Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 16

Search results for: Federica Floridi

16 The Contribution of Corpora to the Investigation of Cross-Linguistic Equivalence in Phraseology: A Contrastive Analysis of Russian and Italian Idioms

Authors: Federica Floridi

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The long tradition of contrastive idiom research has essentially been focusing on three domains: the comparison of structural types of idioms (e.g. verbal idioms, idioms with noun-phrase structure, etc.), the description of idioms belonging to the same thematic groups (Sachgruppen), the identification of different types of cross-linguistic equivalents (i.e. full equivalents, partial equivalents, phraseological parallels, non-equivalents). The diastratic, diachronic and diatopic aspects of the compared idioms, as well as their syntactic, pragmatic and semantic properties, have been rather ignored. Corpora (both monolingual and parallel) give the opportunity to investigate the actual use of correlating idioms in authentic texts of L1 and L2. Adopting the corpus-based approach, it is possible to draw attention to the frequency of occurrence of idioms, their syntactic embedding, their potential syntactic transformations (e.g., nominalization, passivization, relativization, etc.), their combinatorial possibilities, the variations of their lexical structure, their connotations in terms of stylistic markedness or register. This paper aims to present the results of a contrastive analysis of Russian and Italian idioms referring to the concepts of ‘beginning’ and ‘end’, that has been carried out by using the Russian National Corpus and the ‘La Repubblica’ corpus. Beyond the digital corpora, bilingual dictionaries, like Skvorcova - Majzel’, Dobrovol’skaja, Kovalev, Čerdanceva, as well as monolingual resources, have been consulted. The study has shown that many of the idioms that have been traditionally indicated as cross-linguistic equivalents on bilingual dictionaries cannot be considered correspondents. The findings demonstrate that even those idioms, that are formally identical in Russian and Italian and are presumably derived from the same source (e.g., conceptual metaphor, Bible, classical mythology, World literature), exhibit differences regarding usage. The ultimate purpose of this article is to highlight that it is necessary to review and improve the existing bilingual dictionaries considering the empirical data collected in corpora. The materials gathered in this research can contribute to this sense.

Keywords: corpora, cross-linguistic equivalence, idioms, Italian, Russian

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15 Analysis of Differentially Expressed Genes in Spontaneously Occurring Canine Melanoma

Authors: Simona Perga, Chiara Beltramo, Floriana Fruscione, Isabella Martini, Federica Cavallo, Federica Riccardo, Paolo Buracco, Selina Iussich, Elisabetta Razzuoli, Katia Varello, Lorella Maniscalco, Elena Bozzetta, Angelo Ferrari, Paola Modesto

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Introduction: Human and canine melanoma have common clinical, histologic characteristics making dogs a good model for comparative oncology. The identification of specific genes and a better understanding of the genetic landscape, signaling pathways, and tumor–microenvironmental interactions involved in the cancer onset and progression is essential for the development of therapeutic strategies against this tumor in both species. In the present study, the differential expression of genes in spontaneously occurring canine melanoma and in paired normal tissue was investigated by targeted RNAseq. Material and Methods: Total RNA was extracted from 17 canine malignant melanoma (CMM) samples and from five paired normal tissues stored in RNA-later. In order to capture the greater genetic variability, gene expression analysis was carried out using two panels (Qiagen): Human Immuno-Oncology (HIO) and Mouse-Immuno-Oncology (MIO) and the miSeq platform (Illumina). These kits allow the detection of the expression profile of 990 genes involved in the immune response against tumors in humans and mice. The data were analyzed through the CLCbio Genomics Workbench (Qiagen) software using the Canis lupus familiaris genome as a reference. Data analysis were carried out both comparing the biologic group (tumoral vs. healthy tissues) and comparing neoplastic tissue vs. paired healthy tissue; a Fold Change greater than two and a p-value less than 0.05 were set as the threshold to select interesting genes. Results and Discussion: Using HIO 63, down-regulated genes were detected; 13 of those were also down-regulated comparing neoplastic sample vs. paired healthy tissue. Eighteen genes were up-regulated, 14 of those were also down-regulated comparing neoplastic sample vs. paired healthy tissue. Using the MIO, 35 down regulated-genes were detected; only four of these were down-regulated, also comparing neoplastic sample vs. paired healthy tissue. Twelve genes were up-regulated in both types of analysis. Considering the two kits, the greatest variation in Fold Change was in up-regulated genes. Dogs displayed a greater genetic homology with humans than mice; moreover, the results have shown that the two kits are able to detect different genes. Most of these genes have specific cellular functions or belong to some enzymatic categories; some have already been described to be correlated to human melanoma and confirm the validity of the dog as a model for the study of molecular aspects of human melanoma.

