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  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Valentina Amodeo; Mariangela Marrelli; Veronica Pontieri; Roberta Cassano; Sonia Trombino; Filomena Conforti; Giancarlo Statti;
    Publisher: MDPI AG

    Spontaneous edible plants have an old history of use in popular traditions all around the world, and the rediscovery of these species could also be useful for the search of new drugs. Chenopodium album L. (Amaranthaceae) and Sisymbrium officinale (L.) Scop. (Brassicaceae) are two annual plants traditionally used both as food and herbal remedies against inflammatory disorders. In this work, the potential anti-inflammatory and anti-arthritic activities of these plant species have been investigated, together with their antioxidant potential. The phytochemical composition was assessed as well by means of gas chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry (GC-MS) and high performance thin layer chromatography (HPTLC). The antioxidant properties were assessed using the DPPH and &beta -carotene bleaching test. The ability of extracts to protect against lipid peroxidation was also examined in rat-liver microsomal membranes. All the samples showed a preservation of antioxidant activity up to 60 min. A significant inhibitory activity on the production of the pro-inflammatory mediator nitric oxide was induced in lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-stimulated RAW 264.7 cells by the dichloromethane fraction of C. album extract, with an IC50 value equal to 81.7 ± g/mL), even if the best in vitro anti-arthritic activity was observed for the dichloromethane fraction of S. officinale extract, with an IC50 value of 680.9 ± g/mL. The same sample showed also a concentration-dependent anti-denaturation effect on heat-treated bovine serum albumin (IC50 = 975.6 ± 13.2 &mu 5.5 &mu 0.9 &mu g/mL.

  • Publication . Article . Other literature type . 2014
    Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Aleksić, J.; Ansoldi, S.; Biasuzzi, B.; Paredes, J. M.; Paredes-Fortuny, X.; Persic, M.; Prada Moroni, P. G.; Prandini, E.; Puljak, I.; Reinthal, R.; +138 more
    Publisher: EDP Sciences
    Countries: Spain, Italy, Spain, Spain, Croatia, Italy, Germany, Croatia, Spain, Spain ...
    Project: MZOS | Photon-atom interaction a... (098-0982931-2875), SNSF | Investigating Extragalact... (144364), MZOS | Photon-atom interaction a... (098-0982931-2875), SNSF | Investigating Extragalact... (144364)

    The pulsar wind nebula (PWN) 3C 58 is one of the historical very-high-energy (VHE; E>100 GeV) gamma-ray source candidates. It is energized by one of the highest spin-down power pulsars known (5% of Crab pulsar) and it has been compared to the Crab Nebula due to their morphological similarities. This object was previously observed by imaging atmospheric Cherenkov telescopes (Whipple, VERITAS and MAGIC), although not detected, with an upper limit of 2.4% Crab Unit (C.U.) at VHE. It was detected by Fermi-LAT with a spectrum extending beyond 100 GeV. We analyzed 81 hours of 3C 58 data taken with the MAGIC telescopes and we detected VHE gamma-ray emission with a significance of 5.7 sigma and an integral flux of 0.65% C.U. above 1 TeV. The differential energy spectrum between 400 GeV and 10 TeV is well described by a power-law function d��/dE=f_0(E/1TeV)^{-Gamma} with f_0=(2.0\pm0.4_{stat}\pm0.6_{sys})\times10^{-13}cm^{-2}s^{-1}TeV^{-1} and Gamma=2.4\pm0.2_{stat}\pm0.2_{sys}. The skymap is compatible with an unresolved source. We report the first significant detection of PWN 3C 58 at TeV energies. According to our results 3C 58 is the least luminous VHE gamma-ray PWN ever detected at VHE and the one with the lowest flux at VHE to date. We compare our results with the expectations of time-dependent models in which electrons up-scatter photon fields. The best representation favors a distance to the PWN of 2 kpc and Far Infrared (FIR) comparable to CMB photon fields. If we consider an unexpectedly high FIR density, the data can also be reproduced by models assuming a 3.2 kpc distance. A low magnetic field, far from equipartition, is required to explain the VHE data. Hadronic contribution from the hosting supernova remnant (SNR) requires unrealistic energy budget given the density of the medium, disfavoring cosmic ray acceleration in the SNR as origin of the VHE gamma-ray emission. 5 pages, 3 figures, accebted by A&A Letters

