University of Milan
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Cyanide (CN⁻) is extensively used in the process of plating devices and for surface treatment in the electroplating industry and is extremely hazardous to humans and the environment. Peroxymonosulfate (PMS)-based advanced oxidation processes (AOPs) hold considerable promise for CN⁻ removal. However, the activity of sulfate radical and hydroxyl radical generated in the PMS activation process is low in the base condition, leading to a drop in its efficiency in CN⁻ removal. Thus, a photo-electrocatalytic system (PEC), developed using a TiO2 photoanode and a carbon aerogel cathode, was used to activate PMS for the removal of CN⁻ from wastewater through the generation of radicals and non-radicals. The PEC/PMS system could effectively remove CN⁻, with the removal efficiency reaching 98.5% within 2 min, when PMS concentration was at the 0.25 mmol/L level, and the applied bias voltage was -0.5 V. The main active species in the PEC/PMS system were superoxide radicals and singlet oxygen, which was proved through electron paramagnetic resonance detection and quenching experiments. Results obtained through in-situ Raman measurements, photocurrent tests, and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy measurements indicated that the TiO2 could activate PMS to generate active species. Following many cycles of experimentation, it was discovered that the system displayed high catalytic performance and possessed satisfactory stability to remove CN⁻ economically and efficiently.
Cereals greatly contribute to achieving a healthy and sustainable diet. This chapter covers the main aspects related to sustainable cereal production from field to table, which can involve the exploitation of underutilized grains, the use of wholegrain or wholemeal flours and the valorization of processing by-products. Barriers are associated with each of these options, and research activity has taken place to address some of these challenges. Starting from the description of the kernel organization and composition, the main processing operations applied to major cereals are described to explain by-product generation. Factors that limit the utilization of by-products are discussed and the main processing techniques to enhance their incorporation and exploit their full potential are summarized.
Rett syndrome (RTT) is a devastating genetic disorder that worldwide represents the most common genetic cause of severe intellectual disability in females. Most cases are caused by mutations in the X-linked MECP2 gene. The available molecular data suggest that MeCP2 is a key protein in the brain and that its level and functions cannot be altered without severe consequences in both genders. Importantly, in 2007, it was demonstrated that RTT in principle is a reversible condition and that MeCP2-related disorders can be treated even at late stages of disease progression. However, to develop clinical applications, the functional role(s) of MeCP2 and their relevance for RTT pathobiology must be clearly understood. This chapter presents current knowledge of MeCP2 functions and its etiological role in disease development, the most promising therapeutic strategies and those that may be relevant in the future, and the challenges associated with treating RTT.
Introduction According to the recent adaptation of the I-PACE model, desire thinking and craving might be closely related to problematic Internet pornography use. The overall aim of the present study was to investigate the role of two components of desire thinking (imaginal prefiguration and verbal perseveration) and craving in problematic Internet pornography use. Furthermore, we examined gender differences in the underlying mechanism linking desire thinking to problematic Internet pornography use. Method A total of 414 Italian adults (mean age = 27.55 years, SD = 6.13; age range= 18 – 58; 53.6% men) participated in this study. Participants completed an online survey to assess problematic Internet pornography use, pornography craving, desire thinking and problematic Internet use. Path analyses and a multi-group approach were used to test the relationships among variables and to explore gender differences. Results Imaginal prefiguration was associated to pornography craving which, in turn, was associated to verbal perseveration as proximal antecedent of problematic Internet pornography use, above and beyond the effect of age, relationship status, and problematic Internet use. Two paths significantly differed between men and women: the path between verbal perseveration and problematic Internet pornography, which for women was weaker and did not reach significance; and the path between problematic Internet use and problematic Internet pornography use that was not significant for women. Conclusions In line with the I-PACE model, the present study provided support for the potential role of desire thinking in problematic Internet pornography use as a specific Internet-use disorder and expanded the literature in the field by testing unexplored gender differences. Preventive and clinical implications are discussed.
