Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 20

Search results for: Giorgio Serino

20 Speeding up Nonlinear Time History Analysis of Base-Isolated Structures Using a Nonlinear Exponential Model

Authors: Nicolò Vaiana, Giorgio Serino


The nonlinear time history analysis of seismically base-isolated structures can require a significant computational effort when the behavior of each seismic isolator is predicted by adopting the widely used differential equation Bouc-Wen model. In this paper, a nonlinear exponential model, able to simulate the response of seismic isolation bearings within a relatively large displacements range, is described and adopted in order to reduce the numerical computations and speed up the nonlinear dynamic analysis. Compared to the Bouc-Wen model, the proposed one does not require the numerical solution of a nonlinear differential equation for each time step of the analysis. The seismic response of a 3d base-isolated structure with a lead rubber bearing system subjected to harmonic earthquake excitation is simulated by modeling each isolator using the proposed analytical model. The comparison of the numerical results and computational time with those obtained by modeling the lead rubber bearings using the Bouc-Wen model demonstrates the good accuracy of the proposed model and its capability to reduce significantly the computational effort of the analysis.

Keywords: base isolation, computational efficiency, nonlinear exponential model, nonlinear time history analysis

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19 Influence of Displacement Amplitude and Vertical Load on the Horizontal Dynamic and Static Behavior of Helical Wire Rope Isolators

Authors: Nicolò Vaiana, Mariacristina Spizzuoco, Giorgio Serino


In this paper, the results of experimental tests performed on a Helical Wire Rope Isolator (HWRI) are presented in order to describe the dynamic and static behavior of the selected metal device in three different displacements ranges, namely small, relatively large, and large displacements ranges, without and under the effect of a vertical load. A testing machine, allowing to apply horizontal displacement or load histories to the tested bearing with a constant vertical load, has been adopted to perform the dynamic and static tests. According to the experimental results, the dynamic behavior of the tested device depends on the applied displacement amplitude. Indeed, the HWRI displays a softening and a hardening stiffness at small and relatively large displacements, respectively, and a stronger nonlinear stiffening behavior at large displacements. Furthermore, the experimental tests reveal that the application of a vertical load allows to have a more flexible device with higher damping properties and that the applied vertical load affects much less the dynamic response of the metal device at large displacements. Finally, a decrease in the static to dynamic effective stiffness ratio with increasing displacement amplitude has been observed.

Keywords: base isolation, earthquake engineering, experimental hysteresis loops, wire rope isolators

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18 An Advanced Exponential Model for Seismic Isolators Having Hardening or Softening Behavior at Large Displacements

Authors: Nicolò Vaiana, Giorgio Serino


In this paper, an advanced Nonlinear Exponential Model (NEM), able to simulate the uniaxial dynamic behavior of seismic isolators having a continuously decreasing tangent stiffness with increasing displacement in the relatively large displacements range and a hardening or softening behavior at large displacements, is presented. The mathematical model is validated by comparing the experimental force-displacement hysteresis loops obtained during cyclic tests, conducted on a helical wire rope isolator and a recycled rubber-fiber reinforced bearing, with those predicted analytically. Good agreement between the experimental and simulated results shows that the proposed model can be an effective numerical tool to predict the force-displacement relationship of seismic isolation devices within the large displacements range. Compared to the widely used Bouc-Wen model, unable to simulate the response of seismic isolators at large displacements, the proposed one allows to avoid the numerical solution of a first order nonlinear ordinary differential equation for each time step of a nonlinear time history analysis, thus reducing the computation effort. Furthermore, the proposed model can simulate the smooth transition of the hysteresis loops from small to large displacements by adopting only one set of five parameters determined from the experimental hysteresis loops having the largest amplitude.

