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See detailIntegrated microfluidic device for in line SERS detection for glyphosate and related metabolites
Emonds-Alt, Gauthier ULg; Malherbe, Cédric ULg; Monbaliu, Jean-Christophe ULg et al

Poster (2016, July 07)

The goal of this work is to develop a quantitative analytical method for the glyphosate and its major metabolite the aminomethylphosphonic acid (AMPA) by coupling microfluidics with surface enhanced Raman ... [more ▼]

The goal of this work is to develop a quantitative analytical method for the glyphosate and its major metabolite the aminomethylphosphonic acid (AMPA) by coupling microfluidics with surface enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS). This work is divided into 4 axes : (a) bimetallic nanoparticles synthesis in a microreactor, (b) nanoparticles functionnalisation, (c) SERS quantification of glyphosate/AMPA and (d) miniature prototype development composed of axes a to c. The first section aims at the synthesis of bimetallic nanoparticles (Au-Ag, Au-Cu and Ag-Cu) in a microfluidic device. This microfluidic device integrates a first section for the synthesis of monometallic nanoparticles (core) and a second section for the reductive deposition of a second metal (shell). The second axe of this work deals with the functionnalisation of nanoparticles to improve the selectivity of this method for the selected analytes. Two types of functionnalisation are studied : PEGylation (a) with multi-arm PEG ending with -SH and/or (b) with linear heterobifunctionnal PEG. The third axe consists in measuring quantitatively glyphosate and AMPA in different matrices, such as water, urine and fruit juice. Finally, the forth axe deals with the development of a portable detection system to perform on-site analysis. This prototype integrates the microfluidic device for nanoparticles synthesis, their functionnalisation, an injection port followed by a mixing section for the sample and an integrated Raman spectrometer for in-line analysis. [less ▲]

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See detailDevelopment and optimization of a TD-GC/MS methodology for detection and quantifi cation of furan released in air using of an experimental design.
Alsafra, Zouheir ULg; Scholl, Georges ULg; Romain et al

Poster (2016, July 07)

In the aim of understanding the way in which human is exposed to furan present in the air of an occupational area, an analytical method of Thermal desorption-gas chromatography/Mass spectrometry (TD-GC/MS ... [more ▼]

In the aim of understanding the way in which human is exposed to furan present in the air of an occupational area, an analytical method of Thermal desorption-gas chromatography/Mass spectrometry (TD-GC/MS) has been developed and optimized using a Plackett–Burman experimental design. This method was then used to study the phenomena of diffusion of furan released in air from a contamination source. This source of furan is simply a coffee machine located in a closed controlled room. Results show that furan concentration increases quickly over time after turning on the coffee machine until reaching a maxima. Then it starts to decrease slowly. On the other hand, concentration of furan seems to be identical everywhere in the conditioned room in each moment. [less ▲]

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See detailGuidance Document on the Estimation of LOD and LOQ for Measurements in the Field of Contaminants in Food and Feed
Wenzl, Thomas; Haedrich, Johannes; Schaechtele, Alexander et al

Report (2016)

The European Union Reference Laboratory (EURL) for Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (EURL PAH), the EURL for Heavy Metals in Feed and Food (EURL HM), the EURL for Mycotoxins (EURL Mycotoxins), and EURL ... [more ▼]

