4,941 research outputs found

    Seismic images of an extensional basin, generated at the hangingwall of a low-angle normal fault: the case of the Sansepolcro basin (Central Italy)

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    The study of syntectonic basins, generated at the hanging-wall of regional low-angle detachments, can help to gain a better knowledge of these important and mechanically controversial extensional structures, constraining their kinematics and timing of activity. Seismic reflection images constrain the geometry and internal structure of the Sansepolcro Basin (the northernmost portion of the High Tiber Valley). This basin was generated at the hangingwall of the Altotiberina Fault (AtF), an E-dipping low-angle normal fault, active at least since Late Pliocene, affecting the upper crust of this portion of the Northern Apennines. The dataset analysed consists of 5 seismic reflection lines acquired in the 80s’ by ENI-Agip for oil exploration and a portion of the NVR deep CROP03 profile. The interpretation of the seismic profiles provides a 3-D reconstruction of the basin’s shape and of the sedimentary succession infilling the basin. This consisting of up to 1200 m of fluvial and lacustrine sediments: this succession is much thicker and possibly older than previously hypothesised. The seismic data also image the geometry at depth of the faults driving the basin onset and evolution. The western flank is bordered by a set of E-dipping normal faults, producing the uplifting and tilting of Early to Middle Pleistocene succession along the Anghiari ridge. Along the eastern flank, the sediments are markedly dragged along the SW-dipping Sansepolcro fault. Both NE- and SW-dipping faults splay out from the NE-dipping, low-angle Altotiberina fault. Both AtF and its high-angle splays are still active, as suggested by combined geological and geomorphological evidences: the historical seismicity of the area can be reasonably associated to these faults, however the available data do not constrain a unambiguous association between the single structural elements and the major earthquakes

    Inappropriateness in laboratory medicine: An elephant in the room?

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    Appropriateness of diagnostic testing can be conventionally described as prescription of the right test, using the right method, at the right time, to the right patient, with the right costs and for producing the right outcome. There is ongoing debate about the real burden of inappropriateness in laboratory diagnostics. The media coverage of this issue has also recently led to either over- or under-emphasizing the clinical, organizational and economic consequences. This is quite problematic, inasmuch as some reliable data are available in the current scientific literature, showing that inappropriateness of laboratory testing can be as high as 70%. This is especially evident for, though not limited to, cancer biomarkers testing, in which the practice of avoidable tests ordering is dramatically magnified. The reasons beyond inappropriateness are many and multifaceted, entailing wrong habits, resistance to changes, poor culture, insufficient education and healthcare inefficiencies. There are many unfavorable consequences attributable to avoidable testing, including unjustified incremental costs, derangement of laboratory efficiency and potential patient safety issues. The tentative solutions to this important problem necessitate that policymakers, local hospital administrators, laboratory professionals, clinicians, patients' associations and diagnostic companies join the efforts and embark in the same landmark effort for disseminating a better culture of appropriateness

    Sustaining Technology in a Discovery Learning Community

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    Difficulty integrating technology into classrooms is a well-known challenge. As early as the 1920’s, radio and film were predicted to be innovations that would change the classroom. In the 1950’s, it was television, in the ‘60s and 70’s teaching machines, and from the ‘80’s to the present, computers. Generally, the teachers who embrace technology are the rare minority, and those who don’t are blamed for the break-down in implementation because they are regarded as showing, “indifference, lethargy, even antagonism, toward this revolutionary means of communication” (Tyack & Cuban 123). But the truth of the matter is “in the top-down process of advocating and implementing technology, teachers [are] rarely consulted, though it [is] mainly their job to make it work in the classroom” (Tyack & Cuban 121). Currently, with the near universal availability of the personal computer, it is hard to understand why many teachers still do not use computers in their classrooms. If the machines are installed in their rooms and the teachers receive training, how is it that computers often go unused other than to reward children for finishing schoolwork early or for good behavior? While working with the teachers employed at The Discovery Institute, I have begun examining how and why some teachers use technology with their students while others don’t, and have found that educating teachers rather than training teachers to use technology and providing the support of a community of learners seems to play a significant factor in whether a teacher will or will not use technology to enhance her or his classroom. Through further interviews and focus group observation, I expect to find that teachers who merely receive training outside a discovery learning experience and without the professional and emotional support of a community of learners will be less likely to effectively use technology in their classrooms

