2,739 research outputs found

    Primo rinvenimento in Sicilia di Typha laxmannii (Typhaceae)

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    First record of Typha laxmannii Lepech. (Typhaceae) in Sicily. Typha laxmannii Lepech. (Typhaceae) is here reported, for the first time, in Sicily at Scopello, near Castellammare del Golfo (NW Sicily). This species is compared with the congenerics occurring in the region; dichotomous key and description are also given to make the identification easier

    Debris-flow susceptibility assessment through cellular automata modeling: an example from 15?16 December 1999 disaster at Cervinara and San Martino Valle Caudina (Campania, southern Italy)

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    International audienceOn 15?16 December 1999, heavy rainfall severely stroke Campania region (southern Italy), triggering numerous debris flows on the slopes of the San Martino Valle Caudina-Cervinara area. Soil slips originated within the weathered volcaniclastic mantle of soil cover overlying the carbonate skeleton of the massif. Debris slides turned into fast flowing mixtures of matrix and large blocks, downslope eroding the soil cover and increasing their original volume. At the base of the slopes, debris flows impacted on the urban areas, causing victims and severe destruction (Vittori et al., 2000). Starting from a recent study on landslide risk conditions in Campania, carried out by the Regional Authority (PAI ?Hydrogeological setting plan, in press), an evaluation of the debris-flow susceptibility has been performed for selected areas of the above mentioned villages. According to that study, such zones would be in fact characterised by the highest risk levels within the administrative boundaries of the same villages ("HR-zones"). Our susceptibility analysis has been performed by applying SCIDDICA S3?hex ? a hexagonal Cellular Automata model (von Neumann, 1966), specifically developed for simulating the spatial evolution of debris flows (Iovine et al., 2002). In order to apply the model to a given study area, detailed topographic data and a map of the erodable soil cover overlying the bedrock of the massif must be provided (as input matrices); moreover, extent and location of landslide source must also be given. Real landslides, selected among those triggered on winter 1999, have first been utilised for calibrating SCIDDICA S3?hex and for defining "optimal" values for parameters. Calibration has been carried out with a GIS tool, by quantitatively comparing simulations with actual cases: optimal values correspond to best simulations. Through geological evaluations, source locations of new phenomena have then been hypothesised within the HR-zones. Initial volume for these new cases has been estimated by considering the actual statistics of the 1999 landslides. Finally, by merging the results of simulations, a deterministic susceptibility zonation of the considered area has been obtained. In this paper, aiming at illustrating the potential for debris-flow hazard analyses of the model SCIDDICA S3?hex, a methodological example of susceptibility zonation of the Vallicelle HR-zone is presented


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    The ancient theatres in Sicily, in southern Italy and along the countries facing the Mediterranean Sea basin, constitute a reality of incomparable cultural value. Regarding the research on the ancient theatres of eastern Sicily, few studies have been recently dealt with different methodologies. In the last years some practices have been done using 3D laser scanners for the theatres of Syracuse, Taormina and Morgantina, as well as the Syracuse amphitheatre and Taormina Odeon, just obtaining very interesting results. Lately the theatre of Palazzolo Acreide (Syracuse) has been studied, with Structure From Motion (SFM) and Dense Matching methodologies. From these experience, conclusions could be drawn on the quality and reliability of the elaborations realised with the SFM methodologies. We really know that these systems are today representing one of the fastest growing areas of examination, on which several software houses are investing. The study was chosen both for the small size of the building, and for the particular geometric conditions typical of the architecture of ancient theatres. This because their three-dimensional trend varies continually in the three variables X, Y, Z. The purpose of the work was to check whether the latest releases of these systems of survey allow today more than yesterday, a rapid digitalization and representation of the enormous archaeological cultural heritage. Various software were used, to verify the practicality and operation, the choice then fell on the Zephyr of 3DFlow, kindly available by the manufacturer, whose results were quite agreeable. The possibility offered by the program of a graphical tracing of polylines on the textured 3D model, has been a considerable advantage. Therefore the results obtained by modeling and surveying of the Palazzolo Acreide theatre have been compared, with the survey of the Syracuse, Taormina and Morgantina theatre performed using 3D laser scanners. First results of the research are matter of the following work

