231 research outputs found

    Explora: Esplorazione umana e robotica dello spazio

    No full text
    EXPLORA Siamo soli nell’universo? Qual è l’origine della vita sulla Terra? Potremo un giorno realizzare insediamenti umani al di fuori del nostro pianeta utilizzando le piante quale fonte di energia e vita? Il viaggio inizia ...... e ci porta nello spazio profondo, dove solo sonde sofisticate possono arrivare. Ma saliremo anche a bordo della stazione spaziale internazionale dove astronauti, provenienti da ogni parte del mondo, soggiornano ininterrottamente da più di 15 anni, alternando vari equipaggi. Esploriamo per comprendere l’universo che ci circonda, la capacità della vita di adattarsi a condizioni estreme e ricercarla altrove. Abbiamo esplorato pianeti rocciosi, pianeti giganti e messo in luce il grande interesse esobiologico di mondi quali Europa, Encelado e Ganimede che nascondono, con ogni probabilità, un oceano di acqua al di sotto della loro superficie. Come Marte, di cui, nel 2018, è stata accertata, da un radar italiano a bordo della sonda Mars Express, la presenza di acqua allo stato liquido nel sottosuolo. Una grandissima scoperta scientifica che fa onore al nostro paese. Siamo atterrati sulla Luna, Venere, Marte, Titano e persino su una cometa, la Churyumov-Gerasimenko dove abbiamo trovato il più semplice degli amminoacidi (la glicina), ma anche il fosforo (che si trova negli acidi nucleici). L’uomo, nel frattempo, ha costruito una casa/laboratorio, che viaggia veloce , orbitando 400Km sopra alla Terra. Questa sofisticata e complessa struttura potrà fornire indicazioni e risposte utili sulla nostra concreta possibilità di vivere su altri pianeti. Perché è lì che un giorno vorremmo arrivare. E così, i viaggi robotici interplanetari e le missioni umane vanno a braccetto. Gli uni esplorando i pianeti e, le altre, la possibilità che l’uomo possa vivere in luoghi diversi e lontani scrutati e studiati dalle sonde che lo hanno preceduto. Ad oggi Marte è considerata la meta più probabile, ma sono diverse le destinazioni potenzialmente interessanti nel nostro sistema solare. Questo piccolo, grande viaggio è quello che faremo insieme nelle pagine che seguono...... R. Battisto

    Serological and molecular tools to diagnose visceral leishmaniasis: 2-years\u2019 experience of a single center in Northern Italy

    No full text
    The diagnosis of visceral leishmaniasis (VL) remains challenging, due to the limited sensitivity of microscopy, the poor performance of serological methods in immunocompromised patients and the lack of standardization of molecular tests. The aim of this study was to implement a combined diagnostic workflow by integrating serological and molecular tests with standardized clinical criteria. Between July 2013 and June 2015, the proposed workflow was applied to specimens obtained from 94 in-patients with clinical suspicion of VL in the Emilia-Romagna region, Northern Italy. Serological tests and molecular techniques were employed. Twenty-one adult patients (22%) had a confirmed diagnosis of VL by clinical criteria, serology and/or real-time polymerase chain reaction; 4 of these patients were HIV-positive. Molecular tests exhibited higher sensitivity than serological tests for the diagnosis of VL. In our experience, the rK39 immunochromatographic test was insufficiently sensitive for use as a screening test for the diagnosis of VL caused by L. infantum in Italy. However, as molecular tests are yet not standardized, further studies are required to identify an optimal screening test for Mediterranean VL

    Serological and molecular tools to diagnose visceral leishmaniasis: 2-years' experience of a single center in Northern Italy

    No full text
    The diagnosis of visceral leishmaniasis (VL) remains challenging, due to the limited sensitivity of microscopy, the poor performance of serological methods in immunocompromised patients and the lack of standardization of molecular tests. The aim of this study was to implement a combined diagnostic workflow by integrating serological and molecular tests with standardized clinical criteria. Between July 2013 and June 2015, the proposed workflow was applied to specimens obtained from 94 in-patients with clinical suspicion of VL in the Emilia-Romagna region, Northern Italy. Serological tests and molecular techniques were employed. Twenty-one adult patients (22%) had a confirmed diagnosis of VL by clinical criteria, serology and/or real-time polymerase chain reaction; 4 of these patients were HIV-positive. Molecular tests exhibited higher sensitivity than serological tests for the diagnosis of VL. In our experience, the rK39 immunochromatographic test was insufficiently sensitive for use as a screening test for the diagnosis of VL caused by L. infantum in Italy. However, as molecular tests are yet not standardized, further studies are required to identify an optimal screening test for Mediterranean VL