Keywords: animal model, canine melanoma, gene expression, spontaneous tumors, targeted RNAseq

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14 Characterization and Geographical Differentiation of Yellow Prickly Pear Produced in Different Mediterranean Countries

Authors: Artemis Louppis, Michalis Constantinou, Ioanna Kosma, Federica Blando, Michael Kontominas, Anastasia Badeka

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The aim of the present study was to differentiate yellow prickly pear according to geographical origin based on the combination of mineral content, physicochemical parameters, vitamins and antioxidants. A total of 240 yellow prickly pear samples from Cyprus, Spain, Italy and Greece were analyzed for pH, titratable acidity, electrical conductivity, protein, moisture, ash, fat, antioxidant activity, individual antioxidants, sugars and vitamins by UPLC-MS/MS as well as minerals by ICP-MS. Statistical treatment of the data included multivariate analysis of variance followed by linear discriminant analysis. Based on results, a correct classification of 66.7% was achieved using the cross validation by mineral content while 86.1% was achieved using the cross validation method by combination of all analytical parameters.

Keywords: geographical differentiation, prickly pear, chemometrics, analytical techniques

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13 A Meta Regression Analysis to Detect Price Premium Threshold for Eco-Labeled Seafood

Authors: Cristina Giosuè, Federica Biondo, Sergio Vitale

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In the last years, the consumers' awareness for environmental concerns has been increasing, and seafood eco-labels are considered as a possible instrument to improve both seafood markets and sustainable fishing management. In this direction, the aim of this study was to carry out a meta-analysis on consumers’ willingness to pay (WTP) for eco-labeled wild seafood, by a meta-regression. Therefore, only papers published on ISI journals were searched on “Web of Knowledge” and “SciVerse Scopus” platforms, using the combinations of the following key words: seafood, ecolabel, eco-label, willingness, WTP and premium. The dataset was built considering: paper’s and survey’s codes, year of publication, first author’s nationality, species’ taxa and family, sample size, survey’s continent and country, data collection (where and how), gender and age of consumers, brand and ΔWTP. From analysis the interest on eco labeled seafood emerged clearly, in particular in developed countries. In general, consumers declared greater willingness to pay than that actually applied for eco-label products, with difference related to taxa and brand.

Keywords: eco label, meta regression, seafood, willingness to pay

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12 The Effects of Big 6+6 Skill Training on Daily Living Skills for an Adolescent with Intellectual Disability

Authors: Luca Vascelli, Silvia Iacomini, Giada Gueli, Francesca Cavallini, Carlo Cavallini, Federica Berardo

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The study was conducted to evaluate the effect of training on Big 6 + 6 motor skills to promote daily living skills. Precision teaching (PT) suggests that improved speed of the component behaviors can lead to better performance of composite skills. This study assessed the effects of the repeated timed practice of component motor skills on speed and accuracy of composite skills related to daily living skills. An 18 years old adolescent with intellectual disability participated. A pre post probe single-subject design was used. The results suggest that the participant was able to perform the component skills at his individual aims (endurance was assessed). The speed and accuracy of composite skills were increased; stability and retention were also measured for the composite skill after the training.