Keywords: base isolation, hardening behavior, nonlinear exponential model, seismic isolators, softening behavior

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17 Simulation of Dynamic Behavior of Seismic Isolators Using a Parallel Elasto-Plastic Model

Authors: Nicolò Vaiana, Giorgio Serino


In this paper, a one-dimensional (1d) Parallel Elasto- Plastic Model (PEPM), able to simulate the uniaxial dynamic behavior of seismic isolators having a continuously decreasing tangent stiffness with increasing displacement, is presented. The parallel modeling concept is applied to discretize the continuously decreasing tangent stiffness function, thus allowing to simulate the dynamic behavior of seismic isolation bearings by putting linear elastic and nonlinear elastic-perfectly plastic elements in parallel. The mathematical model has been validated by comparing the experimental force-displacement hysteresis loops, obtained testing a helical wire rope isolator and a recycled rubber-fiber reinforced bearing, with those predicted numerically. Good agreement between the simulated and experimental results shows that the proposed model can be an effective numerical tool to predict the forcedisplacement relationship of seismic isolators within relatively large displacements. Compared to the widely used Bouc-Wen model, the proposed one allows to avoid the numerical solution of a first order ordinary nonlinear differential equation for each time step of a nonlinear time history analysis, thus reducing the computation effort, and requires the evaluation of only three model parameters from experimental tests, namely the initial tangent stiffness, the asymptotic tangent stiffness, and a parameter defining the transition from the initial to the asymptotic tangent stiffness.

Keywords: base isolation, earthquake engineering, parallel elasto-plastic model, seismic isolators, softening hysteresis loops

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16 A Case Study on Performance of Isolated Bridges under Near-Fault Ground Motion

Authors: Daniele Losanno, H. A. Hadad, Giorgio Serino


This paper presents a numerical investigation on the seismic performance of a benchmark bridge with different optimal isolation systems under near fault ground motion. Usually, very large displacements make seismic isolation an unfeasible solution due to boundary conditions, especially in case of existing bridges or high risk seismic regions. Hence, near-fault ground motions are most likely to affect either structures with long natural period range like isolated structures or structures sensitive to velocity content such as viscously damped structures. The work is aimed at analyzing the seismic performance of a three-span continuous bridge designed with different isolation systems having different levels of damping. The case study was analyzed in different configurations including: (a) simply supported, (b) isolated with lead rubber bearings (LRBs), (c) isolated with rubber isolators and 10% classical damping (HDLRBs), and (d) isolated with rubber isolators and 70% supplemental damping ratio. Case (d) represents an alternative control strategy that combines the effect of seismic isolation with additional supplemental damping trying to take advantages from both solutions. The bridge is modeled in SAP2000 and solved by time history direct-integration analyses under a set of six recorded near-fault ground motions. In addition to this, a set of analysis under Italian code provided seismic action is also conducted, in order to evaluate the effectiveness of the suggested optimal control strategies under far field seismic action. Results of the analysis demonstrated that an isolated bridge equipped with HDLRBs and a total equivalent damping ratio of 70% represents a very effective design solution for both mitigation of displacement demand at the isolation level and base shear reduction in the piers also in case of near fault ground motion.

Keywords: isolated bridges, near-fault motion, seismic response, supplemental damping, optimal design

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15 Parametric Non-Linear Analysis of Reinforced Concrete Frames with Supplemental Damping Systems

Authors: Daniele Losanno, Giorgio Serino


This paper focuses on parametric analysis of reinforced concrete structures equipped with supplemental damping braces. Practitioners still luck sufficient data for current design of damper added structures and often reduce the real model to a pure damper braced structure even if this assumption is neither realistic nor conservative. In the present study, the damping brace is modelled as made by a linear supporting brace connected in series with the viscous/hysteretic damper. Deformation capacity of existing structures is usually not adequate to undergo the design earthquake. In spite of this, additional dampers could be introduced strongly limiting structural damage to acceptable values, or in some cases, reducing frame response to elastic behavior. This work is aimed at providing useful considerations for retrofit of existing buildings by means of supplemental damping braces. The study explicitly takes into consideration variability of (a) relative frame to supporting brace stiffness, (b) dampers’ coefficient (viscous coefficient or yielding force) and (c) non-linear frame behavior. Non-linear time history analysis has been run to account for both dampers’ behavior and non-linear plastic hinges modelled by Pivot hysteretic type. Parametric analysis based on previous studies on SDOF or MDOF linear frames provide reference values for nearly optimal damping systems design. With respect to bare frame configuration, seismic response of the damper-added frame is strongly improved, limiting deformations to acceptable values far below ultimate capacity. Results of the analysis also demonstrated the beneficial effect of stiffer supporting braces, thus highlighting inadequacy of simplified pure damper models. At the same time, the effect of variable damping coefficient and yielding force has to be treated as an optimization problem.

