5,918 research outputs found

    Emergency Department Overcrowding. A Retrospective Spatial Analysis and the Geocoding of Accesses. A Pilot Study in Rome

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    The overcrowding of first aid facilities creates considerable hardship and problems which have repercussions on patients’ wellbeing, the time needed for a diagnosis, and on the quality of the assistance. The basic objective of this contribution, based on the data collected by the Hospital Policlinico Umberto I in Rome (Lazio region, Italy), is to carry out a territorial screening of the municipality using GIS applications and spatial analyses aimed at reducing—in terms of triage—code white (inappropriate) attendances, after having identified the areas of greatest provenance of improperly used emergency room access. Working in a GIS environment and using functions for geocoding, we have tested an experimental model aimed at giving a close-up geographical-sanitary look at the situation: recognizing the territorial sectors in Rome which contribute to amplifying the Policlinico Umberto I emergency room overcrowding; leading up to an improvement of the situation; promoting greater awareness and knowledge of the services available on the territory, a closer relationship between patient and regular doctor (general practitioner, GP) or Local Healthcare Unit and a more efficient functioning of the emergency room. In particular, we have elaborated a “source” map from which derive all the others and it is a dot map on which all the codes white have been geolocalized on a satellite image through geocoding. We have produced three sets made up of three digital cartographic elaborations each, constructed on the census sections, the census areas and the sub-municipal areas, according to data aggregation, for absolute and relative values, and using different templates. Finally, following the same methodology and steps, we elaborated another dot map about all the codes red to provide another kind of information and input for social utility. In the near future, this system could be tested on a platform that spatially analyzes the emergency department (ED) accesses in near-real-time in order to facilitate the identification of critical territorial issues and intervene in a shorter time to regulate the influx of patients to the ED

    The Antarctic Seismographic Argentinean Italian Network - ASAIN Improving the instrumental coverage in Antarctica

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    Scientific investigations of the Scotia Sea region are crucial to understand the history of the Antarctic continent tectonic evolution and the influence of the aperture of the Drake passage in establishing the Circumpolar Antarctic Current, as stressed by many authors (e.g. Lodolo, 2008). The Scotia Sea occupies a roughly rectangular area of about 900.000 km . This area is limited on three sides by the Scotia Arc, formed by islands and oceanic ridges, which is a remnant of the mountain chain that joined the South American Andes to the Antarctic Peninsula. The western border is represented by the about 1000 km wide Drake passage, that separates today the Tierra del Fuego in South America from the Antarctic continent. A review of the tectonics and evolution of the Scotia Sea can be found in Barker, 2001. The start of the geophysical studies in this area dates back to several decades ago, but only after 1990 instrumental passive seismology started to be widely applied to investigate the crustal properties and the properties of the seismic sources responsible for the strong seismicity level observed along the Scotia plate boundaries. ASAIN started operation in 1992 when a temporary seismograph was installed at the Argentinean Base Esperanza. It grew quickly during the nineties and today five stations are operated in Antarctica and two in Tierra del Fuego. All the Antarctic stations transmit real-time data to the OGS and to the Instituto Antartico Argentino. Esperanza (ESPZ), Jubany (JUBA), San Martin (SMAI) and Orcadas(ORCD) stations also participate in the Virtual European Seismographic Broadband Network (VEBSN) transmitting real time data to the Orfeus Data Centre. On January 16 , 2009 BELA station was added to the network. It is operated at the southernmost Argentinean Base Belgrano II (77° 52' S, 34° 37' W ) located on a rocky outcrop (Nunatak Bertrab) on the Filchner barrier. Its inclusion in the VEBSN is also planned. ASAIN data real-time acquisition is performed using SCREAM software, but also Earthworm and Antelope software are being tested at the OGS Seismological Research Centre

    DIC Measurement of the Kinematics of a Friction Damper for Turbine Applications

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    International audienceHigh cycle fatigue (HCF) caused by large resonant stresses is a common cause for turbine blades failure. Passive damping systems, such as friction dampers are often used by aero-engine manufacturers to reduce the resonant stresses and mitigate the risk of HCF. The presence of friction dampers makes the dynamics of the system highly nonlinear, due to the complex stick-slip and separation phenomena taking place at the contact interface. Due to this nonlinear behaviour, an accurate understanding of the operating deflection shapes is needed for an accurate stress prediction. In this study, digital image correlation (DIC) in combination with a high speed camera is used to provide insights into the kinematics of the damper in a recently developed test rig. The in-phase and out-of-phase first bending modes of the blades were investigated leading to a full field measurement of the global ODS of the blades, and the local motion of the damper against its platforms. A significant change in the blades operational deflection shape could be observed due to the damper, and the sliding and rolling motion of the damper during a vibration cycle was accurately visualised

    Testing the global capabilities of the Antelope software suite: fast location and Mb determination of teleseismic events using the ASAIN and GSN seismic networks

