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A Proteomic Investigation of Soluble Olfactory Proteins in Anopheles gambiae
Guido Mastrobuoni, Huili Qiao, Immacolata Iovinella, Simona Sagona, Alberto Niccolini, Francesca Boscaro, Beniamino Caputo, Marta R. Orejuela, Alessandra della Torre, Stefan Kempa, Antonio Felicioli, Paolo Pelosi, Gloriano Moneti, Francesca Romana Dani
PLOS ONE , 2013, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0075162
Abstract: Odorant-binding proteins (OBPs) and chemosensory proteins (CSPs) are small soluble polypeptides that bind semiochemicals in the lymph of insect chemosensilla. In the genome of Anopheles gambiae, 66 genes encode OBPs and 8 encode CSPs. Here we monitored their expression through classical proteomics (2D gel-MS analysis) and a shotgun approach. The latter method proved much more sensitive and therefore more suitable for tiny biological samples as mosquitoes antennae and eggs. Females express a larger number and higher quantities of OBPs in their antennae than males (24 vs 19). OBP9 is the most abundant in the antennae of both sexes, as well as in larvae, pupae and eggs. Of the 8 CSPs, 4 were detected in antennae, while SAP3 was the only one expressed in larvae. Our proteomic results are in fairly good agreement with data of RNA expression reported in the literature, except for OBP4 and OBP5, that we could not identify in our analysis, nor could we detect in Western Blot experiments. The relatively limited number of soluble olfactory proteins expressed at relatively high levels in mosquitoes makes further studies on the coding of chemical messages at the OBP level more accessible, providing for few specific targets. Identification of such proteins in Anopheles gambiae might facilitate future studies on host finding behavior in this important disease vector.
Indicators of sustainable development for catchment management in South Africa - Review of indicators from around the world
Jay Walmsley, Mark Carden, Carmen Revenga, Frank Sagona, Malcolm Smith
Water SA , 2001,
Abstract: Indicators are the ideal means by which progress towards sustainable development can be measured. However, most indicator initiatives throughout the world have been aimed at state-of-the-environment reporting, with relatively few aimed at developing sectoral indicators. This paper provides the results of a review to establish trends in the development of indicators that assist in integrated water resource management. Twenty-one organisations from around the world were approached with regard to whether they had developed indicators of sustainable development for catchment management. Of these, only five organisations had developed, or were in the process of developing, indicator sets that were available for review. These included the Fraser Basin Council (Canada), the Murray-Darling Basin Commission (Australia), the Tennessee Valley Authority (USA), the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the World Resources Institute. All of these indicator sets were developed using an issuesbased approach. Each indicator set was unique, reflecting the policy, both national and organisational, upon which it had been based. An analysis of these five indicator sets revealed that the most important themes that required information for water resource management at a catchment level, were biodiversity and ecosystem integrity, land-use change, water quality, waste production, water availability and resource use. Common indicators included population growth; community involvement; water availability; water use; water quality trends; soil contamination; non-compliance; species at risk; key species assessment; change in vegetation; agricultural impact; access to recreational opportunities, and ecosystem health. The identification of these themes and common indicators will be useful for the development of indicators for catchment management in South Africa. More importantly, policy frameworks and the physical characteristics of catchment systems in the country need to be taken into account. Additionally, it is recognised that no effective indicator set can be developed without the input of stakeholders. WaterSA Vol.27(4) 2001: 539-550
Limited Bandwidths and Correlation Ambiguities: Do They Co-Exist in Galileo Receivers  [PDF]
Elena Simona Lohan
Positioning (POS) , 2011, DOI: 10.4236/pos.2011.21002
Abstract: Galileo is the Global Navigation Satellite System that Europe is building and it is planned to be operational in the next 3-5 years. Several Galileo signals use split-spectrum modulations, such as Composite Binary Offset Carrier (CBOC) modulation, which create correlation ambiguities when processed with large or infinite front-end bandwidths (i.e., in wideband receivers). The correlation ambiguities refer to the notches in the correlation shape (i.e., in the envelope of the correlation between incoming signal and reference modulated code) which happen within +/– 1 chip from the main peak. These correlation ambiguities affect adversely the detection probabilities in the code acquisition process and are usually dealt with by using some form of unambiguous processing (e.g., BPSK-like techniques, sideband processing, etc.). In some applications, such as mass-market applications, a narrowband Galileo receiver (i.e., with considerable front-end bandwidth limitation) is likely to be employed. The question addressed in this paper, which has not been answered before, is whether or not this bandwidth limitation can cope inherently with the ambiguities of the correlation function, to which extent, and which the best design options are in the acquisition process (e.g., in terms of time-bin step and ambiguity mitigation mechanisms).
