211 research outputs found

    The Use of Accelerometers and Gyroscopes to Estimate Hip and Knee Angles on Gait Analysis

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    In this paper the performance of a sensor system, which has been developed to estimate hip and knee angles and the beginning of the gait phase, have been investigated. The sensor system consists of accelerometers and gyroscopes. A new algorithm was developed in order to avoid the error accumulation due to the gyroscopes drift and vibrations due to the ground contact at the beginning of the stance phase. The proposed algorithm have been tested and compared to some existing algorithms on over-ground walking trials with a commercial device for assisted gait. The results have shown the good accuracy of the angles estimation, also in high angle rate movement

    Machine learning in asthma research: moving toward a more integrated approach

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    Introduction: Big data are reshaping the future of medicine. The growing availability and increasing complexity of data have favored the adoption of modern analytical and computational methodologies in every area of medicine. Over the past decades, asthma research has been characterized by a shift in the way studies are conducted and data are analyzed. Motivated by the assumptions that ‚Äėdata will speak for themselves‚Äô, hypothesis-driven approaches have been replaced by data-driven hypotheses-generating methods to explore hidden patterns and underlying mechanisms. However, even with all the advancement in technologies and the new important insight that we gained to understand and characterize asthma heterogeneity, very few research findings have been translated into clinically actionable solutions. Areas covered: To investigate some of the fundamental analytical approaches adopted in the current literature and appraise their impact and usefulness in medicine, we conducted a bibliometric analysis of big data analytics in asthma research in the past 50 years. Expert opinion: No single data source or methodology can uncover the complexity of human health and disease. To fully capitalize on the potential of ‚Äėbig data‚Äô, we will have to embrace the collaborative science and encourage the creation of integrated cross-disciplinary teams brought together around technological advances

    Little owl (Athene noctua): nuclear and mitochondrial DNA analysis reveals divergence of soutwestern and central european subspecies

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    We utilized mitochondrial and nuclear DNA to study the phylogeography of little owls (Athene noctua) across Europe. Data from 326 individuals distributed among 22 sites were used to assess geographical distribution of the European subspecies, i.e., the widely accepted vidalii, noctua and indigena, and the questioned sarda-species. On the basis of the sequences of two mtDNA markers (CRI D-Loop 494 bp and COI 679 bp), we found a major difference between a first haplogroup, distributed in the North-West (from Iberia to Denmark and Czech Republic) and three other clades, distributed in the South-Eastern part of the study area. In particular we found a second group distributed in the Balkans and a third located in Sardinia, while in Italy there was a mixture between a fourth haplogroup of South-Italy and both the North-West and the Balkan clades. All individuals sampled in Sardinian differed clearly from other haplogroups. The combined analyses of the 13 nuclear microsatellite loci corroborated these results. Both mitochondrial and nuclear markers showed that interaction across contact zones generate a mixture of genotypes not only in Italy, but also in Central Europe. The apparent position of the contact zones differs substantially from the subspecies distribution reported in literature. DNA data are consistent with the phylogeographic hypothesis that this species survived the Pleistocene glaciations in three major refugia located in Iberia, South Italy, and the Balkans. Expansion patterns indicate that little owls from the Iberian refugium were the predominant source of postglacial colonization of northern Europe, while expansion out of South-Italy and Balkans had more limited effects

    Habitat selection in a changing environment: the relationship between habitat alteration and Scops Owl (Aves: Strigidae) territory occupancy

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    Abstract The Scops Owl Otus scops (L., 1758) is a species of European concern, which suffered a noticeable decrease in distribution in the last decades, and changes in agricultural practices have been proposed as a major threat for this owl. We studied the habitat preference of the Scops Owl by assessing the habitat occupancy of 401 territories distributed in a large area in northwest Italy, with a special focus on 98 territories located in a high-density area (Monferrato). Habitat characteristics were analyzed with maximum entropy (MAXENT) models that included both vegetational (16 land use categories) and physical features estimated from a Digital Terrain Model (DTM) (altitude, slope, hillshade). In the Monferrato area, a comparison of 2009 landcover was also made with year 1954/55 characteristics obtained from aerial photographs. In the full northwest Italy area, the Scops Owl preferred areas located at middle altitude with intermediate slope. The preferred habitats included riparian areas and pasture-grassland, while woodlands and zones with Robinia pseudoacacia shrublands were avoided. In the Monferrato area, Scops Owl occupancy occurred in sites where the landuse (croplands/vineyard mosaic) had changed little since the mid-1950s. Our study suggests that conservation activity should focus on interventions halting riparian zone transformation and subsidies promoting agricultural practices favouring pastures and grassland

