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See detailHigh accumulation of PCDD, PCDF, and PCB congeners in marine mammals from Brazil: a serious PCB problem
Dorneles, Paulo R; Sanz, Paloma; Eppe, Gauthier ULg et al

in Science of the Total Environment (2013), 463-464

Blubber samples from three delphinid species (false killer whale, Guiana and rough-toothed dolphin), as well as liver samples from franciscana dolphins were analyzed for dioxins and related compounds ... [more ▼]

Blubber samples from three delphinid species (false killer whale, Guiana and rough-toothed dolphin), as well as liver samples from franciscana dolphins were analyzed for dioxins and related compounds (DRCs). Samples were collected from 35 cetaceans stranded or incidentally captured in a highly industrialized and urbanized area (Southeast and Southern Brazilian regions). Dioxin-like PCBs accounted for over 83% of the total TEQ for all cetaceans. Non-ortho coplanar PCBs, for franciscanas (82%), and mono-ortho PCBs (up to 80%), for delphinids, constituted the groups of highest contribution to total TEQ. Regarding franciscana dolphins, significant negative correlations were found between total length (TL) and three variables, ΣTEQ-DRCs, ΣTEQ-PCDF and ΣTEQ non-ortho PCB. An increasing efficiency of the detoxifying activity with the growth of the animal may be a plausible explanation for these findings. This hypothesis is reinforced by the significant negative correlation found between TL and PCB126/PCB169 concentration ratio. DRC concentrations (ng/g lipids) varied from 36 to 3006, for franciscana dolphins, as well as from 356 to 30776, for delphinids. The sum of dioxin-like and indicator PCBs varied from 34662 to 279407 ng/g lipids, for Guiana dolphins from Rio de Janeiro state, which are among the highest PCB concentrations ever reported for cetaceans. The high concentrations found in our study raise concern not only on the conservation of Brazilian coastal cetaceans, but also on the possibility of human health problem due to consumption of fish from Brazilian estuaries. [less ▲]

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See detailHigh Accumulation of Perfluorooctane Sulfonate (PFOS) in Marine Tucuxi Dolphins (Sotalia guianensis) from the Brazilian Coast
Dorneles, Paulo R; Lailson-Brito, José; Azevedo, Alexander et al

in Environmental Science & Technology (2008), 42(14), 5368-5373

Perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and other perfluoroalkyl compounds (PFCs) were measured in liver samples from 29 marine tucuxi dolphins from Rio de Janeiro state (RJ), Brazil. PFC measurement combined ... [more ▼]

Perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and other perfluoroalkyl compounds (PFCs) were measured in liver samples from 29 marine tucuxi dolphins from Rio de Janeiro state (RJ), Brazil. PFC measurement combined liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry, using a CapLC system connected to a Quadrupole- LIT mass spectrometer. PFOS was the only PFC detected and it was so in all samples. PFOS concentrations (ng ·g-1 dw) of dolphins (n)23) from the highly contaminated Guanabara Bay (in RJ) varied between 43 and 2431 as well as between 76 and 427 from areas of RJ other than the quoted bay (n ) 6). Concentrations of three fetuses and one neonate varied between 664 and 1590. Fetus/mother ratios were calculated in two situations (2.75 and 2.62). It seems that mother-to-calf transference plays important role for relationships between PFOS and age. When a one-year-old male calf presenting 2431 ng ·g-1 dw was excluded from the test, significant correlations were observed between PFOS concentrations and both age and total length. Despite the placental transference, PFOS concentrations were not significantly lower in females than in males. PFOS levels in marine tucuxi dolphins from Guanabara Bay are among the highest detected to date in cetaceans, andthismayrepresentathreat to the small population concerned. [less ▲]

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See detailHigh accuracy transit photometry of the planet OGLE-TR-113b with a new deconvolution-based method
Gillon, Michaël ULg; Pont, F.; Moutou, C. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2006), 459

A high accuracy photometry algorithm is needed to take full advantage of the potential of the transit method for the characterization of exoplanets, especially in deep crowded fields. It has to reduce to ... [more ▼]

