1,481 research outputs found


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    Light exposure of aqueous suspensions of prednisolone and dexamethasone causes their partial phototransformation. The photoproducts, isolated by chromatographic techniques, have been identified by spectroscopic means. Prednisolone, dexamethasone and their photoproducts have been tested to evaluate their acute and chronic toxic effects on some freshwater chain organisms. The rotifer Brachionus calyciflorus and the crustaceans Thamnocephalus platyurus and Daphnia magna were chosen to perform acute toxicity tests, while the alga Pseudokircheneriella subcapitata (formerly known as Selenastrum capricornutum) and the crustacean Ceriodaphnia dubia to perform chronic tests. The photochemical derivatives are more toxic than the parent compounds. Generally low acute toxicity was found. Chronic exposure to this class of pharmaceuticals caused inhibition of growth population on the freshwater crustacean C. dubia while the alga P. subcapitata seems to be less affected by the presence of these drugs

    Criminogenic and harm-enabling features of social media platforms: the case of sharenting practices

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    Sharenting – that is, the sharing of identifying and sensitive information of minors, who are often overexposed online by parents or guardians – has, at times, criminogenic potential, as the information shared can enable both heinous crimes and other types of harmful conducts. While most research on sharenting has focused on the sharenters and their agency, there is a gap in addressing whether and to what extent social media platforms display criminogenic or other harm-enabling features that can render sharenting risky for affected minors. By relying on a adapted crime proofing of legislation approach, our contribution analyses the self-regulations (in the form of corporate documents and forms of self-organisation) of five major social media platforms, and identifies several risks and vulnerabilities to harmful sharenting practices embedded in the platforms’ policies. In doing so, the study demonstrates how criminological imagination can effectively contribute to the multidisciplinary debates on digital ecosystems and their regulation, paving the way for a reduction of criminogenic and harming opportunities online

    Search for heavy mass diboson resonances in the ATLAS experiment

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    Searches for high mass resonances decaying in a couple of vectorial bosons (Z or W) are presented. The results refer to an integrated luminosity of 36.1 fb−1 recorded with the ATLAS detector in 2015–2016 at √s = 13 TeV at the Large Hadron Collider. Final states in which one boson decays in leptons and the other one decays in hadrons are considered. Also fully hadronic final states are considered. These results are interpreted within the context of Standard Model extensions with additional Higgs bosons, a heavy vector triplet or warped extra dimensions

    Natural methoxyphenol compounds: Antimicrobial activity against foodborne pathogens and food spoilage bacteria, and role in antioxidant processes

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    The antibacterial and antioxidant activities of three methoxyphenol phytometabolites, eugenol, capsaicin, and vanillin, were determined. The in vitro antimicrobial potential was tested on three common foodborne pathogens (Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Staphylococcus aureus) and three food spoilage bacteria (Shewanella putrefaciens, Brochothrix thermosphacta, and Lactobacillus plantarum). The antioxidant assays were carried out for studying the free radical scavenging capacity and the anti-lipoperoxidant activity. The results showed that eugenol and capsaicin were the most active against both pathogens and spoilage bacteria. S. aureus was one of the most affected strains (median concentration of growth inhibition: IC50 eugenol = 0.75 mM; IC50 capsaicin = 0.68 mM; IC50 vanillin = 1.38 mM). All phytochemicals slightly inhibited the growth of L. plantarum. Eugenol was the most active molecule in the antioxidant assays. Only in the oxygen radical absorbing capacity (ORAC) test did vanillin show an antioxidant activity comparable to eugenol (eugenol ORAC value = 2.12 ± 0.08; vanillin ORAC value = 1.81 ± 0.19). This study, comparing the antimicrobial and antioxidant activities of three guaiacol derivatives, enhances their use in future applications as food additives for contrasting both common pathogens and spoilage bacteria and for improving the shelf life of preserved food

    Chemical fate and genotoxic risk associated with hypochlorite treatment of nicotine

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    Nicotine, the main alkaloid of tobacco, is a non-prescription drug to which all members of a tobacco-smoking society are exposed either through direct smoke inhalation or through second-hand passive 'smoking'. Nicotine is also commercially available in some pharmaceutical products and is used worldwide as a botanical insecticide in agriculture. Nicotine dynamics in indoor and outdoor environments as well as the human excretions and the manufacturing process are responsible for its entry in the environment through municipal and industrial wastewater discharges. The presence of nicotine in surface and ground waters points out that it survives a conventional treatment process and persists in potable-water supplies. Complete removal of nicotine is instead reported when additional chlorination steps are used. In this paper a simulation of STP chlorination of nicotine and a genotoxic evaluation of its main degradation products are reported. Under laboratory conditions removal of nicotine seems not to be due to mineralization but to transformation in oxidized and chlorinated products. The by-products have been isolated after fractionation by diverse chromatographic procedures and their structures determined using mass spectrometry and H-1 and C-13 NMR spectroscopy. Preliminary genotoxic SOS Chromotests with Escherichia coil PQ37 evidence no toxicity of the products. (C) 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved