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    The Italian National Institute for Oceanography and Experimental Geophysics (Istituto Nazionale di Oceanografia e di Geofisica Sperimentale, OGS) is running the Antarctic Seismographic Argentinean Italian Network (ASAIN), made of 5 seismic stations located in the Scotia Sea region in Antarctica and in Argentina: data from these stations are transferred in real time to the OGS headquarters in Trieste (Italy) via satellite links. OGS is also running, in close cooperation with the Friuli-Venezia Giulia Civil Defense, the North East (NI) Italy seismic network, making use of the Antelope commercial software suite from BRTT as the main acquisition system. As a test to check the global capabilities of Antelope, we set up an instance of Antelope acquiring data in real time from both the regional ASAIN seismic network in Antarctica and a subset of the Global Seismic Network (GSN) funded by the Incorporated Research Institution for Seismology (IRIS). The facilities of the IRIS Data Management System, and specifically the IRIS Data Management Center, were used for real time access to waveform required in this study. Preliminary results over 1 month period indicated that about 82% of the earthquakes with magnitude M>5.0 listed in the PDE catalogue of the National Earthquake Information Center (NEIC) of the United States Geological Survey (USGS) were also correctly detected by Antelope, with an average location error of 0.05 degrees and average body wave magnitude Mb estimation error below 0.1. The average time difference between event origin time and the actual time of event determination by Antelope was of about 45’: the comparison with 20’, the IASPEI91 P-wave travel time for 180 degrees distance, and 25’, the estimate of our test system data latency, indicate that Antelope is a serious candidate for regional and global early warning systems. Updated figures calculated over a longer period of time will be presented and discussed

    Barley’s Second Spring as a Model Organism for Chloroplast Research

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    Barley (Hordeum vulgare) has been widely used as a model crop for studying molecular and physiological processes such as chloroplast development and photosynthesis. During the second half of the 20th century, mutants such as albostrians led to the discovery of the nuclear-encoded, plastid-localized RNA polymerase and the retrograde (chloroplast-to-nucleus) signalling communication pathway, while chlorina-f2 and xantha mutants helped to shed light on the chlorophyll biosynthetic pathway, on the light-harvesting proteins and on the organization of the photosynthetic apparatus. However, during the last 30 years, a large fraction of chloroplast research has switched to the more \u201cuser-friendly\u201d model species Arabidopsis thaliana, the first plant species whose genome was sequenced and published at the end of 2000. Despite its many advantages, Arabidopsis has some important limitations compared to barley, including the lack of a real canopy and the absence of the proplastid-to-chloroplast developmental gradient across the leaf blade. These features, together with the availability of large collections of natural genetic diversity and mutant populations for barley, a complete genome assembly and protocols for genetic transformation and gene editing, have relaunched barley as an ideal model species for chloroplast research. In this review, we provide an update on the genomics tools now available for barley, and review the biotechnological strategies reported to increase photosynthesis efficiency in model species, which deserve to be validated in barley

    Plant communities of Italy. The vegetation prodrome

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    The Vegetation Prodrome of Italy was promoted in 2012 by the Italian "Ministry of Environment, Land and Sea Protection", in collaboration with the "Italian Society of Botany", to provide a comprehensive and systematic catalogue and description of Italian plant communities. The Prodrome that is presented in this paper is the first full organic synthesis of the vegetation of Italy at the alliance syntaxonomic level. It fulfils several needs, the main one being a unified and comprehensive national framework that may make an important contribution to the definition of the European Vegetation Prodrome. Syntaxonomy, as well as taxonomy, is sometimes based on considerations that may in part diverge: several authors tend to favour models that are divisive or aggregative to a greater or lesser extent in terms of flora, biogeography and ecology. These different points of view stimulate the scientific debate and allow the adoption of a framework that is more widely supported. The Prodrome includes 75 classes, 2 subclasses, 175 orders, 6 suborders and 393 alliances. The classes were grouped into nine broad categories according to structural, physiognomic and synecological elements rather than to syntaxonomic criteria. The rank, full valid name, any synonymies and incorrect names are provided for each syntaxon. The short declaration highlights the physiognomy, synecology, syndynamics and distribution of the plant communities that belong to the syntaxon. The Prodrome of the Italian Vegetation is linked to the European Strategy for Biodiversity, the European Habitats Directive and the European Working Groups related to the ecosystems and their services. In addition to basic applications, the Prodrome can be used as a framework for scientific research related to the investigation of the relationships between plant communities and the environmental factors that influence their composition and distribution

    Ultrasonic monitoring of friction contacts during shear vibration cycles

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    Complex high-value jointed structures such as aero-engines are carefully designed and optimized to prevent failure and maximise their life. In the design process, physically-based numerical models are employed to predict the nonlinear dynamic response of the structure. However, the reliability of these models is limited due to the lack of accurate validation data from metallic contact interfaces subjected to high-frequency vibration cycles. In this study, ultrasonic shear waves are used to characterise metallic contact interfaces during vibration cycles, hence providing new validation data for an understanding of the state of the friction contact. Supported by numerical simulations of wave propagation within the material, a novel experimental method is developed to simultaneously acquire ultrasonic measurements and friction hysteresis loops within the same test on a high-frequency friction rig. Large variability in the ultrasound reflection/transmission is observed within each hysteresis loop and is associated with stick/slip transitions. The measurement results reveal that the ultrasound technique can be used to detect stick and slip states in contact interfaces subjected to high-frequency shear vibration. This is the first observation of this type and paves the way towards real-time monitoring of vibrating contact interfaces in jointed structures, leading to a new physical understanding of the contact states and new validation data needed for improved nonlinear dynamic analyses

