Welcome to Biomedicine & Prevention

Biomedicine & Prevention is a peer-reviewed, open access journal that publishes original research articles as well as review articles in several areas of the life sciences. The journal’s Editorial Board covers several subject areas mainly focusing on prevention and health promotion. Prevention is covered not as an exclusive health competence discipline but in a holistic way, including environmental sciences, engineering, physics, legal implications and legislation.

Gemelli Hospital Emergency Plan for Radiological Accident: role and cooperation of health physicist in contaminated victims management

The aim of this project is to explain the Gemelli Hospital Emergency Plan during a radiological event, which causes the arrival of victims contami-nated with radioactive material. Special attention is given to the radiopro-tection aspects of patient management and to the protection of first re-sponders. The expert in health physics plays a central role in this organization. The health physicist promptly gives details to medical staff about level of patient's external and internal contamination in order to choose the most suitable treatments and to avoid the secondary contamina-tion. Through direct and / or indirect measures the health physicist esti-mates absorbed dose and manages potentially contaminated waste dispos-al. Our plan provides the management of a limited number of patients (n=20). In April 2016 the hospital was involved in a demonstration of the plan within the 'Eden European Project' and treated a potentially contaminated worker from Triga reactor in Enea Casaccia arrived in the hospital.

The ItRC Volunteer Military Corps: Role of Civil Protection and Civil Defense in CBRN Emergencies

Volunteer Military Corps is a fundamental component of the Italian Red Cross Society, an humanitarian organization operating for health and social assistance without discrimination regarding race, nationality, religious beliefs, social class or political opinions, in adherence with Geneva Conventions and Red Cross Principles, The Volunteer Military Corps (ItRC MC), Auxiliary of Italian Armed Forces, has been always employed for responding to the consequences to national and international emergencies (Italian Red Cross or Ministry of De-fense/Italian Armed Forces activation) with Field Hospital, Advanced Medical Post, Mobile Health-logistics Units and CBRN Decontamination Units. Nowadays, ItRC MC is cooperating with the Italian Navy for first aid, search and rescue operations, humanitarian assistance to migrants in the Mediterranean Sea. In particular, since 2014 ItRC has been operating in deploying biocontain-ment units in bio-emergency scenario and coordinating a CBRN decontamina-tion and bio-containment response team (AMET-BIO Unit).

Dirty Bomb Drones, Physical-Logical Urban Protection Systems and Explosive/Radiological Materials regulation’s challenges in the Age of Globalization

The drones or Unmanned Aerial Systems (UASs) may become CBRNe “tool” developed for terroristic warfare, working as a Radiological Dispersal Device (RDD) or Radiological Exposure Device (RED) carrier. RDD application such as “dirty” bomb UAS is capable of spreading radioactive materials over a wide area, through the detonation of conventional explosives payload. RED drones could deliver a radioactive source, exposing potential victims to radiation. The above-mentioned could produce radiological hazards and significant social-economic damage, especially in RDD case. On the one hand, this paper aims to explore the potential related to the radiological threat, especially represented by dirty bomb drones, considering: low cost UAS technology; illicit trafficking of radioactive waste/radiological sources for civil use; RDD fairly simple manufacturing process; RDD components supply (including explosives precursor ingredients) in the open and globalized market; a drone can cross the fences/frontiers very simply, in the rough areas and flying so low that it could not be detected avoiding any checks (this may concern both the illegal payload and the drone). On the other hand, this work presents existing legal frameworks to explosives, radiological materials and drones supply chains, in the light of the Civil Aviation Authority regulation and Nuclear Security laws at both Na-tional and International level. Finally, this study analyses comprehen-sive/integrated technological countermeasures countering an ongoing dirty bomb drones attack.

Physical activity and nutritional supplementation to reduce frailty in community- dwelling older adults, searching for evidence: a systematic review of randomized controlled trials

Frailty is a potentially reversible syndrome that determines an increased risk of adverse health outcomes when exposed to a stressor representing a major risk factor for negative health-related events in the elderly. The aim of this study was to evaluate the most effective intervention in reducing the frailty status, considering both physical activity and nutritional intervention in community-dwelling older adults, for highlight the better strategy in reducing the prevalence of frail elderly. A systematic literature research, restricted to clinical trials published in the last 10 years, written in English, was performed in November 2016 through PubMed and Cochrane Central Register. Of 602 articles eight papers met the inclusion criteria and were included in this review. This systematic review showed that physical intervention alone or combined with nutritional supplementation should improve the frailty status

Dual-use Molecules from Yeast

New evolving biological technologies, such as synthetic biology, re-ceive great attention by international organizations dealing with CBRN, such as Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weap-ons (OPCW), whose mission is to implement the provisions of the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) or the Australia Group Ex-port Control Regime (AG), which focuses on export control of chemical and biological dual-use materials. The tools of synthetic biology are applied for many peaceful purposes (production of bio-fuels, pharmaceutical products, molecules) but in some cases, they could be misused with bioterrorism purposes: on the one hand, with the bottom-up approach, synthetic genomes could be produced from scratch, including viruses present in the control list of biological agents. On the other hand, the top-down approach permits the inser-tion of heterologous genes in model organisms, reconstructing a bio-synthetic pathway to produce a molecule of interest. Also, this ap-plication opens concerns for a dual-use application, especially because the molecules of pharmaceutical interest could also be expoloited for harmful uses. Here, we present recent applications of synthetic biology to produce opioids and cannabinoids in yeast, en-lightening the possibility to produce also lethal molecules such as toxins.

Mycotoxins: a new concern for biosecurity?

Among the biological agents that could be used as weapons, the risk constituted by the use of toxins cannot be underestimated. Although toxins do not share all the characteristics of the other classes of biological agents (e.g. toxins are unable to reproduce themselves in the host, as well they do not result in a communicable disease after the toxication), they can result in severe diseases for humans. Moreover, the release of some classes of toxins, especially of fungal origin (mycotoxins), can result in dramatic effects on the cattle and on the agriculture, affecting the economy and the sustainability of a country. In this paper, the natural outbreaks and the voluntary release of fungal toxins (con-firmed or not), and their inclusion in the bioarsenal of certain countries, will be analyzed by cases studies.