444 research outputs found

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    African Bush Viper Envenomation: A Case Report

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    Atheris squamigera envenomation is an infrequently documented occurrence in the United States (US). Cases of envenomation may induce severe coagulopathies, renal failure, and potentially life-threatening hemorrhage. Currently, there are no antivenoms specific to the Atheris genus, but there have been documented cases of the use of antivenoms for other species. A 26-year-old man presented to the emergency department (ED) complaining of swelling and discomfort in his left foot after being bitten by an Atheris squamigera that he kept as a pet.After performing a physical exam, it was noted that the patient’s envenomation was likely mild. Throughout his hospital stay, he developed lab abnormalities, most notably an elevated D-dimer and low fibrinogen. His clinical symptoms improved after a short stay, and he did not require antivenom treatment. This case highlights a rare, but potentially life-threatening envenomation that may be encountered in the US due to the continued practice of exotic pet ownership and sales. Moreover, procurement of antivenom for non-native species poses a unique challenge to US physicians responsible for treating these patients

    A Proton Recoil Telescope for the characterisation of the neutron beam at n TOF

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    The neutron induced fission cross section of 235U is extensively used as a reference for neutron fluence measurements in various applications. At intermediate energies, the 235U(n,f) cross section plays an important role also for fundamental nuclear physics. Despite its widespread use, no data exist on neutroninduced fission of 235U above 200 MeV. Hence, there is a clear and long-standing demand from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to complement the experimental database from 20 MeV to 1 GeV. For this purpose at the neutron facility n TOF at CERN the measurement of 235U(n,f) cross section was planned in October 2018, taking advantage of the intense neutron beam with a wide energy spectrum available in the experimental area. The cross section measurement will be performed relative to the elastic neutron-proton scattering, a very well known reaction generally accepted as primary reference. A prototype of the Proton Recoil Telescope detector, that will be used to measure the incident neutron flux, has been built and tested at n TOF in 2017

    Highly predictive genetic markers distinguish drug-type from fiber-type cannabis sativa L

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    Genetic markers can be used in seeds and in plants to distinguish drug-type from fiber-type Cannabis Sativa L. varieties even at early stages, including pre-germination when cannabinoids are not accumulated yet. With this aim, this paper reports sequencing results for tetrahydrocannabinolic acid synthase (THCAS) and cannabidiolic acid synthase (CBDAS) genes from 21 C. sativa L. varieties. Taking into account that THCAS- and CBDAS-derived enzymes compete for the same substrate, the novelty of this work relies in the identification of markers based on bothTHCASandCBDASrather than THCAS alone. Notably, in our panel, we achieved an adequate degree of discrimination (AUC 100%) between drug-type and fiber-type cannabis samples. Our sequencing approach allowed identifying multiple genetic markers (single-nucleotide polymorphisms\u2014SNPs\u2014and a deletion/insertion) that effectively discriminate between the two subgroups of cannabis, namely fiber type vs. drug type. We identified four functional SNPs that are likely to induce decreased THCAS activity in the fiber-type cannabis plants. We also report the finding on a deletion in the CBDAS gene sequence that produces a truncated protein, possibly resulting in loss of function of the enzyme in the drug-type varieties. Chemical analyses for the actual concentration of cannabinoids confirmed the identification of drug-type rather than fiber-type genotypes. Genetic markers permit an early identification process for forensic applications while simplifying the procedures related to detection of therapeutic or industrial hemp

    Biomass production and energy balance of herbaceous and woody crops on marginal soils in the Po Valley

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    A wealth of data and information on the cultivation of perennial biomass crops has been collected, but direct comparisons between herbaceous and woody crops are rare. The main objective of this research was to compare the biomass yield, the energy balance and the biomass quality of six perennial bioenergy crops: Populus spp., Robinia pseudoacacia, Salix spp., Arundo donax, Miscanthus 7 giganteus, and Panicum virgatum, grown in two marginal environments. For giant reed and switchgrass, two levels of nitrogen fertilization were applied annually (0-100 kg ha-1). Nitrogen fertilization did not affect biomass or energy production of giant reed; thus, it significantly reduced the energy return on investment (EROI) (from 73 to 27). In switchgrass, nitrogen fertilization significantly increased biomass production and the capacity of this crop to respond to water availability, making it a favorable option when only biomass production is a target. Net energy gain (NEG) was higher for herbaceous crops than for woody crops. In Casale, EROI calculated for poplar and willow (7, on average) was significantly lower than that of the other crops (14, on average). In Gariga, the highest EROI was calculated for miscanthus (98), followed by nonfertilized giant reed and switchgrass (82 and 73, respectively). Growing degree days10 during the cropping season had no effect on biomass production in any of the studied species, although water availability from May to August was a major factor affecting biomass yield in herbaceous crops. Overall, herbaceous crops had the highest ranking for bioenergy production due to their high biomass yield, high net energy gain (NEG), and biomass quality that renders them suitable to both biochemical and thermochemical conversion. Miscanthus in particular had the highest EROI in both locations (16 and 98, in Casale and Gariga), while giant reed had the highest NEG on the silty-loam soil of Gariga