The European Union Reference Laboratory (EURL) for Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (EURL PAH), the EURL for Heavy Metals in Feed and Food (EURL HM), the EURL for Mycotoxins (EURL Mycotoxins), and EURL for Dioxins and PCBs in Feed and Food aim to provide with this document guidance to official food control in the EU on the estimation of the limit of quantification of analytical methods for the determination of individual substances in the field of contaminants in feed and food. The document focusses on estimation of the limit of detection (LOD) and/or limit of quantification (LOQ) of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), heavy metals (HM), mycotoxins, and polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins (PCDDs), polychlorinated dibenzofurans (PCDFs) and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). The concept presented here consists of two major routes: The first route responds to the requirements for determination of PAHs, HMs and Mycotoxins. The second route corresponds to PCDD/F and PCB analysis, where results are calculated as sumparameters and expressed in toxic equivalents (TEQs), converting thereby congener concentrations together with estimated LOQs using toxic equivalency factor (TEFs) into TEQs. Due to the nature of this more complex procedure, emphasis is put in the area of PCDD/F and PCB analysis on the LOQs, while LODs are of minor consequence. Terminology in this guidance document was adapted to the chemical analysis of contaminants in feed and food; hence, some of the general terms defined and used in international standards were replaced by more specific terms applicable to analytical chemistry. The presented statistical-mathematical approach is based on elements taken mainly from DIN 32645:2008-11 (DIN 2008) and ISO 11843-2:2000 (ISO 2000). This document covers only quantitative methods of analysis. The authors believe that LOD and LOQ values derived from the application of the presented experimental methodologies converge to a certain degree. Estimation of LOD/LOQ values based on blank measurements, and from calibration data is described. Signal-to-noise ratios are applied in the area of PCDD/Fs and PCBs. Mathematical terms and statistical background are presented as well. This guide document shall be applied systematically if measurement results are used for monitoring purposes and exposure modelling. However, authors are aware that precise knowledge of LOD/LOQ may not be required when assessing compliance with maximum levels exceeding LOD/LOQ. This guidance document shall be applied if maximum levels and analysis results are close to the expected LOQ. The authors acknowledge that the presented approach has its limitations and may not be generally applicable to all cases. [less ▲]

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See detailIntegrated microfluidic device for gold nanoparticles synthesis
Emonds-Alt, Gauthier ULg; Malherbe, Cédric ULg; Monbaliu, Jean-Christophe ULg et al

Poster (2016, May 31)

In order to perform the analysis of organic pollutant in trace by Raman spectroscopy, it is necessary to develop SERS substrates, such as noble metal nanoparticles (NPs). The synthesis of gold or silver ... [more ▼]

In order to perform the analysis of organic pollutant in trace by Raman spectroscopy, it is necessary to develop SERS substrates, such as noble metal nanoparticles (NPs). The synthesis of gold or silver NPs is used for analytical applications. It is therefore important to precisely control the synthesis of these SERS substrates to achieve reproducible measurements. Microfluidics is a very attractive technology for the control of the synthesis parameters such as temperature, reaction time and mixing conditions which affect both the size and the morphology of NPs. The synthesis of gold or silver NPs in microreactor is a technique we are already developing in the laboratory. We develop a method for the continuous synthesis of gold and silver NPs in a segmented regime capillary microreactor. The residence time and temperature have a significant effect on the size of the NPs, enabling to prepare different sizes of NPs using the same microreactor and the same precursor solutions. [less ▲]

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See detailMicroplastics contamination in three planktivorous and commercial fish species
Collard, France ULg; Das, Krishna ULg; Gilbert, Bernard ULg et al

Poster (2016, May)

In 2014, 311 million tonnes of plastics were produced worldwide while it is estimated that 10% ended up in the oceans. Plastics adsorb many pollutants, cause entanglements in many vertebrates and provoke ... [more ▼]

