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See detailFinal results of a phase IIa, randomised, open-label trial to evaluate the percutaneous intramyocardial transplantation of autologous skeletal myoblasts in congestive heart failure patients: the SEISMIC trial.
Duckers, Henricus J.; Houtgraaf, Jaco; Hehrlein, Christoph et al

in EuroIntervention : journal of EuroPCR in collaboration with the Working Group on Interventional Cardiology of the European Society of Cardiology (2011), 6(7), 805-12

AIMS: The SEISMIC study was an open-label, prospective, randomised study to assess the safety and feasibility of percutaneous myoblast implantation in heart failure patients with implanted cardioverter ... [more ▼]

AIMS: The SEISMIC study was an open-label, prospective, randomised study to assess the safety and feasibility of percutaneous myoblast implantation in heart failure patients with implanted cardioverter-defibrillators (ICD). METHODS AND RESULTS: Patients were randomised 2:1 to autologous skeletal myoblast therapy vs. optimal medical treatment. The primary safety end-point was defined as the incidence of procedural and device related serious adverse events, whereas the efficacy endpoints were defined as the change in global LVEF by MUGA scan, change in NYHA classification of heart failure and in the distance achieved during a six-minute walk test (6MW) at 6-month follow-up. Forty subjects were randomised to the treatment arm (n=26), or to the control arm (n=14). There were 12 sustained arrhythmic events and one death after episodes of ventricular tachycardia (VT) in the treatment group and 14 events in the control group (P=ns). At 6-month follow-up, 6MW distance improved by 60.3+/-54.1?meters in the treated group as compared to no improvement in the control group (0.4+/-185.7?meters; P=ns). In the control group, 28.6% experienced worsening of heart failure status (4/14), while 14.3% experienced an improvement in NYHA classification (2/14). In the myoblast-treatment arm, one patient experienced a deterioration in NYHA classification (8.0%), whereas five patients improved one or two classes (20.0%; P=0.06). However, therapy did not improve global LVEF measured by MUGA at 6-month follow-up. CONCLUSIONS: These data indicate that implantation of myoblasts in patients with HF is feasible, appears to be safe and may provide symptomatic relief, though no significant effect was detected on global LVEF. [less ▲]

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See detailA multicentric evaluation of IDMS-traceable creatinine enzymatic assays
Pieroni, Laurence; DELANAYE, Pierre ULg; Boutten, Anne et al

in Clinica Chimica Acta (2011), 412

Chronic kidney disease definition is based on glomerular filtration rate (GFR) estimations which are derived from creatinine-based equations. The accuracy of GFR estimation is thus largely dependent of ... [more ▼]

Chronic kidney disease definition is based on glomerular filtration rate (GFR) estimations which are derived from creatinine-based equations. The accuracy of GFR estimation is thus largely dependent of those of serum creatinine assays. International recommendations highlight the need for traceable creatinine assays. The French Society of Clinical Biochemistry conducted a study for measuring accuracy of creatinine enzymatic methods. This evaluation involved 25 clinical laboratories. Creatinine was measured in serum pools ranging from 35.9±0.9 μmol/L to 174.5±3.1 μmol/L (IDMS determination) using 12 creatinine enzymatic methods. For all creatinine values greater than 74.4±1.4 μmol/L, the bias and imprecision did not exceed 5% and 5.9%, respectively. For the lowest value (35.9±0.9 μmol/L), the bias ranged from −1.8 to 9.9% (with one exception). At this level, the imprecision ranged from 1.9 to 7.8%. The true performances of the assays (couples of bias and relative standard deviation), were evaluated using Monte-Carlo simulations. Most of the assays fall within the maximum Total Error of 12% at all concentrations. This study demonstrates substantial improvements in the calibration, traceability and precision of the enzymatic methods, reaching the NKDEP recommendations. Moreover, most of these assays allowed accurate creatinine measurements for creatinine levels lower than 40 μmol/L. [less ▲]

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See detailCompte-rendu de l'ouvrage de E. Saccone: Ritorni: la seconda lettura
de Seta, Ilaria ULg

in Oblio – Osservatorio Bibliografico della Letteratura Italiana Otto-novecentesca (2011), I(2-3),

