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Search Results: 1 - 10 of 1897 matches for " Pietro Ceccato "
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A Vectorial Capacity Product to Monitor Changing Malaria Transmission Potential in Epidemic Regions of Africa
Pietro Ceccato,Christelle Vancutsem,Robert Klaver,James Rowland,Stephen J. Connor
Journal of Tropical Medicine , 2012, DOI: 10.1155/2012/595948
Abstract: Rainfall and temperature are two of the major factors triggering malaria epidemics in warm semi-arid (desert-fringe) and high altitude (highland-fringe) epidemic risk areas. The ability of the mosquitoes to transmit Plasmodium spp. is dependent upon a series of biological features generally referred to as vectorial capacity. In this study, the vectorial capacity model (VCAP) was expanded to include the influence of rainfall and temperature variables on malaria transmission potential. Data from two remote sensing products were used to monitor rainfall and temperature and were integrated into the VCAP model. The expanded model was tested in Eritrea and Madagascar to check the viability of the approach. The analysis of VCAP in relation to rainfall, temperature and malaria incidence data in these regions shows that the expanded VCAP correctly tracks the risk of malaria both in regions where rainfall is the limiting factor and in regions where temperature is the limiting factor. The VCAP maps are currently offered as an experimental resource for testing within Malaria Early Warning applications in epidemic prone regions of sub-Saharan Africa. User feedback is currently being collected in preparation for further evaluation and refinement of the VCAP model. 1. Introduction Malaria is a major public health threat to the African continent and its control is critical to achieving the Millennium Development Goals in this region [1]. Although considerable progress has been made to reduce the malaria burden in sub-Saharan Africa by introducing control measures such as the provision of insecticide-treated mosquito nets, indoor residual spraying, and easier access to effective antimalarial drugs [2], malaria epidemics continue to occur. Periodic epidemics of malaria are a major public health problem for many sub-Saharan African countries. Populations in epidemic-prone areas have a poorly developed immunity to malaria and the disease remains life threatening to all age groups [3]. The impact of epidemics could be minimized through prediction, improved prevention through timely vector control, and deployment of appropriate control measures. The implementation of a Malaria Early Warning System enables regional health ministries to focus on epidemiological surveillance and be better prepared to take necessary actions. Rainfall and temperature anomalies are two of the major environmental factors triggering epidemics in warm semi-arid and altitude areas. Increases in epidemics often occur in these regions after excessive rains or increases in temperature [4, 5]. The ability
An online operational rainfall-monitoring resource for epidemic malaria early warning systems in Africa
Emily Grover-Kopec, Mika Kawano, Robert W Klaver, Benno Blumenthal, Pietro Ceccato, Stephen J Connor
Malaria Journal , 2005, DOI: 10.1186/1475-2875-4-6
Abstract: Rainfall is one of the major factors triggering epidemics in warm semi-arid and desert-fringe areas. Explosive epidemics often occur in these regions after excessive rains and, where these follow periods of drought and poor food security, can be especially severe. Consequently, rainfall monitoring forms one of the essential elements for the development of integrated Malaria Early Warning Systems for sub-Saharan Africa, as outlined by the World Health Organization.The Roll Back Malaria Technical Resource Network on Prevention and Control of Epidemics recommended that a simple indicator of changes in epidemic risk in regions of marginal transmission, consisting primarily of rainfall anomaly maps, could provide immediate benefit to early warning efforts. In response to these recommendations, the Famine Early Warning Systems Network produced maps that combine information about dekadal rainfall anomalies, and epidemic malaria risk, available via their Africa Data Dissemination Service. These maps were later made available in a format that is directly compatible with HealthMapper, the mapping and surveillance software developed by the WHO's Communicable Disease Surveillance and Response Department. A new monitoring interface has recently been developed at the International Research Institute for Climate Prediction (IRI) that enables the user to gain a more contextual perspective of the current rainfall estimates by comparing them to previous seasons and climatological averages. These resources are available at no cost to the user and are updated on a routine basis.It is estimated that more than 110 million Africans live in areas prone to epidemics of malaria. Populations in these areas are infrequently challenged by malaria and, therefore, do not fully develop acquired immunity. As a result, the disease remains life threatening to all age groups. The impact of malaria epidemics could be greatly reduced by timely detection or, ideally, by prediction and prevention through
