2,729 research outputs found


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    L’ARPAT e l’IFAC-CNR collaborano ormai da oltre cinque anni allo sviluppo del Catasto degli Elettrodotti della Regione Toscana (CERT) e di un sistema integrato di applicazioni, denominato PLEIA (Power Line Electromagnetic Impact Assessment), per il suo utilizzo ai fini del calcolo del campo magnetico nello spazio circostante gli elettrodotti e, in particolare, della determinazione delle fasce di rispetto. Per rendere possibile a queste istituzioni un utilizzo corretto e consapevole degli strumenti realizzati e dei risultati da essi forniti, è stato indispensabile documentare innanzitutto i presupposti tecnici e metodologici che stanno alla base delle applicazioni sviluppate: a questo scopo, è venuto spontaneamente a crearsi un gruppo di lavoro informale tra esperti dell’ARPAT, dell’IFAC e della Regione Toscana. Il gruppo ha lavorato secondo un meccanismo virtuoso in cui, da un lato, si è cercato di formulare quesiti puntuali e ben definiti e, dall'altro, di rispondervi nel modo più chiaro ed esauriente possibile. Ne è scaturito un documento a domande e risposte che, opportunamente modificato, è riproposto in questa sede, perché mette in evidenza in modo semplice ma non banale alcuni rilevanti aspetti tecnici, e costituisce un buon documento introduttivo sulle potenzialità del sistema sviluppato. Le prime domande riguardano il sistema PLEIA-CERT in generale, mentre nella seconda parte si approfondiscono in particolare le modalità di calcolo delle fasce di rispetto che, anche alla luce di recenti sviluppi normativi, hanno assunto un ruolo di primaria importanza

    Endocrine-disrupting chemicals and their effects during female puberty: A review of current evidence

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    Puberty is the process of physical changes between childhood and adulthood during which adolescents reach sexual maturity and become capable of reproduction. It is considered one of the main temporal windows of susceptibility for the influence of the endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs). EDCs may act as single chemical agents or as chemical mixtures; they can be pubertal influencers, accelerating and anticipating the processing of maturation of secondary sexual characteristics. Moreover, recent studies have started to point out how exposure to EDCs during puberty may predispose to breast cancer later in life. In fact, the estrogen-mimicking endocrine disruptors (EEDs) may influence breast tissue development during puberty in two main ways: the first is the action on the proliferation of the breast stromal cells, the second concerns epigenetic mechanisms. The aim of this mini-review was to better highlight what is new and what is not completely known regarding the role of EDCs during puberty

    Targeting Low-arsenic Groundwater with Mobile-phone Technology in Araihazar, Bangladesh

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    The Bangladesh Arsenic Mitigation and Water Supply Program (BAMWSP) has compiled field-kit measurements of the arsenic content of groundwater for nearly five million wells. By comparing the spatial distribution of arsenic inferred from these field-kit measurements with geo-referenced laboratory data in a portion of Araihazar upazila, it is shown here that the BAMWSP data could be used for targeting safe aquifers for the installation of community wells in many villages of Bangladesh. Recent experiences with mobile-phone technology to access and update the BAMWSP data in the field are also described. It is shown that the technology, without guaranteeing success, could optimize interventions by guiding the choice of the drilling method that is likely to reach a safe aquifer and identifying those villages where exploratory drilling is needed

    Geotechnical and hydrological characterization of hillslope deposits for regional landslide prediction modeling

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    We attempt a characterization of the geotechnical and hydrological properties of hillslope deposits, with the final aim of providing reliable data to distributed catchment-scale numerical models for shallow landslide initiation. The analysis is based on a dataset built up by means of both field tests and laboratory experiments over 100 sites across Tuscany (Italy). The first specific goal is to determine the ranges of variation of the geotechnical and hydrological parameters that control shallow landslide-triggering mechanisms for the main soil classes. The parameters determined in the deposits are: grain size distribution, Atterberg limits, porosity, unit weight, in situ saturated hydraulic conductivity and shear strength parameters. In addition, mineral phases recognition via X-ray powder diffraction has been performed on the different soil types. The deposits mainly consist of well-sorted silty sands with low plastic behavior and extremely variable gravel and clay contents. Statistical analyses carried on these geotechnical and hydrological parameters highlighted that it is not possible to define a typical range of values only with relation to the main mapped lithologies, because soil characteristics are not simply dependent on the bedrock type from which the deposits originated. A second goal is to explore the relationship between soil type (in terms of grain size distribution) and selected morphometric parameters (slope angle, profile curvature, planar curvature and peak distance). The results show that the highest correlation between soil grain size classes and morphometric attributes is with slope curvature, both profile and planar

    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

    Acute kidney injury and acute kidney disease in high-dose cisplatin-treated head and neck cancer

