258 research outputs found

    Spectral Light Transmission Measure of Metal Screens for Glass Façades and Assessment of their Shading Potential

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    Abstract Metal mesh grids and perforated screens are used in new and renovated buildings as an external second skin for the building envelope; to enhance architecture design, to filter daylight and to reduce solar gains. Their effectiveness as shading devices depends on their geometry, texture and application. In the first part of the paper six types of shadings with similar transparencies, depending on geometry and openness factor of metal mesh grid and perforated screen, were investigated. Integrating sphere measurements were collected to obtain spectral optical properties of the shading devices. The optical properties were measured for incidence angles between normal and 60°with a step of 15°. The data collected were integrated to obtain visible and solar transmittance values in accordance with ISO 9050. In the second part of the paper a parametric study on spacing and thread dimension of metal mesh grids was done using Window 6.2 models to evaluate their shading potential, defining annual different shading profiles depending on shading geometry, latitude and orientation. A conventional office unit with a curtain wall facade with a metal mesh grid shading system was modeled in TRNSYS to evaluate the solar gain profiles and their effects on the energy balance of the office unit, under different weather conditions

    Welfare assessment based on metabolic and endocrine aspects in primiparous cows milked in a parlor or with an automatic milking system.

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    An automatic milking system (AMS) was compared with a traditional milking parlor (MP) to evaluate metabolic and psycho-physiological aspects of animal welfare. Twenty Italian Friesian heifers were allocated to 2 groups of 10 cows each after calving and maintained in the same free-stall barn. The first group was milked twice daily in a MP; the second group was milked in a single box AMS. Feed and diet characteristics were analyzed. Health status and body condition score (BCS) were evaluated in each cow. Blood samples were obtained from -14 to 154 d in milk (DIM) to determine metabolic profile and basal concentrations of cortisol in plasma. Data collected from 10 cows per group were processed. No significant difference was detected in milk yield, BCS, and energy-related metabolites (glucose, nonesterified fatty acids, beta-hydroxybutyrate, and triglycerides) from cows in MP or in AMS during the first 22 wk of lactation. These results, jointly with the absence of significant differences in plasma metabolites related to protein metabolism, mineral metabolism, and liver function during the first 22 wk of lactation, indicates that cows in AMS did not suffer metabolically. Greater basal concentrations of plasma cortisol in AMS cows, even if absolute values were considered to be in an acceptable range, might indicate chronic stress in these primiparous cows. Further research is necessary to confirm this hypothesis

    Color heterogeneity of building surfaces: lean image processing approach for visible reflectance characterization performance

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    Daylighting availability and uniformity depend on the interior surface reflectance (). Currently, is obtained through suggested reference values (Illuminating Engineering Society 2012; CIBSE 2015; CIBSE/SLL 2011; CIBSE/SLL 2005), laboratory tests (ASTM E 903 (2012) describes a standardized procedure requiring a calibrated instrument and an as-built surface sample), or by on-site measures (based on luminance and illuminance differences). Novel methodologies compute it by integrating image processing and/or photometry, applied on false colour or HDR images. A simple procedure is needed for accurately assess, even in preliminary design phases, the reflectance of heterogeneous surface areas for new and historical buildings. In fact, heterogeneous surfaces (colour, texture, composition, ageing) difficult the accurate estimation of a representative reflectance value (̅) for building simulation, leading to daylighting performance deviation. This work presents a methodology, based on a per-pixel colour reflectivity () evaluation, to easily acquire an approximate value of the surface visible reflectance (̅). This approach gives a more global ̅ of all surface components, aiming to improve the accuracy of the modelled daylighting analysis. Additionally, the procedure is experimented over a sample reference test room

    Evaluation of Milk Enzymes and Electrolytes, Plasma Metabolites, and Oxidative Status in Twin Cows Milked in an Automatic Milking System or Twice Daily in a Conventional Milking Parlor

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    The aim of this paper was to evaluate the effects of automatic milking (AM) on milk enzymes and minerals related to mammary epithelial integrity in comparison with twice-daily conventional milking (CM). One cow from each of 6 pairs of twins was assigned to be milked with AM or with CM throughout first lactation. Milk production was recorded and milk samples were collected at 4, 11, 18, 25, 32, and 39 wk of lactation (WOL) to determine fat and protein content, somatic cell count, pH, plasminogen (pl) and plasmin (Pl) activities, Na, K, and Cl. Body condition score was monitored; blood samples were collected to determine energy-related metabolites in the first third of lactation (14 WOL), and plasma oxidative status throughout lactation. Overall mean and standard deviation of milking frequency (MF) in AM were 2.69 and 0.88, respectively. Milk production, fat and protein contents, and somatic cell count did not differ between milking systems. The pl and pl+Pl activities were lesser in AM than in CM. Milk pH was greater in AM than in CM. Milk Na, K, Na/K ratio, and Cl did not differ across the whole lactation. Milk pH had a positive correlation with milk Pl activity (r = 0.41), Na (r = 0.37), and Cl (r = 0.40) concentration, and negative correlation with the log(10) of pl/Pl ratio (r = -0.47). The milk Na/K ratio had a positive correlation (r = 0.55) with milk Pl activity. Milking system (MS) did not seem to affect mammary epithelial permeability. The differences in enzymatic (proteolytic) activity due to the MS, probably related to daily MF, lead one to suppose that the quality of the protein fraction for the cheese-making process was preserved better with AM than with CM, even if differences in pH might negatively interfere. No difference was detected in BCS, and in plasma concentration of triglycerides and nonesterified fatty acids, whereas plasma cholesterol concentration during the first 10 WOL was lesser in AM than CM. Oxidative status, measured by plasma reactive oxygen metabolites and thiol groups, did not differ between MS throughout the whole lactation. These results suggest that early lactation of AM primiparous cows may give rise to crucial situations: for milk production, when a low MF may impair further mammary cell proliferation; for milk quality, if an irregular MF, with prolonged milking intervals, leads to an increased milk pH with increased conversion of pl to Pl