Large-scale projects in fundamental science, such as major particle colliders, radio telescopes, synchrotron light sources are promoted by scientific communities in the first place, mainly funded by governments, and ultimately by taxpayers. Little is known, however, about preferences of the latter except in the form of qualitative social attitudes survey. We suggest that understanding taxpayers' preferences in the form of their willingness to pay (a money metric) for fundamental science is feasible and informative. We have designed a contingent valuation (CV) experiment about public support of science as reflected in the preferences of Swiss taxpayers for particle physics research at CERN, the laboratory where the Higgs boson has been discovered in 2012. Differently from a previous study on the attitudes of French citizens, in this paper we propose a novel methodological framework by a dual repeated bidding mechanism where sub-samples of respondents are respectively given/not given the information on the implicit tax they already pay to support CERN in the first place. We find clear convergence of results between the groups and discuss why such a finding has policy and methodological implications for research on government funding of basic research. We compare findings in Switzerland and France. The experiment is replicable in different countries and scientific fields and opens the way to a new empirical research avenue on the public support to science.
Staphylococcus aureus is a major pathogen causing intramammary infection and mastitis in dairy cows. S. aureus genotypes (GT) can differ significantly in their ability to diffuse and persist in the herd; while the association of virulence gene carriage with epidemiological behavior remains unclear, a role for secreted proteins has been postulated. We characterized the secretome of six S. aureus strains belonging to two genotypes with opposite within-herd prevalence, GTB (high) and GTS (low), corresponding to sequence types (ST) 8 and 398, by high-resolution tandem mass spectrometry and differential analysis with Proteome Discoverer. Data are available via ProteomeXchange with identifier PXD029571. Out of 720 identified proteins, 98 were unique or more abundant in GTB/ST8 and 68 in GTS/ST398. GTB/ST8 released more immunoglobulin-binding proteins, complement and antimicrobial peptide inhibitors, enterotoxins, and metabolic enzymes, while GTS/ST398 released more leukocidins, hemolysins, lipases, and peptidases. Furthermore, GTB/ST8 released the von Willebrand factor protein, staphylokinase, and clumping factor B, while GTS released the staphylococcal coagulase and clumping factor A. Hence, GTB/ST8 secretomes indicated a higher propensity for immune evasion and chronicity and GTS/ST398 secretomes for cellular damage and inflammation, consistent with their epidemiological characteristics. Accordingly, GTS/ST398 secretions were significantly more cytotoxic against bovine PBMCs in vitro. Our findings confirm the crucial role of extracellular virulence factors in S. aureus pathogenesis and highlight the need to investigate their differential release adding to gene carriage for a better understanding of the relationship of S. aureus genotypes with epidemiological behavior and, possibly, disease severity.
The major histocompatibility complex-class I chain related proteins A and B (MICA/B) is upregulated because of cellular stress and MICA/B shedding by cancer cells causes escape from NKG2D recognition favoring the emergence of cancers. Cholangiocarcinoma (CCA) is a relatively rare, though increasingly prevalent, primary liver cancer characterized by a late clinical presentation and a dismal prognosis. We explored the NKG2D-MICA/B axis in NK cells from 41 patients with intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma (iCCA). The MICA/B-specific 7C6 mAb was used for ex vivo antibody-dependent cytotoxicity (ADCC) experiments using circulating, non tumor liver- and tumor-infiltrating NK cells against the HuCCT-1 cell line and patient-derived primary iCCA cells as targets. MICA/B were more expressed in iCCA than in non-tumoral tissue, MICA transcription being higher in moderately-differentiated compared with poorly-differentiated cancer. Serum MICA was elevated in iCCA patients in line with higher expression of ADAM10 and ADAM17 that are responsible for proteolytic release of MICA/B from tumor. Addition of 7C6 significantly boosted peripheral, liver- and tumor-infiltrating-NK cell degranulation and IFNγ production toward MICA/B-expressing established cell lines and autologous iCCA patient target cells. Our data show that anti-MICA/B drives NK cell anti-tumor activity, and provide preclinical evidence in support of 7C6 as a potential immunotherapeutic tool for iCCA.
Rearing techniques are important to determine a successful honey bee production. Queen cell cup size may affect the acceptance rate of grafted larvae and queen’s size, which in turn may influence the quality of the colonies. The present study compared the effect of different queen cell cup sizes (8.0 vs 9.0 mm diameter) on morphometric characteristics of queen honey bees. Sixty-five larvae were grafted to each treatment. Larvae transfer was carried out five times, in June and August 2019. Head, thorax and abdomen width of the newly emerged queens were measured using an electronic calliper, and the weight of each of the three segments was recorded using a precision scale. All morphometric traits measured on the accepted larvae were significantly (p <.001) higher in queens raised in larger cell cups, except for head width. Principal Component Analysis on morphometric traits shows higher values on PC1 (58.4% of explained variance) for queens raised in larger cell cups. Highest loadings were found for variables related to weight of the three parts. Among the many factors affecting queen’s quality, cell cup size seems to have a positive effect on queens’ body parts weights.HIGHLIGHTS Increasing the standard diameter of conventional cell cups allows rearing heavier and larger honey bee queens. The grafting period affects morphometric parameters, with higher size and body weight in the last decade of June. © 2022 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.