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    Background: In locally advanced head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (LA-SCCHN) at least 200mg/m2 (standard dose 300 mg/m2) of cisplatin concomitant with radiotherapy represents the standard of care, both in postoperative and conservative settings. Nevertheless, high dose administration every 3 weeks is often replaced with low dose weekly cisplatin to avoid toxicities like kidney injury, though often failing to reach the therapeutic dose. Our aim was to investigate the incidence of renal impairment in the real-life setting, integrating high dose cisplatin with adequate supportive therapy, and to explore both Acute Kidney Injury (AKI) and Acute Kidney Disease (AKD), a recently described clinical renal syndrome that encompasses functional alterations of the kidney lasting fewer than 3 months. Methods: One hundred and nine consecutive patients affected by LA-SCCHN and treated with at least a cumulative dosage of 200 mg/m2 of cisplatin concomitant with radiotherapy were enrolled in this prospective observational study. Results: AKI was reported in 12.8% of patients, 50% of whom were stage 1 (KDIGO criteria), while 25.7% of the cohort developed AKD. Patients with baseline estimated Glomerular Filtration Rate (eGFR) < 90 ml/min showed a higher incidence of AKD (36.2% vs 17.7%). Hypertension, baseline eGFR, and therapy with Renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system inhibitors proved to be significant factors associated with both AKI and AKD. Conclusion: AKI and AKD are not rare complications of high-dose cisplatin, but an appropriate prevention strategy and accurate monitoring of patients during treatment could lead to a reduction of the burden of these conditions

    Protease-activated receptor 2 sensitizes the capsaicin receptor transient receptor potential vanilloid receptor 1 to induce hyperalgesia

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    Inflammatory proteases (mast cell tryptase and trypsins) cleave protease-activated receptor 2 (PAR2) on spinal afferent neurons and cause persistent inflammation and hyperalgesia by unknown mechanisms. We determined whether transient receptor potential vanilloid receptor 1 (TRPV1), a cation channel activated by capsaicin, protons, and noxious heat, mediates PAR2-induced hyperalgesia. PAR2 was coexpressed with TRPV1 in small- to medium-diameter neurons of the dorsal root ganglia (DRG), as determined by immunofluorescence. PAR2 agonists increased intracellular [Ca2+] ([Ca2+]i) in these neurons in culture, and PAR2-responsive neurons also responded to the TRPV1 agonist capsaicin, confirming coexpression of PAR2 and TRPV1. PAR2 agonists potentiated capsaicin-induced increases in [Ca2+]i in TRPV1-transfected human embryonic kidney (HEK) cells and DRG neurons and potentiated capsaicin-induced currents in DRG neurons. Inhibitors of phospholipase C and protein kinase C (PKC) suppressed PAR2-induced sensitization of TRPV1-mediated changes in [Ca2+]i and TRPV1 currents. Activation of PAR2 or PKC induced phosphorylation of TRPV1 in HEK cells, suggesting a direct regulation of the channel. Intraplantar injection of a PAR2 agonist caused persistent thermal hyperalgesia that was prevented by antagonism or deletion of TRPV1. Coinjection of nonhyperalgesic doses of PAR2 agonist and capsaicin induced hyperalgesia that was inhibited by deletion of TRPV1 or antagonism of PKC. PAR2 activation also potentiated capsaicin-induced release of substance P and calcitonin gene-related peptide from superfused segments of the dorsal horn of the spinal cord, where they mediate hyperalgesia. We have identified a novel mechanism by which proteases that activate PAR2 sensitize TRPV1 through PKC. Antagonism of PAR2, TRPV1, or PKC may abrogate protease-induced thermal hyperalgesia

    Carbon dating cancer: defining the chronology of metastatic progression in colorectal cancer.

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    Background: Patients often ask oncologists how long a cancer has been present before causing symptoms or spreading to other organs. The evolutionary trajectory of cancers can be defined using phylogenetic approaches but lack of chronological references makes dating the exact onset of tumours very challenging. Patients and methods: Here, we describe the case of a colorectal cancer (CRC) patient presenting with synchronous lung metastasis and metachronous thyroid, chest wall and urinary tract metastases over the course of 5 years. The chest wall metastasis was caused by needle tract seeding, implying a known time of onset. Using whole genome sequencing data from primary and metastatic sites we inferred the complete chronology of the cancer by exploiting the time of needle tract seeding as an in vivo 'stopwatch'. This approach allowed us to follow the progression of the disease back in time, dating each ancestral node of the phylogenetic tree in the past history of the tumour. We used a Bayesian phylogenomic approach, which accounts for possible dynamic changes in mutational rate, to reconstruct the phylogenetic tree and effectively 'carbon date' the malignant progression. Results: The primary colon cancer emerged between 5 and 8 years before the clinical diagnosis. The primary tumour metastasized to the lung and the thyroid within a year from its onset. The thyroid lesion presented as a tumour-to-tumour deposit within a benign Hurthle adenoma. Despite rapid metastatic progression from the primary tumour, the patient showed an indolent disease course. Primary cancer and metastases were microsatellite stable and displayed low chromosomal instability. Neo-antigen analysis suggested minimal immunogenicity. Conclusion: Our data provide the first in vivo experimental evidence documenting the timing of metastatic progression in CRC and suggest that genomic instability might be more important than the metastatic potential of the primary cancer in dictating CRC fate
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