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1.
Sci Rep ; 9(1): 16234, 2019 Nov 07.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31700037

RESUMO

Seawater desalination is already a largely adopted option to cope with the scarcity of natural water resources, but the increasing concerns about water availability in the future make it even more attractive. Because desalination is a highly energy-demanding process, its coupling with renewable energy sources is an essential step for the sustainable production of desalinated water at large scales. In this work we analyze the potential to deploy large-scale seawater desalination using reverse osmosis (RO) under the hypothesis that all the required energy is provided by photovoltaic (PV) production. A simulation over the extended Mediterranean area shows that securing desalinated water for up to about 200 million people in the region is technically possible using PV only, and the benefits of energy storage in batteries and/or water reservoirs are usually higher than its costs. This suggests that water management policies could consider desalination more broadly and encourage PV-based RO, as a possible win-win and cost-effective strategy to improve water and energy resources security.

2.
Sci Total Environ ; 671: 452-465, 2019 Jun 25.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30933801

RESUMO

We quantify main ecosystem services (i.e. the contribution of ecosystems to human well-being) provided by rivers, lakes, coastal waters and connected ecosystems (riparian areas and floodplains) in Europe, including water provisioning, water purification, erosion prevention, flood protection, coastal protection, and recreation. We show European maps of ecosystem service capacity, flow (actual use), sustainability and efficiency. Then we explore the relationship between the services and the ecosystem condition at the European scale, considering the ecological status of aquatic ecosystems, reported under the EU Water Framework Directive, as a measure of the ecosystem integrity and biodiversity. Our results indicate that a higher delivery of the regulating and cultural ecosystem services analysed is mostly correlated with better conditions of aquatic ecosystems. Conversely, the use of provisioning services can result in pressures on the ecosystem. This suggests the importance of maintaining good ecological condition of aquatic ecosystems to ensure the delivery of ecosystem services in the future. These results at the continental scale, although limited to the ecosystem services under analysis, might be relevant to consider when investing in the protection and restoration of aquatic ecosystems called for by the current EU water policy and Biodiversity Strategy and by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

3.
Hum Reprod ; 34(3): 574-583, 2019 Mar 01.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30689869

RESUMO

STUDY QUESTION: Can high resolution array-CGH analysis on a cohort of women showing a primary ovarian insufficiency (POI) phenotype in young age identify copy number variants (CNVs) with a deleterious effect on ovarian function? SUMMARY ANSWER: This approach has proved effective to clarify the role of CNVs in POI pathogenesis and to better unveil both novel candidate genes and pathogenic mechanisms. WHAT IS KNOWN ALREADY: POI describes the progression toward the cessation of ovarian function before the age of 40 years. Genetic causes are highly heterogeneous and despite several genes being associated with ovarian failure, most of genetic basis of POI still needs to be elucidated. STUDY DESIGN, SIZE, DURATION: The current study included 67 46,XX patients with early onset POI (<19 years) and 134 control females recruited between 2012 and 2016 at the Medical Cytogenetics and Molecular Genetics Lab, IRCCS Istituto Auxologico Italiano. PARTICIPANTS/MATERIALS, SETTING, METHODS: High resolution array-CGH analysis was carried out on POI patients' DNA. Results of patients and female controls were analyzed to search for rare CNVs. All variants were validated and subjected to a gene content analysis and disease gene prioritization based on the present literature to find out new ovary candidate genes. Case-control study with statistical analysis was carried out to validate our approach and evaluate any ovary CNVs/gene enrichment. Characterization of particular CNVs with molecular and functional studies was performed to assess their pathogenic involvement in POI. MAIN RESULTS AND THE ROLE OF CHANCE: We identified 37 ovary-related CNVs involving 44 genes with a role in ovary in 32 patients. All except one of the selected CNVs were not observed in the control group. Possible involvement of the CNVs in POI pathogenesis was further corroborated by a case-control analysis that showed a significant enrichment of ovary-related CNVs/genes in patients (P = 0.0132; P = 0.0126). Disease gene prioritization identified both previously reported POI genes (e.g. BMP15, DIAPH2, CPEB1, BNC1) and new candidates supported by transcript and functional studies, such as TP63 with a role in oocyte genomic integrity and VLDLR which is involved in steroidogenesis. LARGE SCALE DATA: ClinVar database (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/clinvar/); accession numbers SCV000787656 to SCV000787743. LIMITATIONS, REASONS FOR CAUTION: This is a descriptive analysis for almost all of the CNVs identified. Inheritance studies of CNVs in some non-familial sporadic cases was not performed as the parents' DNA samples were not available. Addionally, RT-qPCR analyses were carried out in few cases as RNA samples were not always available and the genes were not expressed in blood. WIDER IMPLICATIONS OF THE FINDINGS: Our array-CGH screening turned out to be efficient in identifying different CNVs possibly implicated in disease onset, thus supporting the extremely wide genetic heterogeneity of POI. Since almost 50% of cases are negative rare ovary-related CNVs, array-CGH together with next generation sequencing might represent the most suitable approach to obtain a comprehensive genetic characterization of POI patients. STUDY FUNDING/COMPETING INTEREST(S): Supported by Italian Ministry of Health grants 'Ricerca Corrente' (08C203_2012) and 'Ricerca Finalizzata' (GR-2011-02351636, BIOEFFECT) to IRCCS Istituto Auxologico Italiano.

