6,846 research outputs found

    Sun-induced leaf fluorescence retrieval in the O2-B atmospheric absorption band.

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    Sun-induced leaf fluorescence was inferred by using high resolution (0.5 cm(-1)) radiance measurements and simulated spectra of the solar irradiance at the ground level, in the region of the O(2)-B absorption band. The minimization of a cost function was performed in the Fourier transform domain in order to make an accurate fit of the Instrumental Line- Shape that convoluted the simulated spectrum. Second- order polynomials were used to fit the leaf fluorescence and reflectance in the 100-cm(-1)-wide spectral window. The scale and the instrumental conversion factor were also fitted in order to obtain an accuracy that could not be attained by using the radiance measurements alone

    The first Long Period earthquake detected in the background seismicity at Mt. Vesuvius

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    The typical earthquakes occurring at Mt. Vesuvius are Volcano-Tectonic. On July 20, 2003, an unusual earthquake with low and narrow frequency content was detected. The seismograms presented an emergent onset and a nearly monochromatic spectrum at all stations of the Osservatorio Vesuviano(Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia) seismic network. The event was located at about 4 km b.s.l. close to the crater axis and an equivalent duration magnitude of 0.6 was estimated. The nature of this event was investigated by comparing its features with those of two typical Volcano-Tectonic earthquakes occurred inside the same source volume. We compared the spectral content calculating the spectrograms and the coda patterns using the Hilbert Transform. A Seismic Moment Tensor inversion was performed on the low frequency earthquake. The focal mechanisms for the two Volcano-Tectonic earthquakes were estimated with a classical technique and resulted compatible with the stress field acting on the volcano. Taking into account the clear differences with the typical Volcano-Tectonic events as well as the peculiarities retrieved from our analyses (monochromatic, low frequency spectral content, and sustained coda) and also some geochemical observations, we classify the unusual low frequency seismic event detected at Mt. Vesuvius as Long Period earthquake and propose that its origin could be linked to a pressure drop in the deep hydrothermal system

    Differences in telomere length between sporadic and familial cutaneous melanoma

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    BACKGROUND: Several pieces of evidence indicate that a complex relationship exists between constitutional telomere length (TL) and the risk of cutaneous melanoma. Although the general perception is that longer telomeres increase melanoma risk, some studies do not support this association. We hypothesise that discordant data are due to the characteristics of the studied populations. OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the association of telomere length with familial and sporadic melanoma. METHODS: TL was measured by multiplex quantitative PCR in leukocytes from 310 melanoma patients according to familial/sporadic and single/multiple cancers and 216 age-matched controls. RESULTS: Patients with sporadic melanoma were found to have shorter telomeres as compared to those with familial melanoma. In addition, shorter telomeres, while tending to reduce the risk of familial melanoma regardless of single or multiple tumors, nearly trebled the risk of single sporadic melanoma. CONCLUSIONS: This is the first time that TL has been correlated to opposite effects on melanoma risk according to the presence or absence of familial predisposition. Individual susceptibility to melanoma should be taken into account when assessing the role of TL as a risk factor. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved

    Microbiological surveillance of plasmid mediated colistin resistance in human Enterobacteriaceae isolates in Romagna (Northern Italy): August 2016–July 2017

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    Objectives: To start a surveillance program to investigate the possible diffusion of mobilized colistin resistance genes in Enterobacteriaceae strains isolated in the Unit of Microbiology of the Great Romagna Hub Laboratory. Methods: All the colistin resistant Enterobacteriaceae, isolated from August 1st 2016 to July 31st 2017, were prospectively evaluated for mcr-1 and mcr-2. Backdated survey of mcr-3, mcr-4 and mcr-5 was performed on the same group of isolates. Species identification was achieved by Vitek MS and the antibiotic susceptibility testing was performed both with Vitek-2 and Sensititre systems. Colistin resistant isolates were screened by PCR for the presence of the plasmid-mediated colistin resistance genes and amplicons were verified by sequencing. All mcr-1 positive isolates were subjected to MLST analysis. Results: Over the total of 19053 isolates belonging to Enterobacteriaceae, 90 were colistin resistant. The presence of mcr-1 was detected in 26 Escherichia coli. The overall prevalence of mcr-1 was 0.14%. The mcr-1 positive E. coli strains were assigned to 13 distinct sequence types (STs) according to MLST. Conclusions: The prospective epidemiological survey carried out in our study gave a glimpse of the plasmid-mediated colistin resistance dissemination in Romagna. Since the prevalence rate of carbapenem resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) in some hospital wards in our area is alarming, we underline the importance of a Surveillance Program to monitor the spread of the plasmid-mediated colistin resistance genes into MDR Gram-negative bacteria

    Glassy magnetic behavior and correlation length in nanogranular Fe-oxide and Au/Fe-oxide samples

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    In nanoscale magnetic systems, the possible coexistence of structural disorder and competing magnetic interactionsmay determine the appearance of a glassy magnetic behavior, implying the onset of a low-temperature disordered collective state of frozen magnetic moments. This phenomenology is the object of an intense research activity, stimulated by a fundamental scientific interest and by the need to clarify how disordered magnetism effects may affect the performance of magnetic devices (e.g., sensors and data storage media). We report the results of a magnetic study that aims to broaden the basic knowledge of glassy magnetic systems and concerns the comparison between two samples, prepared by a polyol method. The first can be described as a nanogranular spinel Fe-oxide phase composed of ultrafine nanocrystallites (size of the order of 1 nm); in the second, the Fe-oxide phase incorporated non-magnetic Au nanoparticles (10-20 nm in size). In both samples, the Fe-oxide phase exhibits a glassy magnetic behavior and the nanocrystallite moments undergo a very similar freezing process. However, in the frozen regime, the Au/Fe-oxide composite sample is magnetically softer. This effect is explained by considering that the Au nanoparticles constitute physical constraints that limit the length of magnetic correlation between the frozen Fe-oxide moments

