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Mixed cryoglobulinemia
Clodoveo Ferri
Orphanet Journal of Rare Diseases , 2008, DOI: 10.1186/1750-1172-3-25
Abstract: Mixed cryoglobulinemia (type II or type III), cryoglobulinemic vasculitis.The term cryoglobulinemia refers to the presence in the serum of one (monoclonal cryoimmunoglobulinemia) or more immunoglobulins (mixed cryoglobulinemia), which precipitate at temperatures below 37°C and re-dissolve on re-warming [1,2]. This is an in vitro phenomenon (Fig. 1), the actual mechanism(s) of cryoprecipitation remains obscure, it could be secondary to intrinsic characteristics of both mono- and polyclonal immunoglobulin (Ig) components, it can be caused as well by the interaction among single components of the cryoprecipitate [1-14].Cryoglobulinemia is usually classified into three subgroups [4] according to Ig composition (Table 1): type I cryoglobulinemia is composed of only one isotype or subclass of immunoglobulin. Both type II and type III mixed cryoglobulins are immune complexes composed of polyclonal IgGs, the autoantigens, and mono- or polyclonal IgMs, respectively; the IgMs are the corresponding autoantibodies with rheumatoid factor (RF) activity [3-6]. With more sensitive methodologies, i.e. immunoblotting or 2-dimensional polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis, type II mixed cryoglobulins frequently shows a microheterogeneous composition; in particular, oligoclonal IgM or a mixture of polyclonal and monoclonal IgM can be detected [3]. This particular serological subset, termed type II-III mixed cryoglobulinemia (MC), could represent an intermediate, evolutive state from type III to type II MC. Moreover, type II-III MC could fit together the most recent molecular studies showing the presence of oligoclonal B-lymphocyte proliferation in the liver and bone marrow biopsies from MC patients [3]. In two third of type II MC, a cross-idiotype WA monoclonal RF (firstly isolated from the serum of a patient with Waldenstr?m's macroglobulinemia) has been demonstrated [14].Type I cryoglobulinemia is almost invariably associated with well-known hematological disorders and is frequently asy
Fluttuazioni endogene, deflazione da debiti e instabilità finanziaria
Piero Ferri
Moneta e Credito , 2006,
Abstract: Il presente lavoro studia le relazioni che intercorrono fra fluttuazioni endogene e crisi finanziarie facendo riferimento ad alcuni concetti, strumenti e metodologie che si rifanno all’analisi di Minsky. In particolare, l’articolo utilizza una funzione degli investimenti basata sul concetto di “cash flow” e la collega a una particolare struttura del mercato del lavoro in grado di generare una mutevole distribuzione del reddito. Queste equazioni sono arricchite dalla presenza di aspettative da parte dei vari operatori che cercano di “apprendere” (learning) la dinamica del sistema facendo riferimento a “rolling regressions”. Le simulazioni del modello non-lineare sono in grado di generare fluttuazioni persistenti che sono accompagnate, a seconda delle ipotesi fatte, da fenomeni inflazionistici o deflazionistici. In questo contesto, l'instabilità finanziaria e la deflazione da debiti rappresentano più l’incapacità del sistema ad avere fluttuazioni contenute che non lo scoppio di bolle finanziarie come in Minsky.
Proprotein Convertase Subtilisin/Kexin Type 9: From the Discovery to the Development of New Therapies for Cardiovascular Diseases
Nicola Ferri
Scientifica , 2012, DOI: 10.6064/2012/927352
Abstract:
EU Partecipation in the UNESCO Convention on the Protection of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions: Some Constitutional Remarks
Delia Ferri
European Diversity and Autonomy Papers - EDAP , 2005,
Abstract: Culture, in its prescriptive definition, is crucial concept for building a peacefuland open Europe as envisaged in the EC and EU Treaties, as well as in theConstitutional Treaty. For this reason, just after the third phase ofintergovernmental negotiations that took place from 25 May to 4 June 2005, andwith regard to the complexity and changing dimensions of this issue, it isimportant to underscore the significance of cultural diversity for Europeanpolity. More precisely, it seems useful to consider more deeply what is happeningin the UNESCO seat in the context the EU/EC as a “cultural democracy” throughanalysis of the present juridical status of competence within the Europeansystem in the cultural field. First, however, special attention should be paid tothis Convention because it seems to represent an important step towards unifiedinternational action, also within the sensitive and peculiar field of culture. Aftera critical overview, this article focuses on the participation of the EU/EC in thisnegotiation, regarding it as a paradigmatic example of European action in aninternational forum and, at the same time, as a factor for the restructuring ofcompetences within the European Community/Union system. The paper arguesthat the substantial re-allocation of competences in the cultural field emergingduring these negotiations points towards a more pluralistic shape of the EU/EC,and can easily represent a new trend in cultural action, characterized by thedialectical tension between cultural regulation and freedom of culture.