Keywords: big 6+6, daily living skills, intellectual disability, precision teaching

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11 The Analysis of Indian Culture through the Lexicographical Discourse of Hindi-French Dictionary

Authors: Tanzil Ansari

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A dictionary is often considered as a list of words, arranged in alphabetical orders, providing information on a language or languages and it informs us about the spelling, the pronunciation, the origin, the gender and the grammatical functions of new and unknown words. In other words, it is first and foremost a linguistic tool. But, the research across the world in the field of linguistic and lexicography proved that a dictionary is not only a linguistic tool but also a cultural product through which a lexicographer transmits the culture of a country or a linguistic community from his or her ideology. It means, a dictionary does not present only language and its metalinguistic functions but also its culture. Every language consists of some words and expressions which depict the culture of its language. In this way, it is impossible to disassociate language from its culture. There is always an ideology that plays an important role in the depiction of any culture. Using the orientalism theory of Edward Said to represent the east, the objective of the present research is to study the representation of Indian culture through the lexicographical discourse of Hindi-French Dictionary of Federica Boschetti, a French lexicographer. The results show that the Indian culture is stereotypical and monolithic. It also shows India as male oriented country where women are exploited by male-dominated society. The study is focused on Hindi-French dictionary, but its line of argument can be compared to dictionaries produced in other languages.

Keywords: culture, dictionary, lexicographical discourse, stereotype image

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10 Effectiveness of Weather Index Insurance for Smallholders in Ethiopia

Authors: Federica Di Marcantonio, Antoine Leblois, Wolfgang Göbel, Hervè Kerdiles

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Weather-related shocks can threaten the ability of farmers to maintain their agricultural output and food security levels. Informal coping mechanisms (i.e. migration or community risk sharing) have always played a significant role in mitigating the negative effects of weather-related shocks in Ethiopia, but they have been found to be an incomplete strategy, particularly as a response to covariate shocks. Particularly, as an alternative to the traditional risk pooling products, an innovative form of insurance known as Index-based Insurance has received a lot of attention from researchers and international organizations, leading to an increased number of pilot initiatives in many countries. Despite the potential benefit of the product in protecting the livelihoods of farmers and pastoralists against climate shocks, to date there has been an unexpectedly low uptake. Using information from current pilot projects on index-based insurance in Ethiopia, this paper discusses the determinants of uptake that have so far undermined the scaling-up of the products, by focusing in particular on weather data availability, price affordability and willingness to pay. We found that, aside from data constraint issues, high price elasticity and low willingness to pay represent impediments to the development of the market. These results, bring us to rethink the role of index insurance as products for enhancing smallholders’ response to covariate shocks, and particularly for improving their food security.

Keywords: index-based insurance, willingness to pay, satellite information, Ethiopia

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9 Evidence of Microplastics Ingestion in Two Commercial Cephalopod Species: Octopus Vulgaris and Sepia Officinalis

Authors: Federica Laface, Cristina Pedà, Francesco Longo, Francesca de Domenico, Riccardo Minichino, Pierpaolo Consoli, Pietro Battaglia, Silvestro Greco, Teresa Romeo

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Plastics pollution represents one of the most important threats to marine biodiversity. In the last decades, different species are investigated to evaluate the extent of the plastic ingestion phenomenon. Even if the cephalopods play an important role in the food chain, they are still poorly studied. The aim of this research was to investigate the plastic ingestion in two commercial cephalopod species from the southern Tyrrhenian Sea: the common octopus, Octopus vulgaris (n=6; mean mantle length ML 10.7 ± 1.8) and the common cuttlefish, Sepia officinalis (n=13; mean ML 13.2 ± 1.7). Plastics were extracted from the filters obtained by the chemical digestion of cephalopods gastrointestinal tracts (GITs), using 10% potassium hydroxide (KOH) solution in a 1:5 (w/v) ratio. Once isolated, particles were photographed, measured, and their size class, shape and color were recorded. A total of 81 items was isolated from 16 of the 19 examined GITs, representing a total occurrence (%O) of 84.2% with a mean value of 4.3 ± 8.6 particles per individual. In particular, 62 plastics were found in 6 specimens of O. vulgaris (%O=100) and 19 particles in 10 S. officinalis (%O=94.7). In both species, the microplastics size class was the most abundant (93.8%). Plastic items found in O. vulgaris were mainly fibers (61%) while fragments were the most frequent in S. officinalis (53%). Transparent was the most common color in both species. The analysis will be completed by Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR) spectroscopy technique in order to identify polymers nature. This study reports preliminary data on plastic ingestion events in two cephalopods species and represents the first record of plastic ingestion by the common octopus. Microplastic items detected in both common octopus and common cuttlefish could derive from secondary and/or accidental ingestion events, probably due to their behavior, feeding habits and anatomical features. Further studies will be required to assess the effect of marine litter pollution in these ecologically and commercially important species.

