Focus

Genes underlying learning and memory as revealed by a genomic approach

2002
For more than a century, two general forms of memory have been classified by their duration: short-term memory (STM), which is rapidly formed and can outlast training for minutes or hours, and long-term memory (LTM), which lasts from hours to days, weeks or even years. STM involves post-translational modifications of preexisting molecules that alters the efficiency of synaptic transmission. In contrast, LTM can be blocked by inhibitors of transcription or translation indicating that it is ...

Functional proteins from human colostrum and milk

2002
Food quality is not only a function of nutritional values but also of the presence of bioactive compounds, which exert a positive effect on human health. In the case of milk, the known bioactive proteins and peptides are mainly derived from the casein fraction, and only a very few from the soluble protein (whey) fraction. The proteins associated with the milk fat globule membrane (MFGMP), representing 2-8% of the total protein milk content, derive from the apical membrane of secreting epithelial ...

Collection of toxigenic fungi of agri-food interest

2002
Among the fungi that are moulding agents of agri-food products, there are species belonging to the genera of Aspergillus, Penicillium, Fusarium and Claviceps that arise justified apprehension for food safety because are capable to produce mycotoxins, which are responsible to elicit strong intoxication in livestock and humans. It is well known that not all species of these genera are mycotoxin producers, and that within a toxigenic species there is a wide variability of toxin synthesis. The ...

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 ...

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 ...

Cognitive vision for railway safety

2002
On July 2002 a railway derailment on the route Messina-Palermo caused eight people dead and forty ones remained injured. The accident was caused by bad conditions of railroad and more precisely some rails were deformed and some fastening elements were lacking. Nowdays, considered the high tecnological level both in construction of and in the realization of the trains should consider high safety level, so when those kind of accidents happen, the ways which the maintenance management and ...

An open sea laboratory at disposal of the scientific community

2002
On April 2002, just after one year since its recovery into a dockyard in Genoa, due to the breaking of the mooring, the meteo-oceanographic buoy "ODAS Italia 1", managed by the branch in Genoa of Istituto di Studi sui Sistemi Intelligenti per l'Automazione, regained the sea. It was positioned at the centre of the Ligurian Sea on about 1400 m deep sea bottom, approximately at 73 Km southward from Genoa along the line with Cape Corse. The research project developed around the system "ODAS Italia ...

NANOSCIENCE FOR ELECTRONICS

2002
Over recent years there has been a tremendous drive towards computer miniaturization. At present the smallest components of a commercial microelectronic device are about 130 billionths of a metre (nanometre). Smaller dimensions would provide more powerful computers and reduce energy consumption, a fundamental issue in the explosive market of wireless communication, including mobile phones, portable video and audio players, laptops, etc. Further, significant miniaturization will require ...

Proteomic Analysis of bovine tissues and biological fluids

2002
Nonostante la limitatezza dei dati disponibili sul genoma bovino, rispetto a quelli relativi a uomo e topo, sono state identificate le proteine più abbondanti in ciascun tessuto. In particolare, è stato ottenuto esito positivo per diverse centinaia di specie proteiche che sono state così associate ai rispettivi geni. I dati ottenuti potranno in futuro risultare basilari per la corretta comprensione dei complessi processi fisiologici e/o metabolici che regolano l'adattamento di quest'animale ...

Proteomic Analysis of bovine tissues and biological fluids

2002
To provide a complete molecular description of the fundamental mechanisms necessary for cell life, a series of studies on different organisms are now undergoing to characterize the whole pattern of proteins expression. Different Proteome projects have been activated in the world and their interest grows together with the increased availability of new genetic data. The scientific community realized that, once the entire genome of an organism have been sequenced, to understand the molecular ...

Giambattista Vico and his Works

2002
Pietro Piovani was the first to formulate the general project of a Critical Edition of Giambattista Vico's Works in 1972, in the second number of "Bollettino del Centro di studi vichiani". His aim was to start up in a new approach to Vico's opus, focused on a remarkable multidisciplinary strain, and to get away from the ecdotical Tradition by Benedetto Croce and Fausto Nicolini, combining philological and philosophical Method. Benedetto Croce started in 1904, with the first redaction of ...