    Parental Perceptions of the Rural School’s Role in Addressing Childhood Obesity

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    This study employed cross-sectional, descriptive design with convenience sampling to explore rural parent perceptions of child obesity, use of Body Mass Index (BMI) in schools, preferences for receipt of BMI information and, the rural school’s role in obesity prevention/treatment. The survey “Parental Perceptions of BMI and Obesity in the School-Age Child” was used. Of the 183 surveys distributed, 65 were returned (35.5%). Fifty-five percentage of parents were in agreement of school-based BMI screening. Fifty-four percentage of parents selected a combination of ways to receive BMI information (letter from school nurse, face-to-face conference with nurse, or via report card). Few parents (6.2%) were reluctant to schools addressing obesity. Significant relationships were identified between non-White, overweight parents who had overweight children (n = 3). They were more likely to disagree with removal of junk food, increasing physical activity, and recommending weight loss. Recommendations to involve parents in BMI screening are presented

    Sistemi zootecnici delle aree alpine

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    Viene presentato il panorama italiano sulla zootecnia alpina, evidenziandone i punti di forza e le criticit\ue0 attraverso le varie aree dell'arco alpino

    A Randomized Trial of Convalescent Plasma in Covid-19 Severe Pneumonia

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    BACKGROUND:Convalescent plasma is frequently administered to patients with Covid-19 and hasbeen reported, largely on the basis of observational data, to improve clinical outcomes.Minimal data are available from adequately powered randomized, controlled trials. METHODS:We randomly assigned hospitalized adult patients with severe Covid-19 pneumoniain a 2:1 ratio to receive convalescent plasma or placebo. The primary outcome wasthe patient?s clinical status 30 days after the intervention, as measured on a six-pointordinal scale ranging from total recovery to death. RESULTS:A total of 228 patients were assigned to receive convalescent plasma and 105 toreceive placebo. The median time from the onset of symptoms to enrollment inthe trial was 8 days (interquartile range, 5 to 10), and hypoxemia was the mostfrequent severity criterion for enrollment. The infused convalescent plasma had amedian titer of 1:3200 of total SARS-CoV-2 antibodies (interquartile range, 1:800 to1:3200]. No patients were lost to follow-up. At day 30 day, no significant differencewas noted between the convalescent plasma group and the placebo group in thedistribution of clinical outcomes according to the ordinal scale (odds ratio, 0.83(95% confidence interval [CI], 0.52 to 1.35; P=0.46). Overall mortality was 10.96%in the convalescent plasma group and 11.43% in the placebo group, for a risk difference of −0.46 percentage points (95% CI, −7.8 to 6.8). Total SARS-CoV-2 antibodytiters tended to be higher in the convalescent plasma group at day 2 after the intervention. Adverse events and serious adverse events were similar in the two groups. CONCLUSIONS:no significant differences were observed in clinical status or overall mortality between patients treated with convalescent plasma and those who received placebo.(PlasmAr ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT04383535.)Fil: Simonovich, Ventura A.. Hospital Italiano. Departamento de Medicina. Servicio de Clinica Medica.; ArgentinaFil: Burgos Pratx, Leandro D.. Hospital Italiano. Departamento de Medicina. Servicio de Clinica Medica.; ArgentinaFil: Scibona, Paula. Hospital Italiano. Departamento de Medicina. Servicio de Clinica Medica.; ArgentinaFil: Beruto, Maria Valeria. No especifĂ­ca;Fil: Vallone, Miguel Gabriel. No especifĂ­ca;Fil: VĂĄzquez, C.. No especifĂ­ca;Fil: Savoy, N.. No especifĂ­ca;Fil: Giunta, Diego Hernan. No especifĂ­ca;Fil: PĂ©rez, L.G.. No especifĂ­ca;Fil: SĂĄnchez, M.L.. No especifĂ­ca;Fil: Gamarnik, Andrea Vanesa. Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones CientĂ­ficas y TĂ©cnicas. Oficina de CoordinaciĂłn Administrativa Parque Centenario. Instituto de Investigaciones BioquĂ­micas de Buenos Aires. FundaciĂłn Instituto Leloir. Instituto de Investigaciones BioquĂ­micas de Buenos Aires; ArgentinaFil: Ojeda, D.S.. No especifĂ­ca;Fil: Santoro, D.M.. No especifĂ­ca;Fil: Camino, P. J.. No especifĂ­ca;Fil: Antelo, S.. No especifĂ­ca;Fil: Rainero, K.. No especifĂ­ca;Fil: Vidiella, G. P.. No especifĂ­ca;Fil: Miyazaki, E. A.. No especifĂ­ca;Fil: Cornistein, W.. No especifĂ­ca;Fil: Trabadelo, O. A.. No especifĂ­ca;Fil: Ross, F. M.. No especifĂ­ca;Fil: Spotti, M.. No especifĂ­ca;Fil: Funtowicz, G.. No especifĂ­ca;Fil: Scordo, W. E.. No especifĂ­ca;Fil: Losso, M. H.. No especifĂ­ca;Fil: Ferniot, I.. No especifĂ­ca;Fil: Pardo, P. E.. No especifĂ­ca;Fil: Rodriguez, E.. No especifĂ­ca;Fil: Rucci, P.. No especifĂ­ca;Fil: Pasquali, J.. No especifĂ­ca;Fil: Fuentes, N. A.. No especifĂ­ca;Fil: Esperatti, M.. No especifĂ­ca;Fil: Speroni, G. A.. No especifĂ­ca;Fil: Nannini, Esteban. Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones CientĂ­ficas y TĂ©cnicas. Centro CientĂ­fico TecnolĂłgico Conicet - Rosario. Instituto de InmunologĂ­a Clinica y Experimental de Rosario. Universidad Nacional de Rosario. Facultad de Ciencias MĂ©dicas. Instituto de InmunologĂ­a Clinica y Experimental de Rosario; ArgentinaFil: Matteaccio, A.. No especifĂ­ca;Fil: Michelangelo, H.G.. No especifĂ­ca;Fil: Follmann, D.. No especifĂ­ca;Fil: Lane, H. Clifford. No especifĂ­ca;Fil: Belloso, Waldo Horacio. Hospital Italiano. Departamento de Medicina. Servicio de Clinica Medica.; Argentin