Web-based climate information resources for malaria control in Africa
Emily K Grover-Kopec, M Benno Blumenthal, Pietro Ceccato, Tufa Dinku, Judy A Omumbo, Stephen J Connor
Malaria Journal , 2006, DOI: 10.1186/1475-2875-5-38
Abstract: Malaria remains a major public health threat to the African continent and its control is critical to achieving the Millennium Development Goals in this region. The recently published Global Strategic Plan for Roll Back Malaria 2005–2015 has stated that "Six out of eight Millennium Development Goals can only be reached with effective malaria control in place" [1]. The greatest burden of malaria in Africa is born by populations in regions where the disease pathogen is perennially present in the community. In these regions, the environment is conducive to interactions between the Anopheles mosquito, malaria parasites and human hosts because they contain surface water in which mosquitoes can lay their eggs, humid conditions which facilitate adult mosquito life spans of adequate length, and relative warmth which allows both the mosquito and the malaria parasite to develop rapidly. In addition, housing quality is generally poor and offers little protection from human-mosquito interaction. Those most vulnerable to endemic malaria are young children (<5 years of age) who have yet to acquire disease immunity, pregnant women, whose immunity is reduced, and non-immune migrants or travelers.Epidemic malaria tends to occur along the geographical margins of the endemic regions, when the conditions supporting the equilibrium between the human, parasite and mosquito vector populations are disturbed. This leads to a sharp but temporary increase in disease incidence. More than 124 million Africans live in such areas and experience epidemics causing around 12 million malaria episodes and up to 310,000 deaths annually [2]. In these regions, an individual's exposure to malaria is infrequent and, therefore, little acquired immunity to this life threatening disease is developed. All age groups are, therefore, vulnerable to epidemic malaria [3]. The development of an online product that supports epidemic risk monitoring has been previously reported [4].While economic development has played
Relation between Seasonally Detrended Shortwave Infrared?Reflectance Data and Land Surface Moisture in Semi?Arid Sahel
J?rgen L. Olsen,Pietro Ceccato,Simon R. Proud,Rasmus Fensholt,Manuela Grippa,Eric Mougin,Jonas Ard?,Inge Sandholt
Remote Sensing , 2013, DOI: 10.3390/rs5062898
Abstract: In the Sudano-Sahelian areas of Africa droughts can have serious impacts on natural resources, and therefore land surface moisture is an important factor. Insufficient conventional sites for monitoring land surface moisture make the use of Earth Observation data for this purpose a key issue. In this study we explored the potential of using reflectance data in the Red, Near Infrared (NIR), and Shortwave Infrared (SWIR) spectral regions for detecting short term variations in land surface moisture in the Sahel, by analyzing data from three test sites and observations from the geostationary Meteosat Second Generation (MSG) satellite. We focused on responses in surface reflectance to soil- and surface moisture for bare soil and early to mid- growing season. A method for implementing detrended time series of the Shortwave Infrared Water Stress Index (SIWSI) is examined for detecting variations in vegetation moisture status, and is compared to detrended time series of the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI). It was found that when plant available water is low, the SIWSI anomalies increase over time, while the NDVI anomalies decrease over time, but less systematically. Therefore SIWSI may carry important complementary information to NDVI in terms of vegetation water status, and can provide this information with the unique combination of temporal and spatial resolution from optical geostationary observations over Sahel. However, the relation between SIWSI anomalies and periods of water stress were not found to be sufficiently robust to be used for water stress detection.
