Focus

Ecological, sanitary and economic impact of HAB problematics

2003
HABs (Harmful Algal Blooms) are outbreaks of microalgae toxic to humans, as well as microalgae having a negative impact on the ecosystem through production of ichthyotoxins or causing conditions noxious to the habitat, such as hypoxia to anoxia. Two groups of organisms can be distincted among HAB species: 1) toxin producers, that may contaminate seafood and cause problems to the public health or fish kills and 2) organisms responsible for events known as red tides or discoloured waters, with ...

Carbon dioxide enhanced fixation in macroalgae for biofuel production

2003
The control aof the carbon dioxide atmospheric loading, the target of the Kyoto Protocol, is not yet implemented for the resistence to introdure cuts in the use of fossil fuels. The capture of carbon dioxide and its storage in natural sites or its utilization may bring in a new perspective in the use of fossil fuels. Marine biomass represents a form of renewable energy more effective than the terrestyrial for the higher photosynthetic activity of algae with respect to superior plants. To date ...

The role of isoprenoids in protecting plants against oxidative stresses and in the phyto-remediation of gaseous pollutants

2003
Many plants form and emit in the atmosphere foliar volatile organic compounds belonging to the isoprenoid family. It is now known that the isoprenoids emitted by the vegetation are directly formed from photosynthetic carbon through a specific, and entirely chloroplastic, metabolic pathway. But it is still unclear why plants invest on average 2 to 10% of the photosynthetic Carbon for forming these compounds apparently useless in the metabolism and therefore re-emitted in the atmosphere. At the ...

GEOPHYSICS - Putting Meteorites on Ice

2002
Every year, scientists put on their mittens and collect meteorites in Antarctica. Of the roughly 37,000 meteorites listed as of 2002, about 30,000 come from Antarctica or, to be precise, the ice sheets covering that continent. Antarctica is the best place to collect meteorites because they accumulate on blue ice fields, upstream of topographic barriers. Meteorites fall and become buried in the ice; the ice flows; the ice slows and is lifted up near a barrier; finally, wind ablation exhumes and ...

The agricoltural reuse of reclaimed waste-waters sludges

2002
THE AGRICULTURAL REUSE OF RECLAIMED WASTE-WATERS SLUDGES The wide-spread technologies currently applied to the treatment of municipal waste waters involve high energetic consumptions and produce a huge quantity of sludges containing heavy metals, organic compounds, pathogenous agents as well as appreciable amount of nutrients such as nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium. The EU directives, namely EC 91/271/EEC, do not permit the spreading of waste waters sludges on the ground, whereas the ...

Geological-geomorphological framework and site effects at San Giuliano

2002
Geological-geomorphological framework and site effects at San Giuliano di Puglia (CB) and othter localities struck by the seismic sequence of October-November 2002. Since Oct. 31 2002 a seismic sequence has affected a sector of the Molise Apennines between the Fortore and Biferno river valleys. Although the magnitude of the two main events (Ml 5.4 and 5.3) is lower than that of the large historical earthquakes of the Apennines, some villages experienced significant damage and casualties ...

Observing The Galaxy By Neutrinos And Gravitational Waves

2002
In 1987, the first observation of neutrinos from the gravitational collapse of a bleu giant in the Magellanic Clouds made the neutrino astrophysics an experimental science. Since then a number of different, more sensitive neutrino telescopes have been constructed and are observing the Galaxy, even in this moment, to search for the most catastrophic phenomena that occur in the universe. At the same time these phenomena as: supernovae, masses captured by black holes and merging binary stars, ...

HYDRAULIC RISK MITIGATION WITH NON STRUCTURAL MEASURES

2002
In the last few years catastrophic rainfall events have occurred in the Mediterranean area, leading to floods, flash floods and shallow landsliding. These recent events have outlined the urgent need for: · the implementation of forecasting systems able to predict meteorological conditions leading to disastrous runoff occurrences; · some policies for issuing warnings, or alarms, to local authorities and the population. Indeed, early warning systems in urban areas appear to be the only non ...

The nitrogen Cycle and Effects on the oxidation of atmospheric trace species at high latitudes (NICE)

2002
NICE Measurements of atmospheric and snow nitrates and nitrites and their fluxes above the snow surface were made during two campaigns during spring 2001 at Ny-Ålesund, Svalbard as part of the EU project "The NItrogen Cycle and Effects on the oxidation of atmospheric trace species at high latitudes" (NICE). Recent findings of NOx and HONO production in snow interstitial air showed that photochemical production of NOx in snow surfaces is sufficient to alter the composition of the ...

Biomarkers of soil quality

2002
Specific biomarkers useful to evaluate the soil degradation level and the soil response (resilience) to regeneration practices have been tested and evaluated by the research group of "Soil Biochemical Fertility" at the Unit of Soil Chemistry of ISE-CNR. The biomarkers are part of an enzymatic pool made up of some hydrolases and oxidoreductases which reflect soil metabolism and are responsible for the mineral nutrient release from natural organic macro-compounds (cellulose, proteins, lipids, ...

Impact and fate of TSE prion on soil ecosystem

2002
In several European countries, TSE (Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies) epidemic in cattle is a major economic problem for the sustainability of breeding activities. Moreover, concern is growing for public health with the transmission of TSE to human beings by consumption of contaminated meat (new variant of the disease). The soil can be contaminated and become a potential reservoir of TSE infectivity as a result of a) accidental dispersion from storage plants of meat and bone meal; b) ...

