2,286 research outputs found

    For the sake of development? Municipal government and local development in Emilia-Romagna and Turin (1945-1975)

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    This paper (1) examines two areas of Italy, with very different political subcultures and production systems,with the aim of making a comparative analysis of the role of local government policies in stimulating growth processesover the thirty-year post war period.Historians now agree that the policies of Italian local governments were a major factor in the processes ofeconomic growth and the spread of social services. They acted through a highly varied mix of policies, includingregulatory processes (town planning, coordinated local programming, etc.), operations enabling institutions to providethe local environment with specific public goods (industrial estates, business services etc.) as well as redistributionpolicies (i.e. the setting up and spread of local welfare systems and local tax systems).This influential steering role of local administrations, marked in some cases by the gradual inception ofspecific institutional authoritativeness, was not distributed uniformly over the whole of Italy and there were significantasymmetries between areas.A comparative analysis is made of the "Emilia-Romagna model" of local government, controlled by an ItalianCommunist hegemony in a context of small and medium sized firms, and the model of the city of Turin, which was basedon an industrial Ford model because of the presence of the Fiat factory. The two models are compared from theperspective of actors and their different interests. Our aim is to gauge the nature and intensity of the local institutionalactions that accompanied and promoted the processes of development

    L'esperienza di decentramento istituzionale in Italia e lo sviluppo locale

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    Il paper rappresenta un primo passo verso una riflessione organica sul tema del decentramento istituzionale in relazione al problema dello sviluppo locale in un’ottica temporale di lungo periodo (partendo cioè dall’unificazione del Regno d’Italia) e intreccia tra loro più piani di analisi: dalle vicende che riguardano gli assetti istituzionali della nazione (sospesi costantemente all’interno del dibattito tra accentramento e decentramento) a quelle che riguardano invece la concreta attività degli enti politici periferici. L’analisi mostra come all’interno di un quadro istituzionale storicamente caratterizzato da un forte accentramento statale, emergano tuttavia i fili di una costante ricerca di protagonismo da parte delle istituzioni politiche locali, le quali, in modo particolare sebbene non esclusivo negli anni repubblicani, “forzano” i limiti normativi dei propri spazi di intervento, facendosi carico direttamente – seppure con intensità e modalità differenti nelle diverse aree territoriali del paese – dei problemi dello sviluppo economico locale.

    Application des techniques physiques, géochimiques et isotopiques pour l'évaluation de l'infiltration sous climat tempéré

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    Depuis plusieurs années, la Zone Non Saturée d'une parcelle expérimentale au nord de l'Italie (plaine du Pô) a fait l'objet de nombreuses études sur les caractéristiques physiques et géologiques du milieu, ainsi que sur les modalités du mouvement des eaux d'infiltration. Le site a été équipé de 6 tensiomètres à mercure, 6 bougies poreuses pour l'échantillonnage de l'eau et d'un tube d'accès pour la sonde à neutrons.L'application des différentes méthodes d'évaluation a fourni, pour la période d'étude (Septembre 1994-Août 1995), des valeurs de l'infiltration sensiblement différentes. La méthode physique, basée sur le calcul du bilan hydrique annuel, et considérant le sol comme un unique réservoir monocouche, a indiqué que 19% du total des précipitations arrive à s'infiltrer. D'autre part, un modèle de simulation intégrant les caractéristiques hydrodynamiques du sol a permis d'évaluer la recharge à 29% des précipitations annuelles. Le calcul de la répartition de la teneur en eau sur le profil porte sur la description des fluctuations temporelles du plan de flux nul, en relation avec les épisodes pluvieux et l'intensité de l'évaporation.La méthode géochimique du "profil en ions conservés" entre l'eau de pluie et du sol a permis, quant à elle, d'évaluer la lame d'eau infiltrée à environ 12% des précipitations annuelles. La composition isotopique des eaux extraites du sol manifeste un enrichissement global en isotopes lourds (2H et 18O) par rapport aux eaux météoriques, conséquence d'une évaporation intense. L'infiltration semble être de type "piston flow" dispersif. Elle suit, seulement pendant l'hiver, un flux où la composante convective dans la microporosité est prédominante sur la composante diffusive qui a lieu, de préférence, dans la macroporosité.In groundwater management, it is necessary to define water movement, evaluate infiltration and evapotranspiration rates, and quantify the physico-chemical evolution of transported solutes throughout the unsaturated zone (UZ). Traditionally, in temperate regions, recharge rate is evaluated by the comparison between physical methods (based on direct measurements of hydrological parameters with lysimeters, tensiometers and neutron gauges) and geochemical approaches (conservative ions, stable isotope profiles and artificial tracers).In the Po Plain (Northern Italy) intensive agricultural irrigation and overexploitation of groundwater profoundly affect the quality and availability of shallow groundwater resources. The region has been intensively cultivated with corn and rice during the last 5 centuries. Irrigation canals have been constructed in order to distribute water from alpine rivers to areas more favourable to agriculture. In the past, only the water balance method has been applied to obtain recharge rates in these situations.An experimental field site has been operational since 1987 in the ENEA-EUREX Nuclear Centre of Saluggia. The experimental plot represents an unsaturated zone in fluvio-glacial deposits (Holocene) of the Dora Baltea River, formed by gravel and sand, interlayered with silt levels. The water table is usually at a depth of 200 cm but it varies as a function of the river level. The objectives of the present study were to describe water movement throughout the UZ and to evaluate infiltration and evapotranspiration rates using different physico-chemical methodologies. The Saluggia plot was equipped with six tensiometers, a neutron gauge hole and 6 porous cups, up to a depth of 160 cm.During 10 years of monitoring, the most favourable period for understanding infiltration processes and water movement through the UZ is September 1994 - August 1995. This period is characterised by an exceptional rain event (300 mm in 48 hours), followed by a river flood. Water samples collected with porous cups at various depths have been analysed for chemistry and stable isotope composition, together with rainfall and Dora Baltea River water.In October 1994 (beginning of the rainy period) and May 1995 (beginning of the dry period) soil samples were collected at different depths and water was extracted under vacuum conditions. Stable isotope analyses were performed on extracted waters. Soil samples were also analysed for granulometry, chemical and mineralogical composition.Reducing soil to an unique monolayer aquifer, the water balance method suggests that only 19% of the total precipitation infiltrates, whereas a simulation model taking into account soil hydrodynamic characteristics estimates an infiltration rate of 29% of the rainfall. The position of the Zero Flux Plane (ZFP) fluctuates seasonally between the surface and the maximum studied depth, as a consequence of precipitation events and evaporation fluxes. In some periods, the ZFP is level with the water table and direct discharge may occur.Measurements of the stable isotopic composition (δ2H and δ18O) of soil water allows a quantitative estimate of direct groundwater discharge. On a δ2H versusδ18O plot, pore waters from the UZ have an isotopic composition that differs from that of the majority of groundwater samples, plotting below the local rain water line and indicating some degree of evaporation during the recharge process. The isotopic enrichment is particularly significant at the evaporation front, suggesting that pore water in soil reflects a different recharge regime from those of the regional ground waters. Water isotope and solute composition were substantially modified from their original composition during the infiltration process within the soil, via mechanisms such as anion exchange with soil particles, salt precipitation/dissolution or isotopic fractionation.Arial recharge was also evaluated using the depth distribution of a conservative solute. Assuming that chloride is derived from precipitation alone, Cl- content in soil and in rain water suggests that 12% of total rainfall infiltrates. Therefore, the recharge rate is estimated to be less than 100 mm/a. These data are in agreement with other results obtained by the chloride concentration profile method, in areas of the Po Valley, but are considerably different from those evaluated by the traditional physical methods