Keywords: cephalopods, GIT analysis, marine pollution, Mediterranean sea, microplastics

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8 Photocatalytic Eco-Active Ceramic Slabs to Abate Air Pollution under LED Light

Authors: Claudia L. Bianchi, Giuseppina Cerrato, Federico Galli, Federica Minozzi, Valentino Capucci

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At the beginning of the industrial productions, porcelain gres tiles were considered as just a technical material, aesthetically not very beautiful. Today thanks to new industrial production methods, both properties, and beauty of these materials completely fit the market requests. In particular, the possibility to prepare slabs of large sizes is the new frontier of building materials. Beside these noteworthy architectural features, new surface properties have been introduced in the last generation of these materials. In particular, deposition of TiO₂ transforms the traditional ceramic into a photocatalytic eco-active material able to reduce polluting molecules present in air and water, to eliminate bacteria and to reduce the surface dirt thanks to the self-cleaning property. The problem of photocatalytic materials resides in the fact that it is necessary a UV light source to activate the oxidation processes on the surface of the material, processes that are turned off inexorably when the material is illuminated by LED lights and, even more so, when we are in darkness. First, it was necessary a thorough study change the existing plants to deposit the photocatalyst very evenly and this has been done thanks to the advent of digital printing and the development of an ink custom-made that stabilizes the powdered TiO₂ in its formulation. In addition, the commercial TiO₂, which is used for the traditional photocatalytic coating, has been doped with metals in order to activate it even in the visible region and thus in the presence of sunlight or LED. Thanks to this active coating, ceramic slabs are able to purify air eliminating odors and VOCs, and also can be cleaned with very soft detergents due to the self-cleaning properties given by the TiO₂ present at the ceramic surface. Moreover, the presence of dopant metals (patent WO2016157155) also allows the material to work as well as antibacterial in the dark, by eliminating one of the negative features of photocatalytic building materials that have so far limited its use on a large scale. Considering that we are constantly in contact with bacteria, some of which are dangerous for health. Active tiles are 99,99% efficient on all bacteria, from the most common such as Escherichia coli to the most dangerous such as Staphilococcus aureus Methicillin-resistant (MRSA). DIGITALIFE project LIFE13 ENV/IT/000140 – award for best project of October 2017.

Keywords: Ag-doped microsized TiO₂, eco-active ceramic, photocatalysis, digital coating

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7 Posterior Thigh Compartment Syndrome Associated with Hamstring Avulsion and Antiplatelet Therapy

Authors: Andrea Gatti, Federica Coppotelli, Ma Primavera, Laura Palmieri, Umberto Tarantino

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Aim of study: Scientific literature is scarce of studies and reviews valuing the pros and cons of the paratricipital approach for the treatment of humeral shaft fractures; the lateral paratricipital approach is a valid alternative to the classical posterior approach to the humeral shaft as it preserves both the triceps muscle and the elbow extensor mechanisms; based on our experience, this retrospective analysis aims at analyzing outcome, risks and benefits of the lateral paratricipital approach for humeral shaft fractures. Methods: Our study includes 14 patients treated between 2018 and 2019 for unilateral humeral shaft fractures: 13 with a B1 or B2 and a patient with a C fracture type (according to the AO/ATO Classification); 6 of our patients identified as male while 8 as female; age average was 57.8 years old (range 21-73 years old). A lateral paratricipital approach was performed on all 14 patients, sparing the triceps muscle by avoiding the olecranon osteotomy and by assessing the integrity and the preservation of the radial nerve; the humeral shaft fracture osteosynthesis was performed by means of plates and screws. After surgery all patients have started elbow functional rehabilitation with acceptable pain management. Post-operative follow-up has been carried out by assessing radiographs, MEPS (Mayo Elbow Performance Score) and DASH (Disability of Arm Shoulder and Hand) functional assessment and ROM of the affected joint. Results: All 14 patients had an optimal post-operative follow-up with an adequate osteosynthesis and functional rehabilitations by entirely preserving the operated elbow joint; the mean elbow ROM was 0-118.6 degree (range of 0-130) while the average MEPS score was 86 (range75-100) and 79.9 for the DASH (range 21.7-86.1). Just 2 patients suffered of temporary radial nerve apraxia, healed in the subsequent follow-ups. CONCLUSION: The lateral paratricipital approach preserve both the integrity of the triceps muscle and the elbow biomechanism but we do strongly recommend additional studies to be carried out to highlight differences between it and the classical posterior approach in treating humeral shaft fractures.

