741 research outputs found

    Decarbonization of heat through low-temperature waste heat recovery: proposal of a tool for the preliminary evaluation of technologies in the industrial sector

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    In an industrial energy scenario increasingly focused on decarbonization and energy cost containment, waste heat is a resource that is no longer negligible. Despite the great abundance of waste heat, its recognized potential, and numerous technologies available for its use, the rate of waste heat recovery (WHR) is still low, especially at low temperatures (<230 degrees C). Non-technological barriers, such as the lack of knowledge and support tools, strongly limit the diffusion of WHR technologies. The work presented in this paper aims to overcome non-technological gaps by developing a simple and operational tool that can support companies in the preliminary stages of evaluating a WHR application. The methodology followed involved the development of specific data-based models for WHR technology sizing by correlating waste heat input characteristics with dimensional and economic parameters of the technologies evaluated. We considered the most representative technologies in the WHR scenario: organic Rankine cycles for electric power generation, heat pumps for thermal power generation, absorption chillers for cooling generation, and plate heat exchangers for low-temperature heat exchange applications. One of the significant strengths of the tool is that it was developed using real and hard-to-find technologies performance and cost data mainly collected through continuous interactions with WHR technology providers. Moreover, the interaction with the technology providers allowed contextualization and validation of the tool in the field. In addition, the tool was applied to three large companies operating in the Italian industrial sector to test its effectiveness. The tool applications made it possible to propose cost-effective solutions that the companies had not considered before, despite the high level of attention with which they were already approaching energy efficiency improvements. The result obtained demonstrates the applicability and innovativeness of the tool

    Endothelial cell regulation of leukocyte infiltration in inflammatory tissues

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    Endothelial cells play an important, active role in the onset and regulation of inflammatory and immune reactions. Through the production of chemokines they attract leukocytes and activate their adhesive receptors. This leads to the anchorage of leukocytes to the adhesive molecules expressed on the endothelial surface. Leukocyte adhesion to endothelial cells is frequently followed by their extravasation. The mechanisms which regulate the passage of leukocytes through endothelial clefts remain to be clarified. Many indirect data suggest that leukocytes might transfer signals to endothelial cells both through the release of active agents and adhesion to the endothelial cell surface. Adhesive molecules (such as PECAM) on the endothelial cell surface might also ‘direct’ leukocytes through the intercellular junction by haptotaxis. The information available on the molecular structure and functional properties of endothelial chemokines, adhesive molecules or junction organization is still fragmentary. Further work is needed to clarify how they interplay in regulating leukocyte infiltration into tissues

    Low-fiber alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) meal in the laying hen diet: Effects on productive traits and egg quality

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    Abstract This study was designed to determine the effects on laying performance and egg quality resulting from partial substitution of soybean meal (SBM) with low-fiber alfalfa (LFA; Medicago sativa L.) meal in the diet of early-phase laying hens. ISA Brown layers, 18 wk of age, were randomly allocated to 2 dietary treatments and fed for 10 wk. The hens were fed 2 wheat middling–based diets: a control diet, which contained SBM (15% of diet), and a test diet containing LFA (15% of diet) as the main protein source. Low-fiber alfalfa meal was obtained by a combination of sieving and air-classification processes. Feed intake was recorded daily, and egg production was calculated on a hen-day basis; eggs from each group were weekly collected to evaluate egg components and quality. The partial substitution of SBM with LFA had no adverse effect on growth performance of early-phase laying hens. Egg production and none of the egg-quality traits examined were influenced by dietary treatment, except for yolk color (

    Design of a Database of Case Studies and Technologies to Increase the Diffusion of Low-Temperature Waste Heat Recovery in the Industrial Sector

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    The recovery of waste heat is a fundamental means of achieving the ambitious medium- and long-term targets set by European and international directives. Despite the large availability of waste heat, especially at low temperatures (<250 degrees C), the implementation rate of heat recovery interventions is still low, mainly due to non-technical barriers. To overcome this limitation, this work aims to develop two distinct databases containing waste heat recovery case studies and technologies as a novel tool to enhance knowledge transfer in the industrial sector. Through an in-depth analysis of the scientific literature, the two databases' structures were developed, defining fields and information to collect, and then a preliminary population was performed. Both databases were validated by interacting with companies which operate in the heat recovery technology market and which are possible users of the tools. Those proposed are the first example in the literature of databases completely focused on low-temperature waste heat recovery in the industrial sector and able to provide detailed information on heat exchange and the technologies used. The tools proposed are two key elements in supporting companies in all the phases of a heat recovery intervention: from identifying waste heat to choosing the best technology to be adopted

    c-myb Proto-Oncogene Is Expressed by Quiescent Scleroderma Fibroblasts and, Unlike B-myb Gene, Does Not Correlate With Proliferation

