4,619 research outputs found

    Improving working conditions and job satisfaction in healthcare. A study concept design on a participatory organizational level intervention in psychosocial risks management

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    This paper contributes to the literature on organizational interventions on occupational health by presenting a concept study design to test the efficacy of a Participatory Organizational level Intervention to improve working conditions and job satisfaction in Healthcare. The Participatory Organizational-level Intervention is developed using the Italian methodology to assess and manage psychosocial risks tailored to Healthcare. We added an additional step; evaluation, aiming to examine how the intervention works, what worked for whom in which circumstances. This ongoing study is conducted in collaboration with two large Italian Hospitals (more than 7,000 employees). The study design comprises a quasi-experimental approach consisting of five phases and surveys distributed pre- and post-intervention aiming to capture improvements in working conditions and job satisfaction. Moreover, to evaluate the efficacy of the Intervention in terms of process and content, we use a realist evaluation to test Context-Mechanisms-Outcome (CMO) configurations. We collect contextual factors at baseline and during and post-intervention process data on the key principles of line manager support and employees participation. This study is expected to provide insights on methods and strategies to improve working conditions and employees’ job satisfaction and on national policies in the occupational health framework

    Untargeted NMR Metabolomics Reveals Alternative Biomarkers and Pathways in Alkaptonuria

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    Alkaptonuria (AKU) is an ultra-rare metabolic disease caused by the accumulation of homogentisic acid (HGA), an intermediate product of phenylalanine and tyrosine degradation. AKU patients carry variants within the gene coding for homogentisate-1,2-dioxygenase (HGD), which are responsible for reducing the enzyme catalytic activity and the consequent accumulation of HGA and formation of a dark pigment called the ochronotic pigment. In individuals with alkaptonuria, ochronotic pigmentation of connective tissues occurs, leading to inflammation, degeneration, and eventually osteoarthritis. The molecular mechanisms underlying the multisystemic development of the disease severity are still not fully understood and are mostly limited to the metabolic pathway segment involving HGA. In this view, untargeted metabolomics of biofluids in metabolic diseases allows the direct investigation of molecular species involved in pathways alterations and their interplay. Here, we present the untargeted metabolomics study of AKU through the nuclear magnetic resonance of urine from a cohort of Italian patients; the study aims to unravel molecular species and mechanisms underlying the AKU metabolic disorder. Dysregulation of metabolic pathways other than the HGD route and new potential biomarkers beyond homogentisate are suggested, contributing to a more comprehensive molecular signature definition for AKU and the development of future adjuvant treatment. © 2022 by the authors

    Effect of settled diatom-aggregates on benthic nitrogen cycling

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    The marine sediment hosts a mosaic of microhabitats. Recently it has been demonstrated that the settlement of phycodetrital aggregates can induce local changes in the benthic O2 distribution due to confined enrichment of organic material and alteration of the diffusional transport. Here, we show how this microscale O2 shift substantially affects benthic nitrogen cycling. In sediment incubations, the settlement of diatom‐aggregates markedly enhanced benthic O2 and NO3- consumption and stimulated NO2- and NH4+ production. Oxygen microprofiles revealed the rapid development of anoxic niches within and underneath the aggregates. During 120 h following the settling of the aggregates, denitrification of NO3- from the overlying water increased from 13.5 μmol m−2 h−1 to 24.3 μmol m−2 h−1, as quantified by 15N enrichment experiment. Simultaneously, N2 production from coupled nitrification‐denitrification decreased from 33.4 μmol m−2 h−1 to 25.9 μmol m−2 h−1, probably due to temporary inhibition of the benthic nitrifying community. The two effects were of similar magnitude and left the total N2 production almost unaltered. At the aggregate surface, nitrification was, conversely, very efficient in oxidizing NH4+ liberated by mineralization of the aggregates. The produced NO3- was preferentially released into the overlying water and only a minor fraction contributed to denitrification activity. Overall, our data indicate that the abrupt change in O2 microdistribution caused by aggregates stimulates denitrification of NO3- from the overlying water, and loosens the coupling between benthic nitrification and denitrification both in time and space. The study contributes to expanding the conceptual and quantitative understanding of how nitrogen cycling is regulated in dynamic benthic environments

    Response of microchannel plates to single particles and to electromagnetic showers