  • Open Access
    Authors: 
    Michael Pfister; Damiano Capobianco; Blake P. Tullis; Anton Schleiss;
    Publisher: Asce-Amer Soc Civil Engineers
    Country: Switzerland

    The collection of floating woody debris at flow control structures, such as spillways and weirs, can potentially result in reduced discharge efficiency (higher upstream head for a given weir discharge). Compared to less hydraulically-efficient control structures, piano key weirs have higher discharge efficiency (lower upstream heads for a given discharge), which may increase the likelihood of woody debris collection. A systematic laboratory study was conducted to evaluate the interaction between various piano key weir geometries and woody debris types and sizes. The results of individual (noncumulative) debris tests indicated that floating debris blockage probability is highly influenced by trunk diameter and upstream head. The effects of debris accumulation on the upstream head varied with the value of the debrisfree reference upstream head condition. At lower upstream reference head values, the cumulative debris tests indicated a relative increase of the debris-associated upstream head of approximately 70%; higher upstream reference head values produced upstream head increases limited to approximately 20%.

  • Publication . Conference object . Article . 2014
    Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Richard Tarparelli; Renato Iovine; Luigi La Spada; Lucio Vegni;
    Countries: Czech Republic, Italy

    Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to contribute an analytical and numerical study of a new type of nanoshell particles operating in the visible regime. Design/methodology/approach – The structure consists of a core/shell particle, arranged in a planar array configuration, with a polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA)-graphene core and gold thin shell. Findings – By exploiting the proposed analytical model the design of a metamaterial-based sensor, operating in the optical frequency range, for the detection of tissue diseases is shown. Originality/value – Full-wave simulations confirm the capability of the proposed sensor to identify different compounds by refractive index measurement.

  • Open Access
    Authors: 
    Veronica Dimuccio; Andrea Ranghino; Loredana Praticò Barbato; Fabrizio Fop; Luigi Biancone; Giovanni Camussi; Benedetta Bussolati;
    Publisher: Public Library of Science (PLoS)
    Country: Italy

    Extracellular vesicles (EVs) present in the urine are mainly released from cells of the nephron and can therefore provide information on kidney function. We here evaluated the presence of vesicles expressing the progenitor marker CD133 in the urine of normal subjects and of patients undergoing renal transplant. We found that EV expressing CD133 were present in the urine of normal subjects, but not of patients with end stage renal disease. The first day after transplant, urinary CD133+ EVs were present at low levels, to increase thereafter (at day 7). Urinary CD133(+) EVs significantly increased in patients with slow graft function in respect to those with early graft function. In patients with a severe pre-transplant vascular damage of the graft, CD133(+) EVs did not increase at day 7. At variance, the levels of EVs expressing the renal exosomal marker CD24 did not vary in the urine of patients with end stage renal disease or in transplanted patients in respect to controls. Sorted CD133(+) EVs were found to express glomerular and proximal tubular markers. These data indicate that urinary CD133(+) EVs are continuously released during the homeostatic turnover of the nephron and may provide information on its function or regenerative potential.

  • Open Access
    Authors: 
    Marco Gavanelli; Maddalena Nonato; Andrea Peano;
    Publisher: Oxford University Press (OUP)
    Country: Italy
    Project: EC | EPOLICY (288147)

    Positioning of valves is a real-life issue in Water Distribution System design and, currently, it is usually addressed by hand by hydraulic engineers, or by means of genetic algorithms, that give no assurance of optimality. Since a given valves placement identifies a sectorization of the WDS in several isolable portions, the valves positioning problem can be seen as a variant of the well known graph partitioning, which is a hard combinatorial problem. [2] showed recently that Computational Logic can provide technologies and techniques that can be exploited to model and achieve the optimal partition of the water network (i.e., the optimal positioning of valves). In particular, they tackled the optimization of the valves positioning through a two player game model, giving a Constraint Logic Programming formalization to solve it effectively. The aim of this paper, instead, is to investigate the potential of Answer Set Programming in this practical application; evaluation is in terms both of language expressivity and solving efficiency. Results are discussed for different ASP models and a comparison with the CLP(FD) technique shown by [2] will be given.