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See detailAcetylation-dependent regulation of endothelial Notch signalling by the SIRT1 deacetylase.
Guarani, Virginia; Deflorian, Gianluca; Franco, Claudio A et al

in Nature (2011), 473(7346), 234-8

Notch signalling is a key intercellular communication mechanism that is essential for cell specification and tissue patterning, and which coordinates critical steps of blood vessel growth. Although subtle ... [more ▼]

Notch signalling is a key intercellular communication mechanism that is essential for cell specification and tissue patterning, and which coordinates critical steps of blood vessel growth. Although subtle alterations in Notch activity suffice to elicit profound differences in endothelial behaviour and blood vessel formation, little is known about the regulation and adaptation of endothelial Notch responses. Here we report that the NAD(+)-dependent deacetylase SIRT1 acts as an intrinsic negative modulator of Notch signalling in endothelial cells. We show that acetylation of the Notch1 intracellular domain (NICD) on conserved lysines controls the amplitude and duration of Notch responses by altering NICD protein turnover. SIRT1 associates with NICD and functions as a NICD deacetylase, which opposes the acetylation-induced NICD stabilization. Consequently, endothelial cells lacking SIRT1 activity are sensitized to Notch signalling, resulting in impaired growth, sprout elongation and enhanced Notch target gene expression in response to DLL4 stimulation, thereby promoting a non-sprouting, stalk-cell-like phenotype. In vivo, inactivation of Sirt1 in zebrafish and mice causes reduced vascular branching and density as a consequence of enhanced Notch signalling. Our findings identify reversible acetylation of the NICD as a molecular mechanism to adapt the dynamics of Notch signalling, and indicate that SIRT1 acts as rheostat to fine-tune endothelial Notch responses. [less ▲]

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See detailMind-wandering: Phenomenology and function as assessed with a novel experience sampling method
Stawarczyk, David ULg; Majerus, Steve ULg; Maj, Michalina et al

in Acta Psychologica (2011), 136(3), 370-381

Mind-wandering refers to the occurrence of thoughts whose content is both decoupled from stimuli present in the current environment and unrelated to the task being carried out at the moment of their ... [more ▼]

Mind-wandering refers to the occurrence of thoughts whose content is both decoupled from stimuli present in the current environment and unrelated to the task being carried out at the moment of their occurrence. The core of this phenomenon is therefore stimulus-independent and task-unrelated thoughts (SITUTs). In the present study, we designed a novel experience sampling method which permitted to isolate SITUTs from other kinds of distractions (i.e., irrelevant interoceptive/exteroceptive sensory perceptions and interfering thoughts related to the appraisal of the current task). In Experiment 1, we examined the impact of SITUTs on the performance of the Sustained Attention to Response Task (SART; a Go/No-Go task). Analyses demonstrated that SITUTs impair SART performance to the same extent as irrelevant sensory perceptions. In Experiment 2, we further examined SITUTs in order to assess the possible functions of mind-wandering. We observed that the content of most of reported SITUTs refers to the anticipation and planning of future events. Furthermore, this “prospective bias” was increased when participants’ attention had been oriented toward their personal goals before performing the SART. These data support the view that an important function of mind-wandering relates to the anticipation and planning of the future. [less ▲]

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See detailTransient yielding during compression tests on ECAP’ed AA1050 Aluminium
Verlinden, Bert; Chen, Enze; Duchene, Laurent ULg et al

in Materials Science Forum (2011), 667-669

In most papers dealing with tension and/or compression tests, the conventional yield stress is determined either by an offset method (usually 0.2% strain) or by back extrapolation from the stress-strain ... [more ▼]

In most papers dealing with tension and/or compression tests, the conventional yield stress is determined either by an offset method (usually 0.2% strain) or by back extrapolation from the stress-strain curve. In our experiments on ECAP‟ed Aluminium a transient hardening saturation (THS) is always observed during the compression tests, but not during the tensile tests. This THS occurs at a significantly lower stress than the conventional yield stress. The aim of the present paper is to determine which the “real” start of yielding is. Two different experimental approaches have been adopted, confirming that the THS stage is exactly the yielding stage. This is not unimportant because it increases the tension-compression asymmetry and hence the back-stress and kinematic hardening. The reason for this different behaviour between tension and compression can be ascribed to a different change in strain path with respect to the ECAP deformation. [less ▲]