In 2014, 311 million tonnes of plastics were produced worldwide while it is estimated that 10% ended up in the oceans. Plastics adsorb many pollutants, cause entanglements in many vertebrates and provoke blockage of the digestive tract of marine mammals, birds and turtles. Plastics also fragment in smaller parts, forming microplastics (<5 mm). These microplastics have the same size than planktonic organisms and can thus be ingested by filter-feeders and planktivorous organisms including fish. Although planktivorous Clupeiforme species are the most fished species in the world (17 million tonnes in 2013), the possible impact of microplastic ingestion on this group has received little attention. The aim of this study was to quantify and to characterize the ingested anthropogenic particles (AP) in herrings (Clupea harengus), sardines (Sardina pilchardus) and anchovies (Engraulis encrasicolus). Twenty individuals of each species were sampled. Herrings and sardines were caught in the Channel and in the North Sea in January 2013 and in January 2014. Anchovies were sampled in July 2013. The stomach contents were digested by sodium hypochlorite to isolate AP and then they were analysed by Raman spectroscopy and measured. AP were constituted of microplastics (MP) and cellulose fibres, sometimes associated with dyes. We found several plastic families: polyethylene (PE), polypropylene (PP), polystyrene, polyacrylonitrile, polyethylene terephthalate, polyamide and poly(butyl methacrylate). MP occurred in 35%, 50% and 40% of stomach contents of anchovies, sardines and herrings, respectively. Anchovies ingested bigger AP (2 mm) than the two other species. MP was in majority PE followed by PP. Our study shows that highly commercial species are exposed to MP. Further research is needed as MP are transport medium for organic pollutants and their fate once in the organism is unknown. [less ▲]

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See detailMercury and persistent organic pollutant concentrations in free-ranging bottlenose dolphins from Lower Keys and Coastal Everglades (South Florida)
Damseaux, France ULg; Kiszka, Jeremy; Heithaus, Michael et al

Poster (2016, February 12)

The bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) is a major apex predator and the most common cetacean species found in nearshore waters of South Florida, including the Lower Florida Keys (LFK) and the Florida ... [more ▼]

The bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) is a major apex predator and the most common cetacean species found in nearshore waters of South Florida, including the Lower Florida Keys (LFK) and the Florida Coastal Everglades (FCE). The objective of this study was 1) to assess contamination levels of total mercury (T-Hg) in skin and persistent organic pollutants (PCBs, PBDEs, DDT, HCH, HCB, DLCs and PCDD/Fs) in blubber samples of bottlenose dolphins from the LFK (8 males and 16 females) and from the FCE (13 males and 9 females). Pollutants were analysed by the mean of Direct Mercury analyser (for T-Hg), GC-ECD (POPs) and GC-MS (DLCs and PCDD/Fs). The PCBs were the main compounds found in bottlenose dolphins from the LFK and FCE. The most present congeners where the CB no. 28, 52, 101, 138, 153 and 180 (ΣPCBs LFK males: 13420.5 ng.g-1 lipids, ΣPCBs LFK females: 9683.4 ng.g-1 lipids, ΣPCBs FCE males: 5637.9 ng.g-1 lipids, ΣPCBs FCE females: 1426.9 ng.g-1 lipids). PCBs concentrations were significantly higher in individuals from the LFK than those from the FCE but significantly lower than those from other locations in the south-eastern US. Unlike organic pollutants, T-Hg concentrations were significantly higher in FCE male dolphins (LFK: 2936.0 ng.g-1 dw, FCE: 10048.3 ng.g-1 dw). These high concentrations were the highest recorded in the south-eastern US and are most likely due to the presence of mangrove ecosystems. This study highlights the complexity of contaminant dynamics (inorganic vs. organic), even at small spatial scales. [less ▲]

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See detailOn the Habitability of Desert Varnish: a Combined Study by Micro-Raman Spectroscopy, X-Ray Diffraction and Methylated Pyrolysis-Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry
Malherbe, Cédric ULg; Hutchinson, Ian; Ingley, Richard et al

in Astrobiology (2016)

In 2020, the ESA ExoMars and NASA Mars 2020 missions will be launched to Mars, searching for evidence of past and present life. In preparation for these missions, terrestrial analogue samples of rock ... [more ▼]