    Biofuels from perennial energy crops on buffer strips: A win-win strategy

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    The objective of this work was to assess the environmental performances of advanced biofuels produced from perennial energy crops (miscanthus and willow) grown in bioenergy buffer strips (BBS) and compare them with the environmental performances of alternative systems providing the same function, i.e. private mobility. The growing evidence of potentially negative environmental impacts of bioenergy pathways calls for renewed efforts in identifying win-win bioenergy pathways, thus capable of mitigating climate change without worsening other environmental impacts. An holistic approach encompassing all the relevant areas of environmental concern is thus fundamental to highlight environmental trade-offs. Therefore, in this study we follow an attributional Life Cycle Assessment approach, but our analysis includes detailed modelling of biogenic carbon pools, nutrients cycles, infrastructures’ impacts as well as the expansion of the system boundaries to include the fuel use. We find that the fragmented and linear configuration of the buffer strips does not affect significantly the GHG emissions of lignocellulosic ethanol for BBS compared to growing the crops in open field. Additionally, we find that ethanol from perennials grown in BBS has the potential to reduce several other environmental impacts associated to private mobility. Firstly, the cultivation of miscanthus and willow in BBS enables both the removal of nutrients from the environment and the removal of carbon from the atmosphere, through the creation of an additional terrestrial sink. Secondly, when compared to the use of fossil gasoline, bioethanol from BBS crops generates lower impacts on all other areas of environmental concern, such as resources depletion or air pollution. We also find that cars fuelled with bioethanol form buffer strips perform even better than electric vehicles in all the impact categories analysed except for acidification and particulate matter emissions, where battery electric vehicles running on renewables perform slightly better. We conclude that bioethanol from perennial crops grown in BBS is a good example of nature-based solution, able to reduce GHG emissions without shifting the environmental burden on other areas of environmental concern

    Thermal neutron conversion by high purity 10B-enriched layers: PLD-growth, thickness-dependence and neutron-detection performances

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    Neutron applications and detection are of paramount importance in industry, medicine, scientific research, homeland security, production of extreme UV optics and so on. Neutron detection requires a converter element that, as a result of its interaction with neutrons, produces reaction products (mainly charged particles) whose detection can be correlated with the neutron flux. Reduced availability and increased cost of the most used converter element, 3He, have triggered research efforts for alternative materials, proper deposition methods and new detector architectures. 10B converter is a valid alternative to 3He thanks to its high thermal neutron cross section and relatively high Q value. In this paper we report on the room temperature Pulsed Laser Deposition (PLD) of high quality and uniform 10B films with the expected density, different thickness values (0.5, 1.0, 1.2, 1.5 and 2.0 μm) and uniform thickness over a circular area of about 30 mm in diameter. Additionally, they are adherent to the substrate with a negligible presence of contaminants. The conversion properties of such 10B coatings coupled to a Si solid state detector are studied upon exposure to a neutron flux from an Am-Be neutron source (2.2·106 n/s). The experimental results, compared with spectra simulated by using a GEANT4 code, present a good agreement and efficiencies of the order of a few percent

    The Toxicology Investigators Consortium 2020 Annual Report.

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    The Toxicology Investigators Consortium (ToxIC) Registry was established by the American College of Medical Toxicology in 2010. The registry collects data from participating sites with the agreement that all bedside and telehealth medical toxicology consultation will be entered. This eleventh annual report summarizes the Registry\u27s 2020 data and activity with its additional 6668 cases. Cases were identified for inclusion in this report by a query of the ToxIC database for any case entered from January 1 to December 31, 2020. Detailed data was collected from these cases and aggregated to provide information which included demographics, reason for medical toxicology evaluation, agent and agent class, clinical signs and symptoms, treatments and antidotes administered, mortality, and whether life support was withdrawn. Gender distribution included 50.6% cases in females, 48.4% in males, and 1.0% identifying as transgender. Non-opioid analgesics were the most commonly reported agent class, followed by opioid and antidepressant classes. Acetaminophen was once again the most common agent reported. There were 80 fatalities, comprising 1.2% of all registry cases. Major trends in demographics and exposure characteristics remained similar to past years\u27 reports. Sub-analyses were conducted to describe race and ethnicity demographics and exposures in the registry, telemedicine encounters, and cases related to the COVID-19 pandemic

    How air pollution influences clinical management of respiratory diseases. A case-crossover study in Milan

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    Background Environmental pollution is a known risk factor for multiple diseases and furthermore increases rate of hospitalisations. We investigated the correlation between emergency room admissions (ERAs) of the general population for respiratory diseases and the environmental pollutant levels in Milan, a metropolis in northern Italy. Methods We collected data from 45770 ERAs for respiratory diseases. A time-stratified case-crossover design was used to investigate the association between air pollution levels and ERAs for acute respiratory conditions. The effects of air pollutants were investigated at lag 0 to lag 5, lag 0--2 and lag 3--5 in both single and multi-pollutant models, adjusted for daily weather variables. Results An increase in ozone (O3) levels at lag 3--5 was associated with a 78% increase in the number of ERAs for asthma, especially during the warm season. Exposure to carbon monoxide (CO) proved to be a risk factor for pneumonia at lag 0--2 and in the warm season increased the risk of ERA by 66%. A significant association was found between ERAs for COPD exacerbation and levels of sulphur dioxide (SO2), CO, nitrate dioxide (NO2), and particulate matter (PM10 and PM2.5). The multipollutant model that includes all pollutants showed a significant association between CO (26%) and ERA for upper respiratory tract diseases at lag 0--2. For chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) exacerbations, only CO (OR 1.19) showed a significant association. Conclusions Exposure to environmental pollution, even at typical low levels, can increase the risk of ERA for acute respiratory diseases and exacerbation of obstructive lung diseases in the general population
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