Keywords: brace stiffness, dissipative braces, non-linear analysis, plastic hinges, reinforced concrete frames

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14 Nonlinear Dynamic Analysis of Base-Isolated Structures Using a Partitioned Solution Approach and an Exponential Model

Authors: Nicolò Vaiana, Filip C. Filippou, Giorgio Serino


The solution of the nonlinear dynamic equilibrium equations of base-isolated structures adopting a conventional monolithic solution approach, i.e. an implicit single-step time integration method employed with an iteration procedure, and the use of existing nonlinear analytical models, such as differential equation models, to simulate the dynamic behavior of seismic isolators can require a significant computational effort. In order to reduce numerical computations, a partitioned solution method and a one dimensional nonlinear analytical model are presented in this paper. A partitioned solution approach can be easily applied to base-isolated structures in which the base isolation system is much more flexible than the superstructure. Thus, in this work, the explicit conditionally stable central difference method is used to evaluate the base isolation system nonlinear response and the implicit unconditionally stable Newmark’s constant average acceleration method is adopted to predict the superstructure linear response with the benefit in avoiding iterations in each time step of a nonlinear dynamic analysis. The proposed mathematical model is able to simulate the dynamic behavior of seismic isolators without requiring the solution of a nonlinear differential equation, as in the case of widely used differential equation model. The proposed mixed explicit-implicit time integration method and nonlinear exponential model are adopted to analyze a three dimensional seismically isolated structure with a lead rubber bearing system subjected to earthquake excitation. The numerical results show the good accuracy and the significant computational efficiency of the proposed solution approach and analytical model compared to the conventional solution method and mathematical model adopted in this work. Furthermore, the low stiffness value of the base isolation system with lead rubber bearings allows to have a critical time step considerably larger than the imposed ground acceleration time step, thus avoiding stability problems in the proposed mixed method.

Keywords: base-isolated structures, earthquake engineering, mixed time integration, nonlinear exponential model

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13 Nonlinear Dynamic Analysis of Base-Isolated Structures Using a Mixed Integration Method: Stability Aspects and Computational Efficiency

Authors: Nicolò Vaiana, Filip C. Filippou, Giorgio Serino


In order to reduce numerical computations in the nonlinear dynamic analysis of seismically base-isolated structures, a Mixed Explicit-Implicit time integration Method (MEIM) has been proposed. Adopting the explicit conditionally stable central difference method to compute the nonlinear response of the base isolation system, and the implicit unconditionally stable Newmark’s constant average acceleration method to determine the superstructure linear response, the proposed MEIM, which is conditionally stable due to the use of the central difference method, allows to avoid the iterative procedure generally required by conventional monolithic solution approaches within each time step of the analysis. The main aim of this paper is to investigate the stability and computational efficiency of the MEIM when employed to perform the nonlinear time history analysis of base-isolated structures with sliding bearings. Indeed, in this case, the critical time step could become smaller than the one used to define accurately the earthquake excitation due to the very high initial stiffness values of such devices. The numerical results obtained from nonlinear dynamic analyses of a base-isolated structure with a friction pendulum bearing system, performed by using the proposed MEIM, are compared to those obtained adopting a conventional monolithic solution approach, i.e. the implicit unconditionally stable Newmark’s constant acceleration method employed in conjunction with the iterative pseudo-force procedure. According to the numerical results, in the presented numerical application, the MEIM does not have stability problems being the critical time step larger than the ground acceleration one despite of the high initial stiffness of the friction pendulum bearings. In addition, compared to the conventional monolithic solution approach, the proposed algorithm preserves its computational efficiency even when it is adopted to perform the nonlinear dynamic analysis using a smaller time step.