    Tide-surge-wave modelling and forecasting in the Mediterranean Sea with focus on the Italian coast

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    Abstract A tide-surge-wave modelling system, called Kassandra, was developed for the Mediterranean Sea. It consists of a 3-D finite element hydrodynamic model (SHYFEM), including a tidal model and a third generation finite element spectral wave model (WWMII) coupled to the hydrodynamic model. The numerical grid of the hydrodynamic and wave models covers the whole Mediterranean with variable resolution. The comparison with coastal tide gauge stations along the Italian peninsula results in a root sum square error for the main tidal components equal to 1.44 cm. The operational implementation of the Kassandra storm surge system through the use of a high resolution meteorological model chain (GFS, BOLAM, MOLOCH) allows accurate forecast of total water level and wave characteristics. The root mean square error for the first day of forecast is 5 cm for the total water level and 22 cm for the significant wave height. Simulation results indicate that the use of a 3-D approach with a depth-varying loading factor and the inclusion of the non-linear interaction between tides and surge improve significantly the model performance in the Italian coast

    Pathogenic variants in EP300 and ANKRD11 in patients with phenotypes overlapping Cornelia de Lange syndrome

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    Cornelia de Lange syndrome (CdLS), Rubinstein‚ÄďTaybi syndrome (RSTS), and KBG syndrome are three distinct developmental human disorders. Variants in seven genes belonging to the cohesin pathway, NIPBL, SMC1A, SMC3, HDAC8, RAD21, ANKRD11, and BRD4, were identified in about 80% of patients with CdLS, suggesting that additional causative genes remain to be discovered. Two genes, CREBBP and EP300, have been associated with RSTS, whereas KBG results from variants in ANKRD11. By exome sequencing, a genetic cause was elucidated in two patients with clinical diagnosis of CdLS but without variants in known CdLS genes. In particular, genetic variants in EP300 and ANKRD11 were identified in the two patients with CdLS. EP300 and ANKRD11 pathogenic variants caused the reduction of the respective proteins suggesting that their low levels contribute to CdLS-like phenotype. These findings highlight the clinical overlap between CdLS, RSTS, and KBG and support the notion that these rare disorders are linked to abnormal chromatin remodeling, which in turn affects the transcriptional machinery

    Autonomous nuclear waste management

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    Redundant and non-operational buildings at nuclear sites are decommissioned over a period of time. The process involves demolition of physical infrastructure resulting in large quantities of residual waste material. The resulting waste materials are packed into import containers to be delivered for post-processing, containing either sealed canisters or assortments of miscellaneous objects. At present post-processing does not happen within the United Kingdom. Sellafield Ltd. and National Nuclear Laboratory are developing a process for future operation so that upon an initial inspection, imported waste materials undergo two stages of post-processing before being packed into export containers, namely sort and segregate or sort and disrupt. The post-processing facility will remotely treat and export a wide range of wastes before downstream encapsulation. Certain wastes require additional treatment, such as disruption, before export to ensure suitability for long-term disposal. This article focuses on the design, development, and demonstration of a reconfigurable rational agent-based robotic system that aims to highly automate these processes removing the need for close human supervision. The proposed system is being demonstrated through a downsized, lab-based setup incorporating a small-scale robotic arm, a time-of-flight camera, and high-level rational agent-based decision making and control framework

    Efeito médio de substituição alélica para os polimorfismos CAPN4753 e UOGCAST no gene da calpaína e calpastatina.

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    Os objetivos deste trabalho foram avaliar poss√≠veis intera√ß√Ķes al√©licas para os polimorfismos nos genes da ¬Ķ-calpa√≠na (CAPN4753) e da calpastatina (UOGCAST1), ligados a caracter√≠stica de maciez da carne. Nesse trabalho, foram utilizados 590 animais da ra√ßa Nelore. Ap√≥s a extra√ß√£o do DNA de amostras de sangue por precipita√ß√£o em NaCl. A identifica√ß√£o e determina√ß√£o dos polimorfismos para os marcadores foram realizadas pelo sistema de detec√ß√£o TaqManTM utilizando-se PCR em Tempo Real. A an√°lise de maciez da carne, aos 7, 14 e 21 dias de matura√ß√£o, foi realizada com amostras de carne do Longissimus dorsi, retiradas entre a 12¬™ e 13¬™ costela e cisalhadas utilizando-se um Warner Bratzler Shear Force. Foram observados resultados significativos para o efeito m√©dio de substitui√ß√£o aos 14 dias de matura√ß√£o da carne, apenas para o polimorfismo no gene da calpastatina, e aos 21 dias para ambos os polimorfismos (CAPN4753 e UOGCAST1)
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