873 research outputs found

    The effect on inequality of changing one or two incomes

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    We examine the effect on inequality of increasing one income, and show that for two wide classes of indices a benchmark income level or position exists, dividing upper from lower incomes, such that if a lower income is raised, inequality falls, and if an upper income is raised, inequality rises. We provide a condition on the inequality orderings implicit in two inequality indices under which the one has a lower benchmark than the other for all unequal income distributions. We go on to examine the effect on the same indices of simultaneously increasing one income and decreasing another higher up the distribution, deriving results which quantify the extent of the 'bucket leak' which can be tolerated without negating the beneficial inequality effect of the transfer. Our results have implications for the inequality impacts of different income growth patterns, and of redistributive programmes (leaky or not), which are briefly discussed. Keywords: inequality index, inequality ordering, leaky bucket.

    TOSC: an algorithm for the tomography of spotted transit chords

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    Photometric observations of planetary transits may show localized bumps, called transit anomalies, due to the possible crossing of photospheric starspots. The aim of this work is to analyze the transit anomalies and derive the temperature profile inside the transit belt along the transit direction. We develop the algorithm TOSC, a tomographic inverse-approach tool which, by means of simple algebra, reconstructs the flux distribution along the transit belt. We test TOSC against some simulated scenarios. We find that TOSC provides robust results for light curves with photometric accuracies better than 1~mmag, returning the spot-photosphere temperature contrast with an accuracy better than 100~K. TOSC is also robust against the presence of unocculted spots, provided that the apparent planetary radius given by the fit of the transit light curve is used in place of the true radius. The analysis of real data with TOSC returns results consistent with previous studies

    On the use of virtual reality in software visualization: The case of the city metaphor

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    Background: Researchers have been exploring 3D representations for visualizing software. Among these representations, one of the most popular is the city metaphor, which represents a target object-oriented system as a virtual city. Recently, this metaphor has been also implemented in interactive software visualization tools that use virtual reality in an immersive 3D environment medium. Aims: We assessed the city metaphor displayed on a standard computer screen and in an immersive virtual reality with respect to the support provided in the comprehension of Java software systems. Method: We conducted a controlled experiment where we asked the participants to fulfill program comprehension tasks with the support of (i) an integrated development environment (Eclipse) with a plugin for gathering code metrics and identifying bad smells; and (ii) a visualization tool of the city metaphor displayed on a standard computer screen and in an immersive virtual reality. Results: The use of the city metaphor displayed on a standard computer screen and in an immersive virtual reality significantly improved the correctness of the solutions to program comprehension tasks with respect to Eclipse. Moreover, when carrying out these tasks, the participants using the city metaphor displayed in an immersive virtual reality were significantly faster than those visualizing with the city metaphor on a standard computer screen. Conclusions: Virtual reality is a viable means for software visualization

    From Urban Labs in the City to Urban Labs on the Web

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    This paper reports an experience of planning participation, lead during 2010, with the objective to adopt traditional and innovative forms of participation, in the context of planning process simulation. The experience aimed at enhancing confidence in spatial planning processes, in a context where participation is not yet a custom. Some months later, a new attempt has been lead, to enlarge the set of adopted tools and test some electronic tools for e-valuation, asking citizens to involve other citizens, in order to enlarge the community

    transcriptional response of human umbilical vein endothelial cells to low doses of ionizing radiation

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    We used cDNA microarray hybridization technology to monitor the transcriptional response of Human Umbilical Vein Endothelial (HUVEC) cells to x-rays doses ranging from 2 to 200 cGy. An early time window from irradiation (4h) was selected in order to minimize the effects of the cell cycle blockage eventually induced at high doses of irradiation. Three different gene-clustering algorithms have been used to group the 4134 monitored ORF based on their transcriptional response in function of the irradiation dose. The results show that while few genes exhibit a typical dose-dependent modulation with a variable threshold, most of them have a different modulation pattern, peaking at the two intermediate doses. Strikingly even the lowest dose used (2 cGy) seems to be very effective in transcriptional modulation. These results confirm the physiological relevance of sublethal-dose exposures of endothelial cells and strengthens the hypothesis that alternative dose-specific pathways of radioadaptive response exist in the mammalian cells. 111 genes were found to be modulated at all doses of irradiation. These genes were functionally classified by cellular process or by molecular function. Genes involved in coagulation and peroxidase activity and structural constituent of ribosomes were over-represented among the up-regulated genes as compared with their expected statistical occurrence. Three genes coding for regulatory kinase activities (CDK6; PRCKB1 and TIE) are found down-regulated at all doses of irradiation

    Lifestyle medicine and psychological well-being toward health promotion: a cross-sectional study on Palermo (Southern Italy) undergraduates