Keywords: base isolation, computational efficiency, mixed explicit-implicit method, partitioned solution approach, stability

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12 Eco-Ways to Reduce Environmental Impacts of Flame Retardant Textiles at the End of Life

Authors: Sohail Yasin, Massimo Curti, Nemeshwaree Behary, Giorgio Rovero


It is well-known that the presence of discarded textile products in municipal landfills poses environmental problems due to leaching of chemical products from the textile to the environment. Incineration of such textiles is considered to be an efficient way to produce energy and reduce environmental impacts of textile materials at their end-of life stage. However, the presence of flame retardant products on textiles would decrease the energy yield and emit toxic gases during incineration stage. While some non-durable flame retardants can be removed by wet treatments (e.g. washing), these substances pollute water and pose concerns towards environmental health. Our study shows that infrared radiation can be used efficiently to degrade flame retardant products on the textiles. This method is finalized to minimize the decrease in energy yield during the incineration or gasification processes of flame retardant cotton fabrics.

Keywords: degradation, flame retardant, infrared radiation, cotton, incineration

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11 Security Practices of the European Union on Migration: An Analysis of the Frontex Within the Framework of Biopolitics

Authors: Gizem Ertürk, Nursena Dinç


The Aegean area has always been an important transit point for migration; however, the establishment of the European Union gave further impetus to the migration phenomenon and increased the significance of the area within this context. The migration waves have been more visible in the area in recent decades, and particularly after the “2015 Migration Crisis,” this issue has been subject to further securitization in the EU. In this conjuncture, the Frontex, which is an agency set up by the EU in 2005 for the purpose of managing and coordinating the border control efforts, has become more functional in the relevant area, but at the same time, have some questionable actions within the context of human rights. This paper problematizes the rationality behind the existence and practices of such a structure and attempts to make a political and legal analysis of the security practices of the European Union against migration within a framework based on the biopolitics approaches of Michel Foucault and Giorgio Agamben. The dataset of this paper, which focuses on the agency in question by taking it as a case, is formed by making use of the existing literature on the EU’s security policies, the relevant official texts of the Union and Frontex reports on migration practices in and around the Aegean Sea.

Keywords: migration, biopolitics, Frontex, security, European union, securitization

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10 Corporate Codes of Ethics and Earnings Discretion: International Evidence

Authors: Chu Chen, Giorgio Gotti, Tony Kang, Michael Wolfe


This study examines the role of codes of ethics in reducing the extent to which managers’ act opportunistically in reporting earnings. Corporate codes of ethics, by clarifying the boundaries of ethical corporate behaviors and making relevant social norms more salient, have the potential to deter managers from engaging in opportunistic financial reporting practices. In a sample of international companies, we find that the quality of corporate codes of ethics is associated with higher earnings quality, i.e., lower discretionary accruals. Our results are confirmed for a subsample of firms more likely to be engaging in opportunistic reporting behavior, i.e., firms that just meet or beat analysts’ forecasts. Further, codes of ethics play a greater role in reducing earnings management for firms in countries with weaker investor protection mechanisms. Our results suggest that corporate codes of ethics can be a viable alternative to country-level investor protection mechanisms in curbing aggressive reporting behaviors.

Keywords: corporate ethics policy, code of ethics, business ethics, earnings discretion, accruals

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9 Life-Narratives and Human Rights: Reflections about the Women's Rights and State of Exception

Authors: Luana Mathias Souto


The situation about women’s rights it’s a sensitive issue when it’s talking about human rights. More difficult its find a way to protect these rights. Aware of this problem, this article aims to analyze the women’s rights in the Brazilian context, mainly, the reproductive rights. So, to achieve this purpose, this paper through the combination of Law, philosophy, and Literature tries to rethinking why women can’t have a voice when the decisions about their rights are taken. Methodologically, it was used as an interdisciplinary bibliographical revision between Law, philosophy, and Literature. From Literature it brings the contributions from the life-narratives as an instrument to promote human rights. Besides the life-narratives theory, it’s also used the novel The Handmaid’s tale from Margaret Atwood, which became a symbol to reflect about reproductive rights. From philosophy, it’s adopted the concepts of Homo sacer and state of exception developed by the philosopher Giorgio Agamben. The contributions of these different researches fields made possible to conclude that women are Homo sacer because governments ignore their voices and opinions when they talk about abortion. The control of the human body, mainly, women bodies it’s more important than preserving some fundamental rights and because of this, it’s so difficult to preserve and promote the human rights. Based on these conclusions, it is understood that when the state is incapable or does not want to guarantee the adequate protection of human rights, it is up to society through its various means to find ways to protect them, and this is the main proposal sought by this article.

