92 research outputs found

    The WooDestress index: a tool to evaluate the destressing potential of urban woodlands, through the assessment of their naturalness

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    According to the United Nation the next years will be characterized by an urbanization process that will lead to the increase of densely populated areas. One of the possible consequence could be the increase of stressful factors, which can lead to chronic stress and chronic stress related diseases. To face this situation, a new approach in city planning is required. One of the aspect that urban managers should take into account is the important role that natural environments play to improve the citizen life quality. It was shown that the wooded areas characterized by the presence of many natural elements are among the most effective environments to reduce stress. However, an empirical method to characterize different urban woodland in order to know their “destressing potential” does not exist. For this reason, the purpose of this study is to develop an index to evaluate the naturalness of urban woodlands based on how they offer relaxing and destressing experiences. The result is the WooDestress index (WDI), a tool that considers five features already adopted to assess the naturalness in forest ecology. The evaluation of each feature depends on how it can contribute to offer relaxing experiences in an urban woodland. The index was tested for the first time in four urban parks located in Malmö (SE). According to the results, the main frame of the index seems to be valid, but it should be considered as a first draft. Some components of WDI should be improved and tested in different areas. However, with WDI it was possible to evaluate different woodlands in Malmö, obtaining different values. This result, even though it should be verified, it can be considered as a spark for the future research.Secondo le Nazioni Unite i prossimi anni saranno caratterizzati da un processo di urbanizzazione che determinerà l’aumento delle aree densamente popolate. Una delle possibili conseguenze potrebbe essere l’aumento di fattori causa di stress, i quali possono portare allo stress cronico ed a malattie ad esso correlate. Per affrontare questa situazione c’è bisogno di un nuovo approccio nella pianificazione della città. Uno degli aspetti che i gestori del verde urbano dovrebbero considerare è l’importante ruolo che ricoprono gli ambienti naturali nel migliorare la qualità della vita dei cittadini. E’ stato dimostrato che le aree boscate caratterizzate dalla presenza di molti elementi naturali sono tra gli ambienti più efficaci per la riduzione dello stress. Tuttavia non esiste un metodo empirico per caratterizzare diversi boschi urbani col fine di conoscerne la loro capacità di ridurre lo stress. Per questo motivo lo scopo di questo studio è di sviluppare un indice per valutare la naturalità di boschi urbani sulla base di come questi offrano esperienze di de-stress e rilassamento. Il risultato è l’indice WooDestress (WDI), uno strumento che considera 5 caratteristiche già adottate per la stima della naturalità in ecologia forestale. La valutazione di ciascuna caratteristica è basata su come queste contribuiscano ad offrire esperienze di rilassamento in un bosco urbano. L’indice è stato testato la prima volta in quattro parchi urbani di Malmö (SE). Stando ai risultati, la struttura principale dell’indice sembra essere funzionale, ma dovrebbe essere considerata come una prima bozza. Alcuni componenti del WDI dovrebbero essere migliorati e testati in diverse aree. Tuttavia, con il WDI è stato possibile valutare diverse aree boscate di Malmö, ottenendo valori differenti. Questo risultato, sebbene debba essere verificato, può essere considerato uno spunto per ricerche future

    Track geometry monitoring by an on-board computer-vision-based sensor system

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    This article illustrates some outcomes of the EU project Assets4Rail, founded within the Shift2Rail Joint Undertaking. Nowadays, Track recording vehicles (TRV) are equipped with laser/optical systems with inertial units to monitor track geometry (TG). Dedicated trains and sophisticated measurement equipment are difficult, costly to acquire and maintain. So the time interval between two TRV recordings of the TG on the same line section cannot be too close (twice per month to twice per year). Recently, infrastructure managers have been more interested in using commercial trains to monitor track condition in a cost-effective manner. TRVs' expensive and constantly maintained optical systems make them unsuitable for commercial fleets. On-board sensor systems based on indirect measurements such as accelerations have been developed in various studies. While detecting the vertical irregularity is a straightforward method by doubling the recorded acceleration, it is yet an unsolved issue for lateral irregularities due to the complicated relative wheel-rail motion. The proposed system combines wheel-rail transversal relative position data with on-board lateral acceleration sensors to detect lateral alignment issues. It includes a functional prototype of an on-board computer vision sensor capable of monitoring Lateral displacement for TG measurements. This eliminates measurement errors due to wheelset transverse displacements relative to the track, which is essential for calculating lateral alignment. The sensor system prototype was tested in Italy at 100 km/h on the Aldebaran 2.0 TRV of RFI, the main Italian Infrastructure Manager. It was found that the estimated lateral displacement well corresponds to the lateral alignment acquired by the Aldebaran 2.0 commercial TG inspection equipment. Moreover, due to the lack of measurement of the acceleration on board the Aldebaran 2.0 TRV, a Simpack® simulation provide with axle box acceleration values, to evaluate the correlation between them, LDWR and track alignment issues

    Surgeon volume and body mass index influence positive surgical margin risk after robot-assisted radical prostatectomy: Results in 732 cases