    Emerging role of metabolomics in ovarian cancer diagnosis

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    Ovarian cancer is considered a silent killer due to the lack of clear symptoms and efficient diagnostic tools that often lead to late diagnoses. Over recent years, the impelling need for proficient biomarkers has led researchers to consider metabolomics, an emerging omics science that deals with analyses of the entire set of small-molecules (≤1.5 kDa) present in biological systems. Metabolomics profiles, as a mirror of tumor–host interactions, have been found to be useful for the analysis and identification of specific cancer phenotypes. Cancer may cause significant metabolic alterations to sustain its growth, and metabolomics may highlight this, making it possible to detect cancer in an early phase of development. In the last decade, metabolomics has been widely applied to identify different metabolic signatures to improve ovarian cancer diagnosis. The aim of this review is to update the current status of the metabolomics research for the discovery of new diagnostic metabolomic biomarkers for ovarian cancer. The most promising metabolic alterations are discussed in view of their potential biological implications, underlying the issues that limit their effective clinical translation into ovarian cancer diagnostic tools

    1H-NMR plasma lipoproteins profile analysis reveals lipid metabolism alterations in HER2-positive breast cancer patients

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    The lipid tumour demand may shape the host metabolism adapting the circulating lipids composition to its growth and progression needs. This study aims to exploit the straightforward 1 H-NMR lipoproteins analysis to investigate the alterations of the circulating lipoproteins’ fractions in HER2-positive breast cancer and their modulations induced by treatments. The baseline1H-NMR plasma lipoproteins profiles were measured in 43 HER2-positive breast cancer patients and compared with those of 28 healthy women. In a subset of 32 patients, longitudinal measurements were also performed along neoadjuvant chemotherapy, after surgery, adjuvant treatment, and during the two-year follow-up. Differences between groups were assessed by multivariate PLS-DA and by univariate analyses. The diagnostic power of lipoproteins subfractions was assessed by ROC curve, while lipoproteins time changes along interventions were investigated by ANOVA analysis. The PLS-DA model distinguished HER2-positive breast cancer patients from the control group with a sensitivity of 96.4% and specificity of 90.7%, mainly due to the differential levels of VLDLs subfractions that were significantly higher in the patients' group. Neoadjuvant chemotherapy-induced a significant drop in the HDLs after the first three months of treatment and a specific decrease in the HDL-3 and HDL-4 subfractions were found significantly associated with the pathological complete response achievement. These results indicate that HER2-positive breast cancer is characterized by a significant host lipid mobilization that could be useful for diagnostic purposes. Moreover, the lipoproteins profiles alterations induced by the therapeutic interventions could predict the clinical outcome supporting the application of1H-NMR lipoproteins profiles analysis for longitudinal monitoring of HER2-positive breast cancer in large clinical studies

    Food quality and nutraceutical value of nine cultivars of mango (Mangifera indica L.) fruits grown in Mediterranean subtropical environment

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    Mango (Mangifera indica L.) quality is strongly influenced by genotype but individuating the most appropriate harvesting time is essential to obtain high quality fruits. In this trial we studied the influences of the ripening stage at harvest (mature-ripe or green-ripe) on quality of ready to eat mango fruits from nine cultivars (Carrie, Keitt, Glenn, Manzanillo, Maya, Rosa, Osteen, Tommy Atkins and Kensington Pride) grown in the Mediterranean subtropical climate through physicochemical, nutraceutical, and sensory analysis. Our results show a large variability among the different observed genotypes and in dependence of the ripening stage at harvest. With the exception of Rosa, mature-ripe fruits are well-colored, sweet and aromatic, and better suited for short supply chains. On the other hand, post-harvest ripened fruits are firmer, frequently (Carrie, Glenn, Keitt, Manzanillo, Maya) possess interesting nutraceutical value and, in the case of Glenn, Maya, Osteen, and Kensington Pride, they can reach market standard quality