In 2020, the ESA ExoMars and NASA Mars 2020 missions will be launched to Mars, searching for evidence of past and present life. In preparation for these missions, terrestrial analogue samples of rock formations on Mars are studied in detail in order to optimize the scientific information that the analytical instrumentation will return. Desert varnishes are thin mineral coatings found on rocks in arid and semi-arid environments on Earth that are recognized as analogue samples. During the formation of desert varnishes (which takes many hundreds of years) organic matter is incorporated and microorganisms may also play an active role in the formation process. During this study, four complementary analytical techniques proposed for Mars missions (X-rays diffraction, Raman spectroscopy, elemental analysis and pyrolysis-gas chromatography-mass spectrometry) were used to interrogate samples of desert varnish and to describe their capacity to sustain life under extreme scenario. For the first time, both the geochemistry and the organic compounds associated with desert varnish are described using an identical set of samples. XRD and Raman spectroscopy measurements were used to non-destructively interrogate the mineralogy of the samples. In addition, the use of Raman spectroscopy instruments enabled the detection of β-carotene, a highly Raman active biomarker. The content and the nature of the organic material in the samples was further investigated using elemental analysis and methylated Py-GC-MS and a bacterial origin was determined to be likely. In the context of planetary exploration, we describe the habitable nature of desert varnish based on the bio-geochemical composition of the samples. Possible interference of the geological substrate on the detectability of pyrolysis products is also suggested. [less ▲]

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See detailToxicokinetics of selenium in the slider turtle Trachemys scripta
Dyc, Christelle; Far, Johann ULg; Gandar, Frederic ULg et al

in Ecotoxicology (2016), 25

Selenium (Se) is an essential element that can be harmful for wildlife. However, its toxicity in poikilothermic amniotes, including turtles, remains poorly investigated. The present study aims at ... [more ▼]

Selenium (Se) is an essential element that can be harmful for wildlife. However, its toxicity in poikilothermic amniotes, including turtles, remains poorly investigated. The present study aims at identifying selenium toxicokinetics and toxicity in juvenile slider turtles (age: 7 months), Trachemys scripta, dietary exposed to selenium, as selenomethionine SeMet, for eight weeks. Non-destructive tissues (i.e. carapace, scutes, skin and blood) were further tested for their suitability to predict selenium levels in target tissues (i.e. kidney, liver and muscle) From conservation perspective. 130 juvenile yellow-bellied slider turtles were assigned in three groups of 42 individuals each (i.e. control, SeMet1 and SeMet2). These groups were subjected to a feeding trial including an eight-week supplementation period SP8 and a following four-week elimination period EP4. During the SP8, turtles fed on diet containing 1.1 ± 0.04, 22.1 ± 1.0 and 45.0 ± 2.0 µg.g-1 of selenium (control, SeMet1 and SeMet2, respectively). During the EP4, turtles fed on non-supplemented diet. At different time during the trial, six individuals per group were sacrificed and tissues collected (i.e. carapace, scutes, skin, blood, liver, kidney, muscle) for analyses. During the SP8 (Figure 1), both SeMet1 and SeMet2 turtles efficiently accumulated selenium from a SeMet dietary source. The more selenium was concentrated in the food, the more it was in the turtle body but the less it was removed from their tissues. Moreover, SeMet was found to be the more abundant selenium species in turtles’ tissues. Body condition (i.e. growth in mass and size, feeding behaviour and activity) and survival of the SeMet1 and SeMet2 turtles seemed to be unaffected by the selenium exposure. There were clear evidences that reptilian species are differently affected by and sensitive to selenium exposure but the lack of any adverse effects was quite unexpected. [less ▲]

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See detailCompensatory Metabolism Promotes Cancer Cell Adaptation to HDAC5 Silencing
Hendrick, Elodie ULg; Peixoto, Paul; Polese, Catherine et al

Poster (2015, December 03)

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See detailSpatial variations in the concentrations of mercury and persistent organic pollutants in free-ranging bottlenose dolphins from South Florida
Das, Krishna ULg; Damseaux, France ULg; Heithaus, M.R. et al

Poster (2015, December)

The bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) is an abundant top predator found in nearshore waters of South Florida including heavily developed and remote coastal waters. The objective of this study was to ... [more ▼]

The bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) is an abundant top predator found in nearshore waters of South Florida including heavily developed and remote coastal waters. The objective of this study was to quantify total mercury (T-Hg) and persistent organic pollutant (POPs: NDL-PCBs, PBDEs, DDT, HCH, HCB, PCDD/Fs and DL-PCBs) levels in bottlenose dolphins found off the highly populated island of Key West (n = 27) and from the undeveloped Florida Coastal Everglades (FCE; n = 20). T-Hg and POPs were analyzed in skin and blubber tissues, respectively, using a Direct Mercury analyzer (for T-Hg), GC-ECD (POPs) and GC-HRMS (DLCs). The 7 ICES PCBs were the main compounds found in bottlenose dolphins from Key West (8229 ng.g-1 lipids) and the FCE (2289 ng.g-1 lipids), while the concentrations of PCDD/Fs remained low (Key West: 104 pg.g-1 lipids, FCE: 102 pg.g-1 lipids). POP concentrations were higher in individuals from Key West compared to those from the FCE. However, POP concentrations in Key West dolphins were lower than those from other locations in Florida and around the world. Unlike organic pollutants, T-Hg concentrations were significantly higher in FCE dolphins (Key West: 2941 ng.g-1 dw versus, FCE: 9314 ng.g-1 dw), with the highest concentrations reported from the southeastern US. PCB concentrations remained under previously suggested threshold for adverse health effects (including immunosuppression) in marine mammals of 17 000 ng/kg lipid. To conclude, sources of T-Hg and POPs differed between Key West and the FCE as reflected by their concentrations in skin and blubber of free-ranging bottlenose dolphins highlighting their role as sentinels of their environment. [less ▲]

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See detailSTUDY OF FURAN FORMATION DURING COFFEE BREWING
Alsafra, Zouheir ULg; De Pauw, Edwin ULg; Eppe, Gauthier ULg et al

Poster (2015, November 05)

Furan (C4H4O) is a small cyclic ether, classified by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) as possibly carcinogenic to human (group 2B) [1,2]. It has been found in many foodstuffs ... [more ▼]

Furan (C4H4O) is a small cyclic ether, classified by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) as possibly carcinogenic to human (group 2B) [1,2]. It has been found in many foodstuffs processed by heat treatments [3], where it is formed through multiple pathways, such as Maillard reaction, carbohydrates degradation or lipid oxidation [4,5]. A very popular beverage that is also known as the most contaminated foodstuff by furan is coffee. The high contamination level is known to be related to the bean roasting process occurring at high temperature in anaerobic conditions. Macrae and coworkers in 1985, showed that a small amount of furan precursors remain in coffee even after the roasting and grounding process. The aim of this work is to study the possibility of furan formation in coffee beverages and related cross-products from the remaining traces of precursors within the brewing process conditions. [less ▲]

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See detailSpatial variations in concentrations of mercury and persistent organic pollutants in coastal bottlenose dolphins, Tursiops truncatus, from the Lower Florida Keys and the coastal Everglades (South Florida)
Damseaux, France ULg; Kiszka, Jeremy; Heithaus, Michael et al

Conference (2015, October 09)

The bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) is a major apex predator and the most common cetacean species found in nearshore waters of South Florida, including the Lower Florida Keys (LFK) and the ... [more ▼]

The bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) is a major apex predator and the most common cetacean species found in nearshore waters of South Florida, including the Lower Florida Keys (LFK) and the Everglades National Park (ENP). The objective of this study was 1) to assess contamination levels of total mercury (T-Hg) in skin and persistent organic pollutants (PCBs, PBDEs, DDT, HCH, HCB, DLCs and PCDD/Fs) in blubber samples of bottlenose dolphins from the LFK (T-Hg : nmales = 10; POPs : nmales = 16, nfemales = 8) and the ENP (T-Hg : nmales = 13, nfemales = 9; POPs : nmales = 11, nfemales = 8). T-Hg and POPs were analysed by the mean of Direct Mercury analyser (for T-Hg), GC-ECD (POPs) and GC-MS (DLCs and PCDD/Fs). The PCBs were the main compounds found in bottlenose dolphins from the LFK and ENP. The most present congeners where the CB no. 28, 52, 101, 138, 153 and 180 (Σ 6 PCBs LFK males: 13420.5 ng.g-1 lipids, Σ 6 PCBs LFK females: 9683.4 ng.g-1 lipids, Σ 6 PCBs ENP males: 5637.9 ng.g-1 lipids, Σ 6 PCBs ENP females: 1426.9 ng.g-1 lipids), while the concentrations of DL PCBs remained low for both locations (LFK: 739 ng.g-1 lipids, ENP: 183 ng.g-1 lipids). PCBs concentrations were significantly higher in individuals from the LFK than those from the ENP. PCBs concentrations in LFK and ENP dolphins were significantly lower than those from other locations in the south-eastern US. Unlike organic pollutants, T-Hg concentrations were significantly higher in ENP male dolphins (LFK: 2936.0 ng.g-1 dw, ENP: 10048.3 ng.g-1 dw). These high concentrations were the highest recorded in the south-eastern US and are most likely due to the presence of mangrove ecosystems. This study highlights the complexity of contaminant dynamics (inorganic vs. organic), even at small spatial scales. [less ▲]

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See detailDetection of anthropogenic particles in fish stomachs: an isolation method adapted to identification by Raman spectroscopy
Collard, France ULg; Gilbert, Bernard ULg; Eppe, Gauthier ULg et al

in Archives of Environmental Contamination & Toxicology (2015), 69

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See detailIsolation and identification of anthropogenic particles in fish stomachs by Raman spectroscopy: a new method
Collard, France ULg; Gilbert, Bernard ULg; Eppe, Gauthier ULg et al

in Organohalogen Compounds (2015, August)

Microplastic particles (MP) contaminate oceans and affect marine organisms in several ways. Ingestion combined with food intake is generally reported. However, data interpretation is often circumvented by ... [more ▼]

Microplastic particles (MP) contaminate oceans and affect marine organisms in several ways. Ingestion combined with food intake is generally reported. However, data interpretation is often circumvented by the difficulty to separate MP from bulk samples. Visual examination is often used as one or the only step to sort these particles. However, color, size and shape are insufficient and often unreliable criteria. Here we present an isolation method of MP specially adapted to a subsequent analysis by Raman spectroscopy. This method avoids fluorescence problems allowing the identification anthropogenic particles (AP) from stomach contents of fish by Raman spectroscopy. It was validated with commercial samples of microplastics and cotton along with stomach contents from three different Clupeiformes fishes: Clupea harengus, Sardina pilchardus and Engraulis encrasicolus. The optimized digestion and isolation protocol showed no visible impact on microplastics and cotton particles while the spectroscopic analysis allowed precise identification of microplastics and textile fibers. This approach allowed us to isolate 35 particles. These were analyzed by Raman spectroscopy: eleven were microplastics and thirteen were made of cellulose or lignin, or both (mostly fibers). Some particles were not identified but contained artificial colorants. This isolation protocol will help to assess the presence, quantity and composition of AP in planktivorous fish stomachs. [less ▲]

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See detailTravelling-wave ion mobility time-of-flight mass spectrometry as an alternative strategy for screening of multi-class pesticides in fruits and vegetables
Goscinny, Séverine ULg; Joly, Laure; De Pauw, Edwin ULg et al

in Journal of Chromatography. A (2015), 1405

This paper reports a novel approach to screening multi-class pesticides by ion mobility timeof- flight mass spectrometry detection. Nitrogen was selected as mobility gas. After optimization of the ... [more ▼]