A high accuracy photometry algorithm is needed to take full advantage of the potential of the transit method for the characterization of exoplanets, especially in deep crowded fields. It has to reduce to the lowest possible level the negative influence of systematic effects on the photometric accuracy. It should also be able to cope with a high level of crowding and with large-scale variations of the spatial resolution from one image to another. A recent deconvolution-based photometry algorithm fulfills all these requirements, and it also increases the resolution of astronomical images, which is an important advantage for the detection of blends and the discrimination of false positives in transit photometry. We made some changes to this algorithm to optimize it for transit photometry and used it to reduce NTT/SUSI2 observations of two transits of OGLE-TR-113b. This reduction has led to two very high precision transit light curves with a low level of systematic residuals, used together with former photometric and spectroscopic measurements to derive new stellar and planetary parameters in excellent agreement with previous ones, but significantly more precise. [less ▲]

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See detailHigh Achievers in Belgium: A Partial Analysis of I. E. A. Science, Literature and Reading Comprehension Data
De Landsheere, Gilbert ULg; Grisay, A.; Henry, G.

in Comparative Education Review (1974), 18(2), 188-195

In this article, we examine what IEA data tell us about the situation of the gifted in Belgium. (Author)

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See detailThe high affinity murine laminin receptor is a member of a multicopy gene family.
Fernandez, M. T.; Castronovo, Vincenzo ULg; Rao, C. N. et al

in Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications (1991), 175(1), 84-90

The high affinity laminin receptor is differentially expressed in metastasis. We now report that there are multiple copies (6 +/- 1) of the laminin receptor gene in the murine genome of normal diploid ... [more ▼]

The high affinity laminin receptor is differentially expressed in metastasis. We now report that there are multiple copies (6 +/- 1) of the laminin receptor gene in the murine genome of normal diploid cells as well as in cell lines derived from cancer cells. We have analyzed three distinct cDNA clones isolated from an Okayama-Berg cDNA library of transformed mouse fibroblasts that may represent transcripts of three different laminin receptor genes. Polymorphic changes include insertion of bases at the 5' terminus, a base substitution within the coding region resulting in an amino acid change from phenylalanine to leucine, a base substitution obliterating a polyadenylation signal, as well as changes in the length of the 3' untranslated domains. The discovery of multiple transcripts of laminin receptor genes suggests that there is a strong selective pressure to maintain laminin receptor expression in murine cells. [less ▲]

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See detailThe High Albedo of the Hot Jupiter Kepler-7 b
Demory, Brice*-Olivier; Seager, Sara; Madhusudhan, Nikku et al

in Astrophysical Journal (2011), 735

Hot Jupiters are expected to be dark from both observations (albedo upper limits) and theory (alkali metals and/or TiO and VO absorption). However, only a handful of hot Jupiters have been observed with ... [more ▼]

Hot Jupiters are expected to be dark from both observations (albedo upper limits) and theory (alkali metals and/or TiO and VO absorption). However, only a handful of hot Jupiters have been observed with high enough photometric precision at visible wavelengths to investigate these expectations. The NASA Kepler mission provides a means to widen the sample and to assess the extent to which hot Jupiter albedos are low. We present a global analysis of Kepler-7 b based on Q0-Q4 data, published radial velocities, and asteroseismology constraints. We measure an occultation depth in the Kepler bandpass of 44 ± 5 ppm. If directly related to the albedo, this translates to a Kepler geometric albedo of 0.32 ± 0.03, the most precise value measured so far for an exoplanet. We also characterize the planetary orbital phase light curve with an amplitude of 42 ± 4 ppm. Using atmospheric models, we find it unlikely that the high albedo is due to a dominant thermal component and propose two solutions to explain the observed planetary flux. First, we interpret the Kepler-7 b albedo as resulting from an excess reflection over what can be explained solely by Rayleigh scattering, along with a nominal thermal component. This excess reflection might indicate the presence of a cloud or haze layer in the atmosphere, motivating new modeling and observational efforts. Alternatively, the albedo can be explained by Rayleigh scattering alone if Na and K are depleted in the atmosphere by a factor of 10-100 below solar abundances. [less ▲]

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See detailHigh angular resolution imaging and infrared spectroscopy of CoRoT candidates
Guenther, E. W.; Fridlund, M.; Alonso, R. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2013), 556

Context. Studies of transiting extrasolar planets are of key importance for understanding the nature of planets outside our solar system because their masses, diameters, and bulk densities can be measured ... [more ▼]