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See detailLe personnage au carrefour du médiatique et du social: Une analyse des débuts de « l’affaire Calice » à la RTBF
Devresse, Jenifer ULg

in Quaderni : la Revue de la Communication (2011), 74

Que font les médias au social ? Comment le récit de l’information peut-il faire sens ? Comment l’information télévisuelle dispose-t-elle de son public ? Autant de questions qui interrogent les mécanismes ... [more ▼]

Que font les médias au social ? Comment le récit de l’information peut-il faire sens ? Comment l’information télévisuelle dispose-t-elle de son public ? Autant de questions qui interrogent les mécanismes de construction sociale du sens, au carrefour du récit médiatique et de sa "réception". Espérant contribuer de la sorte à l’appréhension de ces mécanismes, cet article souligne, à travers une étude de cas, l’intérêt pour l’analyse des médias de la notion de personnage narratif. Il invite à voir dans ce personnage média-informé l’une des clés fondamentales qui préside à la détermination des possibles de la réception télévisuelle – et a fortiori de l’engagement. Analysant le système des personnages de « l’affaire Calice » tels que mis en scène dans les JT de la RTBF, l’étude examine ainsi la manière dont les positions spectatorielles induites par le récit des débuts de l’affaire tendent à déterminer certaines dispositions du public-acteur social. [less ▲]

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See detailDes rats sur les murs
Saint-Amand, Denis ULg

Article for general public (2011)

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See detailAction des cultures protectrices : cas des germes lactiques sur la flore alimentaire indésirable.
Privat, Kouakou; Thonart, Philippe ULg

in Biotechnologie, Agronomie, Société et Environnement = Biotechnology, Agronomy, Society and Environment [=BASE] (2011), 15(2), 339-348

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See detailRhoGDI alpha-dependent balance between RhoA and RhoC is a key regulator of cancer cell tumorigenesis
Ho, Thi Thanh Giang ULg; Stultiens, Audrey; Dubail, Johanne ULg et al

in Molecular Biology of the Cell (2011), 22(17), 3263-75

RhoGTPases are key signaling molecules regulating main cellular functions such as migration, proliferation, survival, and gene expression through interactions with various effectors. Within the RhoA ... [more ▼]

RhoGTPases are key signaling molecules regulating main cellular functions such as migration, proliferation, survival, and gene expression through interactions with various effectors. Within the RhoA-related subclass, RhoA and RhoC contribute to several steps of tumor growth, and the regulation of their expression affects cancer progression. Our aim is to investigate their respective contributions to the acquisition of an invasive phenotype by using models of reduced or forced expression. The silencing of RhoC, but not of RhoA, increased the expression of genes encoding tumor suppressors, such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug-activated gene 1 (NAG-1), and decreased migration and the anchorage-independent growth in vitro. In vivo, RhoC small interfering RNA (siRhoC) impaired tumor growth. Of interest, the simultaneous knockdown of RhoC and NAG-1 repressed most of the siRhoC-related effects, demonstrating the central role of NAG-1. In addition of being induced by RhoC silencing, NAG-1 was also largely up-regulated in cells overexpressing RhoA. The silencing of RhoGDP dissociation inhibitor alpha (RhoGDIalpha) and the overexpression of a RhoA mutant unable to bind RhoGDIalpha suggested that the effect of RhoC silencing is indirect and results from the up-regulation of the RhoA level through competition for RhoGDIalpha. This study demonstrates the dynamic balance inside the RhoGTPase network and illustrates its biological relevance in cancer progression. [less ▲]

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See detailContrats de mariage: entre conventions et controverses
Leleu, Yves-Henri ULg

in Le défi du notaire (2011)

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See detailNZEB Definitions: current market status and certification in Belgium
Mlecnik; Attia, Shady ULg

Report (2011)

The recast of the European Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) requires the uptake of a definition of so called ‘nearly zero energy’ buildings (nZEB). Belgium was first to set a definition for a ... [more ▼]

The recast of the European Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD) requires the uptake of a definition of so called ‘nearly zero energy’ buildings (nZEB). Belgium was first to set a definition for a ‘net zero energy house’ (NZEB) in 2009. Every year the definition is revised for consistency with shortcomings and emerging issues. The Belgian definition raised many questions regarding (1) the net balance, (2) the application and calculation method (3) the indoor air quality and comfort, (4) energy use included in the balance, (5) the type of buildings, (6) the accepted renewable energy supply options, (7) the quality assurance and monitoring and (8) energy storage and the connection to the energy infrastructure. Therefore, the paper presents a review on the current Belgian definition and its market status in comparison with the international context. The aim of the paper is to review current definition discussions and pave the way to a more consistent definition. [less ▲]

