Aerial view from WADI first test flights
The first test phase of the WADI project has been successfully completed. During the month of February 2017 WADI partners ONERA and SCP tested the innovative airborne water leak detection surveillance service developed by the project. A Busard airplain equipped with hyper-spectral and infrared cameras flew over the facilities of Canal de Provence (SCP), in the South-East of France, and recorded images of the irrigation network including buried ductile iron pipes in three locations: Rians (close to Aix en Provence), Valtrède (Martingues) and Cabardelle (Salon de Provence). The three flights provided high quality images in the spectrum of IR (band III, between 8000 and 12000 nm), SWIR (between 1400 and 3000 nm) and VNIR (between 400 and 1400 nm). ONERA, scientific coordinator of the WADI project, is currently processing the images in order to define the most efficient wavelength among the 416 collected for the detection of soil humidity. This test will lead to the design of a measurement strategy for future campaigns. In the next few weeks, SCP will release controlled leaks in view to a second test phase (WADI -2), scheduled for the end April 2017.
Isobio Panel discussion
The use of bio-based materials is often met with scepticism from architects, insurers and contractors in the construction industry, which has led to slow market uptake. This scepticism generally results from a lack of adequate training and support with regard to regulatory frameworks. This was the backdrop of the ISOBIO workshop, held 22 March in Brussels where the project team met with representatives from Earth Building UK and Ireland, BC architects & studies, the ECO-SEE project and the German Association for Building with Earth. The aim was to identify the levers for faster adoption of bio-based material in the construction sector.
Bloccare l’infiammazione per ridurre le disabilità cognitive
Per la prima volta uno studio pubblicato sulla prestigiosa rivista eLife dimostra la relazione diretta tra le disabilità cognitive che caratterizzano i disturbi dello sviluppo del cervello infantile e l’infiammazione che colpisce le sinapsi, cioè le strutture cerebrali di smistamento di informazioni e segnali a tutto il corpo. Questa importante scoperta potrebbe aprire la strada al trattamento con antinfiammatori E’ nota da diversi anni la relazione tra i difetti genetici nella produzione di proteine che operano a livello delle sinapsi nel cervello e i disturbi del neurosviluppo caratterizzati da deficit cognitivi. Tuttavia, una percentuale di tali patologie non ha chiare cause genetiche. Uno studio realizzato da Humanitas e Istituto di neuroscienze del Consiglio nazionale delle ricerche (In-Cnr), in collaborazione con l’Universidad Miguel Hernández lnstituto de Neurociencias, per la prima volta identifica la relazione tra alti livelli di infiammazione e aumentata espressione della proteina MeCP2.
The researcher Oscar Barambones behind a solar panel at the University of the Basque Country (Nuria González / UPV/EHU)
Researchers at the UPV/EHU-University of the Basque Country have managed to maintain the maximum power point of solar panels despite changes in irradiation and load. The Advanced Control Group of the UPV/EHU’s Department of Systems Engineering and Automation has developed a control system designed to ensure that photovoltaic generators always work at their maximum power point by adapting them in terms of the level of irradiance received from the sun and the load connected to the system. This constitutes an improvement in the efficiency of photovoltaic generators with respect to current control systems, although it also requires the use of more powerful processors and elements and therefore more expensive ones.
Palmer amaranth infestation
Palmer amaranth is a nightmare of a weed, causing yield losses up to 80 percent in severely infested soybean fields. It scoffs at farmers’ attempts at control, having evolved resistance to six classes of herbicides since its discovery in the United States 100 years ago. And now, scientists have discovered it has two new tricks up its sleeve. About a year ago, a group of researchers discovered Palmer is resistant to the herbicide class known as PPO-inhibitors, due to a mutation—known as the glycine 210 deletion—on the PPX2 gene. “We were using a quick test that we originally developed for waterhemp to determine PPO-resistance based on that mutation. A lot of times, the test worked. But people were bringing in samples that they were fairly confident were resistant, and the mutation wasn’t showing up. We started to suspect there was another mechanism out there,” says University of Illinois molecular weed scientist Patrick Tranel.
