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Tag Archive: Italy


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Medical Xpress

Physical activity may leave the brain more open to change

December 7, 2015
Artistic representation of the take home messages in Lunghi and Sale: “A cycling lane for brain rewiring,” which is that physical activity (such as cycling) is associated with increased brain plasticity. Credit: Dafne Lunghi Art

Learning, memory, and brain repair depend on the ability of our neurons to change with experience. Now, researchers reporting in the Cell Press journal Current Biology on December 7 have evidence from a small study in people that exercise may enhance this essential plasticity of the adult brain.

The findings focused on the come as hopeful news for people with conditions including amblyopia (sometimes called ), , and more, the researchers say.

“We provide the first demonstration that moderate levels of physical activity enhance neuroplasticity in the visual cortex of adult humans,” says Claudia Lunghi of the University of Pisa in Italy.

“By showing that moderate levels of physical activity can boost the plastic potential of the adult visual cortex, our results pave the way to the development of non-invasive therapeutic strategies exploiting the intrinsic plasticity in adult subjects,” she adds.

The plastic potential of the cerebral cortex is greatest early in life, when the developing brain is molded by experience. Brain plasticity is generally thought to decline with age. This decline in the brain’s flexibility over time is especially pronounced in the sensory brain, which displays far less plasticity in adults than in younger people.

 

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‘Sicily is not a war lab!’ Hundreds march against NATO drills (PHOTOS, VIDEO)

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Hundreds of people have taken to the streets of Sicily protesting against Trident Juncture 2015, the largest military maneuvers in more than a decade, which NATO claims are designed to adapt the alliance to “emerging security challenges.”

The protesters marched through the streets of the city of Marsala, less than 10 miles (16km) from Vincenzo Florio Airport. The airport is a base for the 37th Wing of the Italian air force and is one of the forward operating bases (FOBs) used by NATO Airborne Early Warning and Control.

 

Organized by the “No war, no NATO” group, activists from all corners of the Italian island marched with banners reading “Sicily is not laboratory of the war” and “Sicily is no war zone”. People urged the Italian government to better invest in education and the medical sector rather than military activity.

A Marsala bel corteo contro 2015 prova di forza della

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Sinkhole swallows car amid Sicily downpour

The sinkhole opened up on a road near Catania. Photo: Vigili del Fuoco

Published: 22 Oct 2015 10:27 GMT+02:00

The car plunged five metres through the eight-metre wide hole on a road in Valverde, in the province of Catania.

The female driver made a miraculous escape having just parked the vehicle before the hole opened up, Corriere reported.

It was then hauled out by firefighters with a crane. The scene was captured on the video below.

Heavy rain has swept across Sicily over the past couple of days, with the Catania area faring the worst.

 

 

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Image: mafia Alessandra Tarantino / AP
U.S. and Italian authorities hold a joint press conference Tuesday after the anti-mafia operation.

ROME – Police in Italy and the United States have broken up a major organized crime network made up of powerful mafia clans plotting to smuggle huge amounts of illegal drugs and weapons, officials said on Tuesday.

Officers on both sides of the Atlantic worked together in what they called an “unprecedented” two-year operation involving wiretaps and undercover officers penetrating deep into the heart of the alleged network, American and Italian officials said at a press conference in Rome.

Seventeen people in Italy and seven in New York were arrested in coordinated sweeps just after 7 p.m. ET on Monday. Hundreds of thousands of U.S. dollars in cash were also recovered in the raids.

“We realized the ‘Ndrangheta wanted to create a bridge with the U.S. to move narcotics across the ocean,” U.S. magistrate Marshall Miller said, referring to the powerful criminal organization in Calabria, Italy.

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Earth Watch Report  –  Flooding

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Flash Flood Italy [Statewide] Damage level Details

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Flash Flood in Italy on Saturday, 01 February, 2014 at 05:30 (05:30 AM) UTC.

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Heavy rains continued to lash central and northern Italy on Friday, causing flash flooding, landslides, disruption to transport and the evacuation of over 1,000 people. The president of the Lazio region surrounding Rome, Nicola Zinagaretti said was deciding whether to declare a state of emergency. In the capital, emergency services received some 3,000 calls, as people were forced to climb into the roofs of their homes and cars in some areas as up to 130 millimetres of rain fell in a matter of hours. A heavily pregnant woman who went into labour had to be taken to hospital in a dinghy, while six homeless people including Roma Gypsies and other immigrants were rescued from makeshift huts in an area of the city not far from the Vatican after a mudslide engulfed their makeshift huts. Northern neighbourhoods in the Italian capital were flooded and authorities were monitoring the Tiber river, at risk of overflowing. Several roads and metro stations had to be closed and and mud and detritus cause a train to derail between Rome and Viterbo. Weather alerts were also issued in Tuscany, 1,000 people were evacuated in the province of Pisa and the city itself was partly flooded, forcing emergency workers to erect barriers and reinforce banks to channel water to the sea. In the town of Volterra a 30-metre section of medieval walls collapsed. In Florence, the river Arno was reported to be at a 20-year high although the city’s mayor Matteo Renzi said the river was not in danger of bursting its banks. Small towns outside Florence and nearby Prato were virtually surrounded by rising flood water as schools closed for the day. In the lagoon city of Venice, exceptionally high tides were expected to submerge half the city at around midnight. Across the Adriatic in Serbia, dozens of people remained stranded in snow and rescue teams were struggling to reach those trapped on a 30-kilometre stretch of road some 60 kilometres north of Belgrade after gale force winds formed four-metre-high snowdrifts on the road, emergency services said.

