5,635 research outputs found

    On Redundancy Elimination Tolerant Scheduling Rules

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    In (Ferrucci, Pacini and Sessa, 1995) an extended form of resolution, called Reduced SLD resolution (RSLD), is introduced. In essence, an RSLD derivation is an SLD derivation such that redundancy elimination from resolvents is performed after each rewriting step. It is intuitive that redundancy elimination may have positive effects on derivation process. However, undesiderable effects are also possible. In particular, as shown in this paper, program termination as well as completeness of loop checking mechanisms via a given selection rule may be lost. The study of such effects has led us to an analysis of selection rule basic concepts, so that we have found convenient to move the attention from rules of atom selection to rules of atom scheduling. A priority mechanism for atom scheduling is built, where a priority is assigned to each atom in a resolvent, and primary importance is given to the event of arrival of new atoms from the body of the applied clause at rewriting time. This new computational model proves able to address the study of redundancy elimination effects, giving at the same time interesting insights into general properties of selection rules. As a matter of fact, a class of scheduling rules, namely the specialisation independent ones, is defined in the paper by using not trivial semantic arguments. As a quite surprising result, specialisation independent scheduling rules turn out to coincide with a class of rules which have an immediate structural characterisation (named stack-queue rules). Then we prove that such scheduling rules are tolerant to redundancy elimination, in the sense that neither program termination nor completeness of equality loop check is lost passing from SLD to RSLD.Comment: 53 pages, to appear on TPL

    Credit and banking in a DSGE model of the euro area

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    This paper studies the role of credit-supply factors in business cycle fluctuations. For this purpose, we introduce an imperfectly competitive banking sector into a DSGE model with financial frictions. Banks issue collateralized loans to both households and firms, obtain funding via deposits and accumulate capital from retained earnings. Margins charged on loans depend on bank capital-to-assets ratios and on the degree of interest rate stickiness. Bank balance-sheet constraints establish a link between the business cycle, which affects bank profits and thus capital, and the supply and cost of loans. The model is estimated with Bayesian techniques using data for the euro area. The analysis delivers the following results. First, the existence of a banking sector partially attenuates the effects of demand shocks, while it helps propagate supply shocks. Second, shocks originating in the banking sector explain the largest share of the fall of output in 2008 in the euro area, while macroeconomic shocks played a limited role. Third, an unexpected destruction of bank capital has a substantial impact on the real economy and particularly on investment.collateral constraints, banks, banking capital, sticky interest rates

    Infectious agents in atherosclerotic cardiovascular diseases through oxidative stress

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    Accumulating evidence demonstrates that vascular oxidative stress is a critical feature of atherosclerotic process, potentially triggered by several infectious agents that are considered as risk co-factors for the atherosclerotic cardiovascular diseases (CVDs). C. pneumoniae has been shown to upregulate multiple enzymatic systems capable of producing reactive oxygen species (ROS) such as NADPH oxidase (NOX) and cyclooxygenase in vascular endothelial cells, NOX and cytochrome c oxidase in macrophages as well as nitric oxide synthase and lipoxygenase in platelets contributing to both early and late stages of atherosclerosis. P. gingivalis seems to be markedly involved in the atherosclerotic process as compared to A. actinomycetemcomitans contributing to LDL oxidation and foam cell formation. Particularly interesting is the evidence describing the NLRP3 inflammasome activation as a new molecular mechanism underlying P. gingivalis-induced oxidative stress and inflammation. Amongst viral agents, immunodeficiency virus-1 and hepatitis C virus seem to have a major role in promoting ROS production, contributing, hence, to the early stages of atherosclerosis including endothelial dysfunction and LDL oxidation. In conclusion, oxidative mechanisms activated by several infectious agents during the atherosclerotic process underlying CVDs are very complex and not well-known, remaining, thus, an attractive target for future research

    On sequences of contractive mappings and their fixed points

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    By using a condition of Reich, we establish two fixed point theorems concerning sequences of contractive mappings and their fixed points. A suitable example is also given

    Total Hemi-overgrowth in Pigmentary Mosaicism of the (Hypomelanosis of) Ito Type: Eight Case Reports.

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    Pigmentary mosaicism of the (hypomelanosis of) Ito type is an umbrella term, which includes phenotypes characterized by mosaic hypopigmentation in the form of streaks, whorls, patchy, or more bizarre skin configurations (running along the lines of Blaschko): these cutaneous patterns can manifest as an isolated skin disorder (pigmentary mosaicism of the Ito type) or as a complex malformation syndrome in association with extracutaneous anomalies (most often of the musculoskeletal and/or nervous systems) (hypomelanosis of Ito). Affected individuals are anecdotally reported to have also partial or total body hemi-overgrowth (HOG), which often causes moderate to severe complications.We studied the occurrence and features of HOG in the 114 children and adults with mosaic pigmentary disorders of the Ito type diagnosed and followed up (from 2 to 22 years; average follow-up 16 years) at our Institutions.Eight patients (5ÔÇŐM, 3 F; aged 4 to 25 years; median age 16 years) out of the 114 analyzed (7%) fulfilled the criteria for unilateral HOG, with differences in diameter ranging from 0.4 to 4.0ÔÇŐcm (upper limbs) and 1.0 to 9.0ÔÇŐcm (lower limbs). Moreover, among these 8 patients, 5/8 filled in the 75th to 90th percentile for height; 6/8 had associated kyphoscoliosis; and 5/8 showed cognitive delays. No tumour complications were recorded. Overall, 6/8 HOG patients presented with additional (extracutaneous) syndromic manifestations, apart from the HOG (ie, with a clinical phenotype of hypomelanosis of Ito).The present study, which includes children and adults with the longest follow-up so far recorded, confirms the association between pigmentary mosaicism of the Ito type and HOG lowering previous estimates (7% vs 16%) for HOG in the context of mosaic hypopigmentation. A careful examination, looking at subtle to moderate asymmetries and associated complications within the spectrum of these mosaic pigmentary disorders, is recommended