Space-time Clusters of Crime in Stockholm, Sweden
Adriaan Uittenbogaard,Vania Ceccato
Review of European Studies , 2012, DOI: 10.5539/res.v4n5p148
Abstract: The aim of the study is to detect geographical clustering of offences over time using Kulldorff’s scan test (SaTScan version 9.01; Kulldorff, 2010) and police recorded data over Stockholm city, the capital of Sweden. This technique has a rigorous inference theory for identifying statistically significant clusters. The space–time scan statistics are used in a single retrospective analysis using data from 1st January 2006 to 31st December 2009. A four years’ dataset is collapsed into ‘one year’. All space-time dimensions of the data are kept except ‘year’. Clusters over the hours of the day, weekday and weekend and by seasons were tested. Total population but also day-time and night-time populations were used as reference. Findings show clear distinct patterns of concentration for violence (assault and threat) and property crimes (theft, robbery and burglary) over time and space. Whilst property crimes tend to happen more often in the afternoons in the center and regional commercial centers in the southern and western parts of Stockholm, violence takes place more often in the night, and is heavily concentrated in large parts of the city center. Weekends are more targeted than weekdays for both offences. Regardless of day of the week, the main urban core of the city contains the most likely cluster that extends to commercial and socially disorganized areas in the west and south Stockholm. Whilst property crime levels do not show significant differences over the seasons, violent crimes levels do (winter and summer). The most likely clusters tend to be fairly constant in space over time. The article ends with implications of the results for both research and practice.
Speed of Adjustment and Infraday/Intraday Volatility in the Italian Stock and Futures Markets  [PDF]
Pietro Gottardo
Modern Economy (ME) , 2011, DOI: 10.4236/me.2011.25082
Abstract: We estimate the speed of adjustment of prices to value changes in the Italian stock and futures markets using variances in different return intervals. The paper presents evidence that an assumption of linearity for the relationship volatility-time is untenable when intraday and infraday data are used jointly. Prices adjust to new information within three days, but the process is complex with evidence of overshooting and divergent movements in the smaller return intervals. Firms behave differently according to their inclusion or exclusion from the MIB30 index. The speed of adjustment is strongly related to firm-specific characteristics and the log of capitalization explains some of the cross-sectional variability in the adjustment coefficients for most of the return intervals.
Coronary sinus reentrant tachycardia after atrial fibrillation ablation: From bad to worse  [PDF]
Pietro Turco
World Journal of Cardiovascular Diseases (WJCD) , 2014, DOI: 10.4236/wjcd.2014.42006
Abstract: Herein we present a case of atrial tachycardia as a sequel of AF ablations. A 42-year-old man was admitted to our department because of a very symptomatic tachycardia. The patient, because of paroxysmal AF and typical atrial flutter, had been already submitted (three times) to ablation procedures in both left (pulmonary vein insulation) and right atria (cavo-tricuspidal isthmus). During the electrophysiological study, a huge and very fast atrial tachycardia was induced: 230 ms cycle length, 1/1 atrio-ventricular conduction with the ventricular rate of 260 bpm, complete left bundle branch block, and clinically recognized by the patient. Four minutes later, a 2/1 AV conduction without branch block permitted mapping and ablation. A high-density mapping around isthmus and coronary sinus (CS) was performed. The analysis of the chronological activation clearly showed a circuit propagation around the CS ostium with a very slow conduction in the anterior zone enlightened by the tight color progression, and counterclockwise activation of the right atrium lateral wall. In anterior zone of CS ostium diastolic fragmented electrograms were detected. After preventing his position localization, radiofrequency delivering (35 W) was effective to interrupt the arrhythmia in 3 seconds. Energy delivering was continued to anchor the lesion to the inferior vena cava. Confirmation of successful ablation was determined by unsuccessful attempts at reinduction of the arrhythmia, in basal state and during infusion of isoproterenol.