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    (1) Aim: To assess the attitude toward Lifestyle Medicine and healthy behaviours among students in the healthcare area and to demonstrate its association to psychological well-being; (2) Methods: A cross-sectional study is conducted among 508 undergraduates of the University of Palermo (140 (27.6%) in the healthcare area and 368 (72.4%) in the non-healthcare area), during the academic year 2018–2019. Psychological well-being is measured through two dimensions of eudaimonia and hedonia, using the 10-item Hedonic and Eudaimonic Motives for Activities-Revised (HEMA-R) scale, with answers coded on a 7-point scale. The association between demographic and modifiable behavioural risk factors for chronic diseases is assessed through crude and adjusted Odds ratios with 95% confidence intervals; (3) Results: Orientation to both hedonia and eudaimonia is significantly associated to the Mediterranean diet (ORAdj = 2.28; 95% CI = (1.42–3.70)) and drinking spirits less than once a week (ORAdj = 1.89; 95% CI = (1.10–3.27)) and once a week or more (ORAdj = 6.02; 95% CI = (1.05–34.52)), while these conditions occur together less frequently for current smokers (ORAdj = 0.38; 95% CI = (0.18–0.81)). Students inclined to well-being consider healthcare professionals as models for their patients and all people in general (OR = 1.96, 95% CI = (1.28–3.00)); (4) Conclusions: The positive relation found between a virtuous lifestyle and psychological well-being suggests the construction, development and cultivation of individual skills are a means to succeed in counteracting at risk behaviours for health

    The use of stoned olive cake and rolled linseed in the diet of intensively reared lambs: effect on the intramuscular fatty-acid composition.

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    The aim of the present study was to evaluate the effect of the inclusion of stoned olive cake and rolled linseed in a concentrate-based diet for lambs on the fatty-acid composition of polar and non-polar intramuscular lipids of the longissimus dorsi muscle. To achieve this objective, 32 Appenninica lambs were randomly distributed into four groups of eight lambs each and were fed conventional cereal-based concentrates (diet C); concentrates containing 20% on a dry matter (DM) basis of rolled linseed (diet L); concentrates containing 35% DM of stoned olive cake (diet OC); and concentrates containing both rolled linseed (10% DM) and stoned olive cake (17% DM; diet OCL). The concentrates were administered together with grass hay at a 20:80 forage:concentrate ratio. Growing performances and carcass traits were evaluated. The fatty-acid composition was analysed in the total intramuscular lipids, as well as in the polar and neutral lipids. The average feed intake and the growth performance of lambs were not affected by the dietary treatments, as a consequence of similar nutritional characteristics of the diets. The inclusion of rolled linseed in the L and OCL diets increased the content of C18:3 n-3 in intramuscular total lipids, which was threefold higher in meat from the L lambs and more than twofold higher in meat from the OCL lambs compared with the C and OC treatments. The n-6:n-3 ratio significantly decreased in the meat from lambs in the L and OCL groups, reaching values below 3. The L treatment resulted in the highest level of trans-18:1 fatty acids in the muscle. Regardless of the dietary treatment, the t10-18:1 was the major isomer, representing 55%, 45%, 49% and 45% of total trans-18:1 for C, L, OC and OCL treatments, respectively. Neutral lipids from the OC-fed lambs contained the highest amount of c9-18:1 (more than 36% of total fatty acids); however, the content of c9-18:1 did not differ between the OC and C lambs, suggesting an intensive biohydrogenation of dietary c9-18:1 in the case of OC treatment. The highest content of c9,t11-18:2 was detected in the intramuscular fat from the L-fed lambs, followed by the OCL treatment. A similar trend was observed in the neutral lipid fraction and, to a lower extent, in the polar lipids

    New insights on Avian orthoreovirus and Chicken astrovirus co-infection in an Italian broiler flock: preliminary biomolecular and pathological results

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    Summary Common pathogens of intensive poultry farms, either parasitic or bacterial, such as Coccidia or Salmonella, are well known and strictly controlled by veterinary management. This case study reports an unusual case of runting stunting syndrome (RSS) observed on a Sicilian poultry farm of broiler chickens during 2019. The investigation was carried out on five chickens which present delayed in body weight and growth performance. Animals showed also difficulty in deambulation and diarrhea. At necropsy, intestinal lesions were detected in three of the five clinical cases. Gut samples were collected and analyzed to identify potential pathogens responsible for the RSS. Presence of viruses was detected by using quantitative reverse transcription PCR (RT‑qPCR), while selected tissues were fixed and embedded in paraffin wax according to routine procedures. All histological sections were stained with hematoxylin‑eosin. RT‑qPCR successfully detected both Chicken astrovirus (CAstV) and Avian orthoreovirus (ARV). Histology evidenced severe specific lesions on the intestinal mucosa in liver and kidneys. Chicken astrovirus and Avian orthoreovirus RNA was also detected in cecal tonsils, kidney and liver, thus implying their possible primary role in inducing the disease. Further studies are needed to evaluate the role of other possible factors (low biosecurity measures, e.g.) and, most of all, the consequences in terms of economic losses and animal health impairment
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