Dr Ruth Griffin in the laboratories at Kingston University
Kingston University London scientists have completed the genome sequence for a deadly strain of the bacteria that causes meningitis and septicaemia – a breakthrough which could lead to improved vaccines to help prevent its spread. Meningococcal infections are the most common cause of bacterial meningitis in the United Kingdom, a life-threatening disease that poses a continuing threat worldwide. With growing fears around the increase of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, understanding why certain strains don't respond to vaccines could prove vital in helping reduce the number of global deaths from the disease. The Kingston University London team focused on meningococcal B (menB) strains, which have historically proven problematic to vaccinate against. As part of their work examining how bacteria respond to vaccines, the researchers have now been able to determine the complete DNA sequence of the genome for a particular strain called L91543.
Close-up of Polykrilos kofoidii. Photo: Urban Tillmann.
Researchers have obtained an unprecedented view of the ‘ballistic’ weaponry of planktonic microbes, including one that can fire projectiles as if wielding a Gatling gun. “We think of plankton as the tiny alphabet soup of the ocean, floating around passively while larger organisms eat it,” says biologist Gregory Gavelis, who lead the study while a researcher at the University of British Columbia (UBC). “But some planktonic microbes, like dinoflagellates, are predators and have developed incredible defensive and prey capture mechanisms.” Until now, how dinoflagellates acquired and fired these projectiles, called extrusomes, was unclear. Gavelis and colleagues studied two types of dinoflagellates: Polykrikos kofoidii and Nematodinium sp. They were able to capture the first 3D views of the microbes’ interior and determined Polykrikos launch a harpoon-like structure to snag their prey, then tow it in. Nematodinium, on the other hand, discharge the contents within a ring of capsules, like a Gatling gun.
Concluso a Firenze il 17° Congresso Nazionale dell’Associazione Italiana Psicogeriatria. Relazioni, sentimenti, sfera sessuale al centro dei contributi dinanzi a oltre mille specialisti.
Leo Nahon (già direttore della divisione psichiatrica dell’Ospedale Niguarda di Milano): “In media, il 20-25% degli anziani tra i 75 e gli 85 anni sostiene di aver avuto almeno un rapporto sessuale nell’ultimo anno. Una quota di anziani più ampia del previsto conserva una vita sessuale vera e propria”.
ANZIANI: RELAZIONI SESSUALI E AFFETTIVA. Esiste una quota di anziani verosimilmente più ampia del previsto che conserva una vita sessuale vera e propria. “In un editoriale del New England Journal of Medicine del 2015, John Bancroft del Kinsey Institute rilevava che nel gruppo di età fra i 75 e gli 85 anni il 38,5% degli uomini e il 16,7% delle donne riferiva di avere avuto un rapporto sessuale con un partner nell’anno in corso” afferma il prof. Leo Nahon, psichiatra, già direttore della divisione psichiatrica dell’Ospedale Niguarda di Milano. Sono più gli uomini a ricercare il piacere del sesso: per ogni due donne ci sono 3 uomini pronti a vivere questa esperienza appagante. Una curiosità, che lascia intendere come gli uomini ricerchino partner spesso più giovani. Per sessualità non si intende necessariamente il rapporto sessuale completo, ma anche altre forme di erotismo sessuale che gli anziani possono trovare. “Tuttavia, in ambito medico e anche specialistico, l’argomento della sessualità non viene messo tra gli elementi più rilevanti” dichiara ancora Nahon. “In altri termini, né il medico di base né lo specialista, quando si trovano di fronte un ultra 70enne, indagano sul tema della sessualità, a meno che non sia lo stesso paziente a sollevare la questione”.
A new study demonstrates that gender dysphoria in individuals with coexisting psychotic disorders can be adequately diagnosed and safely treated with gender affirming psychological, endocrine, and surgical therapies. The study is published in LGBT Health, a peer-reviewed journal from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers. The article is available free on the LGBT Health website until May 3, 2017. In this novel and important report, Julia Meijer, MD, PhD, Guus Eeckhout, MD, Roy van Vlerken, MD, and Annelou de Vries, MD, PhD, VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, describe a small series of case studies involving transgender men and women ages 29-57 years diagnosed with gender dysphoria and schizophrenia-related disorders who underwent gender affirmative treatment with a minimum follow-up of 3 years.