    Application of a new Structural Joint Inversion Approach to Teleseismic and Gravity Data from Mt.Vesuvius, Italy

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    A 3-D joint inversion of seismic and gravimetric data is performed to re-investigate the subsurface structure of Mt. Vesuvius (Italy) utilizing an improved joint inversion method. The aim is to derive models of the 3D distribution of velocity and density perturbations that are consistent with both data sets and with local velocity models. Mt. Vesuvius is a strato volcano located within a graben (Campania Plain) formed in Plio-Pleistocene. Campania Plain is bordered by mostly Mesozoic carbonaceous rocks. Mt. Vesuvius is the southernmost and the youngest of a group of Pleistocene volcanoes, three of which (Ischia, Campi Flegrei and Mt. Vesuvius) have erupted in historical times. The most recent eruption of Mt. Vesuvius occurred in 1944 and since then the volcanic activity has been characterized by moderate low magnitude seismicity and low temperature fumaroles at the summit crater. We modified the coupling mechanism between velocity and density models in the JI-3D optimized joint inversion method (Jordan and Achauer, 1999). This method was designed to provide stable and high resolution results and involves iterative optimized parameterization, 3D ray tracing, and the incorporation of a priori information. The coupling of the velocity and density models, vital to the joint inversion, is based on a cross-gradient approach (e.g. Gallardo and Meju, 2004), which has been proven to work very well in a variety of cases involving seismic, magnetic, CSEM, MT and gravity data sets. We implemented the cross-gradient coupling for our 3-D irregular adaptive grid parameterization. In contrast to conventional joint inversion methods this approach encourages structural similarities in the models and does not rely on predefined relationships between velocity and density parameters. As a consequence, the resulting velocity-density relations are not contaminated by a priori assumptions and can be utilized to derive rock physical parameters. We apply this method to data from the TomoVes project (Gasparini et al. 1998), combining seismics and Bouguer gravity and local high resolution velocity models as a priori information. The starting models for the joint inversion are derived by separate inversions of the individual data sets. We show 3D distributions of velocity perturbations and density variations from the joint inversion of teleseismic relative traveltimes and Bouguer anomaly data with the aim of extracting further information about the physical status of the volcano- tectonic system

    Evaluation of anti-sars-cov-2 s-rbd igg antibodies after covid-19 mrna bnt162b2 vaccine

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    (1) Background: The evaluation of anti-spike protein receptor-binding domain (S-RBD) antibodies represents a useful tool to estimate the individual protection against Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome CoronaVirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection; (2) Methods: We evaluated anti S-RBD IgG levels by indirect chemiluminescence immunoassay on Maglumi 800 (SNIBE, California) in 2248 vaccinated subjects without previous SARS-CoV-2 infection, 91 vaccinated individuals recovered from COVID-19, and 268 individuals recovered from COVID-19 who had not been vaccinated. Among those who were healthy and vaccinated, 352 subjects performed a re-dosing after about 72 days from the first measurement. (3) Results: Anti S-RBD IgG levels were lower in subjects with previous infection than vaccinated subjects, with or without previous infection (p < 0.001). No difference was observed between vaccinated subjects, with and without previous SARS-CoV-2 infection. Overall, anti-RBD IgG levels were higher in females than males (2110 vs. 1341 BAU/mL; p < 0.001) as well as in subjects with symptoms after vaccination than asymptomatic ones (2085 vs. 1332 BAU/mL; p = 0.001) and lower in older than younger subjects. Finally, a significant decrease in anti-RBD IgG levels was observed within a short period from a complete two-dose cycle vaccination. (4) Conclusions: Our results show an efficacy antibody response after vaccination with age-, timeand sex-related differences