4.
Sci Total Environ ; 613-614: 218-232, 2018 Feb 01.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-28915458

RESUMO

Target 6.4 of the recently adopted Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) deals with the reduction of water scarcity. To monitor progress towards this target, two indicators are used: Indicator 6.4.1 measuring water use efficiency and 6.4.2 measuring the level of water stress (WS). This paper aims to identify whether the currently proposed indicator 6.4.2 considers the different elements that need to be accounted for in a WS indicator. WS indicators compare water use with water availability. We identify seven essential elements: 1) both gross and net water abstraction (or withdrawal) provide important information to understand WS; 2) WS indicators need to incorporate environmental flow requirements (EFR); 3) temporal and 4) spatial disaggregation is required in a WS assessment; 5) both renewable surface water and groundwater resources, including their interaction, need to be accounted for as renewable water availability; 6) alternative available water resources need to be accounted for as well, like fossil groundwater and desalinated water; 7) WS indicators need to account for water storage in reservoirs, water recycling and managed aquifer recharge. Indicator 6.4.2 considers many of these elements, but there is need for improvement. It is recommended that WS is measured based on net abstraction as well, in addition to currently only measuring WS based on gross abstraction. It does incorporate EFR. Temporal and spatial disaggregation is indeed defined as a goal in more advanced monitoring levels, in which it is also called for a differentiation between surface and groundwater resources. However, regarding element 6 and 7 there are some shortcomings for which we provide recommendations. In addition, indicator 6.4.2 is only one indicator, which monitors blue WS, but does not give information on green or green-blue water scarcity or on water quality. Within the SDG indicator framework, some of these topics are covered with other indicators.

5.
Sci Rep ; 7(1): 6941, 2017 07 26.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-28747637

RESUMO

A correction to this article has been published and is linked from the HTML version of this paper. The error has not been fixed in the paper.

6.
Sci Rep ; 7(1): 205, 2017 03 16.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-28302999

RESUMO

Humans have increased the discharge of pollution, altered water flow regime and modified the morphology of rivers. All these actions have resulted in multiple pressures on freshwater ecosystems, undermining their biodiversity and ecological functioning. The European Union has adopted an ambitious water policy to reduce pressures and achieve a good ecological status for all water bodies. However, assessing multiple pressures on aquatic ecosystems and understanding their combined impact on the ecological status is challenging, especially at the large scale, though crucial to the planning of effective policies. Here, for the first time, we quantify multiple human pressures and their relationship with the ecological status for all European rivers. We considered ecological data collected across Europe and pressures assessed by pan-European models, including pollution, hydrological and hydromorphological alterations. We estimated that in one third of EU's territory rivers are in good ecological status. We found that better ecological status is associated with the presence of natural areas in floodplains, while urbanisation and nutrient pollution are important predictors of ecological degradation. We explored scenarios of improvement of rivers ecological status for Europe. Our results strengthen the need to halt urban land take, curb nitrogen pollution and maintain and restore nature along rivers.


