5,749 research outputs found

    Constraining models for the origin of ultra-high-energy cosmic rays with a novel combined analysis of arrival directions, spectrum, and composition data measured at the Pierre Auger Observatory

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    Vaccination against SARS-CoV-2 in pregnancy during the Omicron wave: the prospective cohort study of the Italian obstetric surveillance system

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    Objectives: Evidence on the effects of the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant on vaccinated and unvaccinated pregnant women is sparse. This study aimed to compare maternal and perinatal outcomes of women infected with SARS-CoV-2 during the Omicron wave in Italy, according to their vaccine protection.Methods: This national prospective cohort study enrolled pregnant women with a positive SARS-CoV-2 nasopharyngeal swab within 7 days of hospital admission between 1 January and 31 May, 2022. Women who received at least one dose of vaccine during pregnancy and those who completed the vaccine cycle with the first booster were considered protected against moderate or severe COVID-19 (MSCD). A multivariable logistic regression model evaluated the association between vaccine protection and disease severity. Maternal age, educational level, citizenship, area of birth, previous comorbidities, and obesity were analysed as potential risk factors. Results: MSCD was rare (41/2147, 1.9%; 95% CI, 1.4-2.6), and the odds of developing it were significantly higher among unprotected women (OR, 2.78; 95% CI, 1.39-5.57). Compared with protected women (n = 1069), the unprotected (n = 1078) were more often younger, with lower educational degrees, and foreigners. A higher probability of MSCD was found among women with previous comorbidities (OR, 2.86; 95% CI, 1.34-6.12) and those born in Asian countries (OR, 3.05; 95% CI, 1.23-7.56). The percentage of preterm birth was higher among women with MSCD compared with milder cases (32.0% [8/25] versus 8.4% [161/1917], p < 0.001) as well as the percentage of caesarean section (52.0% [13/25] versus 31.6% [606/1919], p 0.029). Discussion: Although severe maternal and perinatal outcomes were rare, their prevalence was significantly higher among women without vaccine protection. Vaccination during pregnancy has the potential to protect both the mother and the baby, and it is therefore strongly recommended. Edoardo Corsi Decenti, Clin Microbiol Infect 2023;29:772 (c) 2023 European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved

    Adherence to Triple Single-Pill Combination of Perindopril/Indapamide/Amlodipine: Findings from Real-World Analysis in Italy

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    Introduction: Single-pill combination therapy for hypertension is recognized to improve adherence to treatment. However, less is known about the benefits of triple single-pill combinations. This retrospective observational analysis aimed to assess changes in adherence when treatment was switched from perindopril (PER)/indapamide (IND) + amlodipine (AML) to PER/IND/AML single-pill combination, in Italian clinical practice. Methods: This analysis used data extracted from administrative databases of Italian healthcare entities. Adult patients receiving PER/IND/AML were selected, and the prescription date was considered as the index date. Among them, those who had a prescription for PER/IND + AML during the 12 months before the index date and a prescription of PER/IND/AML during 6 months of follow-up were included. Adherence was calculated as the proportion of days covered (PDC: PDC &lt; 40%, non-adherent; PDC = 40-79%, partially adherent; PDC ‚Č• 80%, adherent). Results: Among the identified patients, 158 were exposed users and were included in the analysis. When patients were compared before and after switch to triple single-pill combination, the proportion of adherent patients was significantly higher with PER/IND/AML single-pill combination (75.3%) than with PER/IND + AML combination (44.3%) (P &lt; 0.05). Conversely, the proportion of non-adherent patients was lower with the PER/IND/AML single-pill combination (14.6%) vs PER/IND + AML (17.7%) (P &lt; 0.001). Conclusion: This real-world analysis showed that switching to a triple single-pill combination could offer an opportunity to improve adherence to antihypertensive treatment in real-life clinical practice

    The UHECR dipole and quadrupole in the latest data from the original Auger and TA surface detectors

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    The sources of ultra-high-energy cosmic rays are still unknown, but assuming standard physics, they are expected to lie within a few hundred megaparsecs from us. Indeed, over cosmological distances cosmic rays lose energy to interactions with background photons, at a rate depending on their mass number and energy and properties of photonuclear interactions and photon backgrounds. The universe is not homogeneous at such scales, hence the distribution of the arrival directions of cosmic rays is expected to reflect the inhomogeneities in the distribution of galaxies; the shorter the energy loss lengths, the stronger the expected anisotropies. Galactic and intergalactic magnetic fields can blur and distort the picture, but the magnitudes of the largest-scale anisotropies, namely the dipole and quadrupole moments, are the most robust to their effects. Measuring them with no bias regardless of any higher-order multipoles is not possible except with full-sky coverage. In this work, we achieve this in three energy ranges (approximately 8--16 EeV, 16--32 EeV, and 32--‚ąě EeV) by combining surface-detector data collected at the Pierre Auger Observatory until 2020 and at the Telescope Array (TA) until 2019, before the completion of the upgrades of the arrays with new scintillator detectors. We find that the full-sky coverage achieved by combining Auger and TA data reduces the uncertainties on the north-south components of the dipole and quadrupole in half compared to Auger-only results

    Optical Genome Mapping for the Molecular Diagnosis of Facioscapulohumeral Muscular Dystrophy: Advancement and Challenges

