177 research outputs found

    Bio-Ecological Features Update on Eleven Rare Cartilaginous Fish in the Central-Western Mediterranean Sea as a Contribution for Their Conservation

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    Cartilaginous fish are commonly recognized as key species in marine ecosystems for their fundamental ecological role as top predators. Nevertheless, effective management plans for cartilagi- nous fish are still missing, due to the lack of knowledge on their abundance, distribution or even life-history. In this regard, this paper aims at providing new information on the life-history traits, such as age, maturity, reproductive period, in addition to diet characteristics of eleven rare cartilagi- nous fish inhabiting the Central-Western Mediterranean Sea belonging to the orders Chimaeriformes (Chimaera monstrosa), Hexanchiformes (Heptranchias perlo and Hexanchus griseus), Myliobatiformes (Aetomylaeus bovinus and Myliobatis aquila), Rajiformes (Dipturus nidarosiensis and Leucoraja circu- laris), Squaliformes (Centrophorus uyato, Dalatias licha and Oxynotus centrina) and Torpediniformes (Tetronarce nobiliana), useful for their assessment and for future management actions. Particularly, the present paper provides for the first time the age estimation of D. nidarosienis and L. circularis which were both found capable of becoming older than ten years. In addition, the present study updates the sizes of first maturity of C. uyato and D. licha, which appeared to be capable of reproducing earlier than what was previously hypothesized, representing very valuable information for a better understanding of these rare species populations status and, eventually, their conservation. On the basis of the stomach content analysis, it was possible to identify five different predator groups

    Development of multi-purposes procedures and service tools for GNSS data processing finalized to monitor a deep-seated earthslide in the Dolomites (Italy)

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    The Corvara landslide is an active, large-scale, deep-seated and slow moving earthslide of about 30 Mm3 located in the Dolomites (Italy). It is frequently damaging a national road and, occasionally, isolated buildings and recre- ational ski facilities. In this work we present the analysis performed on data acquired thank to the installation of 3 DualFrequency GPS in permanent acquisition installed in the accumulation, track and source zone of the active portion of the landslide. In particular two years (2014 and 2015) of data were processed with several approaches and goals: daily time series were produced through Precise Point Positioning and Differential Positioning using both scientific packages and automatic on line tool based on open source libraries, specifically developed in order to provide a prototypal service. The achievable results based on single frequency (L1) data processing were also investigated in order to pave the way to the deployment of lowcost GPS receiver for this kind of application. Moreover, daily and sub-daily phenomena were analyzed. Different strategies were investigated in order to de- scribe the kinematics on the basis of 0.2 Hz data collected by the 3 permanent receivers. For particular events also the variometric approach, through the recent advances of VADASE, was applied, to detect significant movements. Finally, tropospheric parameters were estimated over the whole period in order to give a contribution to the SAR interferometry techniques. Also for this specific purpose and application, the possibilities of single frequency use were assessed

    New insights on the systematics of echinoids belonging to the family Spatangidae Gray 1825 using a combined approach based on morphology, morphometry, and genetics.

