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See detailImproving tetanus prophylaxis in the emergency department: a prospective, double-blind cost-effectiveness study.
STUBBE, Muriel; MORTELMANS, Luc; DESRUELLE, Didier et al

in Emergency Medicine Journal (2007), 24

BACKGROUND: The choice of tetanus prophylaxis for patients with wounds depends on obtaining their vaccination history, which has been demonstrated to be unreliable. Use of a rapid immunoassay (Tétanos ... [more ▼]

BACKGROUND: The choice of tetanus prophylaxis for patients with wounds depends on obtaining their vaccination history, which has been demonstrated to be unreliable. Use of a rapid immunoassay (Tétanos Quick Stick, the TQS), combined with knowledge of certain demographic characteristics, may improve the evaluation of tetanus immunity and thus help to avoid inadequate prophylactic measures and reduce costs. OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the contribution of the TQS in the choice of tetanus prophylaxis and to perform a cost-effectiveness analysis. The final aim was to define the place of the TQS in a modified algorithm for assessment of tetanus immunity in the emergency department. METHOD: In this Belgian prospective, double-blind, multicentre study, 611 adult patients with a wound were included; 498 (81.5%) records were valid. The TQS test was performed by a nurse before the vaccination history was taken and the choice of prophylaxis was made, using the official algorithm (Belgian Superior Health Council), by a doctor who was unaware of the TQS result. RESULTS: The prevalence of protective anti-tetanus immunity was 74.1%. Immunity was lower in older patients and in female patients. The TQS was a cost-effective tool for patients presenting with a tetanus-prone wound and considered from the vaccination history to be unprotected. Use of the TQS would have improved management in 56.9% (95% CI 47.7% to 65.7%) of patients by avoiding unnecessary treatments, leading to a reduction in the mean cost per patient (10.58 euros/patient with the TQS versus 11.34 euros/patient without). The benefits of the TQS use were significantly greater in patients <61 years old: unnecessary treatment would have been avoided in 76.9% (95% CI 65.8% to 85.4%) of cases and the mean cost per patient reduced to 8.31 euros. CONCLUSION: In selected patients, the TQS is a cost-effective tool to evaluate tetanus immunity. An algorithm is proposed for ED assessment of tetanus immunity integrating age and the TQS result. [less ▲]

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See detailImproving the Accuracy of Monitoring Great Apes in the Wild: A Case Study from Southeast Cameroon
Tagg, Nikki; Willie, Jacob; Petre, Charles-Albert ULg

in Folia Primatologica : International Journal of Primatology = Internationale Zeitschrift für Primatologie = Journal international de Primatologie (2013), 84

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See detailImproving the action of insulin.
Lefebvre, Pierre ULg; Scheen, André ULg

in Clinical & Investigative Medicine = Médecine Clinique et Experimentale (1995), 18(4), 340-7

Improving the action of insulin is a relatively new concept in diabetes management. Insulin sensitivity can be improved by reduction of excessive body weight, regular physical activity and, possibly, by ... [more ▼]

Improving the action of insulin is a relatively new concept in diabetes management. Insulin sensitivity can be improved by reduction of excessive body weight, regular physical activity and, possibly, by correcting a subclinical magnesium deficiency. Pharmacological means of improving insulin action include metformin, antiobesity serotoninergic agents and, possibly, benfluorex. New compounds aiming at improving the action of insulin are in development and include thiazolidinedione derivatives (known as "insulin sensitizers"), inhibitors of adipose tissue lipolysis (e.g. acipimox), and inhibitors of free fatty acid oxidation (e.g. etomoxir). Avoidance of drugs that reduce insulin sensitivity, such as beta blockers and thiazide diuretics, is recommended. Finally, cigarette smoking is associated with resistance to insulin but it remains to be demonstrated that cessation of cigarette smoking does in fact increase sensitivity to insulin. [less ▲]

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See detailImproving the alkalophilic performances of the Xyl1 xylanase from Streptomyces sp S38: Structural comparison and mutational analysis
De Lemos Esteves, Frédéric ULg; Gouders, T.; Lamotte-Brasseur, J. et al

in Protein Science : A Publication of the Protein Society (2005), 14(2), 292-302

Endo-beta-1,4-xylanases of the family 11 glycosyl-hydrolases are catalytically active over a wide range of pH. Xyl1 from Streptomyces sp. S38 belongs to this family, and its optimum pH for enzymatic ... [more ▼]

