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Search Results: 1 - 10 of 1917 matches for " Aldo Clerici "
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A Set of GRASS GIS-Based Shell Scripts for the Calculation and Graphical Display of the Main Morphometric Parameters of a River Channel  [PDF]
Aldo Clerici, Susanna Perego
International Journal of Geosciences (IJG) , 2016, DOI: 10.4236/ijg.2016.72011
Abstract: For the analysis of river evolution, the use of quantitative parameters can be quite useful in order to assess changes in the channel planform. Among the several parameters proposed by different authors in a number of papers, channel length and width, braiding and sinuosity indexes, and channel lateral shifting are proved to be the most effective ones for a quantitative analysis of river changes. However, the calculation of these parameters is time-consuming, tedious and error-prone, even where made in a GIS environment. This work describes four shell scripts that perform fast and automatic calculation of the morphometric parameters and draw curves showing thevariation of the calculated parameters along the entire channel development. The scripts arebased on commands of the GRASS GIS free and open source software and, as input, they require a simple vector map containing the essential features of a river channel,i.e.bankfull channel limits and longitudinal and lateral bars.
Sex-Related Effects of Reproduction on Biomarkers of Oxidative Damage in Free-living Barn Swallows (Hirundo rustica)
Diego Rubolini, Graziano Colombo, Roberto Ambrosini, Manuela Caprioli, Marco Clerici, Roberto Colombo, Isabella Dalle-Donne, Aldo Milzani, Andrea Romano, Maria Romano, Nicola Saino
PLOS ONE , 2012, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0048955
Abstract: According to life-history theory, the allocation of limiting resources to one trait has negative consequences for other traits requiring the same resource, resulting in trade-offs among life-history traits, such as reproduction and survival. In vertebrates, oxidative stress is increasingly being considered among the physiological mechanisms forming the currency of life-history trade-offs. In this study of the barn swallow (Hirundo rustica), we focus on the oxidative costs of reproduction, especially egg laying, by investigating the effects of breeding stage (pre- vs. post-laying) and progression of the season on three biomarkers of oxidative damage (OD) to plasma proteins, namely the concentration of malondialdehyde (MDA)-protein adducts and of protein thiol groups (PSH), and the protein carbonyl (PCO) content. Moreover, we investigated whether males and females differed in plasma OD levels, because the inherent sex differences in reproductive roles and physiology may originate sex-specific patterns of OD during breeding. We found that MDA-protein adduct levels were higher in the pre-laying than in the post-laying phase, that males had lower levels of MDA-modified proteins than females, and that the decline of MDA-protein adduct concentration between the pre- and the post-laying phase was more marked for females than males. In addition, MDA-protein adduct levels declined with sampling date, but only during the pre-laying phase. On the other hand, plasma PCO levels increased from the pre- to the post-laying phase in both sexes, and females had higher levels of PCO than males. PSH concentration was unaffected by breeding stage, sex or sampling date. On the whole, our findings indicate that biomarkers of protein oxidation closely track the short-term variation in breeding stage of both male and female barn swallows. Moreover, the higher protein OD levels observed among females compared to males suggest that egg laying entails oxidative costs, which might negatively affect female residual reproductive value.
Red Blood Cells Protect Albumin from Cigarette Smoke–Induced Oxidation
Graziano Colombo, Ranieri Rossi, Nicoletta Gagliano, Nicola Portinaro, Marco Clerici, Andrea Annibal, Daniela Giustarini, Roberto Colombo, Aldo Milzani, Isabella Dalle-Donne
PLOS ONE , 2012, DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0029930
Abstract: Different studies reported the presence of oxidized (carbonylated) albumin in the extravascular pool, but not in the intravascular one of cigarette smokers. In this study we attempted to explain this apparent discrepancy exposing human serum albumin (HSA) to aqueous cigarette smoke extract (CSE). CSE induces HSA carbonylation and oxidation of the HSA Cys34 sulfhydryl group. An antioxidant action of glutathione, cysteine, and its synthetic derivative N-acetylcysteine was observed only at supra-physiological concentrations, suggesting that physiological (plasma) concentrations of glutathione and cysteine in the low micromolar range are ineffective in preventing cigarette smoke–induced oxidation of HSA. Differently, human erythrocytes resulted to be protective towards CSE-induced oxidation (carbonylation and thiol oxidation) of both HSA and total human plasma proteins.