Background: Recent studies suggest that acute-combined carnosine and anserine supplementation has the potential to improve the performance of certain cycling protocols. Yet, data on optimal dose, timing of ingestion, effective exercise range, and mode of action are lacking. Three studies were conducted to establish dosing and timing guidelines concerning carnosine and anserine intake and to unravel the mechanism underlying the ergogenic effects. Methods: First, a dose response study A was conducted in which 11 men randomly received placebo, 10, 20, or 30 mg.kg-1 of both carnosine and anserine. They performed 3x maximal voluntary isometric contractions (MVC), followed by a 5 x 6 s repeated cycling sprint ability test (RSA), once before the supplement and 30 and 60 minutes after. In a second study, 15 men performed 3x MVCs with femoral nerve electrical stimulation, followed by an RSA test, once before 30 mg.kg-1 carnosine and anserine and 60 minutes after. Finally, in study C, eight men performed a high intensity cycling training after randomly ingesting 30 mg.kg-1 of carnosine and anserine, a placebo or antihistamines (reduce post-exercise blood flow) to investigate effects on muscle perfusion. Results: Study A showed a 3% peak power (p = 0.0005; 95% CI = 0.07 to 0.27; ES = 0.91) and 4.5% peak torque (p = 0.0006; 95% CI = 0.12 to 0.50; ES = 0.87) improvement on RSA and MVC, with 30 mg.kg-1 carnosine + anserine ingestion 60 minutes before the performance yielding the best results. Study B found no performance improvement on group level; however, a negative correlation (r = -0.54; p = 0.0053; 95% CI = -0.77 to -0.19) was found between carnosinase enzyme activity (responsible for carnosine and anserine breakdown) and performance improvement. No effect of the supplement on neuromuscular function nor on muscle perfusion was found. Conclusions: These studies reveal that acute ingestion of 30 mg.kg-1 of both carnosine and anserine, 60 minutes before a high intensity exercise, can potentially improve performance, such as short cycling sprints or maximal muscle contractions. Subjects with lower carnosinase activity, and thus a slower breakdown of circulating dipeptides, appear to benefit more from this ergogenic effect. Finally, neither the involvement of a direct effect on neuromuscular function, nor an indirect effect on recovery through increased muscle perfusion could be confirmed as potential mechanism of action. The ergogenic mechanism therefore remains elusive.
Mountain dairy products are recognised as high-quality food but there are still few studies concerning the effects of seasonality and herd management on the profile of bioactive compounds in cheeses. This study was planned to assess the effect of season (summer versus winter) and feeding management (pasture versus integration) on fatty acids (FAs) profile, anti-hypertensive (ACE-IA) and anti-oxidant properties (ABTS-SA, FRAP), total thiol (SH) and phenolic (TP) contents of cheeses from two dairy cow farms (Farm A and Farm B) located in Piedmontese Alps (Italy). Cheese samples collected in the farms were submitted to an integrated analytical approach and the results were processed by full factorial ANOVA and PCA. The trends observed from the FAs profile confirmed the beneficial influence of supplying fresh forage to lactating cows. The ACE-IA was higher in summer than in winter cheese but depended upon the farm factor. Among the indicators of antioxidant activity, only the ABTS-SA was affected by the season, even though with significant differences between the farms. The TP content did not show any clear pattern, but it was higher than the values described in the literature. The PCA of all the data showed that several FAs and the ABTS-SA gave relevant contributions to clearly group the cheese samples according to the production season or farm. In conclusion, alpine cheese exhibited high nutritional quality under the consumers’ health standpoint, and the identification of the healthier summer cheeses for traceability or labelling purposes, can be obtained.Highlights Seasonality and herd management practices affected the nutritional quality of cheese produced in two dairy farms in Piedemontese Alps. Lipid quality was affected by the feeding strategy, with the greater improvements obtained by pasture grazing or fresh grass consumption in the barn. ACE-inhibitory activity and anti-oxidant properties were influenced by both seasonality and farm of origin, with the best values measured in summer cheese. © 2022 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.