Assuntos
Monitoramento Ambiental/métodos , Atividades Humanas , Rios , Conservação dos Recursos Naturais/legislação & jurisprudência , Ecossistema , União Europeia , Humanos , Poluição da Água/legislação & jurisprudência , Qualidade da Água
7.
Sci Total Environ ; 575: 1477-1488, 2017 Jan 01.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-28346991

RESUMO

The contribution illustrates an integrated assessment framework aimed at evaluating the relationships between multiple pressures and water body status for the purposes of river basin management. The framework includes the following steps. (1) Understanding how the different pressures affect the status of water bodies. This entails the characterization of biophysical state variables and the definition of a causal relationship between pressures and status. Therefore this step involves interaction between experts bearing ecological understanding and experts providing models to represent the effect of pressures. (2) Identifying the relevant pressures to be addressed through appropriate measures to improve the status of water bodies. (3) Evaluating reduction targets for the relevant pressures identified in a river basin, by weighting the effort associated to reducing individual pressures and the potential benefits in terms of water body status. (4) Designing management measures through a creative process and political discussion of alternative options, balancing costs, benefits and effectiveness based on engineering and economic analysis. (5) Simulating scenarios of implementation of a programme of measures in order to check their effectiveness and robustness against climate and land use change. We discuss the five steps of the assessment framework, and particularly the interaction between science and policy at the different stages. We review the assessment tools required at each step and, for setting optimal pressure reduction targets (step 3), we propose and illustrate a simplified multicriteria approach based on semi-quantitative assessment, which produces frontiers of optimal trade-offs between effort spent on measures, and achievements.

8.
Cell Death Dis ; 4: e866, 2013 Oct 17.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-24136230

RESUMO

Cornelia de Lange Syndrome is a severe genetic disorder characterized by malformations affecting multiple systems, with a common feature of severe mental retardation. Genetic variants within four genes (NIPBL (Nipped-B-like), SMC1A, SMC3, and HDAC8) are believed to be responsible for the majority of cases; all these genes encode proteins that are part of the 'cohesin complex'. Cohesins exhibit two temporally separated major roles in cells: one controlling the cell cycle and the other involved in regulating the gene expression. The present study focuses on the role of the zebrafish nipblb paralog during neural development, examining its expression in the central nervous system, and analyzing the consequences of nipblb loss of function. Neural development was impaired by the knockdown of nipblb in zebrafish. nipblb-loss-of-function embryos presented with increased apoptosis in the developing neural tissues, downregulation of canonical Wnt pathway genes, and subsequent decreased Cyclin D1 (Ccnd1) levels. Importantly, the same pattern of canonical WNT pathway and CCND1 downregulation was observed in NIPBL-mutated patient-specific fibroblasts. Finally, chemical activation of the pathway in nipblb-loss-of-function embryos rescued the adverse phenotype and restored the physiological levels of cell death.