  • Open Access
    Authors: 
    Alessandra Re;
    Publisher: IOP Publishing

    The Borexino collaboration has recently published the most precise, direct measurement of 7Be solar neutrino rate and the exclusion of a significant day-night asymmetry. These results, combined with the other solar neutrino data, isolate for the first time the Large Mixing Angle solution at Δχ2 > 190 (2 d.o.f.), without relying on the antineutrino results. We present a phenomenological analysis of neutrino data (the most up-to-date from solar, reactor, atmospheric and accelerator experiments) within the standard scenario of three non-sterile and mixed neutrinos. The aim is to study the implications of Borexino results in neutrino Physics and solar interior astrophysics.

  • Open Access
    Authors: 
    Luca Deseri; G. Gentili; John M. Golden;
    Publisher: Technological University Dublin
    Country: Ireland
    Project: EC | HOTBRICKS (609758), NSF | Center for Nonlinear Anal... (0635983)

    Explicit expressions for the minimum free energy of a linear viscoelastic material and Noll’s definition of state are used here to explore spatial energy decay estimates for viscoelastic bodies, in the full dynamical case and in the quasi-static approximation. In the inertial case, Chirita et al. obtained a certain spatial decay inequality for a space–time integral over a portion of the body and over a finite time interval of the total mechanical energy. This involves the work done on histories, which is not a function of state in general. Here it is shown that for free energies which are functions of state and obey a certain reasonable property, the spatial decay of the corresponding space–time integral is stronger than the one involving the work done on the past history. It turns out that the bound obtained is optimal for the minimal free energy. Two cases are discussed for the quasi-static approximation. The first case deals with general states, so that general histories belonging to the equivalence class of any given state can be considered. The continuity of the stress functional with respect to the norm based on the minimal free energy is proved, and the energy measure based on the minimal free energy turns out to obey the decay inequality derived Chirita et al. for the quasi-static case. The second case explores a crucial point for viscoelastic materials, namely that the response is influenced by the rate of application of loads. Quite surprisingly, the analysis of this phenomenon in the context of Saint-Venant principles has never been carried out explicitly before, even in the linear case. This effect is explored by considering states, the related histories of which are sinusoidal. The spatial decay parameter is shown to be frequency-dependent, i.e. it depends on the rate of load application, and it is proved that of those considered, the most conservative estimate of the frequency-dependent decay is associated with the minimal free energy. A comparison is made of the results for sinusoidal histories at low frequencies and general histories.

  • Open Access English
    Authors: 
    Hammond, J. O. S.; Kendall, J. -M.; Wookey, J.; Stuart, G. W.; Keir, D.; Ayele, A.;
    Publisher: American Geophysical Union
    Countries: United Kingdom, Italy, United Kingdom
    Project: NSF | Facilitating New Discover... (1063471), NSF | Collaborative Research: M... (0635789)

    Ethiopia is a region where continental rifting gives way to oceanic spreading. Yet the role that pre-existing lithospheric structure, melt, mantle flow, or active upwellings may play in this process is debated. Measurements of seismic anisotropy are often used to attempt to understand the contribution that these mechanisms may play. In this study, we use new data in Afar, Ethiopia along with legacy data across Ethiopia, Djibouti, and Yemen to obtain estimates of mantle anisotropy using SKS-wave splitting. We show that two layers of anisotropy exist, and we directly invert for these. We show that fossil anisotropy with fast directions oriented northeast-southwest may be preserved in the lithosphere away from the rift. Beneath the Main Ethiopian Rift and parts of Afar, anisotropy due to shear segregated melt along sharp changes in lithospheric thickness dominates the shear-wave splitting signal in the mantle. Beneath Afar, away from regions with significant lithospheric topography, melt pockets associated with the crustal and uppermost mantle magma storage dominate the signal in localized regions. In general, little anisotropy is seen in the uppermost mantle beneath Afar suggesting melt retains no preferential alignment. These results show the important role melt plays in weakening the lithosphere and imply that as rifting evolves passive upwelling sustains extension. A dominant northeast-southwest anisotropic fast direction is observed in a deeper layer across all of Ethiopia. This suggests that a conduit like plume is lacking beneath Afar today, rather a broad flow from the southwest dominates flow in the upper mantle.

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