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The presence of counter-rotating (CR) components in galaxies is not that rare but their origin is still unclear. Important clues to the formation and evolution of CR galaxies are provided by galaxy kinematics, such as the mass distribution and the shape of the gravitational potential. In order to better understand the origin and incidence of CR galaxies, we aim at modeling CR stellar disks, as they would be observed with Integral Field Units (IFU) instruments, and measuring the kinematics of these peculiar astrophysical objects to reveal the CR signatures. In the bi-dimensional maps of analysed models, the double sigma signature is the best diagnostic to spot the presence of a CR disk component.
We present a spectral decomposition technique that separates the contribution of different kinematic components in galaxies from the observed spectrum. This allows to study the kinematics and properties of the stellar populations of the individual components (e.g., bulge, disk, counter-rotating cores, orthogonal structures). Here, we discuss the results of this technique for galaxies that host counter-rotating stellar disks of comparable size. In all the studied cases, the counter-rotating stellar disk is the less massive, the youngest and has different chemical content (metallicity and α-elements abundance ratio) than the main galaxy disk. Further applications of the spectral decomposition technique are also discussed.
Health claims for probiotics are evaluated by the Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies of the European Food Safety Authority. Despite a substantial amount of basic and clinical research on the beneficial effects of probiotics, all of the evaluated claim applications thus far have received a negative opinion. With the restrictions on the use of clinical endpoints, validated biomarkers for gut health and immune health in relation to reduction in disease risk are needed. Clear-cut criteria for design as well as evaluation of future studies are needed. An open dialogue between basic and clinical scientists, regulatory authorities, food and nutrition industry, and consumers could bridge the gap between science and marketing of probiotics.
We present new results on stellar populations of bulges in spiral galaxies, from optical and near-IR data (images and spectra). In particular, we analyze a sample of bulges hosted by low surface brightness galaxies (LSBs). Correlations between metallicity, scale lengths of disk and bulges, and HI content are reported, supporting the bulge secular evolution hypothesis, as well as systematics between the derived evolutionary parameters of the embedded stellar populations. Using spectra of moderate resolution, we also investigate the stellar histories of bulges using Lick/IDS indices and recent α-enhancement models. Results indicate that small bulges tend to be smaller and metal poor, compared to larger ones. However, all bulges appear to have been formed in the same time-scale. We present some ongoing studies and some prospects of our research.
Probiotics are live micro-organisms that when administered in adequate amounts confer a health benefit on the host. Consumption of yoghurt has been shown to induce measurable health benefits linked to the presence of live bacteria. A number of human studies have clearly demonstrated that yoghurt containing viable bacteria (Streptococcus thermophilus and Lactobacillus delbrueckii sp. bulgaricus) improves lactose digestion and eliminates symptoms of lactose intolerance. Thus, these cultures clearly fulfil the current concept of probiotics.
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