Many methods for evaluating the aquifer’s vulnerability to pollution have been developed in the past four decades by using geographic information system (GIS) tools. However, even if the aquifer vulnerability concept is well defined and the methods have been constantly tested and compared, the problem of the choice of the best “standard” method remains. To meet these objectives, aquifer vulnerability maps are of crucial importance. The choice of method depends on several factors, including the scale of the project, the hydrogeological characteristics of the area, and data availability. Among the many methods, the AVI (Aquifer Vulnerability Index) method has been widely used as it considers only two physical parameters. The AVI Index represents the hydraulic resistance of an aquifer to vertical flow, as a ratio between the thickness of each sedimentary unit above the uppermost aquifer (D, length), and the estimated hydraulic conductivity (K, length/time) of each of these layers. The AVI Index has a time dimension and is divided into five classes. In order to avoid a widespread presence of the higher vulnerability classes, especially in shallow aquifers, the AVI classification has been modified using statistical methods. The study reports the application of the modified AVI method for groundwater pollution vulnerability, in three different areas of southern Italy, highlighting the limitations of the method in alluvial aquifers and the differences with other methods.
Five natural historic cheeses of Southern Italy were investigated—Caciocavallo Palermitano (CP), Casizolu del Montiferru (CdM), Vastedda della Valle del Belìce (VVB), Pecorino Siciliano (PS), and Caprino Nicastrese (CN)—which are produced with raw milk and with traditional techniques and tools, from autochthonous breeds reared under an extensive system. The effects of the month of production on gross composition, MUFA, PUFA, PUFA-ω6, PUFA-ω3, α-tocopherol, retinol, cholesterol, TPC, TEAC, and GHIC were evaluated. In CP, CLA, TPC, and GHIC were higher in April than in February. CdM showed higher values in terms of fat, saturated fatty acids, PUFA-ω3, α-tocopherol, TEAC, and GHIC in May than in February and September, while low values in terms of protein, moisture, and CLA were found. In VVB, MUFA, PUFA-ω6, and α-tocopherol increased in June compared with April; conversely, protein, FRAP, and TEAC were higher in April. In PS, protein, CLA, PUFA, PUFA-ω3, α-tocopherol, and GHIC increased in May compared with January; on the contrary, moisture, NaCl, and TEAC showed high values in January. CN showed higher values in terms of PUFA, PUFA-ω6, PUFA-ω3, TPC, TEAC, and GHIC in April and June compared with January. It is shown that each cheese is unique and closely linked to the production area. Cheeses produced in the spring months showed a high nutritional quality due to the greatest presence of healthy compounds originating from an extensive feeding system.
The phrase “terracotta sculpture” refers to all figurative representations in fired clay produced in Greece and in the Greek world during the first millennium bce, (from the Geometric period to the end of the Hellenistic period), whatever their size (figurine, statuette, or statue), whatever their manufacturing technique (modeling, molding, mixed), whatever their material form (in-the-round, relief, etc.), whatever their representation (anthropomorphic, zoomorphic [real or imaginary], diverse objects), and whatever the limits of their representation: full figure (figurines, statuettes, groups), truncated or abbreviated representations, including protomai, masks, busts, half figures, and anatomical representations, among others. All these objects, with the possible exception of large statues, were the products of artisans who were referred to in ancient texts as “coroplasts,” or modelers of images in clay. Because of this, the term “coroplasty,” or “coroplathy,” has been used to refer to this craft, but also increasingly to all of its products, large and small, while research on this material falls under the rubric of coroplastic studies. Greek terracottas were known to antiquarians from the mid-17th century onward from archaeological explorations in both sanctuary and funerary sites, especially in southern Italy and Sicily. Yet serious scholarly interest in these important representatives of Greek sculpture developed only in the last quarter of the 19th century, when terracotta figurines of the Hellenistic period were unearthed from the cemeteries of Tanagra in Boeotia in the 1870s and Myrina in Asia Minor in the 1880s. These immediately entered the antiquities markets, where their cosmopolitan, secular imagery had a great appeal for collectors and fueled scholarly interest and debate. At the same time, sanctuary deposits containing terracottas also began to be explored, but scholarly attention privileged funerary terracottas because of their better state of preservation. For most of the 20th century, the study of figurative terracottas basically was an art-historical exercise based in iconography and style that remained in the shadow of monumental sculpture. It is only in the last four decades or so that coroplastic studies has developed into an autonomous field of research, with approaches specific to the discipline that consider modalities of production, as well as the religious, social, political, and economic roles that terracottas played in ancient Greek life by means of broad sociological and anthropological approaches. Consequently, this bibliography mainly comprises publications of the last forty years, although old titles that are still essential for research are also included.
