131 research outputs found

    Democracy between Spaces of Citizenship and Civic Competences: Two Explorations with Privileged Witnesses in Italian Context

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    The contribution analyses the results of two surveys carried out by the Italian team within the international project #ShareEU – Shaping of the European Citizenship in the Post-Totalitarian Societies. Reflections after 15 Years of EU Enlargement, on aspects of citizens' beliefs and attitudes towards European integration, citizenship and civic competences, including the exploration of concepts such as totalitarianism/authoritarianism, democracy and "democratic life". The results show that adults are concerned with equipping young people with skills and attitudes that will help them to think and act as citizens, advocates of a citizenship they believe in, preparing them, from the primary level of education, to play a vital role in becoming agents of change rather than simply passive observers of events. The capacity of education to succeed in building respect in individuals for fundamental human rights and the values of an ethic of citizenship is emphasised. Among the agencies, the school is confirmed as the leading institution capable of promoting a culture of citizenship that increases the likelihood that students can become citizens in their values and actions, thus avoid ing the risk of falling into disengagement and iniquity. Democracy seems to be the bearer of fundamental human and common values and is characterized as an effective approach to improve the quality of life, even if the basic question still remains that of how to teach it

    Barriers and facilitators of education provided during rehabilitation of people with spinal cord injuries: A qualitative description

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    BackgroundAfter a spinal cord injury (SCI), individuals must acquire their maximum level of independence before returning to their previous social and working conditions. The education provided during rehabilitation is one of the basic but complex aspects that influence the health perspectives of people with SCI. Gaining the perspective of SCI survivors experienced barriers and resources to enhance the education process may assist healthcare professionals in understanding this complex aspect of their practice. Through a qualitative descriptive analysis, this study aimed to identify the perceived barriers and facilitators of education provided during the rehabilitation of individuals with SCI.MethodsA purposive sample of 22 adults with SCI and at least six months of home experience was recruited. Participants were assigned into four mini focus groups according to their level of independence. The focus groups were audio-recorded, transcribed verbatim, and analysed using a thematic analysis.ResultsThree themes were identified: the readiness to education, the individual characteristics, and the environmental and social characteristics influencing education. Participants perceived education to be an ongoing process made up of consecutive phases, each of which had to be overcome before participants felt ready to reappraise their health and well-being. This process was affected by individual, environmental, and social factors.ConclusionsEducation is constantly provided by all members of the rehabilitation team. These must stress the relevance of the contents presented, increase SCI survivors' motivation to set achievable goals, and consider filling the gap that the patients perceive between rehabilitation centres and available community resources. The findings of this study promote the design of structured educational programmes, increasing knowledge, and improve the health perspective of SCI survivors, their families, and providers

    Tunable FDM 3D printing of flexible poly(butylene adipate terephthalate)-based biocomposite filaments

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    Poly(butylene adipate-co-terephthalate), PBAT, is a synthetic and 100% biodegradable polymer based on fossil resources, with high elongation at break and high flexibility. These properties are comparable to lowdensity polyethylene, making PBAT a very promising biodegradable material that could replace it in some industrial applications. However, its lower mechanical properties have limited its application range. The reinforcement of PBAT with rigid filler, such as zein-TiO2 (ZTC) complex microparticles, has the purpose to expand its application fields, from the food and agricultural packaging to healthcare sector. The 3D printability of bio-based composites was demonstrated by realizing complex structures with a commercial FDM printer

    Flexible PBAT-Based Composite Filaments for Tunable FDM 3D Printing

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    Biobased composites with peculiar properties offer an attractive route for producing environmentally friendly materials. The reinforcement for poly(butylene adipate-co-terephthalate) (PBAT), based on zein-titanium dioxide (TiO2) complex (ZTC) microparticles, is presented and used to produce composite filaments, successfully 3-dimensionally (3D) printed by fused deposition modeling (FDM). The outcome of ZTC addition, ranging from 5 to 40 wt %, on the thermo-mechanical properties of composite materials was analyzed. Results reveal that storage modulus increased with increasing the ZTC content, leading to a slight increase in the glass transition temperature. The creep compliance varies with the ZTC concentration, denoting a better resistance to deformation under constant stress conditions for composites with higher complex content. Scanning electron microscopy was used to assess the quality of interphase adhesion between PBAT and ZTC, showing good dispersion and distribution of complex microparticles in the polymer matrix. Infrared spectroscopy confirmed the formation of a valid interface due to the formation of hydrogen bonds between filler and polymer matrix. Preliminary tests on the biocompatibility of these materials were also performed, showing no cytotoxic effects on cell viability. Finally, the 3D printability of biobased composites was demonstrated by realizing complex structures with a commercial FDM printer

    Growth hormone secretagogues exert differential effects on skeletal muscle calcium homeostasis in male rats depending on the peptidyl/non-peptidyl structure

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    TheorexigenicandanaboliceffectsinducedbyghrelinandthesyntheticGHsecretagogues(GHSs) are thought to positively contribute to therapeutic approaches and the adjunct treatment of a number of diseases associated with muscle wasting such as cachexia and sarcopenia. However, manyquestionsaboutthepotentialutilityandsafetyofGHSsinboththerapyandskeletalmuscle functionremainunanswered.Byusingfura-2cytofluorimetrictechnique,wedeterminedtheacute effectsofghrelin,aswellasofpeptidylandnonpeptidylsyntheticGHSsoncalciumhomeostasis, a critical biomarker of muscle function, in isolated tendon-to-tendon male rat skeletal muscle fibers.ThesyntheticnonpeptidylGHSs,butnotpeptidylghrelinandhexarelin,wereabletosignificantlyincreaserestingcytosoliccalcium[Ca2]i.ThenonpeptidylGHS-induced[Ca2] iincrease was independent of GHS-receptor 1a but was antagonized by both thapsigargin/caffeine and cyclosporineA,indicatingtheinvolvementofthesarcoplasmicreticulumandmitochondria.EvaluationoftheeffectsofapseudopeptidylGHSandanonpeptidylantagonistoftheGHS-receptor 1a together with a drug-modeling study suggest the conclusion that the lipophilic nonpeptidyl structureofthetestedcompoundsisthekeychemicalfeaturecrucialfortheGHS-inducedcalcium alterationsintheskeletalmuscle.Thus,syntheticGHSscanhavedifferenteffectsonskeletalmuscle fibersdependingontheirmolecularstructures.Thecalciumhomeostasisdysregulationspecifically induced by the nonpeptidyl GHSs used in this study could potentially counteract the beneficial effects associated with these drugs in the treatment of muscle wasting of cachexia- or other age-related disorders
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