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See detailTowards min max generalization in reinforcement learning
Fonteneau, Raphaël ULg; Murphy, Susan; Wehenkel, Louis ULg et al

in Filipe, Joaquim; Fred, Ana; Sharp, Bernadette (Eds.) Agents and Artificial Intelligence: International Conference, ICAART 2010, Valencia, Spain, January 2010, Revised Selected Papers (2011)

In this paper, we introduce a min max approach for addressing the generalization problem in Reinforcement Learning. The min max approach works by determining a sequence of actions that maximizes the worst ... [more ▼]

In this paper, we introduce a min max approach for addressing the generalization problem in Reinforcement Learning. The min max approach works by determining a sequence of actions that maximizes the worst return that could possibly be obtained considering any dynamics and reward function compatible with the sample of trajectories and some prior knowledge on the environment. We consider the particular case of deterministic Lipschitz continuous environments over continuous state spaces, nite action spaces, and a nite optimization horizon. We discuss the non-triviality of computing an exact solution of the min max problem even after reformulating it so as to avoid search in function spaces. For addressing this problem, we propose to replace, inside this min max problem, the search for the worst environment given a sequence of actions by an expression that lower bounds the worst return that can be obtained for a given sequence of actions. This lower bound has a tightness that depends on the sample sparsity. From there, we propose an algorithm of polynomial complexity that returns a sequence of actions leading to the maximization of this lower bound. We give a condition on the sample sparsity ensuring that, for a given initial state, the proposed algorithm produces an optimal sequence of actions in open-loop. Our experiments show that this algorithm can lead to more cautious policies than algorithms combining dynamic programming with function approximators. [less ▲]

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See detailEnjeux autour de la survie de l'Assemblée de l'Union de l'Europe occidentale : tensions, rivalités et contournements
Dumoulin, André ULg

in Wintgens, Sophie; Grégory, Piet (Eds.) La puissance : débat autour des jeux et des enjeux du pouvoir (2011)

Examen des rivalités et des résistances de l'Assemblée de l'UEO face à la décision de dénoncer le traité de Bruxelles modifié

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See detailAntibiotic resistance: lessons from the soil
Rigali, Sébastien ULg

Scientific conference (2011)

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See detailSpatial aggregation of tropical trees at multiple spatial scales
Réjou-Méchain, Maxime; Flores, Olivier; Bourland, Nils ULg et al

in Journal of Ecology (2011), 99

1. In tropical forests, species distribution patterns may be strongly context-dependent owing to local stochasticity of recruitment and⁄ or to the specific history and environment of each site. Recent ... [more ▼]

1. In tropical forests, species distribution patterns may be strongly context-dependent owing to local stochasticity of recruitment and⁄ or to the specific history and environment of each site. Recent studies have reported, however, that the degree of spatial aggregation of tropical tree species is partly determined by some species traits irrespectively of site conditions, at least at a very local scale (<200 m). 2. Here, we used standardized large-scale forest inventories of five Central African tropical forests (9670 0.5-ha plots spread over 5550 km2) to quantify the spatial aggregation of 106 tropical tree species at larger spatial scales. For this purpose, we developed a new statistic to quantify the respective contributions of different spatial scales to the aggregation patterns, and we tested whether patterns were consistent across sites. We finally asked whether species characteristics related to dispersal ability, to response to disturbances and to biogeographical range could significantly explain aggregation patterns. 3. Although aggregation patterns varied substantially among sites within each species, they displayed inter-site consistencies (21–24%of the total variance explained by species identity) at the local scale (0.2–1 km) and at the mesoscale (1–10 km) but not at the landscape scale (>10 km). At the two former scales, upper taxonomical levels (family and⁄or order) significantly explained variation in the degree of species aggregation, while at the landscape scale, aggregation was entirely contingent on the site considered. Few species characteristics, except dispersal syndromes and wood density, were able to significantly explain aggregation patterns. 4. Synthesis. One of our most striking results is the high context dependence of species aggregation patterns, whatever the spatial scale considered. However, we showed that species distribution patterns can be predicted, to an extent, at spatial scales much larger than previously investigated in this context. Such patterns may be explained by traits displaying phylogenetic conservatism [less ▲]

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