Keywords: dystopian fiction, human rights, life-narratives, state of exception

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8 Combination Rule for Homonuclear Dipole Dispersion Coefficients

Authors: Giorgio Visentin, Inna S. Kalinina, Alexei A. Buchachenko


In the ambit of intermolecular interactions, a combination rule is defined as a relation linking a potential parameter for the interaction of two unlike species with the same parameters for interaction pairs of like species. Some of their most exemplificative applications cover the construction of molecular dynamics force fields and dispersion-corrected density functionals. Here, an extended combination rule is proposed, relating the dipole-dipole dispersion coefficients for the interaction of like target species to the same coefficients for the interaction of the target and a set of partner species. The rule can be devised in two different ways, either by uniform discretization of the Casimir-Polder integral on a Gauss-Legendre quadrature or by relating the dynamic polarizabilities of the target and the partner species. Both methods return the same system of linear equations, which requires the knowledge of the dispersion coefficients for interaction between the partner species to be solved. The test examples show a high accuracy for dispersion coefficients (better than 1% in the pristine test for the interaction of Yb atom with rare gases and alkaline-earth metal atoms). In contrast, the rule does not ensure correct monotonic behavior of the dynamic polarizability of the target species. Acknowledgment: The work is supported by Russian Science Foundation grant # 17-13-01466.

Keywords: combination rule, dipole-dipole dispersion coefficient, Casimir-Polder integral, Gauss-Legendre quadrature

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7 Accurate Binding Energy of Ytterbium Dimer from Ab Initio Calculations and Ultracold Photoassociation Spectroscopy

Authors: Giorgio Visentin, Alexei A. Buchachenko


Recent proposals to use Yb dimer as an optical clock and as a sensor for non-Newtonian gravity imply the knowledge of its interaction potential. Here, the ground-state Born-Oppenheimer Yb₂ potential energy curve is represented by a semi-analytical function, consisting of short- and long-range contributions. For the former, the systematic ab initio all-electron exact 2-component scalar-relativistic CCSD(T) calculations are carried out. Special care is taken to saturate diffuse basis set component with the atom- and bond-centered primitives and reach the complete basis set limit through n = D, T, Q sequence of the correlation-consistent polarized n-zeta basis sets. Similar approaches are used to the long-range dipole and quadrupole dispersion terms by implementing the CCSD(3) polarization propagator method for dynamic polarizabilities. Dispersion coefficients are then computed through Casimir-Polder integration. The semiclassical constraint on the number of the bound vibrational levels known for the ¹⁷⁴Yb isotope is used to scale the potential function. The scaling, based on the most accurate ab initio results, bounds the interaction energy of two Yb atoms within the narrow 734 ± 4 cm⁻¹ range, in reasonable agreement with the previous ab initio-based estimations. The resulting potentials can be used as the reference for more sophisticated models that go beyond the Born-Oppenheimer approximation and provide the means of their uncertainty estimations. The work is supported by Russian Science Foundation grant # 17-13-01466.

Keywords: ab initio coupled cluster methods, interaction potential, semi-analytical function, ytterbium dimer

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6 The Impact of Heat Waves on Human Health: State of Art in Italy

Authors: Vito Telesca, Giuseppina A. Giorgio


The earth system is subject to a wide range of human activities that have changed the ecosystem more rapidly and extensively in the last five decades. These global changes have a large impact on human health. The relationship between extreme weather events and mortality are widely documented in different studies. In particular, a number of studies have investigated the relationship between climatological variations and the cardiovascular and respiratory system. The researchers have become interested in the evaluation of the effect of environmental variations on the occurrence of different diseases (such as infarction, ischemic heart disease, asthma, respiratory problems, etc.) and mortality. Among changes in weather conditions, the heat waves have been used for investigating the association between weather conditions and cardiovascular events and cerebrovascular, using thermal indices, which combine air temperature, relative humidity, and wind speed. The effects of heat waves on human health are mainly found in the urban areas and they are aggravated by the presence of atmospheric pollution. The consequences of these changes for human health are of growing concern. In particular, meteorological conditions are one of the environmental aspects because cardiovascular diseases are more common among the elderly population, and such people are more sensitive to weather changes. In addition, heat waves, or extreme heat events, are predicted to increase in frequency, intensity, and duration with climate change. In this context, are very important public health and climate change connections increasingly being recognized by the medical research, because these might help in informing the public at large. Policy experts claim that a growing awareness of the relationships of public health and climate change could be a key in breaking through political logjams impeding action on mitigation and adaptation. The aims of this study are to investigate about the importance of interactions between weather variables and your effects on human health, focusing on Italy. Also highlighting the need to define strategies and practical actions of monitoring, adaptation and mitigation of the phenomenon.