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    Spatangoids are probably the least resolved group within echinoids, with known topological incongruencies between phylogenies derived from molecular (very scarce) and morphological data. The present work, based on the analysis of 270 specimens of Spatangidae (Echinoidea, Spatangoida) trawled in the Sardinian seas (Western Mediterranean), allowed us to verify the constancy of some characters that we consider to be diagnostic at the genus level —such as the path of the subanal fasciole and the relationship between labrum and adjacent ambulacral plates —and to distinguish two distinct forms within the studied material. Based on morphological characters, morphometrics, and molecular analyses (sequencing of two mitochondrial markers: cytochrome c oxidase subunit1 (COI) and 16S), most of the individuals were classified as morphotype A and attributed to the species Spatangus purpureus, the most common spatangoid in the Mediterranean Sea, while a few corresponded to a different morphotype (B), genetically close to the species Spatangus raschi. Preliminary morphological analyses seemed to indicate that morphotype B specimens from Sardinia are slightly different from S. raschi and from Spatangus subinermis individuals, the second species of the family known to occur in the Mediterranean Sea. On the basis of morpho-structural observations and molecular analyses, comparing Mediterranean living forms with species from other areas (Central Eastern Atlantic, North Sea and neighboring basins, South African Sea, Philippines and Indonesian Archipelago, New Zealand, and Hawaiian Islands), the clear distinction of S. purpureus from several other species classified as Spatangus was confirmed. Based on the morphological and genetic differences, we propose to maintain the genus Spatangus including in it only the type species S. purpureus among the living species and to establish the new genus Propespatagus nov. gen. to include several other species previously classified as Spatangus. The clear distinction among different genera was also detected in fossil forms of Spatangus, Propespatagus nov. gen., and Sardospatangus (†) from the European Oligo-Miocene sedimentary rocks of Germany; the Miocene of Ukraine, Italy, and Spatangoids are probably the least resolved group within echinoids, with known topological incongruencies between phylogenies derived from molecular (very scarce) and morphological data. The present work, based on the analysis of 270 specimens of Spatangidae (Echinoidea, Spatangoida) trawled in the Sardinian seas (Western Mediterranean), allowed us to verify the constancy of some characters that we consider to be diagnostic at the genus level —such as the path of the subanal fasciole and the relationship between labrum and adjacent ambulacral plates —and to distinguish two distinct forms within the studied material. Based on morphological characters, morphometrics, and molecular analyses (sequencing of two mitochondrial markers: cytochrome c oxidase subunit1 (COI) and 16S), most of the individuals were classified as morphotype A and attributed to the species Spatangus purpureus, the most common spatangoid in the Mediterranean Sea, while a few corresponded to a different morphotype (B), genetically close to the species Spatangus raschi. Preliminary morphological analyses seemed to indicate that morphotype B specimens from Sardinia are slightly different from S. raschi and from Spatangus subinermis individuals, the second species of the family known to occur in the Mediterranean Sea. On the basis of morpho-structural observations and molecular analyses, comparing Mediterranean living forms with species from other areas (Central Eastern Atlantic, North Sea and neighboring basins, South African Sea, Philippines and Indonesian Archipelago, New Zealand, and Hawaiian Islands), the clear distinction of S. purpureus from several other species classified as Spatangus was confirmed. Based on the morphological and genetic differences, we propose to maintain the genus Spatangus including in it only the type species S. purpureus among the living species and to establish the new genus Propespatagus nov. gen. to include several other species previously classified as Spatangus. The clear distinction among different genera was also detected in fossil forms of Spatangus, Propespatagus nov. gen., and Sardospatangus (†) from the European Oligo-Miocene sedimentary rocks of Germany; the Miocene of Ukraine, Italy, and Spatangoids are probably the least resolved group within echinoids, with known topological incongruencies between phylogenies derived from molecular (very scarce) and morphological data. The present work, based on the analysis of 270 specimens of Spatangidae (Echinoidea, Spatangoida) trawled in the Sardinian seas (Western Mediterranean), allowed us to verify the constancy of some characters that we consider to be diagnostic at the genus level —such as the path of the subanal fasciole and the relationship between labrum and adjacent ambulacral plates —and to distinguish two distinct forms within the studied material. Based on morphological characters, morphometrics, and molecular analyses (sequencing of two mitochondrial markers: cytochrome c oxidase subunit1 (COI) and 16S), most of the individuals were classified as morphotype A and attributed to the species Spatangus purpureus, the most common spatangoid in the Mediterranean Sea, while a few corresponded to a different morphotype (B), genetically close to the species Spatangus raschi. Preliminary morphological analyses seemed to indicate that morphotype B specimens from Sardinia are slightly different from S. raschi and from Spatangus subinermis individuals, the second species of the family known to occur in the Mediterranean Sea. On the basis of morpho-structural observations and molecular analyses, comparing Mediterranean living forms with species from other areas (Central Eastern Atlantic, North Sea and neighboring basins, South African Sea, Philippines and Indonesian Archipelago, New Zealand, and Hawaiian Islands), the clear distinction of S. purpureus from several other species classified as Spatangus was confirmed. Based on the morphological and genetic differences, we propose to maintain the genus Spatangus including in it only the type species S. purpureus among the living species and to establish the new genus Propespatagus nov. gen. to include several other species previously classified as Spatangus. The clear distinction among different genera was also detected in fossil forms of Spatangus, Propespatagus nov. gen., and Sardospatangus (†) from the European Oligo-Miocene sedimentary rocks of Germany; the Miocene of Ukraine, Italy, and North Africa; the Plio-Pleistocene of Italy; and the Mio-Pliocene of Florida (USA). The new data can help in addressing taxonomic ambiguities within echinoids, as well as in improving species identification, and hence biodiversity assessments in the Mediterranean region