Context. Studies of transiting extrasolar planets are of key importance for understanding the nature of planets outside our solar system because their masses, diameters, and bulk densities can be measured. An important part of transit-search programmes is the removal of false-positives. In the case of the CoRoT space mission, the majority of the false-positives are removed by a detailed analysis of the light curves and by seeing-limited imaging in- and out-of-transit. However, the critical question is how many of the candidates that passed all these tests are false-positives. Such false-positives can be caused by eclipsing binaries, which are either related or unrelated to the targets. <BR /> Aims: For our study we selected 25 CoRoT candidates that have already been screened against false-positives using detailed analysis of the light curves and seeing-limited imaging, which has transits that are between 0.7 and 0.05% deep. Our aim is to search for companion candidates that had not been recognized in previous observations. <BR /> Methods: We observed 20 candidates with the adaptive optics imager NaCo and 18 with the high-resolution infrared spectrograph CRIRES. <BR /> Results: We found previously unknown stars within 2'' of the targets in seven of the candidates. All of these are too faint and too close to the targets to have been previously detected with seeing-limited telescopes in the optical. Our study thus leads to the surprising results that if we remove all candidates excluded by the sophisticated analysis of the light-curve, as well as carrying out deep imaging with seeing-limited telescopes, still 28-35% of the remaining candidates are found to possess companions that are bright enough to be false-positives. <BR /> Conclusions: Given that the companion candidates cluster around the targets and that the J - K colours are consistent with physical companions, we conclude that the companion candidates are more likely to be physical companions rather than unrelated field stars. Based on observations obtained at the European Southern Observatory at Paranal, Chile in programmes 282.C-5015A, 282.C-5015B, 282.C-5015C, 285.C-5045A, and 285.C-5045B, 086.C-0235A, 086.C-0235B, 088.C-0707A, 088.C-0707B, 090.C-0251A, 090.C-0251B, and 091.C-203(A).Appendices A and B are available in electronic form at <A href="http://www.aanda.org">http://www.aanda.org</A> [less ▲]

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See detailHigh color ratio and high temperature in Jupiter's auroral atmosphere
Grodent, Denis ULg; Gustin, Jacques ULg; Gérard, Jean-Claude ULg et al

Poster (2001, October 27)

A high FUV color ratio usually implies that most of the energy of the impinging auroral particles is deposited below the methane homopause. In this region, the resulting auroral heating is efficiently ... [more ▼]

A high FUV color ratio usually implies that most of the energy of the impinging auroral particles is deposited below the methane homopause. In this region, the resulting auroral heating is efficiently balanced by the strong hydrocarbon cooling. Therefore, this auroral process cannot sustain the high temperature observed in the Jovian auroral atmosphere. This work is an attempt to remove the ambiguity between the high color ratios and high temperatures deduced from the HST data. In order to study this apparent contradiction, the two-stream energy deposition model described by Grodent et al. (2001) has been upgraded with a Joule heating module and an adiabatic cooling approximation. The most recent hydrocarbon auroral density profiles have been included. A new EUV-FUV spectral generator has been developed and allows one to consider new observational constrains, such as the very high H2 scale heights deduced from the Cassini-Jupiter flyby HST observations. [less ▲]

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See detailHigh concentrations of Myeloperoxidase in the equine uterus as an indicator of endometritis
Parrilla Hernandez, Sonia ULg; Ponthier, Jérôme ULg; Franck, Thierry ULg et al

in Theriogenology (in press)

Intra-luminal fluid and excessive abnormal hyper-edema are regularly used for the diagnosis of endometritis in the mare, which is routinely confirmed by the presence of neutrophils on endometrial smears ... [more ▼]

Intra-luminal fluid and excessive abnormal hyper-edema are regularly used for the diagnosis of endometritis in the mare, which is routinely confirmed by the presence of neutrophils on endometrial smears. Studies show a relation between neutrophils and myeloperoxidase (MPO), an enzyme contained in and released by neutrophils during degranulation or after cell lysis. This enzyme has been found in many fluids and tissues and associated with different inflammatory pathologies in the horse. The aims of this study were to assess the presence and concentration of MPO in the equine uterus, and to investigate its relation with neutrophils, and other clinical signs of endometritis. Mares (n=51) were evaluated for presence of intra-luminal fluid and excessive endometrial edema before breeding, and a small volume lavage and cytology samples were obtained. From 69 cycles, supernatant of the uterine flushes was analysed with a specific equine MPO ELISA assay to measure MPO concentration. Cytology samples were used for the diagnosis of endometritis. MPO was present in the uterus of all estrus mares in highly variable concentrations. MPO concentrations were significantly (p<0.05) higher in samples with positive cytologies and in presence of intra-luminal fluid. Occasionally, some samples with negative cytologies showed high MPO concentration, but the opposite was never observed. Cycles presenting hyper-edema weren’t associated to high concentration of MPO, intra-luminal fluid or positive cytology making it a poor diagnostic tool of endometritis. [less ▲]