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Italy: Flash floods and landslides hit centre and north amid torrential rain

last update: January 31, 19:00

Rome, 31 January (AKI) – Heavy rains continued to lash central and northern Italy on Friday, causing flash flooding, landslides, disruption to transport and the evacuation of over 1,000 people.

The president of the Lazio region surrounding Rome, Nicola Zinagaretti said was deciding whether to declare a state of emergency.

In the capital, emergency services received some 3,000 calls, as people were forced to climb into the roofs of their homes and cars in some areas as up to 130 millimetres of rain fell in a matter of hours.

A heavily pregnant woman who went into labour had to be taken to hospital in a dinghy, while six homeless people including Roma Gypsies and other immigrants were rescued from makeshift huts in an area of the city not far from the Vatican after a mudslide engulfed their makeshift huts.

Northern neighbourhoods in the Italian capital were flooded and authorities were monitoring the Tiber river, at risk of overflowing. Several roads and metro stations had to be closed and and mud and detritus cause a train to derail between Rome and Viterbo.

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Raw video: Italy’s Mount Etna Erupts

 

Europe’s most active volcano erupted over the weekend. Mount Etna, Italy, sent lava streaming down and smoke shooting up. The eruption temporarily closed a local airport. (Jan. 27)

In this photo taken on Nov. 16, 2013, Mount Etna spews lava as smoke billows. This picture was taken from Acireale, near the Sicilian town of Catania.
 

In this photo taken on Nov. 16, 2013, Mount Etna spews lava as smoke billows. This picture was taken from Acireale, near the Sicilian town of Catania.

Photograph by: Carmelo Imbesi, AP

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Stunning video: Streams of lava pouring from crater as Mount Etna erupts

 

RT

Published on Jan 27, 2014

Mount Etna, Europe’s most active volcano, erupted again on Sunday, with lava streaming down its sides and smoke rising from the crater. According to local media, the eruption began on Saturday afternoon, closing nearby Catania airport overnight until Sunday morning. The eruption is the first of 2014 after a particularly active year in 2013, a result of a new crater forming on the southeastern side of the volcano.

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Jan 16, 2014 by Sci-News.com

By using the same experimental framework normally applied to test learnt behavioral responses in animals, biologists from Australia and Italy have successfully demonstrated that Mimosa pudica – an exotic herb native to South America and Central America – can learn and remember just as well as it would be expected of animals.

Mimosa pudica at the Botanical Garden KIT, Karlsruhe, Germany. Image credit: H. Zell / CC BY-SA 3.0.

Mimosa pudica at the Botanical Garden KIT, Karlsruhe, Germany. Image credit: H. Zell / CC BY-SA 3.0.

Mimosa pudica is known as the Sensitive plant or a touch-me-not. Dr Monica Gagliano from the University of Western Australia and her colleagues designed their experiments as if Mimosa was indeed an animal.

They trained Mimosa‘s short- and long-term memories under both high and low-light environments by repeatedly dropping water on them using a custom-designed apparatus.

The scientists show how Mimosa plants stopped closing their leaves when they learnt that the repeated disturbance had no real damaging consequence.

The plants were able to acquire the learnt behavior in a matter of seconds and as in animals, learning was faster in less favorable environment.

Most remarkably, these plants were able to remember what had been learned for several weeks, even after environmental conditions had changed.

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Earth Watch Report  –  Landslides

More than 1,000 people have been cut off as landslides block roads in Italy and France [AFP]

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W460

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Landslide Italy Liguria Region, Via Aurelia Damage level Details

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Landslide in Italy on Monday, 20 January, 2014 at 03:47 (03:47 AM) UTC.

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Torrential rain in the Liguria region in northern Italy triggered landslides that have forced 200 people from their homes and cut off around 1,000 more in a remote mountain community, Italian media reported on Saturday. Road and rail traffic in the region has been badly hampered and parts of the Via Aurelia, an old Roman road connecting the Italian capital to the French border, have been closed because of multiple landslides. “The situation is really critical,” said Renato Briano, regional representative for the civil protection agency, as the poor weather conditions continued. The region is often affected by bad weather. The main city in Liguria, the port of Genoa, was badly hit by flash floods in November 2011 that claimed six lives and devastated several neighbourhoods.