Keywords: paratricepital approach, humerus shaft fracture, posterior approach humeral shaft, paratricipital postero-lateral approach

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6 Angiomotin Regulates Integrin Beta 1-Mediated Endothelial Cell Migration and Angiogenesis

Authors: Yuanyuan Zhang, Yujuan Zheng, Giuseppina Barutello, Sumako Kameishi, Kungchun Chiu, Katharina Hennig, Martial Balland, Federica Cavallo, Lars Holmgren

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Angiogenesis describes that new blood vessels migrate from pre-existing ones to form 3D lumenized structure and remodeling. During directional migration toward the gradient of pro-angiogenic factors, the endothelial cells, especially the tip cells need filopodia to sense the environment and exert the pulling force. Of particular interest are the integrin proteins, which play an essential role in focal adhesion in the connection between migrating cells and extracellular matrix (ECM). Understanding how these biomechanical complexes orchestrate intrinsic and extrinsic forces is important for our understanding of the underlying mechanisms driving angiogenesis. We have previously identified Angiomotin (Amot), a member of Amot scaffold protein family, as a promoter for endothelial cell migration in vitro and zebrafish models. Hence, we established inducible endothelial-specific Amot knock-out mice to study normal retinal angiogenesis as well as tumor angiogenesis. We found that the migration ratio of the blood vessel network to the edge was significantly decreased in Amotec- retinas at postnatal day 6 (P6). While almost all the Amot defect tip cells lost migration advantages at P7. In consistence with the dramatic morphology defect of tip cells, there was a non-autonomous defect in astrocytes, as well as the disorganized fibronectin expression pattern correspondingly in migration front. Furthermore, the growth of transplanted LLC tumor was inhibited in Amot knockout mice due to fewer vasculature involved. By using MMTV-PyMT transgenic mouse model, there was a significantly longer period before tumors arised when Amot was specifically knocked out in blood vessels. In vitro evidence showed that Amot binded to beta-actin, Integrin beta 1 (ITGB1), Fibronectin, FAK, Vinculin, major focal adhesion molecules, and ITGB1 and stress fibers were distinctly induced by Amot transfection. Via traction force microscopy, the total energy (force indicater) was found significantly decreased in Amot knockdown cells. Taken together, we propose that Amot is a novel partner of the ITGB1/Fibronectin protein complex at focal adhesion and required for exerting force transition between endothelial cell and extracellular matrix.

Keywords: angiogenesis, angiomotin, endothelial cell migration, focal adhesion, integrin beta 1

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5 CSPG4 Molecular Target in Canine Melanoma, Osteosarcoma and Mammary Tumors for Novel Therapeutic Strategies

Authors: Paola Modesto, Floriana Fruscione, Isabella Martini, Simona Perga, Federica Riccardo, Mariateresa Camerino, Davide Giacobino, Cecilia Gola, Luca Licenziato, Elisabetta Razzuoli, Katia Varello, Lorella Maniscalco, Elena Bozzetta, Angelo Ferrari