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See detailThe high conductivity of iron and thermal evolution of the Earth's core
Gomi, Hitoshi; Ohta, Kenji; Hirose, Kei et al

in Physics of the Earth and Planetary Interiors (2013), 224

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See detailHigh contrast stellar observations within the diffraction limit at the Palomar Hale telescope
Mennesson, B.; Hanot, Charles ULg; Serabyn, E. et al

in McLean, I.; Ramsay, S.; Takami, H. (Eds.) Ground-based and Airborne Instrumentation for Astronomy III (2010, July 01)

We report on high-accuracy, high-resolution (< 20mas) stellar measurements obtained in the near infrared ( 2.2 microns) at the Palomar 200 inch telescope using two elliptical (3m x 1.5m) sub-apertures ... [more ▼]

We report on high-accuracy, high-resolution (< 20mas) stellar measurements obtained in the near infrared ( 2.2 microns) at the Palomar 200 inch telescope using two elliptical (3m x 1.5m) sub-apertures located 3.4m apart. Our interferometric coronagraph, known as the "Palomar Fiber Nuller" (PFN), is located downstream of the Palomar adaptive optics (AO) system and recombines the two separate beams into a common singlemode fiber. The AO system acts as a "fringe tracker", maintaining the optical path difference (OPD) between the beams around an adjustable value, which is set to the central dark interference fringe. AO correction ensures high efficiency and stable injection of the beams into the single-mode fiber. A chopper wheel and a fast photometer are used to record short (< 50ms per beam) interleaved sequences of background, individual beam and interferometric signals. In order to analyze these chopped null data sequences, we developed a new statistical method, baptized "Null Self-Calibration" (NSC), which provides astrophysical null measurements at the 0.001 level, with 1 σ uncertainties as low as 0.0003. Such accuracy translates into a dynamic range greater than 1000:1 within the diffraction limit, demonstrating that the approach effectively bridges the traditional gap between regular coronagraphs, limited in angular resolution, and long baseline visibility interferometers, whose dynamic range is restricted to 100:1. As our measurements are extremely sensitive to the brightness distribution very close to the optical axis, we were able to constrain the stellar diameters and amounts of circumstellar emission for a sample of very bright stars. With the improvement expected when the PALM-3000 extreme AO system comes on-line at Palomar, the same instrument now equipped with a state of the art low noise fast read-out near IR camera, will yield 10[SUP]-4[/SUP] to 10[SUP]-3[/SUP] contrast as close as 30 mas for stars with K magnitude brighter than 6. Such a system will provide a unique and ideal tool for the detection of young (<100 Myr) self-luminous planets and hot debris disks in the immediate vicinity (0.1 to a few AUs) of nearby (< 50pc) stars. [less ▲]

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See detailHigh correlation between the Roche COBAS(R) AmpliPrep/COBAS(R) TaqMan(R) HIV-1, v2.0 and the Abbott m2000 RealTime HIV-1 assays for quantification of viral load in HIV-1 B and non-B subtypes.
Karasi, Jean Claude ULg; Dziezuk, F; Quennery, L et al

in Journal of Clinical Virology (2011), 52(3), 181-6

BACKGROUND: HIV-1 viral load assays are critical tools to monitor antiretroviral therapy efficacy in HIV-infected patients. Two assays based on real-time PCR are available, the Abbott Real-Time HIV-1 ... [more ▼]

