8,831 research outputs found

    OPAL and More

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    We shall summarize some of the research activities performed in collaboration with Ben Shen in the OPAL experiment at LEP and in the CMS experiment at the LHC. And we shall recall the LEP legacy to particle physics in general and to the Standard Model in particular. Short recollections are made in other fields in which Ben was interested, in particular in Astroparticle Physics.Comment: Talk given at the Benjamin C. Shen Memorial Symposium, UCR, March 8, 2008. Changed reference

    New calibrations and time stability of the response of the INTERCAST CR-39

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    We present new calibrations of different production batches (from 1989 to 1999) of the INTERCAST CR-39, using the BNL-AGS 1 A GeV iron beam. The comparison with previous results, obtained with the 158 A GeV lead beam from the CERN-SPS shows that, while each production batch has a different calibration curve (mainly due to minor differences in the production conditions), the aging effect is negligible. We also tested the dependence of the CR-39 response from the time elapsed between exposure and analysis (fading effect). The fading effect, if present, is less than 10%. It may be compatible with the experimental uncertainties on the bulk etching rate vB.Comment: 9 pages, 4 EPS figures, .pdf file. Talk presented by M. Giorgini at the 20 Int. Conf. on Nuclear Tracks in Solids, Portoroz (Slovenia), Aug 28-Sep 1, 200

    Managing Adult-onset Still's disease: The effectiveness of high-dosage of corticosteroids as first-line treatment in inducing the clinical remission. Results from an observational study

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    To assess the effectiveness of the treatment with high dosage of corticosteroids (CCSs), as first-line therapy, in inducing remission in naïve Adult-onset Still's disease (AOSD) patients compared with low dosage of CCSs, after 6 months. To further evaluate the rate of patients maintaining the remission and the rate of CCSs discontinuation, after additional 12 months of follow-up.A retrospective evaluation of patients prospectively followed was designed to compare the rate of clinical remission in naïve AOSD patients treated with high dosages of CCSs (0.8-1 mg/kg/day of prednisone-equivalent) or low dosage of CCSs (0.2-0.3 mg/kg/day of prednisone-equivalent), after 6 months. An additional analysis was performed to compare the rate of monocyclic pattern between these groups, after further 12 months of follow-up.The clinical remission was achieved in a higher percentage of patients treated with the first-line treatment with high dosage of CCSs than treated the first-line treatment with low dosage of CCSs. At the end of 18 months of follow-up, a larger percentage of patients treated the first-line treatment with high dosage of CCSs was classified as monocyclic pattern and discontinued CCSs when compared with patients treated the first-line treatment with low dosage of CCSs. Patients defined as CCSs non-responder were treated with methotrexate (MTX)+CCSs or with combination therapy CCSs+MTX+biologic drug. The clinical remission was observed in a percentage of these patients.We showed the effectiveness of the first-line treatment with high dosage of CCSs in inducing clinical remission in naïve AOSD patients when compared with the first-line treatment with low dosage of CCSs. The first-line treatment with high dosage of CCSs was also associated with the achievement of monocyclic pattern and CCSs discontinuation, after 18 months of follow-up

    Muon detection at FCC-ee

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    Muons provide a clean experimental signature, typically traversing the whole experimental apparatus without decaying. Muon detection systems are therefore usually located at a rather large distance from the primary interaction vertex after all other subdetectors. As such, experimental apparatuses at FCC-ee will certainly employ very large muon systems, covering areas of a few thousand square meters. For obvious reasons of cost, the most suitable detectors to realise these large muon systems are gas detectors. In particular, in recent years, micro-pattern gas detectors (MPGDs) have undergone very interesting developments, providing several new types of detectors with very good spatial and time resolution, high efficiency, high rate capability and high radiation tolerance. The good position and time resolution makes a MPGD an excellent particle tracker, reconstructing tracks at 4-5 m from the primary interaction vertex with sub-mm precision. Therefore MPGDs, apart from efficiently detecting muons, can precisely track and help identifying also hypothesized long lived particles (LLP) that would decay outside of the central trackers. MPGDs have the distinct advantage of being, at least for some detectors and some parts of them, mass-producible by industry, since they employ materials and manufacturing procedures that are used extensively for printed circuit boards (PCB) production. A particularly innovative MPGD, the mu RWELL, is considered as a possible candidate to build the large muon system of the IDEA detector concept for FCC-ee and is described in some more detail. Other technologies that could be considered for the realisation of muon detection systems are also briefly discussed

