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Closing data gaps and paving the way for pan-European fire safety efforts : Terminology of fire statistical variables
Martina Manes, Ana Sauca, Mohamad El Houssami, Petra Andersson, Colin McIntyre, Richard Campbell, David Rush, Anja Hofmann, Peter Wagner, Sergei Sokolov, Mindel Leene, Margrethe Kobes, Dirk Oberhagemann, Nicola Rupp, Grunde Jomaas, Friedrich Grone, Eric Guillaume, 2023, original scientific article

Abstract: A well-defined terminology of fire-related variables is important for correct analyses and supporting knowledge-based decisions regarding the evaluation of building fires at the European level. After developing an overview of current practices for fire statistics in Part I, the terminology used and the data collected by the EU Member States and eight other countries regarding fire incidents, property damage and human losses were mapped to increase awareness of their practice and support a comprehensive assessment of several fire statistical datasets. A questionnaire was distributed to relevant authorities responsible for the collection, elaboration/analysis, and fire statistical data publications to define and select the essential variables for an appropriate fire assessment and fire incident description. Based on the results of the questionnaire able to identify the essential fire statistical variables and a detailed analysis of current definitions adopted in the fire statistics of the EU Member States and other countries, a common terminology is proposed to collect the necessary data in the EU Member States and obtain meaningful datasets based on standardised terms and definitions. The results will generate essential outputs to move towards harmonised fire statistics at the EU level and contribute to an appropriate analysis able to improve fire prevention and fire mitigation in building fires.
Keywords: fire statistics, fire incidents, building fires, fire statistical variables, terminology
Published in DiRROS: 13.11.2023; Views: 114; Downloads: 78
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Closing data gaps and paving the way for pan-European fire safety efforts : Part I
Martina Manes, Mohamad El Houssami, Richard Campbell, Ana Sauca, David Rush, Anja Hofmann, Petra Andersson, Peter Wagner, Sergei Sokolov, Johanna Veeneklaas, Margrethe Kobes, Dirk Oberhagemann, Nicola Rupp, Grunde Jomaas, Friedrich Grone, Patrick van Hees, Eric Guillaume, 2023, original scientific article

Abstract: The analysis of the current state of fire statistics and data collection in Europe and other countries is needed to increase awareness of how fire incidents affect buildings and to support pan-European fire prevention and fire mitigation mea- sures. The terminology and data collected regarding fire incidents in buildings in the EU Member States were mapped to obtain meaningful datasets to determine common terminology, collection methodology, and data interpretation system. An extensive literature review showed that fire data collection systems have been instrumental in informing firefighting strategies, evidence-based planning, prevention, and educational programmes. Differences and similarities between fire data collection systems were also investigated. The amount and quality of the information in fire statistical recording systems appear to be influenced by the complexity and structure with which the data are collected. The analysis also examined the existing fire statistics in the EU Member States and a few other countries. Finally, a detailed investigation of the number of fires, fire deaths, and injuries from 2009 to 2018 in several countries was examined based on data from a report by CTIF. The trends showed differences attributable to the existing fire statistical practices in terms of terminology and data collection, and interpretation. Part II proposes a common terminology for selected fire statistical variables. The results provide relevant information regarding fire safety at the European level and should be used to guide the development of more uniform fire statistics across Europe.
Keywords: fire statistics, fire incidents, fire statistical variable, terminology, data collection, data interpretation
Published in DiRROS: 13.11.2023; Views: 100; Downloads: 53
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Underwater measurements with UX robots; a new and available tool developed by UNEXUP
Norbert Zajzon, Boglárka Anna Topa, Richárd Zoltán Papp, Jussi Aaltonen, José Miguel Almeida, Carlos Almeida, Alfredo Martins, Balázs Bodó, Stephen Henley, Márcio Tameirão Pinto, Gorazd Žibret, 2023, original scientific article

Abstract: The UNEXMIN (Horizon 2020) and UNEXUP (EIT RawMaterials) projects developed a novel technology to send robots and even autonomously deliver optical images, 3D maps and other georeferenced scientific data from flooded underground environments, like abandoned mines, caves or wells. The concept turned into a market ready solution in seven years, where the last few years of field trials of the development beautifully demonstrating the technology's premier capabilities. Here in this paper, we focus on the wide variety of environments, circumstances and measurements where the UNEXMIN technology can be the best solution or the only solution to deliver certain research or engineering data. These are obtained from both simple and complex environments like different mines and caves, small and large cavities, long and tight tunnels and shafts, different visibility conditions, even different densities of the liquid medium where UX robots operated.
Keywords: autonomous robot, underwater measurements, UNEXUP project
Published in DiRROS: 07.09.2023; Views: 181; Downloads: 69
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Spatial genetic structure of European wild boar, with inferences on late-Pleistocene and Holocene demographic history
Joost F. de Jong, Laura Iacolina, Herbert H. T. Prins, Pim van Hooft, Richard Crooijmans, Sip E. van Wieren, Joaquin Vicente Baños, Eric Baubet, Seán Cahill, Eduardo Ferreira, Ida Jelenko Turinek, Boštjan Pokorny, 2023, original scientific article