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    Systemic sclerosis (scleroderma) is characterized by excessive deposition of extracellular matrix constituents. Although it has been proposed that tissue fibrosis is due to increased fibroblast synthesis of various collagen polypeptides, there is some experimental evidence that patients with systemic sclerosis have a defect in the control of fibroblast growth. The myb family of genes includes, among others, the c-myb proto-oncogene and the structurally related gene, B-myb, which are both implicated in the regulation of differentiation and/or proliferation of hematopoietic and nonhematopoietic cells. To elucidate the molecular basis responsible for scleroderma fibroblast proliferation, we therefore elected to investigate the expression of c-myb and B-myb genes in scleroderma and control cells. Using the reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction technique, we detected c-myb transcripts in scleroderma skin fibroblasts rendered quiescent by serum deprivation. Under the game experimental conditions, c-myb message was not found in normal skin fibroblasts, but, after serum stimulation, c-myb RNA was clearly evident from 3 to 72h in both normal and pathologic cells. Treatment of these cells with c-myb antisense oligonucleotides caused downregulation of c-myb expression, and the inhibition of scleroderma fibroblast proliferation was 42%, whereas in normal fibroblasts the inhibition was weaker (22%). In contrast to c-myb, in normal and scleroderma fibroblasts the level of expression of B-myb correlated with cell proliferation assessed by cell count, and densitometric analysis showed that B-myb message was 1.5–5 times higher in most of pathologic cells studied. The antisense B-myb oligonucleotides had a weaker antiproliferative effect compared with antisense c-myb, inhibiting scleroderma and normal fibroblasts by 23% and 13%, respectively. These data suggest that the B-myb and c-myb genes may play a role in scleroderma fibroblast proliferation and function

    Convexal subarachnoid hemorrhage and acute ischemic stroke: a border zone matter?

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    Background Convexal subarachnoid hemorrhage (c-SAH) is an infrequent condition with variable causes. c-SAH concomitant to acute ischemic stroke (AIS) is even less frequent, and the relationship between the two conditions remains unclear. Methods Between January 2016 and January 2018, we treated four patients who were referred to our stroke unit with ischemic stroke and concomitant nontraumatic c-SAH. The patients underwent an extensive diagnostic workup, including digital subtraction angiography (DSA). Results All four patients developed acute focal neurological symptoms with restricted MRI diffusion in congruent areas. In three of the patients, infarcts were in a border zone between the main cerebral arteries and c-SAH was nearby. The fourth patient showed a small cortical infarct, and c-SAH was in a border zone territory of the contralateral hemisphere. An embolic source was discovered or strongly suspected in all cases. One patient was treated with intravenous thrombolysis, but this treatment was not related to c-SAH. None of the four patients showed microbleeds or further cortical siderosis, thus excluding cerebral amyloid angiopathy. In addition, DSA did not show signs of vasculitis, reversible cerebral vasoconstriction syndrome, or intracranial arterial dissection. Conclusions We proposed the embolism or hemodynamic changes of the border zone arterioles as a unifying pathogenetic hypothesis of coexisting c-SAH and AIS

    Private hospital energy performance benchmarking using energy audit data: an Italian case study

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    The increased focus on energy efficiency, both at the national and international levels, has fostered the diffusion and development of specific energy consumption benchmarks for most relevant economic sectors. In this context, energy-intensive facilities, such as hospitals and health structures, represent a unique case. Indeed, despite the high energy consumption of these structures, scientific literature lacks the presence of adequate energy performance benchmarks, especially in regard to the European context. Thus, this study aimed at defining energy benchmark indicators for the Italian private healthcare sector using data collected from the Italian mandatory energy audits according to Art.8 EU Directive 27/2012. The benchmark indicators’ definition was made using a methodology proposed by the Italian National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development (ENEA). This methodology provided the calculation of specific energy performance indicators (EnPIs) by considering the global energy consumption of the different sites and the sector’s relevant variables. The results obtained were compared with those obtained from a consolidated but more complex methodology: the one envisaged by the Environmental Protection Agency. The results obtained allowed us to validate the reliability of the proposed methodology, as well as the validity and future usability of the calculated indicators. Relying on a significant database containing actual data from recent energy audits, this study was thus able to provide an up-to-date and reliable benchmark for the private healthcare sector

    Bayesian statistics in anesthesia practice:a tutorial for anesthesiologists

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    This narrative review intends to provide the anesthesiologist with the basic knowledge of the Bayesian concepts and should be considered as a tutorial for anesthesiologists in the concept of Bayesian statistics. The Bayesian approach represents the mathematical formulation of the idea that we can update our initial belief about data with the evidence obtained from any kind of acquired data. It provides a theoretical framework and a statistical method to use pre-existing information within the context of new evidence. Several authors have described the Bayesian approach as capable of dealing with uncertainty in medical decision-making. This review describes the Bayes theorem and how it is used in clinical studies in anesthesia and critical care. It starts with a general introduction to the theorem and its related concepts of prior and posterior probabilities. Second, there is an explanation of the basic concepts of the Bayesian statistical inference. Last, a summary of the applicability of some of the Bayesian statistics in current literature is provided, such as Bayesian analysis of clinical trials and PKPD modeling

    Is cerebrospinal fluid amyloid-β42 a promising biomarker of response to nusinersen in adult spinal muscular atrophy patients?

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    Introduction: Nusinersen was approved as the first treatment for all types of spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), including adults with SMA types 2 and 3. Robust biomarkers of treatment response in SMA adults are lacking. Our aim was to examine cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) amyloid-β40 (Aβ40) and amyloid-β42 (Aβ42) peptides as biomarkers of treatment response. Methods: Eight patients with SMA types 2 and 3 were recruited consecutively in a single-center study. CSF was sampled at baseline, after a loading dose, and after three maintenance doses. Levels of Aβ42 and Aβ40 were evaluated for each CSF sampling. Wilcoxon matched-pairs signed-rank test was used to detect longitudinal changes. Results: CSF levels of Aβ42 increased from baseline to day 420 (95% confidence interval, P =.018), with a significant increase at days 180 and 420 compared with days 0 and 300, respectively (95% confidence interval, P =.012 and P =.018). Discussion: The maintenance and promotion of wellness of residual motor neurons mediated by the restored level of SMN protein due to nusinersen could result in an increased level of amyloid peptides
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