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Canine and human melanoma, osteosarcoma (OSA), and mammary carcinomas are aggressive tumors with common characteristics making dogs a good model for comparative oncology. Novel therapeutic strategies against these tumors could be useful to both species. In humans, chondroitin sulphate proteoglycan 4 (CSPG4) is a marker involved in tumor progression and could be a candidate target for immunotherapy. The anti-CSPG4 DNA electrovaccination has shown to be an effective approach for canine malignant melanoma (CMM) [1]. An immunohistochemistry evaluation of CSPG4 expression in tumour tissue is generally performed prior to electrovaccination. To assess the possibility to perform a rapid molecular evaluation and in order to validate these spontaneous canine tumors as the model for human studies, we investigate the CSPG4 gene expression by RT qPCR in CMM, OSA, and canine mammary tumors (CMT). The total RNA was extracted from RNAlater stored tissue samples (CMM n=16; OSA n=13; CMT n=6; five paired normal tissues for CMM, five paired normal tissues for OSA and one paired normal tissue for CMT), retro-transcribed and then analyzed by duplex RT-qPCR using two different TaqMan assays for the target gene CSPG4 and the internal reference gene (RG) Ribosomal Protein S19 (RPS19). RPS19 was selected from a panel of 9 candidate RGs, according to NormFinder analysis following the protocol already described [2]. Relative expression was analyzed by CFX Maestro™ Software. Student t-test and ANOVA were performed (significance set at P<0.05). Results showed that gene expression of CSPG4 in OSA tissues is significantly increased by 3-4 folds when compared to controls. In CMT, gene expression of the target was increased from 1.5 to 19.9 folds. In melanoma, although an increasing trend was observed, no significant differences between the two groups were highlighted. Immunohistochemistry analysis of the two cancer types showed that the expression of CSPG4 within CMM is concentrated in isles of cells compared to OSA, where the distribution of positive cells is homogeneous. This evidence could explain the differences in gene expression results.CSPG4 immunohistochemistry evaluation in mammary carcinoma is in progress. The evidence of CSPG4 expression in a different type of canine tumors opens the way to the possibility of extending the CSPG4 immunotherapy marker in CMM, OSA, and CMT and may have an impact to translate this strategy modality to human oncology.

Keywords: canine melanoma, canine mammary carcinomas, canine osteosarcoma, CSPG4, gene expression, immunotherapy

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4 Innovation and Entrepreneurship in the South of China

Authors: Federica Marangio

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This study looks at the triangle of knowledge: research-education-innovation as growth engine of an inclusive and sustainable society, where the research is the strategic process which allows the acquisition of knowledge, innovation appraises the knowledge acquired and the education is the enabling factor of the human capital to create entrepreneurial capital. Where does Italy and China stand in the global geography of innovation? Europe is calling on a smart, inclusive and sustainable growth through a specializing process that looks at the social and economic challenges, able to understand the characteristics of specific geographic areas. It is easily questionable why it is not as simple as it looks to come up with entrepreneurial ideas in all the geographic areas. Seen that the technology plus the human capital should be the means through which is possible to innovate and contribute to the boost of innovation culture, then the young educated people can be seen as the society changing agents and it becomes clear the importance of investigating the skills and competencies that lead to innovation. By starting innovation-based activities, other countries on an international level, are able now to be part of an healthy innovative ecosystem which is the result of a strong growth policy which enables innovation. Analyzing the geography of the innovation on a global scale, comes to light that the innovative entrepreneurship is the process which portrays the competitiveness of the regions in the knowledge-based economy as strategic process able to match intellectual capital and market opportunities. The level of innovative entrepreneurship is not only the result of the endogenous growth ability of the enterprises, but also by significant relations with other enterprises, universities, other centers of education and institutions. To obtain more innovative entrepreneurship is necessary to stimulate more synergy between all these territory actors in order to create, access and value existing and new knowledge ready to be disseminate. This study focuses on individual’s lived experience and the researcher believed that she can’t understand the human actions without understanding the meaning that they attribute to their thoughts, feelings, beliefs and so given she needed to understand the deeper perspectives captured through face-to face interaction. A case study approach will contribute to the betterment of knowledge in this field. This case study will represent a picture of the innovative ecosystem and the entrepreneurial mindset as a key ingredient of endogenous growth and a must for sustainable local and regional development and social cohesion. The case study will be realized analyzing two Chinese companies. A structured set of questions will be asked in order to gain details on what generated success or failure in the different situations with the past and at the moment of the research. Everything will be recorded not to lose important information during the transcription phase. While this work is not geared toward testing a priori hypotheses, it is nevertheless useful to examine whether the projects undertaken by the companies, were stimulated by enabling factors that, as result, enhanced or hampered the local innovation culture.

