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  • 1
    Publication Date: 2018-06-15
    Description: Agriculture, Vol. 8, Pages 85: Soil Conservation Practices and Stakeholder’s Participation in Research Projects—Empirical Evidence from Southern Italy Agriculture doi: 10.3390/agriculture8060085 Authors: Rosanna Salvia Rosaria Simone Luca Salvati Giovanni Quaranta Adoption of soil conservation practices is promoted by increased engagement between researchers and stakeholders. By reporting a case study from southern Italy where farmers have been involved in research projects dealing with soil conservation over several years, we demonstrated that the rate of adoption of conservative technologies is positively linked to the degree of stakeholder participation in the project and that farmers (and other stakeholders) have been driven toward more conscious perception of the complex link between agricultural practices, environmental impacts and socioeconomic effects. The results of this study reinforce the pivotal role of effective participatory processes in soil conservation—evidencing the importance of (i) time required to build relationships and (ii) intensity (and persistence) of collaboration among similar initiatives. Empirical evidence highlights the need to combine different approaches to deal with soil degradation. As well as the participatory time length, the synergies between the methods utilized, and the range of interacting mind sets are also very important.
    Electronic ISSN: 2077-0472
    Topics: Agriculture, Forestry, Horticulture, Fishery, Domestic Science, Nutrition
    Published by MDPI
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  • 2
    Publication Date: 2019
    Description: Treatment options against periodontitis attempt to completely remove oral microbiota even if several species in dental plaque demonstrate protective features. Predatory bacteria that selectively predate solely on Gram-negative bacteria might be a viable therapeutic alternative. Therefore, the aim of this study is to in vitro evaluate the susceptibility of some oral pathogens to predation by B. bacteriovorus HD100 in liquid suspension. Cultures of prey cell were prepared in brain heart infusion broth (BHI) broth incubating overnight at the appropriate conditions for each organism to reach log phase of growth. Predatory activity was assessed by measuring optical density at 600 nm after 12, 24, 48 and 72 hours. Statistical analysis was performed using the Mann–Whitney U test and p values less than 0.05 were considered statistically significant. The study demonstrated that B. bacteriovorus is able to predate on aerobic species and on microaerophilic ones (p 〈 0.05) but also that its predatory capacity is strongly compromised by the conditions of anaerobiosis. B. bacteriovorus, in fact, was unable to predate the anaerobic species involved in the present study (F. nucleatum and P. gingivalis). The findings of the study suggest that B. bacteriovorus is able to tolerate microaerophilic conditions and that in anaerobiosis it cannot exert its predatory capacity. Such evidence could lead to its use as an agent to prevent recolonization of the periodontal pocket following therapy. Further studies are needed to investigate the activity of B. bacteriovorus against recently recognized periodontopathogens, alone or organized in biofilms of multi-species communities.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1944
    Topics: Mechanical Engineering, Materials Science, Production Engineering, Mining and Metallurgy, Traffic Engineering, Precision Mechanics
    Published by MDPI
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  • 3
    Publication Date: 2019
    Description: Background and objectives: In recent years, many different culture-independent molecular techniques have been developed with the aim of investigating the not yet cultivated part of the resident flora of the oral cavity and of analyzing the peri-implant and periodontal flora both in healthy and diseased sites. The most used technologies are Roche 454 pyrosequencing, Illumina HiSeq/MiSeq, ABI SOLiD and Ion Torrent. Due to these methods, two different approaches are available: Metagenomics and the 16S gene analysis. A complementary strategy was also recently developed: Culturomics. Culturomics consists of different culture conditions that allow a very rapid bacterial identification. The focused question of this review was developed in PICO format in order to investigate the role of metagenomics, 16S gene analysis and culturomics (interventions) in the differential study (comparison) of the peri-implant and periodontal microbiome (outcome) in humans (participants). The secondary aim was the characterization of currents limits and future applications of the three techniques. Methods: The authors performed a literature search on three databases (Web of Science, Scopus and PubMed) from 01/01/2003 to 31/06/2019. Date of last search was: 25/08/19. Any type of article dealing with the analysis of periodontal and peri-implant flora with metagenomic, culturomic or 16S gene analysis was included. No language restrictions were applied. Risk of bias for RCT was assessed using the Cochrane collaboration’s tool whereas case-control and cohort studies were evaluated through the Newcastle–Ottawa scale. Results: The initial search resulted in 330 titles in total. After careful evaluation of all results no studies were found to satisfy the primary outcome of the present review. Hence a narrative review dealing with the secondary aim was performed. Conclusions: Metagenomic and 16S gene analysis approaches contributed in clarifying some crucial aspects of the oral microbiome. Based on the reported evidence some bacteria could be found around teeth and implants even in the absence of signs of inflammation and other species are more frequently found in supragingival peri-implant biofilm. Teeth and implants (even if adjacent) seem not to share the same microbiome and healthy teeth have a more diversified one. The same analyses also highlighted that the oral biofilm of smokers is composed by more periodontopathogen bacteria compared to non-smokers and that geographical location and ethnicity seem to play a role in bacterial composition. Culturomics, which has not yet been applied to the study of oral microbiota, consists of the use of different culture conditions and of the identification by matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization–time of flight mass spectrometry (MALDI–TOF MS) with the aim of increasing the bacterial repertoire and avoiding the limits of molecular methods. In order to better evaluate perspectives and limits of the all presented approaches further studies comparing the different molecular techniques are encouraged. This review received no funding.
    Electronic ISSN: 1996-1944
    Topics: Mechanical Engineering, Materials Science, Production Engineering, Mining and Metallurgy, Traffic Engineering, Precision Mechanics
    Published by MDPI
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  • 4
    Publication Date: 2019
    Description: Using a unique dataset of 50 listed companies that meet the majority of the OECD requirements for social impact investments, we construct a social impact finance stock index and investigate how investing in social impact firms can contribute to portfolio risk-return performance. We build portfolios with three different methodologies (naïve, Markowitz mean-variance optimization, GARCH-copula model), and we study the performance in terms of returns, Sharpe ratio, utility, and forecast premium based on a constant relative risk aversion function for investors with different levels of risk aversion. Consistent with the idea that social impact investment can improve portfolio risk-return performance, the results of our macro asset allocation analysis show the importance of a large fraction of investor portfolios’ stake committed to social impact investments.
    Electronic ISSN: 2071-1050
    Topics: Energy, Environment Protection, Nuclear Power Engineering
    Published by MDPI
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  • 5
    Publication Date: 2018
    Description: Adoption of soil conservation practices is promoted by increased engagement between researchers and stakeholders. By reporting a case study from southern Italy where farmers have been involved in research projects dealing with soil conservation over several years, we demonstrated that the rate of adoption of conservative technologies is positively linked to the degree of stakeholder participation in the project and that farmers (and other stakeholders) have been driven toward more conscious perception of the complex link between agricultural practices, environmental impacts and socioeconomic effects. The results of this study reinforce the pivotal role of effective participatory processes in soil conservation—evidencing the importance of (i) time required to build relationships and (ii) intensity (and persistence) of collaboration among similar initiatives. Empirical evidence highlights the need to combine different approaches to deal with soil degradation. As well as the participatory time length, the synergies between the methods utilized, and the range of interacting mind sets are also very important.
    Electronic ISSN: 2077-0472
    Topics: Agriculture, Forestry, Horticulture, Fishery, Domestic Science, Nutrition
    Published by MDPI
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  • 6
    Publication Date: 2019
    Description: Sheepdogs’ visuospatial abilities, their control of prey-driven behavior and their motor functions are essential characteristics for success in sheepdog trials. We investigated the influence of laterality on 15 sheepdogs’ (Canis familiaris) spontaneous turning motor pattern around a herd and on their behavior during the first encounter with sheep in a training session. The most relevant finding of this research was that the dogs displayed significantly more aggressive behavior toward the sheep when turning in a counterclockwise direction around the herd. Considering that in counterclockwise turns the sheep were in the dogs’ left visual hemifield, the high frequency of aggressions registered during counterclockwise turns suggests right hemisphere main activation. Overall, our results revealed the existence of a relationship between motor lateralization and aggressive behavior in dogs during sheepdog training and have practical implications for sheepdog training.
    Electronic ISSN: 2073-8994
    Topics: Mathematics
    Published by MDPI
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