BACKGROUND: HIV-1 viral load assays are critical tools to monitor antiretroviral therapy efficacy in HIV-infected patients. Two assays based on real-time PCR are available, the Abbott Real-Time HIV-1 assay (Abbott assay) and the new Roche COBAS((R)) AmpliPrep/COBAS((R)) TaqMan((R)) HIV-1 test, v. 2.0 (TaqMan((R)) test v2.0). OBJECTIVES: We have compared the performance of the two assays in 546 clinical plasma specimens of group M strains from Luxembourg and Rwanda. STUDY DESIGN: Our analyses focused on subtype inclusivity and platforms accuracy for 328 low level viremia samples. RESULTS: Strong agreement and linear correlation were observed between the two assays (R(2) = 0.95) over a wide dynamic range. Bland-Altman analysis showed a mean difference of 0.04 log 10 indicating minimal overall viral load quantification differences between both platforms. One subtype C was severely underquantified by TaqMan((R)) test v2.0 for which sequence analysis revealed multiple mismatches between the viral sequence and the primer/probe regions. A non significant lower quantification of the Abbott assay was shown for subtype A1 with a mean log 10 difference of 0.24. For specimens under 200 cp/mL, the overall agreement was 90% at the cut-off of 50 cp/mL and 67% at assay's lower limit of detection of 20 and 40 cp/mL. 309 samples were retested by the COBAS((R)) AMPLICOR((R)) HIV-1 MONITOR Test, v. 1.5 and a lack of agreement between the three assays around their lower limit of quantification was revealed. CONCLUSIONS: Both real-time tests were closely comparable in the quantification of viral load specimens of ten HIV-1 subtypes and recombinant forms. [less ▲]

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See detailHigh density resolution synchrotron radiation based X-ray microtomography (SR mu CT) for quantitative 3D-morphometrics in zoological sciences
Nickel, Michael; Hammel, Jörg U; Herzen, Julia et al

in Proceedings of SPIE (2008), 7078

Zoological sciences widely rely on morphological data to reconstruct and understand body structures of animals. The best suitable methods like tomography allow for a direct representation of 3D-structures ... [more ▼]

Zoological sciences widely rely on morphological data to reconstruct and understand body structures of animals. The best suitable methods like tomography allow for a direct representation of 3D-structures. In recent years, synchrotron radiation based X-ray microtomography (SR mu CT) placed high resolutions to the disposal of morphologists. With the development of highly brilliant and collimated third generation synchrotron sources, phase contrast SR mu CT became widely available. A number of scientific contributions stressed the superiority of phase contrast over absorption contrast. However, here we demonstrate the power of high density resolution methods based on absorption-contrast SR mu CT for quantitative 3D-measurements of tissues and other delicate bio-structures in zoological sciences. We used beamline BW2 at DORIS III (DESY, Hamburg, Germany) to perform microtomography on tissue and mineral skeletons of marine sponges (Porifera) which were shock frozen and/or fixed in a glutamate osmium tetroxide solution, followed by critical point drying. High density resolution tomographic reconstructions allowed running quantitative 3D-image analyses in Matlab and ImageJ. By applying contrast and shape rule based algorithms we semi-automatically extracted and measured sponge body structures like mineral spicules, elements of the canal system or tissue structures. This lead to a better understanding of sponge biology: from skeleton functional morphology and internal water flow regimes to body contractility. Our high density resolution based quantitative approach can be applied to a wide variety of biological structures. However, two prerequisites apply: (1) maximum density resolution is necessary; (2) edge effects as seen for example in phase outline contrast SR mu CT must not be present. As a consequence, to allow biological sciences to fully exploit the power of SR mu CT further increase of density resolution in absorption contrast methods is desirable. [less ▲]

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See detailHigh Diversity in Cretaceous Ichthyosaurs from Europe Prior to Their Extinction
Fischer, Valentin ULg; Bardet, Nathalie; Guiomar, Myette et al

in PLoS ONE (2014), 9(1), 84709

Background: Ichthyosaurs are reptiles that inhabited the marine realm during most of the Mesozoic. Their Cretaceous representatives have traditionally been considered as the last survivors of a group ... [more ▼]