Keywords: climate change, illness, Italy, temperature, weather

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5 Representation of Agamben's Concept of 'Homo Sacer': Interpretative Analysis in Turkish TV Series Based on Turkey's 1980 Military Coup

Authors: Oyku Yenen


The notion of biopolitics, as studied by such intellectuals as Foucault, Agamben, and Negri, is an important guide for comprehending the current understanding of politics. While Foucault evaluates biopolitics as a survival policy, Giorgio Agamben, German legist, identifies the theory with death. Agamben claims the fact we can all considered to be homo sacer who are abandoned by the law, left in the field of exception, and whose killing does not require punishment. Agamben defines the person who is tried by the public for committing a crime but is not allowed to be sacrificed and whose killing is not considered a crime, as 'homo sacer'. This study analyzes how the concept of 'homo sacer' is made visible in TV series such as Çemberimde Gül Oya (Cagan Irmak, 2005-2005), Hatırla Sevgili (Ummu Burhan, 2006-2008), Bu Kalp Seni Unutur Mu? (Aydin Bulut, 2009-1010) all of which portray the period Turkey's 1980 military coup, within the framework of Agamben's thoughts and notions about biopolitics. When the main plots of these abovementioned TV series, which constitute the universe of this study, are scrutinized closely, they lay out the understanding of politics that has existed throughout history and prevails today. Although there is a large number of TV series on the coup of 1980, these three series are the only main productions that specifically focused on the event itself. Our final analysis will reveal that the concepts of homo sacer, bare life, exception, camp have been embodied in different ways in these three series. In these three series, which all deal with similar subjects using differing perspectives, the dominant understanding of politics is clearly conveyed to the audience. In all three series, the reigning power always decides on the exceptions, those who will live, those who will die, and those who will be ignored by law. Such characters as Mehmet, Sinan, Yıldız, Deniz, Defne, all of which we come across in these series, are on trial as a criminals of thought and are subjected to various forms of torture while isolated in an area where they are virtually deprived of law. Their citizenship rights are revoked. All of them are left alone with their bare lives (zoe).

Keywords: bare life, biopolitics, homo sacer, sovereign power, state of exception

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4 An Improvement of ComiR Algorithm for MicroRNA Target Prediction by Exploiting Coding Region Sequences of mRNAs

Authors: Giorgio Bertolazzi, Panayiotis Benos, Michele Tumminello, Claudia Coronnello


MicroRNAs are small non-coding RNAs that post-transcriptionally regulate the expression levels of messenger RNAs. MicroRNA regulation activity depends on the recognition of binding sites located on mRNA molecules. ComiR (Combinatorial miRNA targeting) is a user friendly web tool realized to predict the targets of a set of microRNAs, starting from their expression profile. ComiR incorporates miRNA expression in a thermodynamic binding model, and it associates each gene with the probability of being a target of a set of miRNAs. ComiR algorithms were trained with the information regarding binding sites in the 3’UTR region, by using a reliable dataset containing the targets of endogenously expressed microRNA in D. melanogaster S2 cells. This dataset was obtained by comparing the results from two different experimental approaches, i.e., inhibition, and immunoprecipitation of the AGO1 protein; this protein is a component of the microRNA induced silencing complex. In this work, we tested whether including coding region binding sites in the ComiR algorithm improves the performance of the tool in predicting microRNA targets. We focused the analysis on the D. melanogaster species and updated the ComiR underlying database with the currently available releases of mRNA and microRNA sequences. As a result, we find that the ComiR algorithm trained with the information related to the coding regions is more efficient in predicting the microRNA targets, with respect to the algorithm trained with 3’utr information. On the other hand, we show that 3’utr based predictions can be seen as complementary to the coding region based predictions, which suggests that both predictions, from 3'UTR and coding regions, should be considered in a comprehensive analysis. Furthermore, we observed that the lists of targets obtained by analyzing data from one experimental approach only, that is, inhibition or immunoprecipitation of AGO1, are not reliable enough to test the performance of our microRNA target prediction algorithm. Further analysis will be conducted to investigate the effectiveness of the tool with data from other species, provided that validated datasets, as obtained from the comparison of RISC proteins inhibition and immunoprecipitation experiments, will be available for the same samples. Finally, we propose to upgrade the existing ComiR web-tool by including the coding region based trained model, available together with the 3’UTR based one.