On the Expansion and Fate of the Universe  [PDF]
Aldo Bonasera
Journal of Modern Physics (JMP) , 2012, DOI: 10.4236/jmp.2012.311212
Abstract: The evolution of the universe from an initial dramatic event, the Big-Bang, is firmly established. Hubble’s law [1] (HL) connects the velocity of galactic objects and their relative distance: v(r) = Hr, where H is the Hubble constant. In this work we suggest that HL is not valid at large distances because of total energy conservation. We propose an expansion of the velocity in terms of their relative distance and produce a better fit to the available experimental data. Using a simple “dust” universe model, we can easily calculate under which conditions an (unstable) equilibrium state can be reached and we estimate the values of the matter present in the universe as well as the “dark energy”. Within the same formalism we can derive the “deceleration parameter”. We do not need to invoke any “dark energy”, its role being played by the kinetic correction. The resulting picture is that the universe might reach an unstable equilibrium state whose fate will be decided by fluctuations: either collapse or expand forever.
Aerosol direct radiative effect in the Po Valley region derived from AERONET measurements
M. Clerici ,F. Mélin
Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics (ACP) & Discussions (ACPD) , 2008,
Abstract: The aerosol direct radiative effect (ADRE) affecting the Po Valley and the adjacent North Adriatic Sea is studied using 10-year series of measurements collected at two AERONET sites located in the western part of the Valley (Ispra), and on a platform (AAOT) offshore Venice. This region is characterized by a high, mostly continental, aerosol load with comparable average aerosol optical thickness τa at both locations (0.21 at 500 nm) and more absorbing aerosols at Ispra. A dynamic aerosol model accounting for the changes in scattering phase function with τa is used for radiative transfer calculations, together with boundary conditions representative of terrestrial and marine surfaces. A sensitivity analysis allows the construction of an error budget for the daily ADRE estimates, found to be of the order of 20% and mostly due to uncertainties on aerosol single scattering albedo and τa. The daily radiative efficiencies, normalized by τa at 500 nm, increase from December to June, from 17 to 24 W m 2 τa 1 at top-of-atmosphere (TOA) and 33 to 72 W m 2 τa 1 at surface for the Po Valley, and from 15 to 32 (TOA) and 35 to 65 W m 2 τa 1 (surface) for the AAOT site. The average of log-transformed ADRE for TOA, surface and atmosphere are 5.2, 12.2 and +6.8 W m 2 for the Po Valley case, and 6.5, 13.0 and +6.5 W m 2 for the AAOT site but these values can be much higher for individual days. Concurrent clear-sky days give indications on the regional atmospheric heating spatial gradients. Differences between the atmospheric ADRE at the two locations average 6.3 W m 2 with a gradient positive towards the inner valley in 65% of the cases. This study confirms the importance of duly considering the radiative impact of aerosols on the regional climate.
Aerosol direct radiative effect in the Po Valley region derived from AERONET measurements
M. Clerici,F. Mélin
Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics Discussions , 2008,
Abstract: The aerosol direct radiative effect (ADRE) affecting the Po Valley and the adjacent North Adriatic Sea is studied using 10-year series of measurements collected at two AERONET sites located in the western part of the Valley (Ispra), and on a platform (AAOT) offshore Venice. This region is characterized by a high, mostly continental, aerosol load with comparable average aerosol optical thickness τa at both locations (0.21 at 500 nm) and more absorbing aerosols at Ispra. A dynamic aerosol model accounting for the changes in scattering phase function with τa is used for radiative transfer calculations, together with boundary conditions representative of terrestrial and marine surfaces. A sensitivity analysis allows the construction of an error budget for the daily ADRE estimates, found to be of the order of 20% and mostly due to uncertainties on aerosol single scattering albedo and τa. The daily radiative efficiencies, normalized by τa at 500 nm, increase from December to June, from 17 to 24 W m 2 τa 1 at top-of-atmosphere (TOA) and 33 to 72 W m 2 τa 1 at surface for the Po Valley, and from 15 to 32 (TOA) and 35 to 65 W m 2 τa 1 (surface) for the AAOT site. The average of log-transformed ADRE for TOA, surface and atmosphere are 5.2, 12.2 and +6.8 W m 2 for the Po Valley case, and 6.5, 13.0 and +6.5 W m 2 for the AAOT site but these values can be much higher for individual days. Concurrent clear-sky days give indications on the regional atmospheric heating spatial gradients. Differences between the atmospheric ADRE at the two locations average 6.3 W m 2 with a gradient positive towards the inner valley in 65% of the cases. This study confirms the importance of duly considering the radiative impact of aerosols on the regional climate.
Online Educational Resources Regarding Cardiovascular Prevention  [PDF]
Aldo T. Marrocco
E-Health Telecommunication Systems and Networks (ETSN) , 2015, DOI: 10.4236/etsn.2015.41002
Abstract: This paper presents several informative and educational tools aimed to explain some mechanisms of Miocardial Infarction and Stroke, their risk factors and their prevention. Such educational and informative documents are in English and consist of texts, images, videos, animations and games. They are downloadable for free and can be used with the method considered by the teacher as most appropriate. Among the aims of the study is to provide information on the effects which some of our daily actions may have on the circulatory system. The pathological processes affecting blood vessels may start to develop during childhood or adolescence as a consequence of physical inactivity, unhealthy diet, smoking and alcohol abuse. Notoriously, unhealthy behaviours learned in early age are very likely to be continued in the adulthood. By the time they can lead to important car-diovascular risk factors, such as high blood pressure, overweight or obesity, raised blood sugars and lipids. Some of the documents presented in this manuscript suggest that complying with cardivascular prevention measures may also, at the same time, reduce the risk of other diseases.