Abstract: European wildlife has been subjected to intensifying levels of anthropogenic impact throughout the Holocene, yet the main genetic partitioning of many species is thought to still reflect the late-Pleistocene glacial refugia. We analyzed 26,342 nuclear SNPs of 464 wild boar (Sus scrofa) across the European continent to infer demographic history and reassess the genetic consequences of natural and anthropogenic forces. We found that population fragmentation, inbreeding and recent hybridization with domestic pigs have caused the spatial genetic structure to be heterogeneous at the local scale. Underlying local anthropogenic signatures, we found a deep genetic structure in the form of an arch-shaped cline extending from the Dinaric Alps, via Southeastern Europe and the Baltic states, to Western Europe and, finally, to the genetically diverged Iberian peninsula. These findings indicate that, despite considerable anthropogenic influence, the deeper, natural continental structure is still intact. Regarding the glacial refugia, our findings show a weaker signal than generally assumed, but are nevertheless suggestive of two main recolonization routes, with important roles for Southern France and the Balkans. Our results highlight the importance of applying genomic resources and framing genetic results within a species’ demographic history and geographic distribution for a better understanding of the complex mixture of underlying processes.
Keywords: spatial genetic structure, European wild boar, demographic history
Published in DiRROS: 03.02.2023; Views: 201; Downloads: 140
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Biological factors of the tumour response to electrochemotherapy : review of the evidence and a research roadmap
Gregor Serša, Katja Uršič Valentinuzzi, Maja Čemažar, Richard Heller, Maša Bošnjak, Luca Giovanni Campana, 2021, review article

Abstract: The beneficial effects of electrochemotherapy (ECT) for superficial tumours and, more recently, deepseated malignancies in terms of local control and quality of life are widely accepted. However, the variability in responses across histotypes needs to be explored. Currently, patient selection for ECT is based on clinical factors (tumour size, histotype, and exposure to previous oncological treatments), whereas there are no biomarkers to predict the response to treatment. In this field, two major areas of investigation can be identified, i.e., tumour cell characteristics and the tumour microenvironment (vasculature, extracellular matrix, and immune infiltrate). For each of these areas, we describe the current knowledge and discuss how to foster further investigation. This review aims to provide a summary of the currently used guiding clinical factors and delineates a research roadmap for future studies to identify putative biomarkers of response to ECT. These biomarkers may allow researchers to improve ECT practice by customising treatment parameters, manipulating the tumour and its microenvironment, and exploring novel therapeutic combinations.
Keywords: biological factors, biomarkers, electrochemotherapy, bleomycin, cisplatin
Published in DiRROS: 23.09.2022; Views: 402; Downloads: 120
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Potentiation of electrochemotherapy effectiveness by immunostimulation with IL-12 gene electrotransfer in mice is dependent on tumor immune status
Katja Uršič Valentinuzzi, Špela Kos, Urška Kamenšek, Maja Čemažar, Simona Miceska, Boštjan Markelc, Simon Buček, Barbara Starešinič, Veronika Kloboves-Prevodnik, Richard Heller, Gregor Serša, 2021, original scientific article

Abstract: Electrochemotherapy (ECT) exhibits high therapeutic effectiveness in the clinic, achieving up to 80% local tumor control but without a systemic (abscopal) effect. Therefore, we designed a combination therapy consisting of ECT via intratumoral application of bleomycin, oxaliplatin or cisplatin with peritumoral gene electrotransfer of a plasmid encoding interleukin-12 (p. t. IL-12 GET). Our hypothesis was that p. t. IL-12 GET potentiates the effect of ECT on local and systemic levels and that the potentiation varies depending on tumor immune status. Therefore, the combination therapy was tested in three immunologically different murine tumor models. In poorly immunogenic B16F10 melanoma, IL-12 potentiated the antitumor effect of ECT with biologically equivalent low doses of cisplatin, oxaliplatin or bleomycin. The most pronounced potentiation was observed after ECT using cisplatin, resulting in a complete response rate of 38% and an abscopal effect. Compared to B16F10 melanoma, better responsiveness to ECT was observed in more immunogenic 4%T1 mammary carcinoma and CT26 colorectal carcinoma. In both models, p. t. IL-12 GET did not significantly improve the therapeutic outcome of ECT using any of the chemotherapeutic drugs. Collectively, the effectiveness of the combination therapy depends on tumor immune status. ECT was more effective in more immunogenic tumors, but GET exhibited greater contribution in less immunogenic tumors. Thus, the selection of the therapy, namely, either ECT alone or combination therapy with p. t. IL-12, should be predominantly based on tumor immune status.
Keywords: electrochemotherapy, gene electrotransfer, interleukin-12
Published in DiRROS: 21.09.2022; Views: 435; Downloads: 151
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COVID-19 related travel restrictions prevented numerous wildlife deaths on roads : ǂa ǂcomparative analysis of results from 11 countries
Michal Bíl, Richard Andrášik, Vojtěch Cícha, Amir Arnon, Maris Kruuse, Jochen Langbein, András Náhlik, Milla Niemig, Boštjan Pokorny, Victor J. Colino-Rabanal, Christer M. Rolandsen, Andreas Seiler, 2021, original scientific article