Efficacy and tolerability of propolis special extract gh 2002 as a lip balm against herpes labialis: a randomized, double-blind three-arm dose finding study  [PDF]
Simona Holcová, Marie Hladiková
Health (Health) , 2011, DOI: 10.4236/health.2011.31010
Abstract: A dose-finding study was performed with respect to the clinical applicability and tolerability of three different concentrations of propolis special extract GH 2002 in a lip balm (0.1%, 0.5% and 1%). The trial was designed as a double-blind, randomized dermatological study in 150 outpatients with Herpes labialis. The primary parameter was the duration in days until painless incrustation in 50% or 90% of the patients (observable in 121 patients). Secondary parameters were local pain (assessed on a visual analogue scale), itching, burning and tension/ swelling on a verbal rating scale, and tolerability. Visits were performed on days 2/3, 5/6 and 8/9. Best efficacy results with shortest healing time (3.4 and 5.4 days in the 50th and 90th percentile, respectively; p = 0.008 vs. 1% and 0.09 vs. 0.1%) and good tolerability were observed with the 0.5% concentration. All three concentrations achieved highly significant therapeutic results in comparison with baseline values (p < 0.0005) for all secondary parameters as early as day 2/3. Analgesia was the most prominent effect for the patients. Conclusion: The 0.5 % concentration of propolis special extract GH 2002 in a lip balm was found to have the best risk-benefit ratio for the treatment of Herpes labialis.
Analysis on Long Precipitation Series in Piedmont (North-West Italy)  [PDF]
Fiorella Acquaotta, Simona Fratianni
American Journal of Climate Change (AJCC) , 2013, DOI: 10.4236/ajcc.2013.21002

This study analyses thirteen daily precipitation series of Piedmont, region of North-West Italy. The meteorological series have been chosen because they were meteorological observatories operating continuously from the beginning of 1900 until 2011. As the first step an historical research over each station has been carried out. In this way, the potential breaks, in the series, either due to changes of locations or instruments, have been determined and the missing values have been recovered. On the precipitation daily series a quality control have been effectuated and by metadata identification it was possible to assess the homogeneity of the meteorological series. In this way we have obtained the complete and correct series on which trends have been computed. In order to better understand the consequences of climate variations on our environment and society, we have calculated the climate indices proposed by “CCL/CLIVAR Working Group on Climate Change Detection” (dry and wet days, rainy days, intensity of precipitation…) over the time. The values of precipitation have also allowed beginning the climatic analysis with the aim at defining the principle local peculiarity in Piedmont.

Diagnosis and Treatment Options for Pulmonary Embolism (PE) in the Acute Care Setting  [PDF]
Simona Campa, Raymund Gantioque
World Journal of Cardiovascular Diseases (WJCD) , 2018, DOI: 10.4236/wjcd.2018.82015
Abstract: Thromboembolic diseases continue to be one of the most prevalent medical problems today and can lead to life-threatening conditions, such as pulmonary embolism (PE). Currently, PE diagnosis and treatment are a challenge because of acute onset right ventricular strain with right-sided heart failure, sudden death, pulmonary infarction, and cardiogenic shock, which limit the time for therapeutic success.The aim of this study was to evaluate our perception, knowledge, and concerns regarding PE, discuss the importance of promptly diagnosing PE to provide appropriate treatment options for this life-threatening condition, list the most common clinical manifestations present when PE is suspected, and review the clinical approach to patients with suspected PE in an inpatient setting.In addition, this study reviews the risk stratification of patients with PE and treatment options beyond anticoagulation, compares new treatment options for patients presenting with acute symptomatic PE, and compares aspiration catheters (10 F Pronto .035” and 14 F XL extraction catheter (Vascular Solutions, Minneapolis, MN)) and ultrasound-assisted catheter-directed thrombolysis (USAT) versus systemic thrombolysis.This literature review was limited by the quality and number of studies available regarding new treatment options for patients presenting with acute symptomatic PE. Thus, more studies are needed to prove the validity of newer treatment options being trialed, such as aspiration catheters (10 F Pronto .035” and 14 F XL extraction catheter) and USAT, with the hope that further studies will guide patient management and increase our understanding of next generation aspiration catheters, which may provide novel insights on treating acute symptomatic PE.