Research and Projects on Grid Computing

2002
by Domenico Laforenza Introduction Nowdays the popularity of Internet and the availability of powerful computers and fast networks make possible to couple a wide variety of computational resources like supercomputers, storage systems, data sources and special devices, and using all of them as a single powerful parallel machine. This new computational paradigm has been defined "Grid Computing". This research topic has raised enoumous interest both in US [1] and Europe, as witnessed by the ...

LEARNING BY PLAYING WITH ROBOTS

2002
Playing with robots might not be that new. The innovative aspect is the possibility for kids to build and program their robots. What is the educational value of robot programming? Let's consider a group of kids and adults engaged in building cybernetic constructions by assembling wheels, sensors, engines, etc, and using a special programmable component. The group discusses behaviours of robots such as movements, reaction to obstacles, light and temperature variations, etc..). By doing so it ...

THE EUROPEAN PROJECT PICADA: STUDY OF TITANIUM DIOXIDE AS PHOTOCATALYST FOR A NEW CLASS OF BUILDING MATERIALS

2002
Alberto Strini and Emanuela Mapelli Titanium dioxide is a well-known catalyst able to degrade by oxidation several organic compounds. Recent studies have proposed to exploit this property to prepare additives for construction materials based on this compound. A particular interest arises from the possibility of obtaining coating materials that, being activated by sun light, are able to destroy the organic compounds which deposit on them. This property might potentially lead to the development ...

ACTIVE NOISE CONTROL APPLIED TO BUILDING ELEMENTS

2002
The need to improve the acoustic performance of the indoor premises and the will to overcome the limitations imposed by traditional techniques forced ITC-CNR to apply active noise control to building elements such as windows and vertical partitions. Active noise control (ANC), in which additional secondary sources are used to cancel noise from the original primary source, is based on the principle of destructive interference. ITC-CNR designed two prototypes of an active window and of an active ...

Studies of biochemistry and physiopathology of metalloproteins

2002
CNR-INSTITUTE FOR BIOMEDICAL TECHNOLOGIESPADOVA UNIT " METALLOPROTEINS" Paolo Zatta (Manager of the Unit) Fernanda Ricchelli (Senior Researcher); Staff members: Ennio Carbone, Daniele Cervellin, Silvano Gobbo, Paolo Rocco, Giuseppe Tognon, Antonio Cervellin. The aim of the Unit is the study on the role of metal ions on different pathologies. This unit is comprehensive of two laboratories involved in the following issues. A) Role of metal ions in human and experimental neurophysiopathology. ...

Identification of genes involved in the pathogenesis of breast cancer

2002
ILEANA ZUCCHI E RENATO DULBECCO This focus covers an interesting project carried out at the Department of Human Genome and Multifactorial Diseases by Ileana Zucchi and her group under the supervision of Renato Dulbecco. Its aim is the identification of genes involved in the pathogenesis of breast cancer, using the approach of Functional Genomics. In order to address the genetic basis of mammary gland differentiation, we have exploited an experimental model based on two clonal derivatives, ...

The Virtual Reality Project on Scrovegni Chapel (Maurizio Forte)

2002
The Scrovegni Chapel, painted by Giotto in the period 1303-1305, is one of the most important masterpiece of the European art. Because of serious problems of preservation, the paintings have been restored in the last two years but the accessibility of the monument is now restricted to a little number of visitors (20 people any time) and to a short time (15 minutes). In order to solve these problems of fruition the municipality of Padua planned the creation of an hypermedia room (10 x 20 m) ...

THE COINS OF THE MISURATA HOARD: STUDY OF THE FABRICATION TECHNOLOGIES

2002
The so-called Misurata hoard, at present kept at the Archaeological Museum of Leptis Magna in Libya, is the largest of antiquity and consists of about 108.000 coins of the "follis" type, minted between 294 and 333 b.C. Due the number and the good conservation of the coins, the find, which is being studied under the responsibility of Dr. S. Garraffo director of CNR-ITABC, offers a unique opportunity to study the coin production in the Late Roman Empire. In this context a research project was ...