    Visualisation analysis for exploring prerequisite relations in textbooks

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    Building automatic strategies for organising knowledge contained in textbooks has a tremendous potential to enhance meaningful learning. Automatic identification of prerequisite relation (PR) between concepts in a textbook is a well-known way for knowledge structuring, yet it is still an open issue. Our research contributes for better understanding and exploring the phenomenon of PR in textbooks, by providing a collection of visualisation techniques for PR exploration and analysis, that we used for the design of and then the refinement of our algorithm for PR extraction

    Hdl in covid-19 patients: Evidence from an italian cross-sectional study

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    A number of studies have highlighted important alterations of the lipid profile in COVID-19 patients. Besides the well-known atheroprotective function, HDL displays anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidative, and anti-infectious properties. The aim of this retrospective study was to assess the HDL anti-inflammatory and antioxidant features, by evaluation of HDL-associated Serum amyloid A (SAA) enrichment and HDL-paraoxonase 1 (PON-1) activity, in a cohort of COVID-19 patients hospitalized at the Cardiorespiratory COVID-19 Unit of Fondazione IRCCS Ca’ Granda Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico of Milan. COVID-19 patients reached very low levels of HDL-c (mean ± SD: 27.1 ± 9.7 mg/dL) with a marked rise in TG (mean ± SD: 165.9 ± 62.5 mg/dL). Compared to matched-controls, SAA levels were significantly raised in COVID-19 patients at admission. There were no significant differences in the SAA amount between 83 alive and 22 dead patients for all-cause in-hospital mortality. Similar findings were reached in the case of PON-1 activity, with no differences between alive and dead patients for all-cause in-hospital mortality. In conclusion, although not related to the prediction of in-hospital mortality, reduction in HDL-c and the enrichment of SAA in HDL are a mirror of SARS-CoV-2 positivity even at the very early stages of the infection

    Validation of Advanced Computer Codes for VVER Technology: LB-LOCA Transient in PSB-VVER Facility

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    The OECD/NEA PSB-VVER project provided unique and useful experimental data for code validation from PSB-VVER test facility. This facility represents the scaled-down layout of the Russian-designed pressurized water reactor, namely, VVER-1000. Five experiments were executed, dealing with loss of coolant scenarios (small, intermediate, and large break loss of coolant accidents), a primary-to-secondary leak, and a parametric study (natural circulation test) aimed at characterizing the VVER system at reduced mass inventory conditions. The comparative analysis, presented in the paper, regards the large break loss of coolant accident experiment. Four participants from three different institutions were involved in the benchmark and applied their own models and set up for four different thermal-hydraulic system codes. The benchmark demonstrated the performances of such codes in predicting phenomena relevant for safety on the basis of fixed criteria