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    We report on the response of microchannel plates (MCPs) to single relativistic particles and to electromagnetic showers. Particle detection by means of secondary emission of electrons at the MCP surface has long been proposed and is used extensively in ion time-of-flight mass spectrometers. What has not been investigated in depth is their use to detect the ionizing component of showers. The time resolution of MCPs exceeds anything that has been previously used in calorimeters and, if exploited effectively, could aid in the event reconstruction at high luminosity colliders. Several prototypes of photodetectors with the amplification stage based on MCPs were exposed to cosmic rays and to 491 MeV electrons at the INFN-LNF Beam-Test Facility. The time resolution and the efficiency of the MCPs are measured as a function of the particle multiplicity, and the results used to model the response to high-energy showers.Comment: Paper submitted to NIM

    Response of microchannel plates in ionization mode to single particles and electromagnetic showers

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    Hundreds of concurrent collisions per bunch crossing are expected at future hadron colliders. Precision timing calorimetry has been advocated as a way to mitigate the pileup effects and, thanks to their excellent time resolution, microchannel plates (MCPs) are good candidate detectors for this goal. We report on the response of MCPs, used as secondary emission detectors, to single relativistic particles and to electromagnetic showers. Several prototypes, with different geometries and characteristics, were exposed to particle beams at the INFN-LNF Beam Test Facility and at CERN. Their time resolution and efficiency are measured for single particles and as a function of the multiplicity of particles. Efficiencies between 50% and 90% to single relativistic particles are reached, and up to 100% in presence of a large number of particles. Time resolutions between 20ps and 30ps are obtained.Comment: 20 pages, 9 figures. Paper submitted to NIM

    The danger of mapping risk from multiple natural hazards

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    In recent decades, society has been greatly affected by natural disasters (e.g. floods, droughts, earthquakes), losses and effects caused by these disasters have been increasing. Conventionally, risk assessment focuses on individual hazards, but the importance of addressing multiple hazards is now recognised. Two approaches exist to assess risk from multiple-hazards; the risk index (addressing hazards, and the exposure and vulnerability of people or property at risk) and the mathematical statistics method (which integrates observations of past losses attributed to each hazard type). These approaches have not previously been compared. Our application of both to China clearly illustrates their inconsistency. For example, from 31 Chinese provinces assessed for multi-hazard risk, Gansu and Sichuan provinces are at low risk of life loss with the risk index approach, but high risk using the mathematical statistics approach. Similarly, Tibet is identified as being at almost the highest risk of economic loss using the risk index, but lowest risk under the mathematical statistics approach. Such inconsistency should be recognised if risk is to be managed effectively, whilst the practice of multi-hazard risk assessment needs to incorporate the relative advantages of both approaches

    A quantitative model for estimating risk from multiple interacting natural hazards: an application to northeast Zhejiang, China

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    Multi-hazard risk assessment is a major concern in risk analysis, but most approaches do not consider all hazard interactions when calculating possible losses. We address this problem by developing an improved quantitative model - Model for multi-hazard Risk assessment with a consideration of Hazard Interaction (MmhRisk-HI). This model calculates the possible loss caused by multiple hazards, with an explicit consideration of interaction between those hazards. There are two main components to the model. In the first, based on the hazard-forming environment, relationships among hazards are classified into four types for calculation of the exceedance probability of multiple hazards occurrence. In the second, a Bayesian network is used to calculate possible loss caused by multiple hazards with different exceedance probabilities. A multi-hazard risk map can then be drawn addressing the probability of multi-hazard occurrence and corresponding loss. This model was applied in northeast Zhejiang, China and validated by comparison against an observed multi-hazard sequence. The validation results show that the model can more effectively represent the real world, and that the modelled outputs, possible loss caused by multiple hazards, are reliable. The outputs can additionally help to identify areas at greatest risk, and allows a determination of the factors that contribute to that risk, and hence the model can provide useful further information for planners and decision-makers concerned with risk mitigation

    Constraints on the χ_(c1) versus χ_(c2) polarizations in proton-proton collisions at √s = 8 TeV

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    The polarizations of promptly produced χ_(c1) and χ_(c2) mesons are studied using data collected by the CMS experiment at the LHC, in proton-proton collisions at √s=8  TeV. The χ_c states are reconstructed via their radiative decays χ_c → J/ψγ, with the photons being measured through conversions to e⁺e⁻, which allows the two states to be well resolved. The polarizations are measured in the helicity frame, through the analysis of the χ_(c2) to χ_(c1) yield ratio as a function of the polar or azimuthal angle of the positive muon emitted in the J/ψ → μ⁺μ⁻ decay, in three bins of J/ψ transverse momentum. While no differences are seen between the two states in terms of azimuthal decay angle distributions, they are observed to have significantly different polar anisotropies. The measurement favors a scenario where at least one of the two states is strongly polarized along the helicity quantization axis, in agreement with nonrelativistic quantum chromodynamics predictions. This is the first measurement of significantly polarized quarkonia produced at high transverse momentum