The technological performance of a chabazite-rich rock belonging to the Campanian Ignimbrite formation, outcropping in the nearby of San Mango sul Calore (southern Italy), has been evaluated for the sorption and release of ibuprofen sodium salt after a surface modification of the starting geomaterial using two different chlorinated surfactants. Equilibrium sorption isotherms and in vitro loading tests demonstrated that the maximum sorption capacities of this geomaterial reach up to 24.5 and 13.5 mg/g, respectively, for zeolite modified with cetylpyridinium and benzalkonium. These results, obtained by non-linear mathematical modeling of the experimental curves, are definitely compatible with the concentrations of the most common non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (such as ibuprofen) in wastewaters, which have been recently considered as contaminants of emerging concern. This investigation also encourages a new possible sustainable exploitation of the lithified yellow facies of Campanian Ignimbrite, although future developments will be focused on using more stable and eco-friendlier two-tailed surfactants.
This paper reports the analyses carried out on the medieval copper alloy door (1111–1118 AD) of the mausoleum of Boemondo d’Altavilla in Canosa di Puglia (Southern Italy). The studied door is the smallest medieval bronze door extant in Italy and, unlike the other Byzantine doors, was most probably made in Canosa di Puglia and not in Constantinople. Analyses were performed to assess the chemical composition of the alloy patinas using a portable energy dispersive X-ray fluorescence (ED-XRF) instrument designed at the University of Salento. The experimental results suggested that the two door leaves have the same chemical composition, even if they appear different in both style and size. Furthermore, the alloy used for the door is different from the other previously-analyzed Byzantine bronze doors. The obtained results can be used in the future to compare the chemical composition of other Byzantine doors in order to better understand the manufacture of these precious artifacts.
During a survey of the flat mites (Tenuipalpidae) on forest trees and agricultural crops in five different sites of the Apulian territories (Southern Italy) in 2019, Brevipalpus recki (Livschitz and Mitrofanov) and Cenopalpus longirostris (Livschitz and Mitrofanov) were collected on Quercus pubescens (Willdenow) (Fagaceae). The authors give an account of the new record of C. longirostris, which was not listed in the previous Italian fauna, and of the finding of B. recki in southern Italy, since it was only mentioned from the northern region of the country so far. In addition, the paper lists Q. pubescens as a new host plant for C. longirostris.
Thanks to recent developments in molecular methods, many new species have been discovered within the genus Circovirus, which comprises viruses of veterinary relevance found in a broad range of hosts. In particular, several circoviruses are known to infect birds, often causing immunosuppression and feathering disorders. Nonetheless, nothing is known about their circulation in birds of prey. In this study, samples from 61 birds of prey representing ten different species, recovered by a wildlife rescue centre in Southern Italy, were taken at necropsy and analysed by PCR with pan-Circovirus primers. Only one sample, collected from a tawny owl (Strix aluco), tested positive. Its genome, sequenced by primer walking, displays the typical features of circoviruses. Based on demarcation criteria, the detected strain qualifies as a novel species, which was named “tawny owl-associated circovirus” (ToCV). Phylogenetically, ToCV clustered with mammalian rather than avian circoviruses, and its closeness to a rodent circovirus suggests that its host may have been a micromammal eaten by the tawny owl. On the other hand, its detection in the spleen fits with the tropism of other avian circoviruses. Little can be therefore said on its biology and pathogenicity, and further efforts are needed to better characterize its epidemiology.
The role of allergic sensitization seems to be protective against SARS CoV2 infection. The aim of this study was to evaluate, using online surveys, the impact of COVID-19 on Italian allergic children, comparing the prevalence of AR and asthma symptoms between the first and second pandemic wave.
Both surveys were emailed to Italian pediatricians in April 2020 (first survey) and in March 2021 (second survey). The first one was related to the impact of COVID-19 and the most frequently reported symptoms. The second one was superimposed on the previous one, taking into account some additional aspects in the management of disease.
A total of 99 pediatricians participated in the first survey and 267 in the second one. The first survey showed that, asthma and allergic rhinoconjunctivitis prevalence was mostly between 0 and 20% throughout the country. The second survey showed a lower prevalence of both diseases nationwide in comparison to the first one. Comparing the two surveys, statistically significant differences were reported only in the distribution of asthma prevalence in Southern Italy while no differences were highlighted in the North and in the Center. Finally regarding allergic rhinoconjunctivitis prevalence, no differences were noticed nationwide.
Allergic rhinoconjunctivitis and asthma, if under control, did not represent risk factors for the susceptibility to SARS CoV2. Therefore, it is strongly recommended to continue therapies during COVID-19 outbreak, according to the international guidelines. However, being COVID-19 a new disease, actual knowledge will undergo continuous improvements over time.