Assuntos
Síndrome de Lange/genética , Embrião não Mamífero/metabolismo , Fibroblastos/metabolismo , Haploinsuficiência/genética , Proteínas/metabolismo , Via de Sinalização Wnt/genética , Proteínas de Peixe-Zebra/metabolismo , Peixe-Zebra/embriologia , Animais , Apoptose/efeitos dos fármacos , Proteínas de Ciclo Celular , Proliferação de Células/efeitos dos fármacos , Sobrevivência Celular/efeitos dos fármacos , Sistema Nervoso Central/efeitos dos fármacos , Sistema Nervoso Central/embriologia , Sistema Nervoso Central/metabolismo , Criança , Síndrome de Lange/embriologia , Síndrome de Lange/patologia , Modelos Animais de Doenças , Regulação para Baixo/genética , Embrião não Mamífero/efeitos dos fármacos , Embrião não Mamífero/patologia , Feminino , Fibroblastos/efeitos dos fármacos , Fibroblastos/patologia , Perfilação da Expressão Gênica , Regulação da Expressão Gênica no Desenvolvimento/efeitos dos fármacos , Técnicas de Silenciamento de Genes , Humanos , Masculino , Morfolinos/farmacologia , Fenótipo , Via de Sinalização Wnt/efeitos dos fármacos , Peixe-Zebra/genética
9.
Environ Monit Assess ; 185(3): 2855-67, 2013 Mar.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-22895630

RESUMO

A simple box model computing time-averaged concentrations in soil and water of contaminants such as pesticides, following a pulse emission under the assumption of constant removal rates, is presented and evaluated against a benchmark model and some lysimeter experiments representative of different soil and climate settings in Europe. The simple box model allows capturing to some extent the trends of contaminant releases observed from lysimeters or predicted by the benchmark model. This suggests that the correct order of magnitude of environmental concentrations and loads of contaminants can be described as a first approximation by a very simple back-of-the-envelope calculation. In the calculation, the time lag between contaminant application and the start of runoff or leaching should be considered. In the absence of more detailed information, repeating the calculation for the extreme cases of zero and one month lag yields a reasonably realistic range, and the geometric mean of the two is suggested as a first guess estimate. This configures a practical approach for the screening of contaminant losses especially suited for the mapping of predicted environmental concentrations (PECs) for assessment at broad scale (such as continental Europe, a country or a large catchment), where contingent determinants of contaminant fate tend to be averaged out and use of more detailed models usually promises to yield little improvement of PECs.


Assuntos
Modelos Químicos , Poluentes do Solo/análise , Solo/química , Monitoramento Ambiental/métodos , Poluição Ambiental/estatística & dados numéricos , Praguicidas/análise , Praguicidas/química , Poluentes do Solo/química
10.
Environ Pollut ; 158(10): 3017-27, 2010 Oct.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-20709435

RESUMO

The MAPPE GIS based multimedia model is used to produce a quantitative description of the behaviour of gamma-hexachlorocyclohexane (gamma-HCH) in Europe, with emphasis on continental surface waters. The model is found to reasonably reproduce gamma-HCH distributions and variations along the years in atmosphere and soil; for continental surface waters, concentrations were reasonably well predicted for year 1995, when lindane was still used in agriculture, while for 2005, assuming severe restrictions in use, yields to substantial underestimation. Much better results were yielded when same mode of release as in 1995 was considered, supporting the conjecture that for gamma-HCH, emission data rather that model structure and parameterization can be responsible for wrong estimation of concentrations. Future research should be directed to improve the quality of emission data. Joint interpretation of monitoring and modelling results, highlights that lindane emissions in Europe, despite the marked decreasing trend, persist beyond the provisions of existing legislation.


Assuntos
Poluentes Ambientais/análise , Sistemas de Informação Geográfica , Hexaclorocicloexano/análise , Modelos Químicos , Atmosfera/química , Monitoramento Ambiental , Poluição Ambiental/estatística & dados numéricos , Europa (Continente) , Água Doce/química , Água do Mar/química , Solo/química
11.
Sci Total Environ ; 408(18): 3817-30, 2010 Aug 15.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-20089295