    Should be a Third Dose of BNT162b2 mRNA COVID-19-Vaccine Administered in Patients with Myelofibrosis Under Ruxolitinib?

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    Patients with Myelobrosis (MF) are considered fragile and thus eligible in Italy for COVID-19 BNT162b2 mRNA vaccination. According to the International Prognostic Scoring System (IPSS), patients with intermediate and high MF, may receive clinical benets from ruxolitinib, the rst approved JAK1/JAK2 inhibitor. Given the potent anti-in ammatory properties of ruxolitinib against immunocompetent cells, we previously reported a lower but non-statistically absolute IgG anti-Spike humoral response in vaccinated MF patients treated with ruxolitinib. In the present report we extended the cohort of MF patients

    On the presence of the Endangered white skate Rostroraja alba in Sardinian waters

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    The white skate Rostroraja alba is assessed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature as Endangered globally and is now considered rare in the Mediterranean. This species has never been recorded in Sardinian seas (central western Mediterranean), but an empty eggcase was collected on a sandy bottom off the western Sardinia coasts during the MEDiterranean International Trawl Survey (MEDITS) program in 2019. A morphometric and morphological description of the Sardinian eggcase, after a comparison with measurements from other Mediterranean and Atlantic specimens, showed it to be clearly ascribable to Rostroraja alba

    Landscape planning and ecological networks: part A: a rural system in Nuoro, Sardinia

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    Urban-rural landscape planning research is nowadays focusing on strategies and tools that support practitioners in designing integrated spaces starting from the analysis of local areas, where human and natural pressures interfere. A prominent framework is provided by the ecological networks, whose design regards the combination of a set of green areas or patches (the nodes) interconnected through environmental corridors (the edges). Ecological networks are useful for biodiversity protection and enhancement, as they are able to counteract fragmentation, and to create or strengthen relations and exchanges among otherwise isolated elements. Biodiversity evolution, indeed, depends on the quantity and quality of spatial cohesion of natural areas. In this paper, we aim at designing an ecological network for the periurban area on the town of Nuoro in central Sardinia. The narrative unfolds in two parts. Part A is presented in this paper and includes its methodological premises, i.e. biodiversity conservation and ecological network analysis and design, and the introductory elements of a spatial analysis on a pilot ecological network of one hundred patches. We locate patches by focusing on the ecosystems supported by the target vegetal species holm oak (Quercus ilex) and cultivated or wild olive (Olea europaea var. sativa, O. europaea var. sylverstis). These are very common plants species in the municipality and some animal species are active as seed dispersal. The reminder, i.e. Part B, of the essay is presented in an homonymous paper that focuses on the illustration of the network analysis conceived as a monitoring system and, in future perspective, as a planning support system

    Thyroid autoimmunity and hypothyroidism are associated with deep molecular response in patients with chronic myeloid leukemia on tyrosine kinase inhibitors