Proprotein Convertase Subtilisin/Kexin Type 9: From the Discovery to the Development of New Therapies for Cardiovascular Diseases
Nicola Ferri
Scientifica , 2012, DOI: 10.6064/2012/927352
Abstract: The identification of the HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors, statins, has represented a dramatic innovation of the pharmacological modulation of hypercholesterolemia and associated cardiovascular diseases. However, not all patients receiving statins achieve guideline-recommended low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol goals, particularly those at high risk. There remains, therefore, an unmet medical need to develop additional well-tolerated and effective agents to lower LDL cholesterol levels. The discovery of proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin type 9 (PCSK9), a secretory protein that posttranscriptionally regulates levels of low density lipoprotein receptor (LDLR) by inducing its degradation, has opened a new era of pharmacological modulation of cholesterol homeostasis. This paper summarizes the current knowledge of the basic molecular mechanism underlying the regulatory effect of LDLR expression by PCSK9 obtained from in vitro cell-cultured studies and the analysis of the crystal structure of PCSK9. It also describes the epidemiological and experimental evidences of the regulatory effect of PCSK9 on LDL cholesterol levels and cardiovascular diseases and summarizes the different pharmacological approaches under development for inhibiting PCSK9 expression, processing, and the interaction with LDLR. 1. The Discovery of Proprotein Convertase Subtilisin/Kexin Type 9 Intramolecular proteolytic processing at specific amino acid sites is a common posttranslational modification required for a correct processing and/or activation of precursors proteins into biological active forms. Analysis of human genome has allowed to annotate a total of 553 genes that encode proteases or protease homologues [1]. Proteases are generally classified according to the reaction mechanisms and nature of active site residues involved in the mechanism of proteolysis into serine, cysteine, aspartyl, and zinc (metallo) proteases. The proprotein convertases are serine proteases responsible for the proteolytic processing of a large number of polypeptide hormones, growth factors and their receptor, adhesion molecules, enzymes, and various proteins. This family of proteases is constituted by seven known basic amino acid-specific proteases (PC1/3, PC2, PC4, PACE4, PC5/6, and PC7) and two nonbasic amino acid-specific convertases, SKI-1 and the neural apoptosis-regulated convertase-1 (NARC-1) also known as proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin type 9 (PCSK9) [2]. PCSK9 was first discovered by Dr. Seidah et al. by searching, with the protein BLAST program, for short conserved segments
Polyphenol and Biogenic Amine Profiles of Albana and Lambrusco Grape Berries and Wines Obtained Following Different Agricultural and Oenological Practices  [PDF]
Annalisa Tassoni, Nunzio Tango, Maura Ferri
Food and Nutrition Sciences (FNS) , 2014, DOI: 10.4236/fns.2014.51002
Abstract:

The levels of polyphenols, anthocyanins, antioxidant activity and of biogenic amines, were measured in white (Albana) and red (Lambrusco) grape berries and wines from the Emilia-Romagna region (Italy) obtained following conventional, organic and biodynamic agricultural and oenological practices. No significant difference was shown among the samples coming from different agricultural and winemaking practices, with few exceptions of single compounds. Biogenic amine amounts were higher in red than in white berries and wines. Putrescine and histamine were the most abundant biogenic amines respectively in berries and wines of both cultivars. Red grapes and wines were richer in anthocyanins and showed higher antioxidant activity than white ones. The total level of polyphenols was similar in red and white berries and wines, but with different metabolite profiles depending on the grape variety.