    Adapting water allocation management to drought scenarios

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    Climate change dynamics have significant consequences on water resources on a watershed scale. With water becoming scarcer and susceptible to variation, the planning and reallocation decisions in watershed management need to be reviewed. This research focuses on an in-depth understanding of the current allocation balance of water resources among competitors, placed along the course of the Adda River. In particular, during the summer period, the demand for water dramatically increases. This is due to the increase in irrigation activities in the lower part of the basin and to the highest peaks of tourist inflow, in the Como Lake and Valtellina areas. Moreover, during these months, the hydroelectric reservoirs in the upper part of the Adda River basin (the Valtellina) retain most of the volume of water coming from the snow and glacier melt. The existing allocation problem among these different competing users is exacerbated by the decreasing water supplies. The summer of 2003 testified the rise in a number of allocation problems and situations of water scarcity that brought about environmental and economical consequences. The RICLIC project is committed to the understanding of water dynamics on a regional scale, to quantify the volumes involved and offer local communities an instrument to improve a sustainable water management system, within uncertain climate change scenarios

    Blocking CD248 molecules in perivascular stromal cells of patients with systemic sclerosis strongly inhibits their differentiation toward myofibroblasts and proliferation: A new potential target for antifibrotic therapy

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    Background: Fibrosis may be considered the hallmark of systemic sclerosis (SSc), the end stage triggered by different pathological events. Transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) and platelet-derived growth factor BB (PDGF-BB) are profibrotic molecules modulating myofibroblast differentiation and proliferation, respectively. There is evidence linking CD248 with these two molecules, both highly expressed in patients with SSc, and suggesting that CD248 may be a therapeutic target for several diseases. The aim of this work was to evaluate the expression of CD248 in SSc skin and its ability to modulate SSc fibrotic process. Methods: After ethical approval was obtained, skin biopsies were collected from 20 patients with SSc and 10 healthy control subjects (HC). CD248 expression was investigated in the skin, as well as in bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) treated with TGF-β or PDGF-BB, by immunofluorescence, qRT-PCR, and Western blotting. Finally, in SSc-MSCs, the CD248 gene was silenced by siRNA. Results: Increased expression of CD248 was found in endothelial cells and perivascular stromal cells of SSc skin. In SSc-MSCs, the levels of CD248 and α-smooth muscle actin expression were significantly higher than in HC-MSCs. In both SSc- and HC-MSCs, PDGF-BB induced increased expression of Ki-67 when compared with untreated cells but was unable to modulate CD248 levels. After CD248 silencing, both TGF-β and PDGF-BB signaling were inhibited in SSc-MSCs. Conclusions: CD248 overexpression may play an important role in the fibrotic process by modulating the molecular target, leading to perivascular cells differentiation toward myofibroblasts and interfering with its expression, and thus might open a new therapeutic strategy to inhibit myofibroblast generation during SSc

    Fragmentation cross sections of 158 A GeV Pb ions in various targets measured with CR39 nuclear track detectors

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    We report the measurement of the fragmentation cross sections in high-energy nucleus-nucleus collisions using the 158 A GeV Pb beam from the CERN-SPS. The fragments have charges changed from that of the incident projectile nucleus by ΔZ=ZPb−Zfrag\Delta Z=Z_{Pb}-Z_{frag}, with 8 <\Delta Z <75. The targets range from polyethylene to lead. Charge identification is made with CR39 nuclear track detectors, measured with an automatic image analyzer system. The measured fragmentation cross sections are parameterized with an empirical relation in terms of the atomic mass of the target, and of the charge of the final fragment.Comment: 16 pages, 5 figure

    Adult-onset Still's disease: Evaluation of prognostic tools and validation of the systemic score by analysis of 100 cases from three centers

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    Background: Adult-onset Still's disease (AOSD) is rare inflammatory disease of unknown etiology that usually affects young adults. The more common clinical manifestations are spiking fevers, arthritis, evanescent rash, elevated liver enzymes, lymphadenopathy, hepatosplenomegaly, and serositis. The multi-visceral involvement of the disease and the different complications, such as macrophage activation syndrome, may strongly decrease the life expectancy of AOSD patients. Methods: This study aimed to identify the positive and negative features correlated with the outcome of patients. A retrospective analysis of AOSD patients prospectively admitted to three rheumatologic centers was performed to identify the clinical features present at the time of diagnosis and to predict the possible outcome. Furthermore, we investigated the as yet to be validated prognostic value of the systemic score previously proposed. Results: One hundred consecutive AOSD patients were enrolled. The mean systemic score showed that the majority of patients had a multi-organ involvement. Sixteen patients showed different complications, mainly the macrophage activation syndrome. A strong increase of inflammatory markers was observed. All patients received steroids at different dosages, 55 patients in association with immunosuppressive drugs and 32 in association with biologic agents. Sixteen patients died during the follow-up. Regression analysis showed that the higher values of the systemic score and the presence of AOSD-related complications, assessed at the time of diagnosis, were significantly correlated with patient mortality. A prognostic impact of the systemic score of 65 7.0 was reported. Conclusions: Our study showed that a higher systemic score and the presence of AOSD-related complications at the time of diagnosis were significantly associated with mortality. Of note, a cut-off at 7.0 of the systemic score showed a strong prognostic impact in identifying patients at risk of AOSD-related death
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