    New insights into structural and functional roles of indole-3-acetic acid (IAA) : Changes in DNA topology and gene expression in bacteria

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    Indole-3-acetic acid (IAA) is a major plant hormone that affects many cellular processes in plants, bacteria, yeast, and human cells through still unknown mechanisms. In this study, we demonstrated that the IAA-treatment of two unrelated bacteria, the Ensifer meliloti 1021 and Escherichia coli, harboring two different host range plasmids, influences the supercoiled state of the two plasmid DNAs in vivo. Results obtained from in vitro assays show that IAA interacts with DNA, leading to DNA conformational changes commonly induced by intercalating agents. We provide evidence that IAA inhibits the activity of the type IA topoisomerase, which regulates the DNA topological state in bacteria, through the relaxation of the negative supercoiled DNA. In addition, we demonstrate that the treatment of E. meliloti cells with IAA induces the expression of some genes, including the ones related to nitrogen fixation. In contrast, these genes were significantly repressed by the treatment with novobiocin, which reduces the DNA supercoiling in bacterial cells. Taking into account the overall results reported, we hypothesize that the IAA action and the DNA structure/function might be correlated and involved in the regulation of gene expression. This work points out that checking whether IAA influences the DNA topology under physiological conditions could be a useful strategy to clarify the mechanism of action of this hormone, not only in plants but also in other unrelated organisms

    Results on Multiple Coulomb Scattering from 12 and 20 GeV electrons on Carbon targets

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    Multiple scattering effects of 12 and 20 GeV electrons on 8 and 20 mm thickness carbon targets have been studied with high-resolution silicon microstrip detectors of the UA9 apparatus at the H8 line at CERN. Comparison of the scattering angle between data and GEANT4 simulation shows excellent agreement in the core of the distributions leaving some residual disagreement in the tails.Comment: 14 pages, 16 figures. Updated to match published versio

    Caracterización biométrica de Bothriochloa laguroides ssp laguroides (dc.) Herter para un manejo pastoril sustentable

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    Grasses morphological knowledge, in space and time, is important in agronomic management actions. Bothriochloa laguroides is a key species in the grasslands of the hills region by higher prevalence of high forage value. The objective was to establish management guidelines to define more precisely the grazing intensity for that species. In a area of 95 ha, grazed breeding farm, were placed randomly distributed 4 closures. In every closing we selected 5 individuals of that species and every 7 days was measured total plant height (AT) and the height of the peduncle of the inflorescence visible (APVI) in both vegetative and reproductive stage. According to the results obtained showed that the growing period was maintained until mid-January. The start, peak and end of flowering occurred in midJanuary, late February - early March and late April respectively. On the other hand, there was a significant positive correlation (R = 0.8, α = 0.05) between AT and APVI. As a result, it could be recommend that grazing in the vegetative stage is of low intensity to favor the formation of bunches. From mid-January, when starts the reproductive stage, grazing may be of greater intensity until early March which should remove the animals. This manage ment would have a large supply of biomass to ensure the perpetuity of the species in time.El conocimiento morfológico de las gramíneas en el espacio y en el tiempo tiene importancia en las acciones de manejo agronómico. Bothriochloa laguroides es una especie clave en los pastizales de la región serrana del sur de la provincia de Córdoba por su predominio y alto valor forrajero. El objetivo del trabajo fue establecer pautas de manejo que definan con mayor precisión la intensidad de pastoreo para dicha especie. En un lote de 95 ha, pastoreado con hacienda de cría, se colocaron 4 clausuras distribuidas al azar. En cada clausura se seleccionaron 5 individuos de dicha especie y cada 7 días se tomaron diversas características morfométricas tanto en la etapa vegetativa como reproductiva. De acuerdo con los resultados obtenidos se observó que el período vegetativo se mantuvo hasta mediados de enero. El inicio, máximo y final de la floración se produjo a mediados de enero, fines de febrero - principios de marzo y fines de abril respectivamente. Por otro lado, se observó una correlación positiva significativa (R=0,8, α=0,05) entre AT y APVI. Debido a ello, podría recomendarse que el pastoreo en la etapa vegetativa sea de baja intensidad para favorecer la formación de macollos. A partir de mediados de enero, cuando da comienzo la etapa reproductiva, el pastoreo podría ser de mayor intensidad hasta principio de marzo donde se deberían retirar los animales. Este manejo permitiría tener una alta oferta de biomasa asegurando la perpetuidad de la especie en el tiempo
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