    Independent validation of sepsis index for sepsis screening in the emergency department

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    (1) Background: The early detection of sepsis is still challenging, and there is an urgent need for biomarkers that could identify patients at a high risk of developing it. We recently developed an index, namely the Sepsis Index (SI), based on the combination of two CBC parameters: monocyte distribution width (MDW) and mean monocyte volume (MMV). In this study, we sought to independently validate the performance of SI as a tool for the early detection of patients at a high risk of sepsis in the Emergency Department (ED). (2) Methods: We enrolled all consecutive patients attending the ED with a request of the CBC. MDW and MMV were measured on samples collected in K3-EDTA tubes on the UniCel DxH 900 haematology analyser. SI was calculated based on the MDW and MMV. (3) Results: We enrolled a total of 703 patients stratified into four subgroups according to the Sepsis-2 criteria: control (498), infection (105), SIRS (52) and sepsis (48). The sepsis subgroup displayed the highest MDW (median 27.5, IQR 24.6–32.9) and SI (median 1.15, IQR 1.05–1.29) values. The ROC curve analysis for the prediction of sepsis showed a good and comparable diagnostic accuracy of the MDW and SI. However, the SI displayed an increased specificity, positive predictive value and positive likelihood ratio in comparison to MDW alone. (4) Conclusions: SI improves the diagnostic accuracy of MDW for sepsis screening

    A new tool for sepsis screening in the Emergency Department

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    In this study, we developed and evaluated the diagnostic accuracy of the Sepsis Index for early sepsis screening in the Emergency Department (ED). Sepsis Index is based on the combination of monocyte distribution width (MDW) and mean monocyte volume (MMV). Sepsis Index≄1 was selected to define sepsis. We tested its diagnostic accuracy in an ED population stratified in four groups: Controls, Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome (SIRS), infection, and sepsis, according to Sepsis-2 criteria. Patients with sepsis displayed higher median Sepsis Index value than patients without sepsis. At the receiver operating characterictis (ROC) curve analysis for the prediction of sepsis, the area under the curve (AUC) of MDW and Sepsis Index were similar: 0.966 (95%CI 0.947-0.984), and 0.964 (95%CI 0.942-0.985), respectively. Sepsis Index showed increased specificity than MDW (94.7 vs. 90.6%), without any decrease in sensitivity (92.0%). Additionally, LR+ increased from 9.8 (MDW) to 17.4 (Sepsis Index), without any substantial change in LR-(respectively 0.09 vs. 0.08). Finally, PPV increased from 0.286 (MDW) to 0.420 (Sepsis Index). Sepsis Index improves the diagnostic accuracy of MDW alone for sepsis screening

    A genetic study on subtropical Anadenanthera colubrina (Vell.) Brenan var. cebil (Griseb.) Altschul tree from Northwestern Argentina

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    Anadenanthera colubrina (Vell.) Brenan var. cebil (Griseb.) Altschul is a tree species in South America important for its cultural, economic, and medicinal uses. In addition, it represents a trace in memory of the forests that have decreased over the years and for this reason it is not only interesting to study but also important to preserve the tree species for future generations. In this paper, we have characterized the genetic diversity of four populations. We collected seeds from four different sites: San Bernardo (B), El Cebilar (C), Met\ue1n (M), and El Gallinato (G) in Salta Province, North Argentina. We then compared the intergenic transcribed sequences of ribosomal DNA, a known genetic molecular marker. Our previous results, obtained through the morphological and genetic analysis of only four individuals (one for each zone), have showed that the individuals from B and M sites were more similar to each other as well as the individuals from G and C sites. In this paper, a larger number of individuals (25) were characterized and their phylogenetic relationships were computed. The results confirmed the previously found similarities