    Right phrenic nerve palsy following transcatheter radiofrequency current atrial fibrillation ablation: Case report

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    Phrenic nerve palsy (PNP) is a well-known complication of cardiac surgery or jugular/subclavian vein catheterization, presenting with cough, hiccups, dyspnoea/shortness of breath and, in some cases, ventilatory failure. Rarely, PNP is a complication of transcatheter radiofrequency ablation for atrial fibrillation. This report describes the case of a 72-year-old woman with a 2-year history of recurrent paroxysmal atrial fibrillation associated with occasional palpitations and shortness of breath who underwent routine transcatheter radiofrequency ablation. Three days after the procedure, the patient developed shortness of breath and progressive dyspnoea. Motor nerve conduction showed the absence of the right phrenic nerve compound motor action potential compared with the normal left side confirming the diagnosis of a right phrenic nerve palsy. This current case demonstrated the importance of undertaking an electrophysiological evaluation of phrenic nerve conduction after transcatheter radiofrequency ablation in patients presenting with palpitations and shortness of breath even if present a few days after the procedure

    Hybrid Graphenene Oxide/Cellulose Nanofillers to Enhance Mechanical and Barrier Properties of Chitosan-Based Composites

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    Chitosan-based hybrid nanocomposites, containing cellulose nanocrystals (CNCs), graphene oxide (GO), and borate as crosslinking agents, were successfully prepared by solution-casting technique. The synergistic effect of the two fillers, and the role of the cross-linker, in enhancing the structural and functional properties of the chitosan polymer, was investigated. XPS results confirm the chemical interaction between borate ions and hydroxyl groups of chitosan, GO, and CNCs. The morphological characterization shows that the GO sheets are oriented along the casting surface, whereas the CNC particles are homogenously distributed in the sample. Results of tensile tests reveal that the presence of graphene oxide enhances the elastic modulus, tensile strength, elongation at break, and toughness of chitosan, while cellulose and borate induce an increase in the elastic modulus and stress at the yield point. In particular, the borate-crosslinked chitosan-based sample containing 0.5 wt% of GO and 0.5 wt% of CNCs shows an elongation at a break value of 30.2% and a toughness value of 988 J*m−3 which are improved by 124% and 216%, respectively, compared with the pristine chitosan. Moreover, the water permeability results show that the presence of graphene oxide slightly increases the water barrier properties, whereas the borate and cellulose nanocrystals significantly reduce the water vapor permeability of the polymer by about 50%. Thus, by modulating the content of the two reinforcing fillers, it is possible to obtain chitosan-based nanocomposites with enhanced mechanical and water barrier properties which can be potentially used in various applications such as food and electronic packaging

    High surface area mesoporous silica nanoparticles with tunable size in the sub-micrometer regime: Insights on the size and porosity control mechanisms

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    Mesoporous silica nanostructures (MSNs) attract high interest due to their unique and tunable physical chemical features, including high specific surface area and large pore volume, that hold a great potential in a variety of fields, i.e., adsorption, catalysis, and biomedicine. An essential feature for biomedical application of MSNs is limiting MSN size in the sub-micrometer regime to control uptake and cell viability. However, careful size tuning in such a regime remains still chal-lenging. We aim to tackling this issue by developing two synthetic procedures for MSN size mod-ulation, performed in homogenous aqueous/ethanol solution or two-phase aqueous/ethyl acetate system. Both approaches make use of tetraethyl orthosilicate as precursor, in the presence of cetyltri-methylammonium bromide, as structure-directing agent, and NaOH, as base-catalyst. NaOH catalyzed syntheses usually require high temperature (>80 °C) and large reaction medium volume to trigger MSN formation and limit aggregation. Here, a successful modulation of MSNs size from 40 up to 150 nm is demonstrated to be achieved by purposely balancing synthesis conditions, being able, in addition, to keep reaction temperature not higher than 50 °C (30 °C and 50 °C, respectively) and reaction mixture volume low. Through a comprehensive and in-depth systematic morphologi-cal and structural investigation, the mechanism and kinetics that sustain the control of MSNs size in such low dimensional regime are defined, highlighting that modulation of size and pores of the structures are mainly mediated by base concentration, reaction time and temperature and ageing, for the homogenous phase approach, and by temperature for the two-phase synthesis. Finally, an in vitro study is performed on bEnd.3 cells to investigate on the cytotoxicity of the MNSs
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