A Theoretical Overview of Bioresponse to Magnetic Fields on the Earth’s Surface  [PDF]
Pietro Volpe
International Journal of Geosciences (IJG) , 2014, DOI: 10.4236/ijg.2014.510097
Abstract: This survey points to the mechanisms of bioresponse caused by magnetic fields (MFs), paying attention to their action not only on ions, molecules and macromolecules, but also on cells, tissues and organisms. The significance of findings concerning the MF-dependence of cell proliferation, necrosis or apoptosis was judged by comparing the results obtained in a solenoid, where an MF can be added to the geomagnetic field (GMF), with those obtained in a magnetically shielded room, where the MFs can be attenuated or null. This comparative criterion was particularly appropriate when the differences detectable between the data provided by experimental samples and the data provided by control samples were rather small, as observed in estimating the MF-influence on total DNA replication, RNA transcription and polypeptide translation. The MF-induced inhibition of apoptosis was considered as a risk potentially leading to accumulation of cancer cells. The analysis also surveyed the MF-dependence of the interactions between host animal cells and infecting bacteria. In relation to studies on the origin and adaptation of life on the Earth, theoretical insights paving the way to elucidating the MF-interactions with biostructures and biosystems of different orders of organization evaluated the possible involvement of the so-called “biological windows”. Analogously to what is known for ionizing radiations, the efficiency of the applied MFs appeared to depend on the complexity of their biological targets.
The Outrageous Discourse of Psychoanalysis for Present-Day Academic Institutions  [PDF]
Pietro Barbetta
Open Journal of Social Sciences (JSS) , 2015, DOI: 10.4236/jss.2015.33021
Abstract: In the following essay I’m going to take a radical position concerning the tendency to eliminate psychoanalysis from the European Academic field and the failure of psychoanalysts and relational therapists to defend psychoanalysis from such aggression. My question is why in Italy—just to make a local example, which I am involved in—different kinds of psychoanalytical traditions are not able to defend themselves from this attack while in France, for another example, all the different branches of relational therapies have been able to unite in making a common effort to take a position for psychoanalysis. One of the main problems, in my opinion, concerns the constitutive marginality of psychoanalysis in relation to Academic Institutions. In my way of writing, I will use psychoanalysis, with “P” in capital character, when referred to Academia, and psychoanalysis, with no capital character, when referred to clinical practice.
The Unexpected Existence of Coding and Non-Coding Fragments along the Eukaryotic Gene  [PDF]
Pietro Volpe
Advances in Biological Chemistry (ABC) , 2015, DOI: 10.4236/abc.2015.52009
Abstract: The pathways leading to synthesis and post-synthetic modification of DNA employed methionine as donor of atoms: the carbon that came from its –CH3 served for DNA replication and repair either in bacteria or humans; its entire –CH3 served instead for building N6-methyladenine and 5-methylcytosine on bacterial DNA and 5-methylcytosine alone on human DNA. In humans, although a slight extra-S asymmetric methylation appeared de novo yielding on parental DNA 5’-m5CpC-3’/ 3’-GpG-5’, 5’-m5CpT-3’/3’-GpA-5’ and 5’-m5CpA-3’/3’-GpT-5’ monomethylated dinucleotide pairs, a heavy symmetric methylation involved in S semiconservatively newly made DNA to guarantee genetic maintenance of –CH3 in 5’-m5CpG-3’/3’-Gpm5C-5’ dimethylated dinucleotide pairs. In this framework, an inverse correlation was found between bulk genomic DNA methylation occurring in S and bulk polyA-containing pre-mRNA transcription taking place in G1 and G2. Thus, probes of 1 × 106 Daltons (constructed using sheared by sonication newly made methylated DNA filaments) revealed a modular organization in genes: after the hypermethylated promoter, they exhibited an alternation of unmethylated coding and methylated uncoding sequences. This encouraged the search for a language that genes regulated by methylation should have in common. An initial deciphering of restriction minimaps with hypomethylatable exons vs. hypermethylatable promoters and introns was improved when the bisulfite technique allowed a direct sequencing of m5C. In lymphocytes, where the transglutaminase gene is inactive, its promoter exhibited two fully methylated CpG-rich domains at 5’ and one fully unmethylated CpG-rich domain at 3’, including the site +1 and a 5’-UTR. At variance, in HUVEC cells, where the transglutaminase gene is active, in the first CpG-rich domain of promoter few doublets lost their –CH3. Such an inverse correlation suggested new hypotheses especially in connection with repair-modification: UV radiation would cause demethylation in given loci of a promoter by chance, whilst even a partial demethylation in this promoter would be able to resume a previously silent pre-mRNA transcription.
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