    Strategic decision making under climate change: a case study on Lake Maggiore water system

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    Abstract. Water resources planning processes involve different kinds of decisions that are generally evaluated under a stationary climate scenario assumption. In general, the possible combinations of interventions are mutually compared as single alternatives. However, the ongoing climate change requires us to reconsider this approach. Indeed, what have to be compared are not individual alternatives, but families of alternatives, characterized by the same structural decisions, i.e. by actions that have long-term effects and entail irrevocable changes in the system. The rationale is that the structural actions, once they have been implemented, cannot be easily modified, while the management decisions can be adapted to the evolving conditions. This paper considers this methodological problem in a real case study, in which a strategic decision has to be taken: a new barrage was proposed to regulate Lake Maggiore outflow, but, alternatively, either the present barrage can be maintained with its present regulation norms or with a new one. The problem was dealt with by multi-criteria decision analysis involving many stakeholders and two decision-makers. An exhaustive set of indicators was defined in the participatory process, conducted under the integrated water resource management paradigm, and many efficient (in Pareto sense) regulation policies were identified. The paper explores different formulations of a global index to evaluate and compare the effectiveness of the classes of alternatives under both stationary and changing hydrological scenarios in order to assess their adaptability to the ongoing climate change

    Involvement of pro-inflammatory cytokines and growth factors in the pathogenesis of Dupuytren's contracture: a novel target for a possible future therapeutic strategy?

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    Dupuytren's contracture (DC) is a benign fibro-proliferative disease of the hand causing fibrotic nodules and fascial cords which determine debilitating contracture and deformities of fingers and hands. The present study was designed to characterize pro-inflammatory cytokines and growth factors involved in the pathogenesis, progression and recurrence of this disease, in order to find novel targets for alternative therapies and strategies in controlling DC. The expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines and of growth factors was detected by immunohistochemistry in fibrotic nodules and normal palmar fascia resected respectively from patients affected by DC and carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS; as negative controls). Reverse transcription (RT)-PCR analysis and immunofluorescence were performed to quantify the expression of transforming growth factor (TGF)-╬▓1, interleukin (IL)-1╬▓ and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) by primary cultures of myofibroblasts and fibroblasts isolated from Dupuytren's nodules. Histological analysis showed high cellularity and high proliferation rate in Dupuytren's tissue, together with the presence of myofibroblastic isotypes; immunohistochemical staining for macrophages was completely negative. In addition, a strong expression of TGF-╬▓1, IL-1╬▓ and VEGF was evident in the extracellular matrix and in the cytoplasm of fibroblasts and myofibroblasts in Dupuytren's nodular tissues, as compared with control tissues. These results were confirmed by RT-PCR and by immunofluorescence in pathological and normal primary cell cultures. These preliminary observations suggest that TGF-╬▓1, IL-1╬▓ and VEGF may be considered potential therapeutic targets in the treatment of Dupuytren's disease (DD)

    Pharmacogenetics and Forensic Toxicology: A New Step towards a Multidisciplinary Approach

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    Pharmacogenetics analyzes the individual behavior of DNA genes after the administration of a drug. Pharmacogenetic research has been implemented in recent years thanks to the improvement in genome sequencing techniques and molecular genetics. In addition to medical purposes, pharmacogenetics can constitute an important tool for clarifying the interpretation of toxicological data in post-mortem examinations, sometimes crucial for determining the cause and modality of death. The purpose of this systematic literature review is not only to raise awareness among the forensic community concerning pharmacogenetics, but also to provide a workflow for forensic toxicologists to follow in cases of unknown causes of death related to drug use/abuse. The scientific community is called on to work hard in order to supply evidence in forensic practice, demonstrating that this investigation could become an essential tool both in civil and forensic contexts. The following keywords were used for the search engine: (pharmacogenetics) AND (forensic toxicology); (pharmacogenetics) AND (post-mortem); (pharmacogenetics) AND (forensic science); and (pharmacogenetics) AND (autopsy). A total of 125 articles were collected. Of these, 29 articles were included in this systematic review. A total of 75% of the included studies were original articles (n = 21) and 25% were case reports (n = 7). A total of 78% (n = 22) of the studies involved deceased people for whom a complete autopsy was performed, while 22% (n = 6) involved people in good health who were given a drug with a subsequent pharmacogenetic study. The most studied drugs were opioids (codeine, morphine, and methadone), followed by antidepressants (tricyclic antidepressants and venlafaxine). Furthermore, all studies highlighted the importance of a pharmacogenetics study in drug-related deaths, especially in cases of non-overdose of drugs of abuse. This study highlights the importance of forensic pharmacogenetics, a field of toxicology still not fully understood, which is of great help in cases of sudden death, deaths from overdose, deaths after the administration of a drug, and also in cases of complaint of medical malpractice
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