    On random flights with non-uniformly distributed directions

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    This paper deals with a new class of random flights X‾d(t),t>0,\underline{\bf X}_d(t),t>0, defined in the real space Rd,d≥2,\mathbb{R}^d, d\geq 2, characterized by non-uniform probability distributions on the multidimensional sphere. These random motions differ from similar models appeared in literature which take directions according to the uniform law. The family of angular probability distributions introduced in this paper depends on a parameter ν≥0\nu\geq 0 which gives the level of drift of the motion. Furthermore, we assume that the number of changes of direction performed by the random flight is fixed. The time lengths between two consecutive changes of orientation have joint probability distribution given by a Dirichlet density function. The analysis of X‾d(t),t>0,\underline{\bf X}_d(t),t>0, is not an easy task, because it involves the calculation of integrals which are not always solvable. Therefore, we analyze the random flight X‾md(t),t>0,\underline{\bf X}_m^d(t),t>0, obtained as projection onto the lower spaces Rm,m<d,\mathbb{R}^m,m<d, of the original random motion in Rd\mathbb{R}^d. Then we get the probability distribution of X‾md(t),t>0.\underline{\bf X}_m^d(t),t>0. Although, in its general framework, the analysis of X‾d(t),t>0,\underline{\bf X}_d(t),t>0, is very complicated, for some values of ν\nu, we can provide some results on the process. Indeed, for ν=1\nu=1, we obtain the characteristic function of the random flight moving in Rd\mathbb{R}^d. Furthermore, by inverting the characteristic function, we are able to give the analytic form (up to some constants) of the probability distribution of X‾d(t),t>0.\underline{\bf X}_d(t),t>0.Comment: 28 pages, 3 figure

    The nero lucano pig breed: Recovery and variability

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    The Nero Lucano (NL) pig is a black coat colored breed characterized by a remarkable ability to adapt to the difficult territory and climatic conditions of Basilicata region in Southern Italy. In the second half of the twentieth century, technological innovation, agricultural evolution, new breeding methods and the demand for increasingly lean meat brought the breed almost to extinction. Only in 2001, thanks to local institutions such as: the Basilicata Region, the University of Basilicata, the Regional Breeders Association and the Medio Basento mountain community, the NL pig returned to populate the area with the consequent possibility to appreciate again its specific cured meat products. We analyzed the pedigrees recorded by the breeders and the Illumina Porcine SNP60 BeadChip genotypes in order to obtain the genetic structure of the NL pig. Results evidenced that this population is characterized by long mean generation intervals (up to 3.5 yr), low effective population size (down to 7.2) and high mean inbreeding coefficients (FMOL = 0.53, FROH = 0.39). This picture highlights the low level of genetic variability and the critical issues to be faced for the complete recovery of this population

    Comparing carriers as a support media of white-rot fungi in natural tannins removal

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    In the last decades, White-rot Fungi bioremediation potential has been widely investigated, providing remarkable results toward several recalcitrant molecules. However, full-scale applications based on fungi are not employed yet and little is known about their optimal operating conditions, such as (i) their ability to grow without sterile conditions, (ii) co-substrate requirements and (iii) the accurate carrier design for fungal growth. In this study, several batch tests were performed as preliminary steps to evaluate the possible design of a pilot-scale reactor based on fungal biomass to be operated under not-sterile conditions in the removal of Quebracho natural tannin. The tests were performed to verify fungal affinity, including Basidiomycetes and Ascomycetes for innovative cellulose-containing carriers compared to commonly employed PolyUrethane Foam Cubes. In particular, four fungi, including three Basidiomycetes White-rot Fungi, Bjerkandera adusta, Phanerochaete chrysosporium and Tyromyces chioneus and the Ascomycota strain Aspergillus tubingensis, were employed. As a first step, fungi were tested to evaluate their ability to attach and grow onto 12 types of innovative carriers made by High-Density PolyEthylene and containing cellulose in different percentages. Other tests were performed without sterile conditions. In particular, fungal abilities (i) to attach and grow onto two different types of support, including cellulose-containing carrier and polyurethane foam cubes and (ii) to biotransform recalcitrant molecules (Quebracho natural tannin) (iii) to grow and operate synergistically in a consortium of two fungi, were evaluated. The main parameters evaluated were soluble Chemical Oxygen Demand (sCOD) reduction and dry weight increase. Basidiomycetes showed high affinity for cellulose-containing carrierswith the highest cellulose percentage (7%) achieving full colonization and 60% coverage, in sterile conditions and not- sterile conditions, respectively. These results were associated with a Quebracho sCOD removal of 25 ± 4%, without sterility. When combined, the two selected strains, Bjerkandera adusta and Aspergillus tubingensis were able to grow on carriers and to remove up to 15 ± 4% of tannins recalcitrant sCOD. This study provides evidence of (i) Basidiomycetes high affinity for cellulose-containing carriers that could favour fungi attachment in sterile and not-sterile conditions and (ii) the feasibility of a combined use of Ascomycetes and Basidiomycetes in bioremediation
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