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    Abstract Purpose: Thyroid alterations including de novo appearance of thyroid autoimmunity are adverse efects of tyrosine kinase inhibitors, used in solid and hematologic cancer therapy, but the relationship between thyroid alterations during this treatment and the outcome of chronic myeloid leukemia remains unclear. Aim of this study was to investigate whether the presence of thyroid alterations may afect the clinical outcome of chronic myeloid leukemia on tyrosine kinase inhibitors. Methods: We evaluated thyroid function and autoimmunity in 69 chronic myeloid leukemia patients on long-term therapy looking at the association between thyroid abnormalities and disease molecular response. Results: Overall, 24 of 69 (34.8%) had one or more thyroid abnormalities during therapy. A high percentage of patients (21/69, 30.4%) showed thyroid autoimmunity (positive thyroid autoantibodies with ultrasound hypoechogenicity), while clinical and subclinical hypothyroidism and subclinical hyperthyroidism were, respectively, found in 4 of 69 (5.8%) and 3 of 69 (4.3%) of cases. Second-generation tyrosine kinase inhibitors resulted signifcantly associated (14/32, 43.7%) with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, compared to frst generation (7/37, 18.9%; p=0.03). Interestingly, we also found a signifcant association between euthyroid (14/26, 53.8%) and hypothyroid Hashimoto’s thyroiditis (4/26, 15.4%) in patients with deep molecular response, as compared to euthyroid (3/43, 7%; p=0.0001) and hypothyroid (0/43, 0%; p=0.02) Hashimoto’s thyroiditis patients with major molecular response. Conclusions: Our study confrms and extends our knowledge on the tyrosine kinase inhibitors efects on thyroid, showing that thyroid autoimmunity is frequently observed in chronic myeloid leukemia patients on long-term therapy and is associated with a better oncological response

    Effect of intermittent fasting on circulating inflammatory markers in obesity: A review of human trials

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    Obesity is associated with low-grade inflammation. Weight loss, by means of dietary restriction, has been shown to reduce systemic inflammation. Intermittent fasting has recently gained popularity as a weight loss diet, but its effects on inflammatory markers in individuals with obesity have yet to be summarized. Accordingly, this review examined how the two main forms of intermittent fasting, i.e., time restricted eating (TRE) and alternate day fasting (ADF), impact body weight and key circulating inflammatory markers (i.e., C-reactive protein (CRP), tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha), and interleukin-6 (IL-6)), in adults with obesity. Results from this review reveal that TRE with various eating window durations (4–10 h per day) has no effect on circulating levels of CRP, TNF-alpha or IL-6, with 1–5% weight loss. As for ADF, reductions in CRP concentrations were noted when >6% weight loss was achieved. However, ADF had no effect on TNF-alpha or IL-6 concentrations, with this degree of weight loss. Thus, intermittent fasting has little or no effect on key inflammatory markers, but more research is warranted to confirm these preliminary findings

    The Use of Reproductive Indicators for Conservation Purposes: The Case Study of Palinurus elephas in Two Fully Protected Areas and Their Surrounding Zones (Central-Western Mediterranean)

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    Simple Summary The European spiny lobster Palinurus elephas is a species with a high commercial value that inhabits the Mediterranean Sea and the adjacent Atlantic waters and is classified by IUCN as vulnerable due to its continuous overfishing. In this study, we analyse the reproductive parameters of P. elephas populations in two different fully protected areas, including their surrounding commercial zones, in Sardinia (Italy, central-western Mediterranean), where a restocking programme was carried out. Here, data on fecundity, size at maturity, vitellogenin concentration and temporal trends of egg production of P. elephas was provided, and the relevance of this information for fisheries management and conservation planning is discussed. In 1990s, the European spiny lobster Palinurus elephas, one of the most commercially important species in the Mediterranean, exhibited a population decline. For this reason, fully protected areas (FPAs) appeared effective in re-establishing natural populations and supporting fishery-management objectives. Here, the reproductive parameters of P. elephas populations in two different FPAs (Su Pallosu and Buggerru, central-western Mediterranean), where a restocking programme was carried out, and in their surrounding commercial zones, were investigated from quantitative and qualitative perspectives. The comparison of fecundity between females collected inside and outside FPAs did not show statistical differences as well as the vitellogenin concentration, which did not vary among eggs of different size classes of females caught inside and outside the FPAs, indicating the same reproductive potential. The study demonstrated a benefit of overexploited populations in terms of enhancement of egg production overtime (15 years for Su Pallosu and 6 years for Buggerru) with a mean egg production 4.25-5.5 times higher at the end of the study than that observed at the beginning of the study. The main driver of eggs production appeared to be size, with larger lobsters more present inside the FPAs than outside. Given these results, the dominant contribution of the two studied FPAs to the regional lobster reproduction is remarkable
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