.Monitoring landslides

2002
When monitoring landsldies (Fig.1) it is of utmost importance obtaining set of data that are: i - continuous; ii - reliable; iii - obtained contemporaneously by means of different techniques and from different sources, in oredr to obtai a model that is as consistent as possible with resect to the real phenomenon to model. Using innovative and technologically advanced instrumentation, allows the continuous monitoring and the gathering of the different parameters that characterize slope movements, ...

How do strata form on continental margins? An international study in the Adriatic laboratory.

2002
The issues that confront scientists studying continental margins are complex and range from drainage basin dynamics to sediment transport theory, sea level history and climate change. Many of the scientific concepts employed to understand societal problems like coastal pollution, hydrocarbon and ground water reservoirs, landslide hazards, and coastal erosion are deeply rooted in understanding sediment transport and stratigraphic sequence evolution. Two overarching questions behind these complex ...

On how a turbulent system replicates itself at smaller scales

2002
On how a turbulent system replicates itself at smaller scales. Marta Antonelli 1, Andrea Mazzino 2, Umberto Rizza 2(1) Univ. di Genova, D.to di Fis., (2) CNR-ISAC, Sez. di Lecce One of the most intriguing features characterizing a turbulent system is the emergence of huge fluctuations covering a wide range of spatial and temporal scales. Although the equations ruling the dynamics of such fluctuations are fully deterministic, the probabilistic description turns out to be the most appropriate ...

Marine organisms may solve some shipping problems

2002
Marine biofouling, whose global annual costs have been calculated to be about 6,5 billion of dollars, causes ship velocity reduction and dry docks stopping for hull scraping and antifouling protective coating repainting by new antifouling paints containing toxic biocides that gradually released; from their hulls should avoid fouling settlement but contemporarily contributing to environmental pollution, severely in some cases, especially in coastal areas. The IMO (International Maritime ...

Gamma-Ray-Bursts in the BeppoSAX Era.

2002
Gamma-Ray-Burst studies have rapidly become one of the hot frontiers in astrophysical research, thanks to the BeppoSAX italian satellite. This mission, managed by the IASF in Rome together with Bologna and Palermo sections, has been launched in 1996 and successfully concluded in 2002, with a wealth of bursts data. It opened an entirely new research chapter: the physics of afterglows, lower energy residual emissions of these cosmic explosions, whose analysis led to the epochal discovery of ...

INTEGRAL: The Italian way to High Energy Space Astrophysics

2002
INTEGRAL (International Gamma Ray Astrophysical Laboratory) has been successfully launched with a Proton rocket October the 17th, 2002 and injected into the predicted highly excentric orbit (10.000km perigee and 153.000km apogee). This ESA satellite is a Space Observatory, opened to the scientific community at large, and is an devoted to high resolution imaging and spectroscopy in the hard X-ray / soft gamma ray range. The mission is currently approved for a duration of 2 years with ...

NPAH and the environment

2002
Polynuclear Aromatic Hydrocarbons (NPAH) and environment. Nitrated polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons (NPAH) have been recognised as belonging to long-term toxic compounds and, on the other hand, were identified in several anthropogenic emissions and among by-products of photochemical smog: Therefore, in seventies and eighties they began subject of investigation in ambient air and emission products, although any regulation limited they release in the environment. Our institute, IIA-CNR, ...

Anthropogenic emissions, clouds and climate

2002
Anthropogenic emissions, clouds and climate Clouds are the most important factor controlling the albedo (reflectivity) and hence the temperature of our planet. In fact, the surface of the Earth is covered by clouds 60% of the time on average, and clouds reflect the incoming solar radiation and cause cooling at the surface. Man-made aerosols have a strong influence on cloud optical properties, thus strongly affecting the albedo of the Earth. This climatic effect, called the "indirect aerosol ...

Root development in Arabidopsis under gravitational effects

2002
The research concerned the selection of new Arabidopsis mutants disturbed in the growth of the roots in general, and in particular in gravitropism and circumnutational movements. In the year 2002 the cloning of the AtRHA1 gene, that characterizes the Atrha1 mutant of Arabidopsis, was pursued. This mutant, isolated from the Feldmann collection of T-tagged mutants some years ago, shows in the roots reduced gravitropic response and notable resistance to the plant hormones auxin and ...

Optical emission from hot-spots in radio galaxies

2002
Researchers of the Institute of Radioastronomy are working in collaboration with collegues at the European Southern Observatory and at MPIA-Heidelberg to observe and interpret optical emission from hot spots in radio galaxies. Part of this work has recently published in Science (Prieto, Brunetti, Mack, 2002, 298, p. 193) and received attention in several magazines and newspapers. Hot spots (HSs) are regions of enhanced radio emission located at the end of the radio lobes of powerful ...

Ancient climate and global sea-level changes

2002
The recognition of Earth's orbital cyclicity in the geologic record and its link with periodic variation in orbital parameters (precession, obliquity, eccentricity) has been instrumental in improving our understanding of past climate changes at different time scales. To this aim, some intervals of the Cretaceous, a period of Earth's history ranging from 135 to 65,5 million years ago, are considered among the possible proxies of warm phases of the near future climate extremes. Our experience ...