Keywords: Entrepreneurship, education, geography of innovation, education.

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3 Multilingual Students Acting as Language Brokers in Italy: Their Points of View and Feelings towards This Activity

Authors: Federica Ceccoli

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Italy is undergoing one of its largest migratory waves, and Italian schools are reporting the highest numbers of multilingual students coming from immigrant families and speaking minority languages. For these pupils, who have not perfectly acquired their mother tongue yet, learning a second language may represent a burden on their linguistic development and may have some repercussions on their school performances and relational skills. These are some of the reasons why they have turned out to be those who have the worst grades and the highest school drop-out rates. However, despite these negative outcomes, it has been demonstrated that multilingual immigrant students frequently act as translators or language brokers for their peers or family members who do not speak Italian fluently. This activity has been defined as Child Language Brokering (hereinafter CLB) and it has become a common practice especially in minority communities as immigrants’ children often learn the host language much more quickly than their parents, thus contributing to their family life by acting as language and cultural mediators. This presentation aims to analyse the data collected by a research carried out during the school year 2014-2015 in the province of Ravenna, in the Northern Italian region of Emilia-Romagna, among 126 immigrant students attending junior high schools. The purpose of the study was to analyse by means of a structured questionnaire whether multilingualism matched with language brokering experiences or not and to examine the perspectives of those students who reported having acted as translators using their linguistic knowledge to help people understand each other. The questionnaire consisted of 34 items roughly divided into 2 sections. The first section required multilingual students to provide personal details like their date and place of birth, as well as details about their families (number of siblings, parents’ jobs). In the second section, they were asked about the languages spoken in their families as well as their language brokering experience. The in-depth questionnaire sought to investigate a wide variety of brokering issues such as frequency and purpose of the activity, where, when and which documents young language brokers translate and how they feel about this practice. The results have demonstrated that CLB is a very common practice among immigrants’ children living in Ravenna and almost all students reported positive feelings when asked about their brokering experience with their families and also at school. In line with previous studies, responses to the questionnaire item regarding the people they brokered for revealed that the category ranking first is parents. Similarly, language-brokering activities tend to occur most often at home and the documents they translate the most (either orally or in writing) are notes from teachers. Such positive feelings towards this activity together with the evidence that it occurs very often in schools have laid the foundation for further projects on how this common practice may be valued and used to strengthen the linguistic skills of these multilingual immigrant students and thus their school performances.

Keywords: immigration, language brokering, multilingualism, students' points of view

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2 The Interactive Wearable Toy "+Me", for the Therapy of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders: Preliminary Results

Authors: Beste Ozcan, Valerio Sperati, Laura Romano, Tania Moretta, Simone Scaffaro, Noemi Faedda, Federica Giovannone, Carla Sogos, Vincenzo Guidetti, Gianluca Baldassarre

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+me is an experimental interactive toy with the appearance of a soft, pillow-like, panda. Shape and consistency are designed to arise emotional attachment in young children: a child can wear it around his/her neck and treat it as a companion (i.e. a transitional object). When caressed on paws or head, the panda emits appealing, interesting outputs like colored lights or amusing sounds, thanks to embedded electronics. Such sensory patterns can be modified through a wirelessly connected tablet: by this, an adult caregiver can adapt +me responses to a child's reactions or requests, for example, changing the light hue or the type of sound. The toy control is therefore shared, as it depends on both the child (who handles the panda) and the adult (who manages the tablet and mediates the sensory input-output contingencies). These features make +me a potential tool for therapy with children with Neurodevelopmental Disorders (ND), characterized by impairments in the social area, like Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and Language Disorders (LD): as a proposal, the toy could be used together with a therapist, in rehabilitative play activities aimed at encouraging simple social interactions and reinforcing basic relational and communication skills. +me was tested in two pilot experiments, the first one involving 15 Typically Developed (TD) children aged in 8-34 months, the second one involving 7 children with ASD, and 7 with LD, aged in 30-48 months. In both studies a researcher/caregiver, during a one-to-one, ten-minute activity plays with the panda and encourages the child to do the same. The purpose of both studies was to ascertain the general acceptability of the device as an interesting toy that is an object able to capture the child's attention and to maintain a high motivation to interact with it and with the adult. Behavioral indexes for estimating the interplay between the child, +me and caregiver were rated from the video recording of the experimental sessions. Preliminary results show how -on average- participants from 3 groups exhibit a good engagement: they touch, caress, explore the panda and show enjoyment when they manage to trigger luminous and sound responses. During the experiments, children tend to imitate the caregiver's actions on +me, often looking (and smiling) at him/her. Interesting behavioral differences between TD, ASD, and LD groups are scored: for example, ASD participants produce a fewer number of smiles both to panda and to a caregiver with respect to TD group, while LD scores stand between ASD and TD subjects. These preliminary observations suggest that the interactive toy +me is able to raise and maintain the interest of toddlers and therefore it can be reasonably used as a supporting tool during therapy, to stimulate pivotal social skills as imitation, turn-taking, eye contact, and social smiles. Interestingly, the young age of participants, along with the behavioral differences between groups, seem to suggest a further potential use of the device: a tool for early differential diagnosis (the average age of a child

