynine levels in different animal and human specimens such as whole blood, plasma/serum, urine, and equine seminal plasma. The results of these analyses highlight the uncertain role of hercynine as an indirect marker of ergothioneine activities in humans. This was primarily due to the challenges with the identification of specific phenotypes where ergothioneine plays a clear biological role. Conversely, due to the unusual physiology of stallions’ sperm cells, who rely primarily on mitochondrial ATP production by oxidative phosphorylation rather than glycolysis, hercynine can serve as an indirect marker of ergothioneine in stallions’ seminal plasma

    La Gestione del servizio culturale tra pubblico, privato e terzo settore: profili organizzativi e funzionali

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    The study aims to reconstruct the notion of cultural public service as a mean to ensure the effectiveness of the legal positions acknowledged by the Legislation to every citizen related to cultural heritage. That notion outlines a precise mission that has to be fulfilled by public powers in order to ensure that the cultural heritage is enjoyed by all the population. The study tries to define the means by which this service can be provided. The attention is then focused on the so called third sector with its recently renewed regulations. So the organizational aspects of the third sector entities, and of the foundations particularly, have been studied in deep, since they convey a functional bond on the goods in them conferred that is similar to the functional bond that imposes the common use of cultural heritage. A regulatory structure emerges that takes interest on these legal entities because they can take part in the management of cultural public interests especially if their shareholder is a public administration. The main goal that has to be fulfilled in the provision of cultural public service, in fact, is to coordinate the players involved in a service that appears to be reticular. The instrument detected to do so is the network contract, conveyed by a program agreement among entities that are public administrations in their essence. The solution proposed in these terms is considered to be an innovative way to pursue the complex management of the cultural public service

    Soil remediation of Lebanese contaminated soils using organic sorbents

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    The studies on the influence of organic-based sorbents on the mobility of potentially toxic elements (PTE) in contaminated soils have been constantly growing in the last decades. However, given the variety of PTE and pollution status, as well as the diversity of factors governing the fate of PTE in soil, to date it is still hard to foresee the amendment effectiveness in a specific soil environment. The aim of this PhD thesis was therefore to assess the influence of biochar, compost and their combination on the mobility, (phyto)toxicity and bioavailability of several PTE (i.e. Sb, As, Ni, Cr and Zn) present in different polluted soils of Lebanon. The addition of compost, biochar and their combination generally reduced labile PTE pools (i.e. readily soluble) and increased their residual (non-extractable) fractions. The amendments also changed the C-source utilization potential of the soil microbial community as revealed by the Biolog community level physiological profile. At the same time, soil dehydrogenase, β-glucosidase and urease were significantly enhanced in amended soils while the growth of Capsicum annuum L. and Triticum aestivum L. (in a selected polluted soil) was significantly enhanced and PTE uptake significantly reduced. Overall, the results obtained indicated that biochar and compost could be useful to stabilise PTE in contaminated soils, to stimulate soil microbial activity and functionality and to improve plant growth

    I Contratti di costa quali strumenti innovativi di gestione integrata delle zone costiere

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    This research is dedicated to the theme of integrated management of coastal zones and aims at showing the inadequacy of traditional administrative governance instruments in consideration of the human activities carried out on coastal zones, in comparison with innovative and partecipative governance models, such as coastal contracts. The protection and the sustainable management of coastal zones represents a matter of great concern that, since the 1980’s, has resulted in a different methodological approach to implement the sustainable development’s principle through the integrated of environmental, economic and social resources. The research analyses, at first, the traditional administrative instruments highlighting the condition of substantial separation between the typical sectors of maritime property management, urban planning and landscape discipline, and the fragmentation between statal, regional, and local competences and the implementation tools. This approach, as authoritatively observed, has so far produced disappointing results and the need to implement an organic protection action have prevailed, in line with the Protocol on Integrated Management of Mediterranean Coastal Areas. The Protocol requires a profound reconsideration of the coastal area, and a holistic approach to the issues of protection and sustanaible uses in coastal areas, overcoming the traditional administrative model articulated, as mentioned above, for separeted administrative areas. This new interdisciplinary approach is being implemented, relatively recently, through orderly, adaptive and participatory models, which stand side by side - without replacing - to the traditional planning tools of applicable urban planning. These tools are called "coastal contracts" and it will be the goal of this research to demonstrate their enormous potential as possible models for implementing local integrated coastal zone management policies

    Per un approccio bioarcheologico al caso di Sant'Antioco di Bisarcio (Ozieri, SS): tra archeologia, antropologia fisica e paleopatologia

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    The PhD project is focused on the bioarchaeological analysis of a cemeterial area in use from the second half of the 1300s and the end of the 1700s in the medieval site of Bisarcio, in the North of Sardinia (Italy), seat of a Diocese for almost 500 years. On the basis of the historical and archaeological sources, it wants to fill the gaps related to the demographic data applying taphonomic methods trying to reconstruct funerary rituals and the approach to the concept of death of this human group and bioarcheological methods (macroscopic and biomolecular analyses applied on osteological human remains and sepultures soil samples) providing a biological profile of every skeleton examined, type of activity carried out and the pathologies, reconstructing a cross-section of this society, its demographic and social composition, its living conditions, the characterizing pathocenosis, the sanitation practices at the base of its system and the characteristic type of diet. The data obtained by the analysis of this cemeterial area are compared with the data related to another human sample, from Alghero Lo Quarter, another medieval site, a completely different context, in order to highlight possible similarities or differences between those two human groups, with possible reconstructive hypotheses

    Qualificazione giuridica e analisi strutturale delle continuità intenzionali: il caso di Damanhur tra sociologia, antropologia giuridica e diritto comparato.