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    Facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (FSHD) is the second most common muscular dystrophy in adults, and it is associated with local D4Z4 chromatin relaxation, mostly via the contraction of the D4Z4 macrosatellite repeat array on chromosome 4q35. In this study, we aimed to investigate the use of Optical Genome Mapping (OGM) as a diagnostic tool for testing FSHD cases from the UK and India and to compare OGM performance with that of traditional techniques such as linear gel (LGE) and Pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) Southern blotting (SB). A total of 6 confirmed and 19 suspected FSHD samples were processed with LGE and PFGE, respectively. The same samples were run using a Saphyr Genome-Imaging Instrument (1-color), and the data were analysed using custom EnFocus FSHD analysis. OGM was able to confirm the diagnosis of FSHD1 in all FSHD1 cases positive for SB (n = 17), and D4Z4 sizing highly correlated with PFGE-SB (p n = 2) and with a duplication of the D4Z4 repeat array. OGM is a promising new technology able to unravel structural variants in the genome and seems to be a valid tool for diagnosing FSHD1

    A Novel Tool for the Absolute End-to-End Calibration of Fluorescence Telescopes -The XY-Scanner

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    Radio Measurements of the Depth of Air-Shower Maximum at the Pierre Auger Observatory

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    International audienceThe Auger Engineering Radio Array (AERA), part of the Pierre Auger Observatory, is currently the largest array of radio antenna stations deployed for the detection of cosmic rays, spanning an area of 1717 km2^2 with 153 radio stations. It detects the radio emission of extensive air showers produced by cosmic rays in the 30‚ąí8030-80 MHz band. Here, we report the AERA measurements of the depth of the shower maximum (XmaxX_\text{max}), a probe for mass composition, at cosmic-ray energies between 1017.510^{17.5} to 1018.810^{18.8} eV, which show agreement with earlier measurements with the fluorescence technique at the Pierre Auger Observatory. We show advancements in the method for radio XmaxX_\text{max} reconstruction by comparison to dedicated sets of CORSIKA/CoREAS air-shower simulations, including steps of reconstruction-bias identification and correction, which is of particular importance for irregular or sparse radio arrays. Using the largest set of radio air-shower measurements to date, we show the radio XmaxX_\text{max} resolution as a function of energy, reaching a resolution better than 1515 g cm‚ąí2^{-2} at the highest energies, demonstrating that radio XmaxX_\text{max} measurements are competitive with the established high-precision fluorescence technique. In addition, we developed a procedure for performing an extensive data-driven study of systematic uncertainties, including the effects of acceptance bias, reconstruction bias, and the investigation of possible residual biases. These results have been cross-checked with air showers measured independently with both the radio and fluorescence techniques, a setup unique to the Pierre Auger Observatory

    A three-day forest-bathing retreat enhances positive affect, vitality, optimism, and gratitude: An option for green-care tourism in Italy?

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    Forest-bathing experiences can be seen as guided recreational activities led by non-clinical trained practitioners in the context of green, slow, and mindful tourism. Notwithstanding its growing practice, there is a lack of research on the psychological benefits which can help support nature-based tourism destination managers in unlocking the potential of this emerging tourism demand. This study will fill in this gap by testing the hypothesis that a three-day forest-bathing retreat, which fits with the most common type of holidays in Europe, will enhance positive affect, vitality, optimism, and gratitude as indicators of hedonic and eudaimonic well-being. Forty-four adults were involved in the residential program and filled-in self-report questionnaires before and after the experience to assess the well-being dimensions considered. Results showed a significant increase for all the assessed variables. We conclude that forest bathing as a mindful tourism practice carried out in natural settings dominated by forests can favor hedonic and eudaimonic well-being, thus becoming a potential source of attractiveness for nature-based touristic destinations, but more transdisciplinary efforts are needed to exploit this potential. In particular, research gaps still exist in Europe on cause-effect relations between forest features and psychological benefits, how forests could be managed to guarantee these benefits to the advantage of a tourism destination, and how tourism and forest management sectors could collaborate in this direction

    UHECR arrival directions in the latest data from the original Auger and TA surface detectors and nearby galaxies

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    The distribution of ultra-high-energy cosmic-ray arrival directions appears to be nearly isotropic except for a dipole moment of order 6√ó(E/10¬†EeV)6 \times (E/10~\mathrm{EeV}) per cent. Nonetheless, at the highest energies, as the number of possible candidate sources within the propagation horizon and the magnetic deflections both shrink, smaller-scale anisotropies might be expected to emerge. On the other hand, the flux suppression reduces the statistics available for searching for such anisotropies. In this work, we consider two different lists of candidate sources: a sample of nearby starburst galaxies and the 2MRS catalog tracing stellar mass within 250 Mpc. We combine surface-detector data collected at the Pierre Auger Observatory until 2020 and the Telescope Array until 2019, and use them to test models in which UHECRs comprise an isotropic background and a foreground originating from the candidate sources and randomly deflected by magnetic fields. The free parameters of these models are the energy threshold, the signal fraction, and the search angular scale. We find a correlation between the arrival directions of 11.8%‚ąí3.1%+5.0%11.8\%_{-3.1\%}^{+5.0\%} of cosmic rays detected with E‚Č•38¬†EeVE \ge 38~\mathrm{EeV} by Auger or with E‚Č≥49¬†EeVE \gtrsim 49~\mathrm{EeV} by TA and the position of nearby starburst galaxies on a 15.5‚ąė‚ąí3.2‚ąė+5.3‚ąė{15.5^\circ}_{-3.2^\circ}^{+5.3^\circ} angular scale, with a 4.2ŌÉ post-trial significance, as well as a weaker correlation with the overall galaxy distribution
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