    Comparison of four commercial screening assays for the detection of blakpc, blandm, blaimp, blavim, and blaoxa48 in rectal secretion collected by swabs

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    The spread of carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) has been enabled by the lack of control measures directed at carriers of multidrug-resistant organisms in healthcare settings. Screening patients for asymptomatic colonization on the one hand, and implementation of contact precautions on the other hand, reduces patient-to-patient transmission. Screening plates represents a relatively low-cost method for isolating CRE from rectal swabs; however, molecular assays have become widely available. This study compared the performance of four commercial molecular platforms in detecting clinically significant carbapenemase genes versus routine screening for CRE. A total of 1015 non-duplicated rectal swabs were cultured on a chromogenic carbapenem-resistant selective medium. All growing Enterobacteriaceae strains were tested for carbapenemase-related genes. The same specimens were processed using the following molecular assays: Allplex\u2122 Entero-DR, Amplidiag\uae CarbaR + MCR, AusDiagnostics MT CRE EU, and EasyScreen\u2122 ESBL/CPO. The prevalence of Klebsiella pneumoniae carbapenemase (KPC)-producing Enterobacteriaceae detected by swab culture was 2.2%, while organisms producing oxacillinase (OXA)-48 and metallo-\u3b2-lactamases were infrequent. The cost of CRE-related infection control precautions, which must be kept in place while waiting for screening results, are significant, so the molecular tests could become cost-competitive, especially when the turnaround time is decreased dramatically. Molecular assays represent a powerful diagnostic tool as they allow the rapid detection of the most clinically relevant carbapenemases

    A Pleistocene coastal alluvial fan complex produced by Middle Pleistocene glacio-fluvial processes

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    A coarse-grained alluvial fan sequence at Lipci, Kotor Bay, in western Montenegro, provides a sedimentary record of meltwater streams draining from the Orjen Massif (1,894 m a.s.l.) to the coastal zone. At Lipci sedimentary evidence and U-series ages have been used alongside offshore bathymetric imagery and seismic profiles to establish the size of the fan and constrain the nature and timing of its formation. Establishing the depositional history of such coastal fans is important for our understanding of cold stage sediment flux from glaciated uplands to the offshore zone, and for exploring the impact of sea level change on fan reworking. There is evidence of at least four phases of Pleistocene glaciation on the Orjen massif, which have been U-series dated and correlated to MIS 12, MIS 6, MIS 5d-2 and the Younger Dryas. A series of meltwater channels delivered large volumes of coarse- and fine-grained limestone sediment from the glaciated uplands into the Bay of Kotor. At the southern margin of the Orjen massif, a series of large (>700 m long) alluvial fans has developed. Some of these extend offshore for up to 600 m. Lipci fan lies downstream of end moraines in the valley immediately above, which were formed by an extensive outlet glacier of the Orjen ice cap during MIS 12. The terrestrial deposits are part of the fan apex (50 m a.s.l.) that lies at the foot of a steep bedrock channel, but the majority of the fan is now more than 25 m below sea level. The terrestrial fan sediments are strongly cemented by multiple generations of calcite precipitates: the oldest U-series ages are infinite indicating that the fan is >350 ka in age. These ages are in agreement with alluvial sedimentary evidence and U-series ages from other fluvial units on Mount Orjen. The terrestrial portion of the Lipci fan surface contains several channels. These are well preserved due to cementation with calcium carbonate. Submarine imagery indicates that the now submerged portion of the fan also contains deeply incised (up to 10 m) channels which are similar in morphology to those exposed onshore. It is likely that strong cementation of the fan sediments, and associated channel forms, has protected them from coastal erosion during several regression-transgression cycles. These records provide important opportunities to correlate the Pleistocene terrestrial glacial and fluvial records with the marine archive

    Clues on the origin of post-2000 earthquakes at Campi Flegrei caldera (Italy)

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    Acknowledgements We thank the INGV-OV staff involved in the management and maintenance of the seismic and GPS networks and Francesca Di Luccio for the data of the best located earthquakes. We acknowledge Valerio Acocella and an anonymous reviewer for the helpful comments that improved the clarity of the manuscript.This study has benefited from funding provided by INGV (project COHESO) by the Italian Presidenza del Consiglio dei Ministri Dipartimento della Protezione Civile (DPC), INGV-DPC Research Agreement 2012‚Äď2014, Progetto V2 ‚ÄúPrecursori di eruzioni‚ÄĚ. This paper does not necessarily represent DPC official opinion and policies. EdP has been partly supported by Spanish Project Ephestos, CGL2011-29499-C02-01 and KNOWAVES, TEC2015-68752. We wish to acknowledge the former contribution of Lorenzo Casertano, Oliveri del Castillo and Maria Teresa Quagliariello, who, in an early paper published on Nature in 1976, first discussed the importance of fluids in the dynamics of Campi Flegrei Caldera.Peer reviewedPublisher PD
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