    ATP Enhances Spontaneous Calcium Activity in Cultured Suburothelial Myofibroblasts of the Human Bladder

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    BACKGROUND: Suburothelial myofibroblasts (sMF) are located underneath the urothelium in close proximity to afferent nerves. They express purinergic receptors and show calcium transients in response to ATP. Therefore they are supposed to be involved in afferent signaling of the bladder fullness. Since ATP concentration is likely to be very low during the initial filling phase, we hypothesized that sMF Ca(2+) activity is affected even at very low ATP concentrations. We investigated ATP induced modulation of spontaneous activity, intracellular calcium response and purinergic signaling in cultured sMF. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Myofibroblast cultures, established from cystectomies, were challenged by exogenous ATP in presence or absence of purinergic antagonist. Fura-2 calcium imaging was used to monitor ATP (10(-16) to 10(-4) mol/l) induced alterations of calcium activity. Purinergic receptors (P2X1, P2X2, P2X3) were analysed by confocal immunofluorescence. We found spontaneous calcium activity in 55.18% ± 1.65 of the sMF (N = 48 experiments). ATP significantly increased calcium activity even at 10(-16) mol/l. The calcium transients were partially attenuated by subtype selective antagonist (TNP-ATP, 1 ”M; A-317491, 1 ”M), and were mimicked by the P2X1, P2X3 selective agonist α,ÎČ-methylene ATP. The expression of purinergic receptor subtypes in sMF was confirmed by immunofluorescence. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Our experiments demonstrate for the first time that ATP can modulate spontaneous activity and induce intracellular Ca(2+) response in cultured sMF at very low concentrations, most likely involving P2X receptors. These findings support the notion that sMF are able to register bladder fullness very sensitively, which predestines them for the modulation of the afferent bladder signaling in normal and pathological conditions

    NS3 protease from flavivirus as a target for designing antiviral inhibitors against dengue virus

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    The development of novel therapeutic agents is essential for combating the increasing number of cases of dengue fever in endemic countries and among a large number of travelers from non-endemic countries. The dengue virus has three structural proteins and seven non-structural (NS) proteins. NS3 is a multifunctional protein with an N-terminal protease domain (NS3pro) that is responsible for proteolytic processing of the viral polyprotein, and a C-terminal region that contains an RNA triphosphatase, RNA helicase and RNA-stimulated NTPase domain that are essential for RNA replication. The serine protease domain of NS3 plays a central role in the replicative cycle of dengue virus. This review discusses the recent structural and biological studies on the NS2B-NS3 protease-helicase and considers the prospects for the development of small molecules as antiviral drugs to target this fascinating, multifunctional protein