Stable monodispersed emulsions and microemulsions by polymeric membrane

2002
The growing interest for appropriate formulations of final products in various industrial areas, from pharmaceutical to cosmetics, agro-foods, biotechnology, fuels, etc., attracted attention to the possibility of producing stable monodispersed emulsions using microporous membranes, realising the so-called membrane emulsifier. Advantages of this methodology are: lower energy cost; no mechanical stress for the treated solutions; mild operating conditions, better control of droplets size, etc. This ...

Membranes and Computational Chemistry.

2002
Atomistic and non atomistic simulations have become in the last years more reliable; for this reason, computational chemistry can give to investigations an important and above all effective contribution. Atomistic and non atomistic simulations can give a large number of information in relatively short times, particularly : a) Evaluation of different materials and process properties b) Interpretation of ambiguous experimental results c) Materials design and process. On these considerations, ...

COC: highly transparent as crystals, light, insulating, high resistant novel polymeric materials

2002
There is an increasing need for environment friendly materials with advanced and improved properties. Polyolefins produced by means of transition metal catalysed polymerisations, as pure hydrocarbons meet the requirements for sustainable development. Advances in novel soluble catalytic systems, with well defined structure, allow the synthesis of novel polymeric materials non accessible with traditional heterogeneous Ziegler-Natta catalysts: cycloolefin copolymers (COC) represent a new class of ...

Whiteflies and viruses: fatal attraction!

2002
The whiteflies (Homoptera: Aleyrodidae), small insects that feed in the phloem of a wide range of plants, are rapidly expanding from their original tropical and subtropical zones, colonizing temperate agricultural areas, including large parts of Italy. The intensifying losses caused by whiteflies are certainly due to population increase, particularly of Bemisia tabaci (Gennadius) (Fig.1) and Trialeurodes vaporariorum (Westwood), but whitefly-transmitted diseases are making these losses quite ...

Twins but not identical: plant and animal immunity

2002
Although lacking immunoglobulins, circulating cells and phagocytic processes, plants possess a rather complex and efficient immune system. During their estimated 450 million years of evolution, they have developed various defence strategies against pathogenic microrganisms. Thus plants as well as animals are equipped with molecules, cells, tissues and organs capable of recognizing and distinguishing between self and non-self and so can mediate the relationship between the individual and the ...

Antifraud antibodies

2002
The Italian textile and apparel manufacturing industry produces more than 30% of the EU garment production and engages nearly 700000. Besides sheep's wool, the raw fibres used by the fashion textile industry are the fine, noble hairs (speciality fibres) from domestic goats (mohair, cashmere, cashgora), camel and camelids (alpaca, lama, vicuna, guanaco), bovines (yak, musk ox), rabbit (angora). Price differences between the different kind of fibres are considerable and subjected to strong ...

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, ...

Inter-molecular interactions of nuclear proteins affected in muscular dystrophies.

2002
At the ITOI-CNR, unit of Bologna, we developed a research area aimed at the study of neuromuscular disorders, with particular emphasis on muscular dystrophies and diseases associated with defects of nuclear lamina proteins. In the recent years, six genetic disorders have been linked to mutations of LMNA gene coding for alternatively spliced lamins A and C, main components of the nuclear lamina. The X-linked form of Emery-Dreifuss muscular dystrophy has been linked to mutations of emerin, an ...

Anthropological analysis of the Moroccan ethnical groups, Metalsa and Chaouya, by direct sequencing of HLA system.

2002
The human leukocyte antigen (HLA) system is a highly polymorphic gene complex which has an essential role in immune response activation and in self and non-self discrimination. HLA molecules influence the immune response to pathogens, are involved in disease susceptibility, in autoimmunity and in transplant engraftment (histocompatibility). Analysis of HLA gene polymorphism HLA can be used in to characterize individuals and populations and is useful for anthropological studies to shed light on ...

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) ...

Resources and Environment

2002
The sight of nature as an historical subject implies a change in the perspective when we reconstruct economic and social features, human relations, and technical innovation and finally the very idea of wealth. Researches in progress in the Institute are connected with the use of concept of "resource" in Northern and Southern Mediterranean regions. Researchers in the Institute are contributing on topics such as forests, seas, water resources. Part of these researches has already been published ...