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    The purpose of this Doctoral thesis is to analyze from a legal standpoint the new, globalized phenomenon of intentional human communities, in order to understand whether these new types of human col¬lectives can be considered as alternative forms of traditional organizational models and capable of creating new legal systems, starting from the assertion ubi societas, ibi ius. Basing on the definitions elaborated in the field of legal sociology and intentional communities, we analyzed a intentional community’s capacity to produce legal rules that apply to that members. The legal organization of the Community of Damanhur, located in Piedmont (Italy), where there are internal rules of private and public law regulating the life of its members, is a genuine legal system, which poses many problems in relation to Italian law. The new bill submitted to the Italian Parliament in 2017 on the legal recognition of intentional communities could definitively regulate the relationship between an Intentional Community and the State, with the consequent recognition of the existence of ‘autonomous legal systems’ for all Intentional Communities

    L'Emancipazione della donna in Tunisia dal Protettorato francese a Bourguiba

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    During the 20th Century, the woman question was a fundamental issue in Tunisian society: five months after the end of France Protectorate, in 1956, the promulgation of the Code of Personal Status (CSP) introduced important innovations in legal terms: by using of ijtihad, the CPS declared the abolition of polygamy, the replacement of repudiation in favour of the institution of divorce. In the same year, the National Union of Tunisian Women (UNFT) was born supported by the Neo-Destour party. Although the CSP and Bourguiba’s reforms benefited from intellectual and cultural trends in Islamic reformism, especially the action of important personalities such as Khayr al-Din, who founded Sadiqi College (1875), where the modern Tunisian elités were educated on the Occidental model and Tahar Haddad, first thinker who argued for women’s rights into his book Our Women in the shari‘a and Society (1930).The absence of female education was the main problem for woman’s emancipation and for the advancement of society. Tunisian feminism started taking shape in the 1930s. Before that, two Tunisian women had taken off their hijab at a public conference following the example of Egyptian woman Huda Shaʻrawi, leader of the first feminist movement in the Arab world. In Tunisia women’s activism developed before the independence through the efforts of different women organizations. All these factors contributed considerably to the maturation of Tunisian society, female consciousness and gender policy

    How exome sequencing is shedding light on the complexity of Mendelian disorders: some examples from Sardinia

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    The total number of Mendelian disorders is estimated to be around 7,000 and while each is individually rare, together, these genetic conditions contribute significantly to morbidity, mortality, and healthcare costs. In the last decade there has been a paradigm shift in their investigation due to the development of powerful new DNA sequencing technologies, such as whole exome sequencing. Although our knowledge of the diversity of Mendelian phenotypes is progressively increasing, substantial gaps remain. Up to 50% of patients affected by a rare genetic disorder never receive a diagnosis. We focused our attention on such Mendelian disorders and in a collaborative effort we studied by WES a cohort of heterogeneous samples affected by Crisponi/Cold-induced sweating syndrome-like, syndromic Intellectual Disabilities and Epileptic Encephalopathies. The results of our work along with others reported in the literature, are contributing to reveal the extensive clinical variability and genetic complexity underlying Mendelian phenotypes and inheritance, to provide insight into study design and approach and analytical strategies and to identify novel mechanisms. Our increasing knowledge on the genetic basis of rare disorders is shedding light on the “complex” nature of the “simple” Mendelian disorders and that “true monogenic” disorders are very rare, underscoring the current challenges of clinical diagnostics and discovery

    Sieroprevalenze di CAEV, MAP e CpHV1 in capre allevate in Sardegna e loro effetti sulle caratteristiche del latte

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    The aim of this thesis is to investigate whether seropositivity to CAE (caprine arthritis), PTB (paratuberculosis) and CpHV1 (goat herpesvirus type 1) may influence the coagulative characteristics of goat milk and its cheese yield. 1272 samples of milk and serum have been collected from goats distributed in 35 farms in Sardinia. The milk was analyzed for chemical parameters such as fat, protein, lactose, pH, somatic cell count and total bacterial load. The milk was also tested with the lactodynamography test for the classic parameters (RTC, K20, A30) and for the modeling parameters, while the nanocaseification was performed on 560 randomly extracted samples. Antibodies were investigated for the three pathologies with the ELISA technique for CAEV and PTB, and with serum neutralization for CpHV1. Data was analyzed using statistical software. The results obtained show a wide diffusion of the three pathologies with high prevalence rates. Although productions tend to be better on average in subjects with negative CAEV, PTB and CpHV1, no significant statistical associations have been observed, therefore seropositivity does not seem to negatively influence the capacity of cheesemaking milk of goats affected by these diseases. The control of these diseases in the future will be crucial

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