Online Informative and Educational Resources on the Benefits That a Lifestyle Aimed at the Primary Prevention of Cancer May Also Provide for General Health  [PDF]
Aldo T. Marrocco
E-Health Telecommunication Systems and Networks (ETSN) , 2015, DOI: 10.4236/etsn.2015.42003
Abstract: To find stimuli for getting young students interested in the primary prevention of cancer and a healthy lifestyle, internet resources have been searched that may motivate and facilitate this study. Teachers interested in teaching this subject can download for free and use them with the method felt as most appropriate; they consist of text, graphs, tables, images, quizzes and an interactive atlas. According to a personal experience, the use of these educational resources helps teachers in teaching and students in learning about cancer prevention. According to the World Health Organisation, cancer is a leading and growing cause of mortality with 10 and 14 million new cases worldwide respectively in 2000 and 2012. Several risk factors have been identified; if they are avoided, more than 30% of the cancers can be prevented. The five most important modifiable risk factors, among many others, are: smoking, alcohol, overweight, physical inactivity, low consumption of vegetables and fruit. Cancer may also have genetic causes or be related to certain infections that are more common in some areas than in others. According to several documents also quoted in this article, numerous behaviours that reduce cancer risk may, at the same time, help to prevent other important diseases. Some of the documents quoted here show the very great difference in cancer incidence and mortality rates often existing between different geographic areas. For example, prostate cancer incidence per 100,000 persons per year is 104.4 in New Zealand, and 3.9 in Chennai, India. Many studies found an increase over time in the incidence of certain cancer types in people that move from countries where their risk is low to countries where their risk is high, thus suggesting the important role of environmental changes and lifestyle. As an example of this, the risk of breast cancer among Hispanic women migrating to US increases with the duration of residence in the immigration country, and becomes up to 4 - 6 times higher after 3 or more generations. This provides an example of what can happen in transitioning countries as a consequence of some lifestyle changes, unless measures are taken.
Energy Targeting for a Brewing Process Using Pinch Analysis  [PDF]
Noah Tibasiima, Aldo Okullo
Energy and Power Engineering (EPE) , 2017, DOI: 10.4236/epe.2017.91002
Abstract: The rising cost of energy and environmental concerns have led the brewing industry to search for techniques of reducing energy consumption in brewery operations. In this paper, pinch analysis was applied to a typical Ugandan based brewery process to target for the energy requirements of the process. Hint software was used for the analysis. At the chosen ΔTmin of 10, the minimum cooling and heating utility requirements of the brewery studied were determined as being 4862.21 kW and 8294.21 kW respectively, with a pinch temperature at 68. It was observed that using the technique, 1806.59 kW of energy could be recovered through process to process heat exchange which presented an energy saving potential of 21.5%. It is recommended that results from this study could be used in the design or retrofit of a heat exchanger network of a brewery for improved energy efficiency. Considerations can also be made for other values of ΔTmin.
Exploring the Use of MODIS NDVI-Based Phenology Indicators for Classifying Forest General Habitat Categories
Nicola Clerici,Christof J. Weissteiner,France Gerard
Remote Sensing , 2012, DOI: 10.3390/rs4061781
Abstract: The cost effective monitoring of habitats and their biodiversity remains a challenge to date. Earth Observation (EO) has a key role to play in mapping habitat and biodiversity in general, providing tools for the systematic collection of environmental data. The recent GEO-BON European Biodiversity Observation Network project (EBONE) established a framework for an integrated biodiversity monitoring system. Underlying this framework is the idea of integrating in situ with EO and a habitat classification scheme based on General Habitat Categories (GHC), designed with an Earth Observation-perspective. Here we report on EBONE work that explored the use of NDVI-derived phenology metrics for the identification and mapping of Forest GHCs. Thirty-one phenology metrics were extracted from MODIS NDVI time series for Europe. Classifications to discriminate forest types were performed based on a Random Forests? classifier in selected regions. Results indicate that date phenology metrics are generally more significant for forest type discrimination. The achieved class accuracies are generally not satisfactory, except for coniferous forests in homogeneous stands (77–82%). The main causes of low classification accuracies were identified as (i) the spatial resolution of the imagery (250 m) which led to mixed phenology signals; (ii) the GHC scheme classification design, which allows for parcels of heterogeneous covers, and (iii) the low number of the training samples available from field surveys. A mapping strategy integrating EO-based phenology with vegetation height information is expected to be more effective than a purely phenology-based approach.
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