    Preparing EChO space mission: laboratory simulation of planetary atmospheres

    No full text
    Space missions, as EChO, or ground based experiments, as SPHERE, have been proposed to measure the atmospheric transmission, reflection and emission spectra. In particular, EChO is foreseen to probe exoplanetary atmospheres over a wavelength range from 0.4 to 16 micron by measuring the combined spectra of the star, its transmission through the planet atmosphere and the emission of the planet. The planet atmosphere characteristics and possible biosignatures will be inferred by studying such composite spectrum in order to identify the emission/absorption lines/bands from atmospheric molecules such as water (H2O), carbon monoxide (CO), methane (CH4), ammonia (NH3) etc. The interpretation of the future EChO observations depends upon the understanding of how the planet atmosphere affects the stellar spectrum and how this last affects the planet emission/absorption. In particular, it is important to know in detail the optical characteristics of gases in the typical physical conditions of the planetary atmospheres and how those characteristics could be affected by radiation induced phenomena such as photochemical and biological one. Insights in this direction can be achieved from laboratory studies of simulated planetary atmosphere of different pressure and temperature conditions under the effects of radiation sources, used as proxies of different bands of the stellar emission

    Preparing EChO space mission: laboratory simulation of planetary atmospheres

    No full text
    Space missions, as EChO, or ground based experiments, as SPHERE, have been proposed to measure the atmospheric transmission, reflection and emission spectra. In particular, EChO is foreseen to probe exoplanetary atmospheres over a wavelength range from 0.4 to 16 micron by measuring the combined spectra of the star, its transmission through the planet atmosphere and the emission of the planet. The planet atmosphere characteristics and possible biosignatures will be inferred by studying such composite spectrum in order to identify the emission/absorption lines/bands from atmospheric molecules such as water (H2O), carbon monoxide (CO), methane (CH4), ammonia (NH3) etc. The interpretation of the future EChO observations depends upon the understanding of how the planet atmosphere affects the stellar spectrum and how this last affects the planet emission/absorption. In particular, it is important to know in detail the optical characteristics of gases in the typical physical conditions of the planetary atmospheres and how those characteristics could be affected by radiation induced phenomena such as photochemical and biological one. Insights in this direction can be achieved from laboratory studies of simulated planetary atmosphere of different pressure and temperature conditions under the effects of radiation sources, used as proxies of different bands of the stellar emission

    A three-step pathway comprising PLZF/miR-146a/CXCR4 controls megakaryopoiesis

    No full text
    MicroRNAs ( miRNAs or miRs) regulate diverse normal and abnormal cell functions. We have identified a regulatory pathway in normal megakaryopoiesis, involving the PLZF transcription factor, miR-146a and the SDF-1 receptor CXCR4. In leukaemic cell lines PLZF overexpression downmodulated miR-146a and upregulated CXCR4 protein, whereas PLZF knockdown induced the opposite effects. In vitro assays showed that PLZF interacts with and inhibits the miR-146a promoter, and that miR-146a targets CXCR4 mRNA, impeding its translation. In megakaryopoietic cultures of CD34(+) progenitors, PLZF was upregulated, whereas miR-146a expression decreased and CXCR4 protein increased. MiR-146a overexpression and PLZF or CXCR4 silencing impaired megakaryocytic (Mk) proliferation, differentiation and maturation, as well as Mk colony formation. Mir-146a knockdown induced the opposite effects. Rescue experiments indicated that the effects of PLZF and miR-146a are mediated by miR-146a and CXCR4, respectively. Our data indicate that megakaryopoiesis is controlled by a cascade pathway, in which PLZF suppresses miR-146a transcription and thereby activates CXCR4 translation
    • …
    corecore