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Al Jazeera America

Italy and France pounded by heavy rain

The severe weather triggers flooding and landslides.

Last updated: 19 Jan 2014 08:08

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More than 1,000 people have been cut off as landslides block roads in Italy and France [AFP]
Rain has poured over southern Europe over the past few days.The start of 2014 has been unsettled across the region, but over the past week the rain has turned very heavy.A number of roads have been blocked by landslides, floods and avalanches in southeast France and northern Italy.

In the Italian region of Liguria, landslides have forced 200 people from their homes and cut off more than 1,000 more.

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Landslides in Italy Force 200 from Their Homes

W460

Torrential rain in the Liguria region in northern Italy triggered landslides that have forced 200 people from their homes and cut off around 1,000 more in a remote mountain community, Italian media reported on Saturday.

Road and rail traffic in the region has been badly hampered and parts of the Via Aurelia, an old Roman road connecting the Italian capital to the French border, have been closed because of multiple landslides.

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Yahoo News

Former Italian PM Berlusconi reacts as he attends a rally to launch the "Forza Silvio" club in downtown Rome

PARIS (Reuters) – Former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi, who lost parliamentary immunity when he was expelled from the Senate last month, said on Thursday revolution would break out if he were arrested and thrown in prison.

The 77-year-old media magnate was stripped of his Senate seat after he was convicted of tax fraud and sentenced to four years in jail. This was commuted to a year, likely to be spent performing community service.

But without parliamentary protection, he is now more vulnerable in other criminal cases where he is accused of offences including political bribery. He is also appealing against a conviction for abuse of office and paying for sex with a minor.

In an interview with France’s Europe 1 radio, when asked if he was afraid of arrest, he replied: “No, I’m sure they cannot, otherwise there will be a revolution in Italy.”

 

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The Telegraph

Silvio Berlusconi threatens ‘revolution’ if he is jailed

 

Silvio Berlusconi says he is not afraid but says it will be difficult to put him in jail in Italy

 

Silvio Berlusconi threatens 'revolution' if he is jailed

Silvio Berlusconi was speaking on France’s Europe 1 radio Photo: Rex Features

 

Silvio Berlusconi, Italy’s former prime minister, has claimed that there would be a “revolution” in Italy if he was jailed for tax fraud.

In an interview with France’s Europe 1 radio, he was asked if he was afraid of arrest. “No, I am sure they cannot, otherwise there will be a revolution in Italy.”

“It will be difficult to put me in prison,” he said in an interview, which was pre-recorded at his home in Rome. “And above all, as I am quite old, I am not afraid of anything.”

He also denied rumours that he would leave the country.

“I love my country. I cannot end my role of a patriot and a statesman by fleeing my country,” he said.

 

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Earth Watch Report – Volcanic Activity

Mount Etna showers ash on towns

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A rain of volcanic stones in Sicily – Pioggia di lapilli su Giardini Naxos

TuriBSides TuriBSides

 

Published on Nov 23, 2013

23 Novembre 2013. Una fitta pioggia di lapilli investe la Sicilia Nord-Orientale e parte della Calabria.

November 23rd, 2913. A massive cloud of lava ashes and stones hits North-Eastern Sicily, spawned by the explosive eruption of Mt. Etna and pushed hundreds of miles away by the wind.

Video by Turi Scandurra.

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26.11.2013 02:55 AM Sicily, Italy Mt. Etna Volcano Volcano Eruption 0101-06= Stratovolcanoes 2011 No. 0 Details

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Volcano Eruption in Italy on Tuesday, 26 November, 2013 at 03:55 (03:55 AM) UTC.

Description
Italy’s Mt. Etna, the most active volcano in europe, erupted twice in less than a week earlier this month. The first eruption took place on Nov. 16, the second on Nov. 23. Lava flows were reportedly shot 700-800 meters in the air. Lightning was also present during the explosion, as well as plumes of gas, smoke and ash. The ash traveled across the region, coating Giardini Naxos on Sicily with black dust. It also pushed across the Strait of Messina and into the mainland. Chunks of ash and rock fell from the sky, as big as 2 centimeters in diameter. Four air corridors that service Sicily’s Catania Airport and a local highway were closed for a time as a result of the raining volcanic debris. “They must be spewed high into the sky and then carried by the winds. Those type of rocks are rather light and full of air,” said AccuWeather.com Meteorologist Mark Paquette. Some rocks and ash can also fall from the sky much like rain, as they are sent into the atmosphere and can collect on clouds to be rained down with later precipitation.

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