Abstract: Millions of wild animals are killed annually on roads worldwide. During spring 2020, the volume of road traffic was reduced globally as a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic. We gathered data on wildlife-vehicle collisions (WVC) from Czechia, Estonia, Finland, Hungary, Israel, Norway, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and for Scotland and England within the United Kingdom. In all studied countries WVC statistics tend to be dominated by large mammals (various deer species and wild boar), while information on smaller mammals as well as birds are less well recorded. The expected number of WVC for 2020 was predicted on the basis of 2015%2019 WVC time series representing expected WVC numbers under normal traffic conditions. Then, the forecasted and reported WVC data were compared. The results indicate varying levels of WVC decrease between countries during the COVID-19 related traffic flow reduction (CRTR). While no significant change was determined in Sweden, where the state-wide response to COVID-19 was the least intensive, a decrease as marked as 37.4% was identified in Estonia. The greatest WVC decrease, more than 40%, was determined during the first weeks of CRTR for Estonia, Spain, Israel, and Czechia. Measures taken during spring 2020 allowed the survival of large numbers of wild animals which would have been killed under normal traffic conditions. The significant effects of even just a few weeks of reduced traffic, help to highlight the negative impacts of roads on wildlife mortality and the need to boost global efforts of wildlife conservation, including systematic gathering of roadkill data.
Keywords: wildlife-vehicle collisions, wildlife crash reporting systems, traffic flow, ungulates, mesocarnivores, COVID-19 lockdown
Published in DiRROS: 03.01.2022; Views: 668; Downloads: 431
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Somatic mutations and the risk of undifferentiated autoinflammatory disease in MDS : an under-recognized but prognostically important complication
Abdulla Watad, Mark Kačar, Nicola Luigi Bragazzi, Qiao Zhou, Miriam Jassam, Jan Taylor, Eve Roman, Alexandra Smith, Richard A. Jones, Howard Amital, 2021, original scientific article

Abstract: Objectives: We theorized that myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) with somatic mutations and karyotype abnormalities are associated with autoinflammation, and that the presence of autoinflammatory disease affected prognosis in MDS. Methods: One hundred thirty-four MDS patients were assessed for the prevalence of autoinflammatory complications and its link with karyotypes and somaticmutation status. Autoinflammatory complications were described either as well-defined autoinflammatory diseases (AD) or undifferentiated "autoinflammatory disease" (UAD) (defined as CRP over 10.0 mg/L on five consecutive occasions, taken at separate times and not explained by infection). Several patient characteristics including demographic, clinical, laboratory, cytogenetics charts, and outcomes, were compared between different groups. Results: Sixty-two (46.3%) patients had an autoinflammatory complication manifesting as arthralgia (43.5% vs. 23.6%, p = 0.0146), arthritis (30.6% vs. 15.3%, p = 0.0340), skin rash (27.4% vs. 12.5%, p = 0.0301), pleuritis (14.5% vs. 4.2%, p = 0.0371) and unexplained fever (27.4% vs. 0%, p < 0.0001). AD were found in 7.4% of MDS patients (with polymyalgia rheumatic being the most frequently one). Classical autoimmune diseases were found only in 4 MDS patients (3.0%). Transcription factor pathway mutations (RUNX1, BCOR, WTI, TP53) (OR 2.20 [95%CI 1.02-4.75], p = 0.0451) and abnormal karyotypes (OR 2.76 [95%CI 1.22-6.26], p = 0.0153) were associated with autoinflammatory complications. Acute leukaemic transformation was more frequent in MDS patients with autoinflammatory features than those without (27.4% vs. 9.7%, p = 0.0080). Conclusions: Autoinflammatory complications are common inMDS. Somatic mutations of transcription factor pathways and abnormal karyotypes are associated with greater risk of autoinflammatory complications, which are themselves linked to malignant transformation and a worse prognosis.
Keywords: myelodysplastic syndromes - genetics, autoinflammation, undifferentiated autoinflammatory disease, molecular characterization, somatic mutations
Published in DiRROS: 31.03.2021; Views: 998; Downloads: 719
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Prognostic impact of PD-1 and PD-L1 expression in malignant pleural mesothelioma : an international multicenter study
Luka Brčić, Thomas Klikovits, Zsolt Megyesfalvi, Berta Mosleh, Katharina Sinn, Richard Hritcu, Viktoria Laszlo, Tanja Čufer, Aleš Rozman, Izidor Kern, Katja Mohorčič, 2021, original scientific article

