Focus

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, ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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) ...

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, ...

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 ...