RESUMO

A review by Hollander et al. (in preparation), discusses the relative potentials, advantages and shortcomings of spatial and non spatial models of chemical fate, highlighting that spatially explicit models may be needed for specific purposes. The present paper reviews the state of the art in spatially explicit chemical fate and transport modeling in Europe. We summarize the three main approaches currently adopted in spatially explicit modeling, namely (1) multiple box models, (2) numerical solutions of simultaneous advection-dispersion equations (ADE) in air, soil and water, and (3) the development of meta-models. As all three approaches experience limitations, we describe in further detail geographic information system (GIS)-based modeling as an alternative approach allowing a simple, yet spatially explicit description of chemical fate. We review the input data needed, and the options available for their retrieval at the European scale. We also discuss the importance of, and limitations in model evaluation. We observe that the high uncertainty in chemical emissions and physico-chemical behavior in the environment make realistic simulations difficult to obtain. Therefore we envisage a shift in model use from process simulation to hypothesis testing, in which explaining the discrepancies between observed and computed chemical concentrations in the environment takes importance over prediction per se. This shift may take advantage of using simple models in GIS with residual uses of complex models for detailed studies. It also calls for tighter joint interpretation of models and spatially distributed monitoring datasets, and more refined spatial representation of environmental drivers such as landscape and climate variables, and better emission estimates. In summary, we conclude that the problem is not "how to compute" (i.e. emphasis on numerical methods, spatial/temporal discretization, quantitative uncertainty and sensitivity analysis...) but "what to compute" (i.e. emphasis on spatial distribution of emissions, and the depiction of appropriate spatial patterns of environmental drivers).


Assuntos
Monitoramento Ambiental/métodos , Poluentes Ambientais/análise , Modelos Químicos , Atmosfera/química , Poluentes Ambientais/química , Poluição Ambiental/estatística & dados numéricos , Europa (Continente) , Água Doce/química , Sistemas de Informação Geográfica , Cinética , Solo/análise
12.
J Environ Manage ; 90(11): 3410-21, 2009 Aug.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-19540036

RESUMO

The paper presents a geographic information system (GIS) model-based approach for analysis of potential contamination of soil and water by pyrethroids for the European continent. Pyrethroids are widely used pesticides and their chemical and toxicological characteristics suggest there may be concerns about human health and ecosystems, although so far there is no strong evidence indicating actual risk. However, little monitoring has been conducted and limited experimental information is available. We perform an assessment exercise that demonstrates how accessible information and GIS-based modeling allow to estimate the spatial distribution of chemical concentrations and fluxes at a screening level. The assessment highlights potential hot spots and the main environmental transport pathways, in a quick and simple way. By combining information on pesticide use, crop distribution and landscape and climate parameters we identify potential problem areas to help focusing monitoring campaigns. The approach presented here is simple and fast, and can be applied to virtually all pesticide classes used over a large domain, and is therefore suitable for the screening of large quantities of chemicals, of which the majority has not undergone any systematic environmental monitoring program. The method has been tested through benchmarking with other well-established models. However, further research is needed to evaluate it against experimental observations.


Assuntos
Monitoramento Ambiental/métodos , Sistemas de Informação Geográfica , Piretrinas/análise , Poluentes do Solo/análise , Poluentes Químicos da Água/análise , Europa (Continente) , Inseticidas
13.
Environ Sci Technol ; 42(10): 3640-7, 2008 May 15.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-18546702

RESUMO

This paper presents an approach to estimate chemical concentration in multiple environmental media (soil, water, and the atmosphere) with the sole use of basic geographical information system (GIS) operations and, particularly, map algebra. This allows solving mass balance equations in a different way from the traditional methods involving numerical or analytical solution of systems of equations, producing maps of chemical fluxes and concentrations only through combinations of maps of emissions and environmental removal or transfer rates. Benchmarking with the well-established EMEP MSCE-POP model shows that the method provides consistent results with this more detailed description. When available, experimental evidence equally supports the proposed method in relation to the more complex approaches.


Assuntos
Poluentes Ambientais/química , Sistemas de Informação Geográfica , Modelos Teóricos , Europa (Continente)
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