Keywords: autism spectrum disorders, interactive toy, social interaction, therapy, transitional wearable companion

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1 Preparedness and Control of Mosquito-Borne Diseases: Experiences from Northwestern Italy

Authors: Federica Verna, Alessandra Pautasso, Maria Caramelli, Cristiana Maurella, Walter Mignone, Cristina Casalone

Abstract:

Mosquito-Borne Diseases (MBDs) are dangerously increasing in prevalence, geographical distribution and severity, representing an emerging threat for both humans and animals. Interaction between multiple disciplines is needed for an effective early warning, surveillance and control of MBDs, according to the One Health concept. This work reports the integrated surveillance system enforced by IZSPLV in Piedmont, Liguria and Valle d’Aosta regions (Northwestern Italy) in order to control MDBs spread. Veterinary services and local human health authority are involved in an information network, to connect the surveillance of human clinical cases with entomological surveillance and veterinary monitoring in order to implement control measures in case of outbreak. A systematic entomological surveillance is carried out during the vector season using mosquitoes traps located in sites selected according to risk factors. Collected mosquitoes are counted, identified to species level by morphological standard classification keys and pooled by collection site, date and species with a maximum of 100 individuals. Pools are analyzed, after RNA extraction, by Real Time RT-PCR distinctive for West Nile Virus (WNV) Lineage 1 and Lineage 2, Real Time RT-PCR USUTU virus (USUV) and a traditional flavivirus End-point RT-PCR. Positive pools are sequenced and the related sequences employed to perform a basic local alignment search tool (BLAST) in the GenBank library. Positive samples are sent to the National Reference Centre for Animal Exotic Diseases (CESME, Teramo) for confirmation. With particular reference to WNV, after the confirmation, as provided by national legislation, control measures involving both local veterinary and human health services are activated: equine sera are randomly sampled within a 4 km radius from the positive collection sites and tested with ELISA kit and WNV NAT screening of blood donors is introduced. This surveillance network allowed to detect since 2011 USUV circulation in this area of Italy. WNV was detected in Piedmont and Liguria for the first time in 2014 in mosquitoes. During the 2015 vector season, we observed the expansion of its activity in Piedmont. The virus was detected in almost all Provinces both in mosquitoes (6 pools) and animals (19 equine sera, 4 birds). No blood bag tested resulted infected. The first neuroinvasive human case occurred too. Competent authorities should be aware of a potentially increased risk of MBDs activity during the 2016 vector season. This work shows that this surveillance network allowed to early detect the presence of MBDs in humans and animals, and provided useful information to public authorities, in order to apply control measures. Finally, an additional value of our diagnostic protocol is the ability to detect all viruses belonging to the Flaviviridae family, considering the emergence caused by other Flaviviruses in humans such as the recent Zika virus infection in South America. Italy has climatic and environmental features conducive to Zika virus transmission, the competent vector and many travellers from Brazil reported every year.

Keywords: integrated surveillance, mosquito borne disease, West Nile virus, Zika virus

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