The aim of the present study was to assess feasibility, safety and outcome of ultrasound (US) guided percutaneous radiofrequency (RF) ablation of large substernal benign thyroid nodules assisted by US-computed tomography (CT) fusion imaging and real-time virtual needle tracking (VT) system. Thirty patients (18 females, mean age 56 y, range 32-76 y) with 35 benign nonfunctioning thyroid nodules (mean volume ± SD 26.8 ± 7.6 mL; range 20-38mL) were selected for CT-US fusion guided RF ablation. Nodules' volume was evaluated before treatment and during 12-months follow-up. Complications' rate was also evaluated. US-CT fusion imaging with VT system was feasible in all cases (feasibility 100%) and it was always possible to complete the procedure as planned (technical success 100%). Minor complications occurred in 2/30 cases (6.6%). No major complications occurred. 50% volume reduction (technique efficacy) was achieved in 93% cases, with a significant mean volume reduction at 12 months follow-up (68.7 ± 10.8%), (p < .001). The VT system could be useful in thyroid nodules ablation procedures assistance being able to track the RF electrode tip even when this is obscured by the bubbles produced by the ablative process. The combination of fusion imaging with VT assisted RF ablation represents a safe, non-surgical treatment option for patients with large substernal benign thyroid nodules.
Accurately monitoring the variation of snow cover from remote sensing is vital since it assists in various fields including prediction of floods, control of runoff values, and the ice regime of rivers. Spectral indices methods are traditional ways to realize snow segmentation, including the most common one – the Normalized Difference Snow Index (NDSI), which utilizes the combination of green and short-wave infrared (SWIR) bands. In addition, spectral indices methods heavily depend on the optimal threshold to determine the accuracy, making it time-consuming to find optimal values for different places. Convolutional neural networks ensemble model with DeepLabV3+ was employed as sub-models for snow segmentation using (Sentinel-2), which aims to distinguish clouds and water body from snow. The imagery dataset generated in this article contains sites in global alpine regions such as Tibetan Plateau in China, the Alps in Switzerland, Alaska in the United States, Southern Patagonian Icefield in Chile, Tsylos Provincial Park, Tatsamenie Peak, and Dalton Peak in Canada. To overcome the limitation of DeepLabV3+, which only accepts three channels as input features, and the need to use six features: green, red, blue, near-infraRed, SWIR, and NDSI, 20 three-channel DeepLabV3+ sub-models, were constructed with different combinations of three features and then ensembled together. The proposed ensemble model showed superior performance than benchmark spectral indices method, with mIoU values ranging from 0.8075 to 0.9538 in different test sites. The results of this project contribute to the development of automated snow segmentation tools to assist earth observation applications.
Background Many studies consider the contamination of dental unit waterlines (DUWLs), but few of them have studied the possible presence of antibiotic resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa in the DUWLs. Aims Investigation of the presence of P. aeruginosa and Pseudomonas spp. strains in DUWLs and evaluation of their resistance to six antibiotics (ceftazidime, netilmicin, piperacillin/tazobactam, meropenem, levofloxacin, colistin sulfate) at a public dental clinic in Milan, Italy. Results Dental units were contaminated by P. aeruginosa with loads of 2–1,000 CFU/L and were mainly located on the mezzanine floor, with a range of 46–54%, while Pseudomonas spp. were primarily found on the first and second floors, ranging from 50 to 91%. P. aeruginosa was antibiotic resistant in 30% of the strains tested, andPseudomonas spp. in 31.8% . Cold water from controls was also contaminated by these microorganisms. Conclusion Monitoring antibiotic resistance in the water and adopting disinfection procedures on DUs are suggested within the Water Safety Plan.
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18,556 members
Piergiorgio Duca
  • Department of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences "Luigi Sacco"
Marco Leonardi
  • Department of Economics, Management and Quantitative Methods DEMM
Ugo Cioffi
  • Dipartimento di Fisiopatologia Medico-Chirurgica e dei Trapianti
Davide Lecca
  • Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences (DISFARM)
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Prof. Elio Franzini
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