This paper reports a novel approach to screening multi-class pesticides by ion mobility timeof- flight mass spectrometry detection. Nitrogen was selected as mobility gas. After optimization of the different ion mobility parameters, determination of matrix effect on the drift times was conducted using different matrix extracts. The results showed that drift time values are not influenced by the matrix and also are independent of the concentration within the working range for 100 pesticides tested, making drift time a powerful additional identification tool. Based on statistics, 2% variation criteria provides a good fit for all the pesticides targeted, and could be considered as a maximum acceptable criteria associated with the drift time parameter for identification purpose. This 2% value is in agreement with already reported criteria, for instance, for GC or LC retention time in European documents. Finally, the well-known feature of mobility to separate complex mixtures was also tested to obtain purified extracted mass spectra of pesticides in fruit extract. [less ▲]

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See detailMetabolomic analysis of the green microalga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii cultivated under day/night conditions
Willamme, Rémi ULg; Alsafra, Zouheir; Arumugam, Rameshkumar et al

in Journal of Biotechnology (2015)

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See detailEco-toxicological analysis of free-ranging cetaceans from the North-western Mediterranean Sea
Pinzone, Marianna ULg; Ody, Denis; Lepoint, Gilles ULg et al

Conference (2015, March 25)

The numerous anthropogenic activities occurring nowadays in the North-western Mediterranean Sea strongly affect top predators such as marine mammals, especially through the bioaccumulation of lipophilic ... [more ▼]

The numerous anthropogenic activities occurring nowadays in the North-western Mediterranean Sea strongly affect top predators such as marine mammals, especially through the bioaccumulation of lipophilic contaminants. In order to assess the eco-toxicological status of local living cetaceans blubber biopsies were collected between 2006 and 2013. Selected persistent organic pollutants POPs (31PCBs, 15 organochlorine compounds, 9 PBDEs and 17 PCDD/Fs) were analyzed in 49 long-finned pilot whales Globicephala melas, 61 sperm whales Physeter macrocephalus and 70 fin whales Balaenoptera physalus. δ13C, δ15N values and POPs levels were assessed through IR-MS and GC-MS respectively. To assess the toxic potency of the dioxin-like compounds, the TEQ approach was applied. δ15N values were 12.2±1.3‰ for sperm whales, 10.5±0.7‰ for pilot whales and 7.7±0.8‰ in fin whales, positioning sperm whales at higher trophic levels. δ13C instead was similar and amounted to −17.3±0.4‰, −17.8±0.3‰ and −18.7±0.4‰ respectively. Pilot whales presented higher concentrations than sperm whales for ΣPCBs (38666±25731ng.g-1 lw and 22849±15566ng.g-1 lw respectively), ΣPBDEs (712±412ng.g-1 lw and 347±173ng.g-1 lw respectively) and ΣDDTs (46081±37506ng.g-1 lw and 37647±38518ng.g-1 lw respectively). Fin whales presented the lowest values, in accordance with its trophic position (ΣPCBs: 5721±5180ng.g-1 lw, ΣPBDEs: 177±208ng.g-1 lw and ΣDDTs: 6643±5549ng.g-1 lw). The PCA analysis confirmed how p,p’DDT and p,p’DDE were influential in differentiating the species, as a consequence of their migratory behavior and distribution. Pollutant concentrations were significantly higher than both their Southern Hemisphere and North Atlantic counterparts, possibly due to the particular Mediterranean geomorphology, which influences pollutants distribution and recycle. Dioxin-like  PCBs accounted for over 80% of the total TEQ. This study demonstrated (1) an important exposure to pollutants of Mediterranean toothed-whales, often surpassing the estimated threshold toxicity value of 17000ng.g−1 lw for blubber in marine mammals; and (2) how their geographical distribution can influence the pollutants profile and concentrations. [less ▲]

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See detailThe living of the green microalga Chlamydomonas reinhardtii in day/night cycles
Willamme, Rémi ULg; Alsafra, Zouheir; Alsafra, Rameshkumar et al

Poster (2015, March 13)

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