Keywords: AGO1, coding region, Drosophila melanogaster, microRNA target prediction

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3 Refractory T-Cell Prolymphocytic Leukemia with JAK3 Mutation: In Vitro and Clinical Synergy of Tofacitinib and Ruxolitinib

Authors: Mike Wei, Nebu Koshy, Koen van Besien, Giorgio Inghirami, Steven M. Horwitz


T-cell prolymphocytic leukemia (T-PLL) is a rare hematologic disease characterized by a T-cell phenotype, rapid progression, and poor prognosis with median survival of less than a year. Alemtuzumab-based chemotherapy has increased the rate of complete remissions but these are often short-lived, and allogeneic transplant is considered the only curative therapy. In recent studies, JAK3 activating mutations have been identified in T-cell cancers, with T-PLL having the highest rate of JAK3 mutations (30 – 42%). As such, T-PLL is a model disease for evaluating the utility of JAK3 inhibitors. We present a case of a 64-year-old man with relapsed-refractory T-PLL. He was initially treated with alemtuzumab and obtained complete response and was consolidated with matched unrelated donor stem cell transplant. His disease stayed in remission for approximately 1.5 years before relapse, which was then treated with a clinical trial of romidepsin-lenalidomide (partial responses then progression at 6 months) and later alemtuzumab. Due to complications of myelosuppression and CMV reactivation, his treatment was interrupted leading to disease progression. The doubling time of lymphocyte count was approximately 20 days and over a span of 60 days the lymphocyte count rose from 8 x 109/L to 68 x 109/L. Exon sequencing showed a JAK3 mutation. The patient consented to and was treated with FDA-approved tofacitinib (initially 5 mg BID, increased to 10 mg BID after 15 days of treatment). An initial decrease in lymphocyte count was followed by progression. In vitro treatment of the patient’s cells showed modest effects of tofacitinib and ruxolitinib as single agents, in the range of doxorubicin, but synergy between the agents. After 40 days of treatment with tofacitinib and with a lymphocyte count of 150 x 109/L, ruxolitinib (5mg BID) was added. Over the 60 days since dual inhibition was started, the lymphocyte count has stabilized. The patient has remained completely asymptomatic during treatment with tofacitinib and ruxolitinib. Neutrophil count has remained normal. Platelet count and hemoglobin have however declined from ~50 x109/L to ~30 x109/L and from 11 g/dL to 8.1 g/dL respectively, since the introduction of ruxolitinib. The stabilization in lymphocyte count confirms the clinical activity of JAK inhibitors in T-PLL as suggested by the presence of JAK3 mutations and by in-vitro assays. It also suggests clinical synergy between ruxolitinib and tofacitinib in this setting. Prospective studies of JAK inhibitors in PLL patients with formal dose-finding studies are needed.