    Prenatal tobacco smoke exposure increases hospitalizations for bronchiolitis in infants

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    BACKGROUND: Tobacco smoke exposure (TSE) is a worldwide health problem and it is considered a risk factor for pregnant women's and children's health, particularly for respiratory morbidity during the first year of life. Few significant birth cohort studies on the effect of prenatal TSE via passive and active maternal smoking on the development of severe bronchiolitis in early childhood have been carried out worldwide. METHODS: From November 2009 to December 2012, newborns born at ≥ 33 weeks of gestational age (wGA) were recruited in a longitudinal multi-center cohort study in Italy to investigate the effects of prenatal and postnatal TSE, among other risk factors, on bronchiolitis hospitalization and/or death during the first year of life. RESULTS: Two thousand two hundred ten newborns enrolled at birth were followed-up during their first year of life. Of these, 120 (5.4%) were hospitalized for bronchiolitis. No enrolled infants died during the study period. Prenatal passive TSE and maternal active smoking of more than 15 cigarettes/daily are associated to a significant increase of the risk of offspring children hospitalization for bronchiolitis, with an adjHR of 3.5 (CI 1.5-8.1) and of 1.7 (CI 1.1-2.6) respectively. CONCLUSIONS: These results confirm the detrimental effects of passive TSE and active heavy smoke during pregnancy for infants' respiratory health, since the exposure significantly increases the risk of hospitalization for bronchiolitis in the first year of lif

    Risk factors for bronchiolitis hospitalization during the first year of life in a multicenter Italian birth cohort

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    BACKGROUND: Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) is one of the main causes of respiratory infections during the first year of life. Very premature infants may contract more severe diseases and 'late preterm infants' may also be more susceptible to the infection. The aim of this study is to evaluate the risk factors for hospitalization during the first year of life in children born at different gestational ages in Italy. METHODS: A cohort of 33-34 weeks gestational age (wGA) newborns matched by sex and age with two cohort of newborns born at 35-37 wGA and > 37 wGA were enrolled in this study for a three-year period (2009-2012). Hospitalization for bronchiolitis (ICD-9 code 466.1) during the first year of life was assessed through phone interview at the end of the RSV season (November-March) and at the completion of the first year of life. RESULTS: The study enrolled 2314 newborns, of which 2210 (95.5 %) had a one year follow-up and were included in the analysis; 120 (5.4 %) were hospitalized during the first year of life for bronchiolitis. Children born at 33-34 wGA had a higher hospitalization rate compared to the two other groups. The multivariate analysis carried out on the entire population associated the following factors with higher rates for bronchiolitis hospitalization: male gender; prenatal treatment with corticosteroids; prenatal exposure to maternal smoking; singleton delivery; respiratory diseases in neonatal period; surfactant therapy; lack of breastfeeding; siblings <10 years old; living in crowded conditions and/or in unhealthy households and early exposure to the epidemic RSV season. When analysis was restricted to preterms born at 33-34 wGA the following variables were associated to higher rates of bronchiolitis hospitalization: male gender, prenatal exposure to maternal smoking, neonatal surfactant therapy, having siblings <10 years old, living in crowded conditions and being exposed to epidemic season during the first three months of life. CONCLUSION: Our study identified some prenatal, perinatal and postnatal conditions proving to be relevant and independent risk factors for hospitalization for bronchiolitis during the first year of life. The combination of these factors may lead to consider palivizumab prophylaxis in Italy

    High-throughput assessment of the antibody profile in ovarian cancer ascitic fluids

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    The identification of effective biomarkers for early diagnosis, prognosis, and response to treatments remains a challenge in ovarian cancer (OC) research. Here, we present an unbiased high-throughput approach to profile ascitic fluid autoantibodies in order to obtain a tumor-specific antigen signature in OC. We first reported the reactivity of immunoglobulins (Igs) purified from OC patient ascites towards two different OC cell lines. Using a discovery set of Igs, we selected tumor-specific antigens from a phage display cDNA library. After biopanning, 700 proteins were expressed as fusion protein and used in protein array to enable large-scale immunoscreening with independent sets of cancer and noncancerous control. Finally, the selected antigens were validated by ELISA. The initial screening identified eight antigenic clones: CREB3, MRPL46, EXOSC10, BCOR, HMGN2, HIP1R, OLFM4, and KIAA1755. These antigens were all validated by ELISA in a study involving ascitic Igs from 153 patients (69 with OC, 34 with other cancers and 50 without cancer), with CREB3 showing the highest sensitivity (86.95%) and specificity (98%). Notably, we were able to identify an association between the tumor-associated (TA) antibody response and the response to a first-line tumor treatment (platinum-based chemotherapy). A stronger association was found by combining three antigens (BCOR, CREB3, and MRLP46) as a single antibody signature. Measurement of an ascitic fluid antibody response to multiple TA antigens may aid in the identification of new prognostic signatures in OC patients and shift attention to new potentially relevant targets
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