Background: Ichthyosaurs are reptiles that inhabited the marine realm during most of the Mesozoic. Their Cretaceous representatives have traditionally been considered as the last survivors of a group declining since the Jurassic. Recently, however, an unexpected diversity has been described in Upper Jurassic–Lower Cretaceous deposits, but is widely spread across time and space, giving small clues on the adaptive potential and ecosystem control of the last ichthyosaurs. The famous but little studied English Gault Formation and ‘greensands’ deposits (the Upper Greensand Formation and the Cambridge Greensand Member of the Lower Chalk Formation) offer an unprecedented opportunity to investigate this topic, containing thousands of ichthyosaur remains spanning the Early–Late Cretaceous boundary. Methodology/Principal findings: To assess the diversity of the ichthyosaur assemblage from these sedimentary bodies, we recognized morphotypes within each type of bones. We grouped these morphotypes together, when possible, by using articulated specimens from the same formations and from new localities in the Vocontian Basin (France); a revised taxonomic scheme is proposed. We recognize the following taxa in the ‘greensands’: the platypterygiines ‘Platypterygius’ sp. and Sisteronia seeleyi gen. et sp. nov., indeterminate ophthalmosaurines and the rare incertae sedis Cetarthrosaurus walkeri. The taxonomic diversity of late Albian ichthyosaurs now matches that of older, well-known intervals such as the Toarcian or the Tithonian. Contrasting tooth shapes and wear patterns suggest that these ichthyosaurs colonized three distinct feeding guilds, despite the presence of numerous plesiosaur taxa. Conclusion/Significance: Western Europe was a diversity hot-spot for ichthyosaurs a few million years prior to their final extinction. By contrast, the low diversity in Australia and U.S.A. suggests strong geographical disparities in the diversity pattern of Albian–early Cenomanian ichthyosaurs. This provides a whole new context to investigate the extinction of these successful marine reptiles, at the end of the Cenomanian. [less ▲]

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See detailHigh diversity in late Early Cretaceous ichthyosaurs
Fischer, Valentin ULg; Guiomar, Myette; Godefroit, Pascal

Poster (2009, October)

Considered as the last survivors of a dying group, all Cretaceous ichthyosaurs have traditionally been incorporated within a single genus, Platypterygius. This waste-basket genus includes large ... [more ▼]

Considered as the last survivors of a dying group, all Cretaceous ichthyosaurs have traditionally been incorporated within a single genus, Platypterygius. This waste-basket genus includes large ichthyosaurs with numerous, large and conical tooth crowns and bulbous polygonal root well anchored in dental grooves. With such a dentition, Platypterygius can be included within the “Smash guild”. However, the study of new specimens from the Aptian-Albian marls of the Vocontian basin (SE France) reveals an unexpected diversity of late Early Cretaceous ichthyosaurs. Beside “classical” Platypterygius specimens, another type of ichthyosaur with very tiny and pointed teeth has been found in the mid-Albian marls of Sisteron, in High-Provence Alps. This new taxon is based on a partial crushed skull, two basioccipitals, 8 teeth, and 15 centra. The teeth range from 20mm to 2cm and are highly compressed labio-lingualy, with a thickness/wideness ratio of the root sometimes as low as 1/4. Crowns are slightly curved and sharply pointed, indicating a diet of small and soft preys. Interestingly, although the rostral bones are slender and delicate – thus radically different from conventional Late Early Cretaceous ichthyosaurs – the basioccipital of this taxon shares many characters with Platypterygius and is of the same overall size. Together with the recently named genus Maiaspondylus from the Albian of western Canada, these specimens suggest a higher diversity of late Early Cretaceous ichthyosaurs, in contradiction with the current view of ichthyosaur extinction, said to be gradually decreasing in diversity since the Middle Jurassic. In fact, the number of ecological niches occupied by ichthyosaurs apparently even increased from the Late Jurassic until the late Early Cretaceous. Therefore, the ecological impact of the Cenomanian-Turonian boundary on marine reptile faunas was probably more severe than previously thought. [less ▲]

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See detailHigh diversity in late Early Cretaceous ichthyosaurs part II: The Cambridge Greensand material
Fischer, Valentin ULg

Conference (2011, September)

Recent and on-going work on Canadian and French Cretaceous ichthyosaurs has unveiled a high diversity of Albian ophthalmosaurids, suggesting the extinction of ichthyosaurs which occurs during the ... [more ▼]