Keywords: tofacitinib, ruxolitinib, T-cell prolymphocytic leukemia, JAK3

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2 The Interaction of Climate Change and Human Health in Italy

Authors: Vito Telesca, Giuseppina A. Giorgio, M. Ragosta


The effects of extreme heat events are increasing in recent years. Humans are forced to adjust themselves to adverse climatic conditions. The impact of weather on human health has become public health significance, especially in light of climate change and rising frequency of devasting weather events (e.g., heat waves and floods). The interest of scientific community is widely known. In particular, the associations between temperature and mortality are well studied. Weather conditions are natural factors that affect the human organism. Recent works show that the temperature threshold at which an impact is seen varies by geographic area and season. These results suggest heat warning criteria should consider local thresholds to account for acclimation to local climatology as well as the seasonal timing of a forecasted heat wave. Therefore, it is very important the problem called ‘local warming’. This is preventable with adequate warning tools and effective emergency planning. Since climate change has the potential to increase the frequency of these types of events, improved heat warning systems are urgently needed. This would require a better knowledge of the full impact of extreme heat on morbidity and mortality. The majority of researchers who analyze the associations between human health and weather variables, investigate the effect of air temperature and bioclimatic indices. These indices combine air temperature, relative humidity, and wind speed and are very important to determine the human thermal comfort. Health impact studies of weather events showed that the prevention is an essential element to dramatically reduce the impact of heat waves. The summer Italian of 2012 was characterized with high average temperatures (con un +2.3°C in reference to the period 1971-2000), enough to be considered as the second hottest summer since 1800. Italy was the first among countries in Europe which adopted tools for to predict these phenomena with 72 hours in advance (Heat Health Watch Warning System - HHWWS). Furthermore, in Italy heat alert criteria relies on the different Indexes, for example Apparent temperature, Scharlau index, Thermohygrometric Index, etc. This study examines the importance of developing public health policies that protect the most vulnerable people (such as the elderly) to extreme temperatures, highlighting the factors that confer susceptibility.

Keywords: heat waves, Italy, local warming, temperature

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1 Urban Heat Islands Analysis of Matera, Italy Based on the Change of Land Cover Using Satellite Landsat Images from 2000 to 2017

Authors: Giuseppina Anna Giorgio, Angela Lorusso, Maria Ragosta, Vito Telesca


Climate change is a major public health threat due to the effects of extreme weather events on human health and on quality of life in general. In this context, mean temperatures are increasing, in particular, extreme temperatures, with heat waves becoming more frequent, more intense, and longer lasting. In many cities, extreme heat waves have drastically increased, giving rise to so-called Urban Heat Island (UHI) phenomenon. In an urban centre, maximum temperatures may be up to 10° C warmer, due to different local atmospheric conditions. UHI occurs in the metropolitan areas as function of the population size and density of a city. It consists of a significant difference in temperature compared to the rural/suburban areas. Increasing industrialization and urbanization have increased this phenomenon and it has recently also been detected in small cities. Weather conditions and land use are one of the key parameters in the formation of UHI. In particular surface urban heat island is directly related to temperatures, to land surface types and surface modifications. The present study concern a UHI analysis of Matera city (Italy) based on the analysis of temperature, change in land use and land cover, using Corine Land Cover maps and satellite Landsat images. Matera, located in Southern Italy, has a typical Mediterranean climate with mild winters and hot and humid summers. Moreover, Matera has been awarded the international title of the 2019 European Capital of Culture. Matera represents a significant example of vernacular architecture. The structure of the city is articulated by a vertical succession of dug layers sometimes excavated or partly excavated and partly built, according to the original shape and height of the calcarenitic slope. In this study, two meteorological stations were selected: MTA (MaTera Alsia, in industrial zone) and MTCP (MaTera Civil Protection, suburban area located in a green zone). In order to evaluate the increase in temperatures (in terms of UHI occurrences) over time, and evaluating the effect of land use on weather conditions, the climate variability of temperatures for both stations was explored. Results show that UHI phenomena is growing in Matera city, with an increase of maximum temperature values at a local scale. Subsequently, spatial analysis was conducted by Landsat satellite images. Four years was selected in the summer period (27/08/2000, 27/07/2006, 11/07/2012, 02/08/2017). In Particular, Landsat 7 ETM+ for 2000, 2006 and 2012 years; Landsat 8 OLI/TIRS for 2017. In order to estimate the LST, Mono Window Algorithm was applied. Therefore, the increase of LST values spatial scale trend has been verified, in according to results obtained at local scale. Finally, the analysis of land use maps over the years by the LST and/or the maximum temperatures measured, show that the development of industrialized area produces a corresponding increase in temperatures and consequently a growth in UHI.

Keywords: climate variability, land surface temperature, LANDSAT images, urban heat island

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