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    Objectives: To evaluate clinicopathological and perioperative factors associated with the risk of focal and non-focal positive surgical margins (PSMs) after robot-assisted radical prostatectomy (RARP).Patients and methods: The study was retrospective and excluded patients who were under androgen-deprivation therapy or had prior treatments. The population included: negative SM cases (control group), focal and non-focal PSM cases (study groups). PSMs were classified as focal when the linear extent of cancer invasion was <= 1 mm and non-focal when >1 mm. The independent association of factors with the risk of focal and non-focal PSMs was assessed by multinomial logistic regression.Results: In all, 732 patients underwent RARP, from January 2013 to December 2017. An extended pelvic lymph node dissection was performed in 342 cases (46.7%). In all, 192 cases (26.3%) had PSMs, which were focal in 133 (18.2%) and non-focal in 59 (8.1%). Independent factors associated with the risk of focal PSMs were body mass index (odds ratio [OR] 0.914; P = 0.006), percentage of biopsy positive cores (BPC; OR 1.011; P = 0.015), pathological extracapsular extension (pathological tumour stage [pT]3a; OR 2.064; P = 0.016), and seminal vesicle invasion (pT3b; OR 2.150; P = 0.010). High surgeon volume was a protective factor in having focal PSM (OR 0.574; P = 0.006). Independent predictors of non-focal PSMs were BPC (OR 1,013; P = 0,044), pT3a (OR 4,832; P < 0.001), and pT3b (OR 5,153; P = 0.001).Conclusions: In high-volume centres features related to host, tumour and surgeon volume are factors that predict the risk of focal and non-focal PSMs after RARP

    High surgeon volume and positive surgical margins can predict the risk of biochemical recurrence after robot-assisted radical prostatectomy

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    Background: The aim of this study was to determine whether any clinical factors are independent predictors of positive surgical margins (PSM), and to assess the association of PSM and biochemical recurrence (BR) after robot-assisted radical prostatectomy (RARP). Methods: The population included cases with negative surgical margins (control group) and patients with PSM (study group). Tumor grade was evaluated according to the International Society of Urologic Pathology (ISUP) system. A logistic regression model assessed the independent association of factors with the risk of PSM. The risk of BR was assessed by Cox\u2019s multivariate proportional hazards. Results: A total of 732 consecutive patients were evaluated. Extend pelvic lymph node dissection (ePLND) was performed in 342 cases (46.7%). Overall, 192 cases (26.3%) had PSM. The risk of PSM was positively associated with the percentage of biopsy positive cores (BPC; odds ratio, OR = 1.012; p = 0.004), extracapsular extension (pT3a; OR=2.702; p < 0.0001), invasion of seminal vesicle (pT3b; OR = 2.889; p < 0.0001), but inversely with body mass index (OR = 0.936; p = 0.021), and high surgeon volume (OR = 0.607; p = 0.006). Independent clinical factors associated with the risk of BR were baseline prostate-specific antigen (PSA; hazard ratio, HR = 1.064; p = 0.004), BPC (HR = 1.015; p = 0.027), ISUP biopsy grade group (BGG) 2/3 (HR = 2.966; p = 0.003), and BGG 4/5 (HR = 3.122; p = 0.022). Pathologic factors associated with the risk of BR were ISUP group 4/5 (HR = 3.257; p = 0.001), pT3b (HR = 2.900; p = 0.003), and PSM (HR = 2.096; p = 0.045). Conclusions: In our cohort, features related to host, tumor, and surgeon volume are associated with the risk of PSM, which is also an independent parameter predicting BR after RARP. The surgical volume of the operating surgeon is an independent factor that decreases the risk of PSM, and, as such, the risk of BR

    Prostate volume index and prostatic chronic inflammation have an effect on tumor load at baseline random biopsies in patients with normal DRE and PSA values less than 10\u2009ng/ml: results of 564 consecutive cases

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    Background: To assess the association of prostate volume index (PVI), defined as the ratio of the central transition zone volume (CTZV) to the peripheral zone volume (PZV), and prostatic chronic inflammation (PCI) as predictors of prostate cancer (PCA) load in patients presenting with normal digital rectal exam (DRE) and prostate-specific antigen (PSA) <= 10 ng/ml at baseline random biopsies. Methods: Parameters evaluated included age, PSA, total prostate volume (TPV), PSA density (PSAD), PVI and PCI. All patients underwent 14 core transperineal randomized biopsies. We considered small and high PCA load patients with no more than three (limited tumor load) and greater than three (extensive tumor load) positive biopsy cores, respectively. The association of factors with the risk of PCA was evaluated by logistic regression analysis, utilizing different multivariate models. Results: 564 Caucasian patients were included. PCA and PCI were detected in 242 (42.9%) and 129 (22.9%) cases, respectively. On multivariate analysis, PVI and PCI were independent predictors of the risk of detecting limited or extensive tumor load. The risk of detecting extensive tumor load at baseline biopsies was increased by PSAD above the median and third quartile as well as PVI <= 1 [odds ratio (OR)=1.971] but decreased by PCI (OR=0.185; 95% CI: 0.088-0.388). Conclusions: Higher PVI and the presence of PCI predicted decreased PCA risk in patients presenting with normal DRE, and a PSA <= 10 ng/ml at baseline random biopsy. In this subset of patients, a PVI <= or >1 is able to differentiate patients with PCA or PCI
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