Recent and on-going work on Canadian and French Cretaceous ichthyosaurs has unveiled a high diversity of Albian ophthalmosaurids, suggesting the extinction of ichthyosaurs which occurs during the Cenomanian was a much more severe event than previously supposed. Yet the ichthyosaur assemblages from other areas such as the USA and Australia are monospecific, suggesting that the diversity of ichthyosaurs was not universally high. The Cambridge Greensand ichthyosaur material, which has not been the subject of any thorough study since 1869, consists of about 900 specimens, the vast majority of which are isolated bones. Nevertheless, this abundant material offers a good opportunity to assess the diversity of the ichthyosaurs that roamed the western England Sea during the late Albian–Early Cenomanian interval. In order to assess this diversity, diagnostic bones such as basioccipitals, stapes, humeri and femora were compared to that of other ophthalmosaurids. Several morphotypes, some represented by 10+ specimens are recognized. Articulated specimens were used to unite cranial and appendicular bone morphotypes to a taxon. An extremely diverse assemblage of at least 5 distinct taxa is recognized in the Cambridge Greensand Formation: Platypterygius sp., two new genera that have representatives in southeastern France and Germany, a Brachypterygius/Aegirosaurus morphotype, and the long-forgotten but diagnostic Cetarthrosaurus walkeri, for which we found a second and better preserved specimen. The diversity of the ‘mid’ Cretaceous ichthyosaurs from Europe now matches that of the Early Jurassic, a period sometimes seen as the ‘Golden Age’ of post-Triassic ichthyosaurs. [less ▲]

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See detailHigh doses of transplanted CD34(+) cells are associated with rapid T-cell engraftment and lessened risk of graft rejection, but not more graft-versus-host disease after nonmyeloablative conditioning and unrelated hematopoietic cell transplantation
Baron, Frédéric ULg; Maris, M. B.; Storer, B. E. et al

in Leukemia (2005), 19(5), 822-828

This report examines the impact of graft composition on outcomes in 130 patients with hematological malignancies given unrelated donor granulocyte-colony-stimulating-factor-mobilized peripheral blood ... [more ▼]

This report examines the impact of graft composition on outcomes in 130 patients with hematological malignancies given unrelated donor granulocyte-colony-stimulating-factor-mobilized peripheral blood mononuclear cells (G-PBMC) ( n = 116) or marrow ( n = 14) transplantation after nonmyeloablative conditioning with 90 mg/m(2) fludarabine and 2Gy TBI. The median number of CD34(+) cells transplanted was 6.5 x 10(6)/ kg. Higher numbers of grafted CD14(+) ( P = 0.0008), CD3(+) ( P = 0.0007), CD4(+) ( P = 0.001), CD8(+) ( P = 0.004), CD3 - CD56(+) ( P = 0.003), and CD34(+) ( P = 0.0001) cells were associated with higher levels of day 28 donor T-cell chimerism. Higher numbers of CD14(+) ( P = 0.01) and CD34(+) ( P = 0.0003) cells were associated with rapid achievement of complete donor T-cell chimerism, while high numbers of CD8(+) ( P = 0.005) and CD34(+) ( P = 0.01) cells were associated with low probabilities of graft rejection. When analyses were restricted to G-PBMC recipients, higher numbers of grafted CD34(+) cells were associated with higher levels of day 28 donor T-cell chimerism ( P = 0.01), rapid achievement of complete donor T-cell chimerism ( P = 0.02), and a trend for lower risk for graft rejection ( P = 0.14). There were no associations between any cell subsets and acute or chronic GVHD nor relapse/progression. These data suggest more rapid engraftment of donor T cells and reduced rejection rates could be achieved by increasing the doses of CD34(+) cells in unrelated grafts administered after nonmyeloablative conditioning. [less ▲]

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See detailHigh dynamic range interferometric observations of exozodiacal discs: performance comparison between ground, space, and Antarctica
Absil, Olivier ULg; Defrere, Denis; Coudé du Foresto, Vincent et al

in Schöller, Markus; Danchi, William; Delplancke, Françoise (Eds.) Optical and Infrared Interferometry (2008, July 01)

The possible presence of large amounts of exozodiacal dust around nearby main sequence stars represents a threat to the detection and characterisation of Earth-like extrasolar planets with future infrared ... [more ▼]

The possible presence of large amounts of exozodiacal dust around nearby main sequence stars represents a threat to the detection and characterisation of Earth-like extrasolar planets with future infrared space interferometers such as DARWIN or TPF. In this paper, we first review the current detection capabilities of ground-based infrared interferometers such as CHARA/FLUOR and the detections of hot dust that have been obtained so far around a few main sequence stars. With the help of realistic instrumental simulations, we then discuss the relative merits of various ground-based sites (temperate and Antarctic) versus space-based observatories for the detection of exozodiacal discs down to a few zodi by interferometric nulling as a preparation to future life-finding missions. In particular, we discuss the performance of four proposed nulling interferometers: GENIE, ALADDIN, PEGASE and FKSI. An optimised strategy for the characterisation of candidate DARWIN/TPF targets is finally proposed. [less ▲]

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