Abstract: Background: Programmed cell death 1/programmed death ligand 1 (PD-1/PD-L1) immune-checkpoint blockade is a promising new therapeutic strategy in cancer. However, expression patterns and prognostic significance of PD-L1 and PD-1 are still controversial in human malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM). Methods: Formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded (FFPE) tumor samples from 203 MPM patients receiving standard treatment without immunotherapy were collected from 5 European centers. PD-L1 and PD-1 expression of tumor cells (TCs) and tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) were measured by immunohistochemistry and correlated with clinical parameters and long-term outcome. Results: High (>10%) PD-L1 TC and PD-1 TILs expressions were found in 18 (8%) and 39 (24%) patients, respectively. PD-L1 was rarely expressed by TILs [>/=1%, n=13 (8%); >10%, n=1]. No significant associations were found between the PD-L1 or PD-1 expression of TCs or TILs and clinicopathological parameters such as stage or histological subtype. Notably, patients with high (>10%) TC-specific PD-L1 expression exhibited significantly worse median overall survival (OS) (6.3 vs. 15.1 months of those with low TC PD-L1 expression; HR: 2.51, P<0.001). In multivariate cox regression analysis adjusted for clinical parameters, high TC PD-L1 expression (>10%) proved to be an independent negative prognostic factor for OS (HR: 2.486, P=0.005). There was no significant correlation between PD-L1 or PD-1 expression of TILs and OS. Conclusions: In this multicenter cohort study, we demonstrate that high (>10%) PD-L1 expression of TCs independently predicts worse OS in MPM. Further studies are warranted to investigate the value of PD-L1/PD-1 expression as a marker for treatment response in MPM patients receiving immunotherapy.
Keywords: mesothelioma - anatomy and histology - analysis, 1malignant pleural mesothelioma, programmed death-ligand 1, programmed cell death 1, PD-L1
Published in DiRROS: 31.03.2021; Views: 1096; Downloads: 478
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Challenges and solutions in early detection, rapid response and communication about potential invasive alien species in forests
Maarten De Groot, Richard O'Hanlon, Erin Bullas-Appleton, György Csóka, Ágnes Csíszár, Massimo Faccoli, Eugenio Gervasini, Natalia Kirichenko, Márton Korda, Aleksander Marinšek, Nikki Robinson, Craig Shuttleworth, Jon Sweeney, Elena Tricarico, Laura Verbrugge, David Williams, Simon Zidar, Jana Kus Veenvliet, 2020, review article

Abstract: Invasive alien species (IAS) are an important threat to forests. One of the best ways to manage potential IAS is through early detection and rapid response (EDRR) strategies. However, when dealing with IAS in forests, EU regulations are divided between phytosanitary regulations and IAS regulations. A version of EDRR for the former has been in place in the EU for more than 15 years while the latter is still in the process of being implemented. During 2019, a workshop was held to gather international experts on different plant health pests and IAS. The purpose of this workshop was to identify the opportunities and difficulties in applying the EDRR system in the EU phytosanitary and IAS legislation to four species for providing suggestions to improve the EDRR system. The model species are well known and come from different trophic levels. These species were the American pokeweed (Phytolacca americana), the grey squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis); and the plant health pests Geosmithia morbida and Emerald ash borer (Agrilus planipennis). We identified the similarities in the challenges of early detection, rapid response and communication of these species. For all species, difficulties in species identification, knowledge gaps on the pathways of spread, a lack of resources and uncertainty over which national government service was the competent authority were identified as the main challenges. Other challenges like public perception for the grey squirrel or methodological problems were species-specific. Regarding the rapid response: public perception, determination of the eradication area, sufficient scientific capacity and the lack of resources were common challenges for all species. Therefore, collaboration between institutes dealing with plant health pests and IAS can lead to better control of both groups of unwanted %organisms in forests.
Keywords: early warning system, plant health legislation, EU IAS legislation, alien species, Geosmithia morbida, Emerald ash borer, American pokeweed, Grey squirrel, rapid response system
Published in DiRROS: 11.12.2020; Views: 1397; Downloads: 520
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