Size Functions for the Morphological Analysis of Melanocytic Lesions
Massimo Ferri,Ignazio Stanganelli
International Journal of Biomedical Imaging , 2010, DOI: 10.1155/2010/621357
Abstract: Size Functions and Support Vector Machines are used to implement a new automatic classifier of melanocytic lesions. This is mainly based on a qualitative assessment of asymmetry, performed by halving images by several lines through the center of mass, and comparing the two halves in terms of color, mass distribution, and boundary. The program is used, at clinical level, with two thresholds, so that comparison of the two outputs produces a report of low-middle-high risk. Experimental results on 977 images, with cross-validation, are reported. 1. Introduction The incidence of malignant melanoma in fair-skinned patients has increased dramatically in most parts of the world over the past few decades. Because the prognosis of melanoma depends almost entirely on tumor thickness, early detection of thin melanoma is important for the survival of patients [1, 2]. The diagnostic accuracy of the clinical examination of pigmented skin lesions, however, is still rather poor. Literature results arise the evidence that (i)the ability of general practitioners to early diagnose CMM with the naked eye is very low; (ii)the ability of dermatologists to early diagnose CMM with the naked eye ranges from 50% to 75%; (iii)there is a high rate of false positive (causing unneeded surgical excision). In the last decade dermoscopy has changed the evaluation of the diagnosis of pigmented skin lesions. Dermoscopy is a noninvasive technique that enables the clinician to perform direct microscopic examination of diagnostic features, not seen by the naked eye, in pigmented skin lesions. This technique is more accurate than naked eye examination for the diagnosis of cutaneous melanoma, in suspicious skin lesions when performed in the clinical setting [3]. A complementary effort is in the automatization of the diagnostic process. Several rather successful computer programs have been implemented to the aim of an automatic analysis of melanocytic lesions and their discrimination between naevi and melanomas (see, e.g., [4–8]; see also [9, 10] for a comparison between automatic and human performance). Most of them keep into account the traditional ABCDE parameters used by dermatologists: Asymmetry (of boundary, texture, and color), Boundary (irregularity and dishomogeneity), Color (presence of several colors), Dimension, and Evolution. In particular, asymmetry is generally based on quantitative comparison of the two parts into which a lesion image is split by its principal axes. Here we focus on asymmetry, perhaps the most important cue. We have developed a new method for comparing in a
Action Research Topics and Questions in a Foreign Languages Teaching Practicum in Colombia
McNulty Ferri,Maria;
íkala, Revista de Lenguaje y Cultura , 2010,
Abstract: introduction: preservice teachers identify topics and formulate research questions in action research under the guidance of advisors in the teaching practicum of an undergraduate foreign languages teaching program in colombia. objective: to examine preservice teachers' and advisors' beliefs about useful methodological strategies to identify the topics and formulate the research questions, and the roles they assumed. method: in this case study, structured questionnaires and semi-structured interviews were used with the participants. results: this study shows that journal writing, collaborative dialogue, exploring and expanding one's theoretical base, delimiting topics, and demonstrating work were useful strategies. though preservice teachers took ownership of choosing topics and formulating questions, some shared roles led advisors to participate more actively in this process. conclusions: the methodological process used to identify the topics and formulate the research questions is associated with a reflective professional development endeavour with individual and group reflection.
The seasonal and inter-annual patterns of biomass accumulation and crude protein in kleingrass (Panicum coloratum) in the semiarid Pampean region of Argentina
Ferri,Carlos M;
Ciencia e investigación agraria , 2011, DOI: 10.4067/S0718-16202011000200003
Abstract: kleingrass (panicum coloratum l. var. coloratum) is a perennial warm-season grass that begins its growing season later in the spring than does weeping lovegrass (eragrostis curvula (schrad.) nees), which suggests that combining weeping lovegrass with kleingrass in a grazing sequence could increase livestock production. the objectives of this study were to determine the seasonal and inter-annual variation of the patterns of the accumulation of dry matter (dm) and the percentage of crude protein (cp) in p. coloratum, cv. verde, in the semiarid pampean region of argentina. this study was performed during four growing seasons in a 3.0 ha pasture of kleingrass that was sown in the spring of 1996. the forage samples were gathered at biweekly intervals and were separated into leaf blade, stems (including sheaths and inflorescence) and senescent material. finally, patterns of dry matter accumulation and the percentage of crude protein were evaluated in relationship to the thermal time accumulated from early october to late february. in comparison with the other growing seasons evaluated, the third growing season had less (p ≤ 0,01) accumulation of dry matter and a higher (p ≤ 0,01) proportion of green leaf blade and cp. dry matter accumulation increased with increases in the thermal time. the cp percentage of the total biomass and of the plant parts declined as thermal time increased, and this coincided with a reduction in the proportion of green leaves and the cp percentage in each plant part. management decisions depend on an accurate assessment of the change in sward structure and nutritive value during the growing season. the results of this study will allow selection of the appropriate grazing time and the management of sequential grazing of warm-season grasses.
Low-frequency linear waves and instabilities in uniform and stratified plasmas: the role of kinetic effects
K. M. Ferrière
Nonlinear Processes in Geophysics (NPG) , 2004,
Abstract: We review the basic approximations underlying magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) theory, with special emphasis on the closure approximations, i.e. the approximations used in any fluid approach to close the hierarchy of moment equations. We then present the main closure models that have been constructed for collisionless plasmas in the large-scale regime, and we describe our own mixed MHD-kinetic model, which is designed to study low-frequency linear waves and instabilities in collisionless plasmas. We write down the full dispersion relation in a new, general form, which gathers all the specific features of our MHD-kinetic model into four polytropic indices, and which can be applied to standard adiabatic MHD and to double-adiabatic MHD through a simple change in the expressions of the polytropic indices. We study the mode solutions and the stability properties of the full dispersion relation in each of these three theories, first in the case of a uniform plasma, and then in the case of a stratified plasma. In both cases, we show how the results are affected by the collisionless nature of the plasma.
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