Index of refraction engineering in five level DIGS atoms
Steven A. Sagona-Stophel,James Owen Weatherall,Christopher P. Search
Physics , 2011,
Abstract: We present a five level atomic system in which the index of refraction of a probe laser can be enhanced or reduced below unity with vanishing absorption in the region between pairs of absorption and gain lines formed by dressing of the atoms with a control laser and RF/microwave fields. By weak incoherent pumping of population into a single metastable state, one can create several narrow amplifying resonances. At frequencies between these gain lines and additional absorption lines, there exist regions of vanishing absorption but resonantly enhanced index of refraction. In $Rb$ vapors with density $N$ in units of $cm^{-3}$, we predict an index of refraction up to $n \approx \sqrt{1+1.2\times10^{-14}N}$ for the D1 line, which is more than an order of magnitude larger than other proposals for index of refraction enhancement. Furthermore, the index can be readily reduced below 1 by simply changing the sign of the probe or RF field detunings. This enhancement is robust with respect to homogeneous and inhomogeneous broadening.
Treatises and Ars construendi: Teaching’s Method Theory and Practice of Critical History’s Application Based on Teacher-Student Relationships  [PDF]
Carlos Alberto Cacciavillani, Simona Rinaldi
Open Journal of Social Sciences (JSS) , 2016, DOI: 10.4236/jss.2016.49016
Abstract: The topic of this lecture is the results’ description obtained during many years of teaching. We shall illustrate how students use the same analytical techniques to study two different aspects: 1) Architectural Treatises are first studied separately and then in a comparative way. The purpose of this graphic analysis is to reach a new interpretation of them through the realization of original graphics; 2) The Roman Ars construendi: architectural techniques and buildings’ typologies used by the Romans are investigated in the archaeological sites, where the reading of buildings’ stratification in different historical periods becomes an important teaching tool.
Geographic Object-Based Image Analysis of Changes in Land Cover in the Coastal Zones of the Red River Delta (Vietnam)  [PDF]
Simona Niculescu, Chi Nguyen Lam
Journal of Environmental Protection (JEP) , 2019, DOI: 10.4236/jep.2019.103024
Abstract: The majority of the population and economic activity of the northern half of Vietnam is clustered in the Red River Delta and about half of the country’s rice production takes place here. There are significant problems associated with its geographical position and the intensive exploitation of resources by an overabundant population (population density of 962 inhabitants/km2). Some thirty years after the economic liberalization and the opening of the country to international markets, agricultural land use patterns in the Red River Delta, particularly in the coastal area, have undergone many changes. Remote sensing is a particularly powerful tool in processing and providing spatial information for monitoring land use changes. The main methodological objective is to find a solution to process the many heterogeneous coastal land use parameters, so as to describe it in all its complexity, specifically by making use of the latest European satellite data (Sentinel-2). This complexity is due to local variations in ecological conditions, but also to anthropogenic factors that directly and indirectly influence land use dynamics. The methodological objective was to develop a new Geographic Object-based Image Analysis (GEOBIA) approach for mapping coastal areas using Sentinel-2 data and Landsat 8. By developing a new segmentation, accuracy measure, in this study was determined that segmentation accuracies decrease with increasing segmentation scales and that the negative impact of under-segmentation errors significantly increases at a large scale. An Estimation of Scale Parameter (ESP) tool was then used to determine the optimal segmentation parameter values. A popular machine learning algorithms (Random Forests-RFs) is used. For all classifications algorithm, an increase in overall accuracy was observed with the full synergistic combination of available data sets.
Numerical Simulations of Fractionated Electrograms and Pathological Cardiac Action Potential
Simona Sanfelici
Computational and Mathematical Methods in Medicine , 2002, DOI: 10.1080/1027366021000041377
Abstract: The aim of this work is twofold. First we focus on the complex phenomenon of electrogram fractionation, due to the presence of discontinuities in the conduction properties of the cardiac tissue in a bidomain model. Numerical simulations of paced activation may help to understand the role of the membrane ionic currents and of the changes in cellular coupling in the formation of conduction blocks and fractionation of the electrogram waveform. In particular, we show that fractionation is independent of INA alterations and that it can be described by the bidomain model of cardiac tissue. Moreover, some deflections in fractionated electrograms may give nonlocal information about the shape of damaged areas, also revealing the presence of inhomogeneities in the intracellular conductivity of the medium at a distance.
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