Endo-beta-1,4-xylanases of the family 11 glycosyl-hydrolases are catalytically active over a wide range of pH. Xyl1 from Streptomyces sp. S38 belongs to this family, and its optimum pH for enzymatic activity is 6. Xyn11 from Bacillus agaradhaerens and XylJ from Bacillus sp. 41M-1 share 85% sequence identity and have been described as highly alkalophilic enzymes. In an attempt to better understand the alkalophilic adaptation of xylanases, the three-dimensional structures of Xyn11 and Xyl1 were compared. This comparison highlighted an increased number of salt-bridges and the presence of more charged residues in the catalytic cleft as well as an eight-residue-longer loop in the alkalophilic xylanase Xyn11. Some of these charges were introduced in the structure of Xyl1 by site-directed mutagenesis with substitutions Y16D, S18E, G50R, N92D, A135Q, E139K, and Y186E. Furthermore, the eight additional loop residues of Xyn11 were introduced in the homologous loop of Xyl1. In addition, the coding sequence of the XylJ catalytic domain was synthesized by recursive PCR, expressed in a Streptomyces host, purified, and characterized together with the Xyl1 mutants. The Y186E substitution inactivated Xyl1, but the activity was restored when this mutation was combined with the G50R or S18E substitutions. Interestingly, the E139K mutation raised the optimum pH of Xyl1 from 6 to 7.5 but had no effect when combined with the N92D substitution. Modeling studies identified the possible formation of an interaction between the introduced lysine and the substrate, which could be eliminated by the formation of a putative salt-bridge in the N92D/E139K mutant. [less ▲]

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See detailImproving the bias/variance tradeoff of decision trees - towards soft tree induction
Geurts, Pierre ULg; Olaru, Cristina; Wehenkel, Louis ULg

in Engineering intelligent systems (2001), 9

One of the main difficulties with standard top down induction of decision trees comes from the high variance of these methods. High variance means that, for a given problem and sample size, the resulting ... [more ▼]

One of the main difficulties with standard top down induction of decision trees comes from the high variance of these methods. High variance means that, for a given problem and sample size, the resulting tree is strongly dependent on the random nature of the particular sample used for training. Consequently, these algorithms tend to be suboptimal in terms of accuracy and interpretability. This paper analyses this problem in depth and proposes a new method, relying on threshold softening, able to significantly improve the bias/variance tradeoff of decision trees. The algorithm is validated on a number of benchmark problems and its relationship with fuzzy decision tree induction is discussed. This sheds some light on the success of fuzzy decision tree induction and improves our understanding of machine learning, in general. [less ▲]

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See detailImproving the catabolic functions in desiccation-tolerant soil bacteria in view of their use in bioaugmentation.
Weekers, F.; Jacques, Ph.; Springael, D. et al

Poster (1998, May 08)

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See detailImproving the catabolic functions in dessication-tolerant soil bacteria in view of their use in bioaugmentation
Weekers, F.; Jacques, Ph.; Springael, D. et al

Poster (1998, May)

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See detailImproving The Catabolic Functions Of Desiccation-Tolerant Soil Bacteria
Weekers, F.; Jacques, P.; Springael, D. et al

in Applied Biochemistry and Biotechnology (1999), 77-9

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See detailImproving the description of proton-induced one-nucleon removal in intranuclear-cascade models
Boudard, Alain; Carbonell, Jaume; Cugnon, Joseph ULg et al

in Physical Review. C : Nuclear Physics (2015), 91

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See detailImproving the Energy Efficiency of the Building Stock: A Bottom-up Model and its Application in an Online Interactive Portal
Cuvellier, Simon; Marique, Anne-Françoise ULg; Reiter, Sigrid ULg

in Proceedings of PLEA 2014 (2014)

There is an urgent need to reduce energy uses in new and retrofitted buildings. In Europe, energy consumption in the building sector still represents more than 40% of the final energy use. Emerging ... [more ▼]

There is an urgent need to reduce energy uses in new and retrofitted buildings. In Europe, energy consumption in the building sector still represents more than 40% of the final energy use. Emerging countries are also concerned by such issues at even wider levels because of the huge demographic growth they are witnessing. Numerous research studies have highlighted the need to produce more efficient buildings, but also to retrofit the existing building stock. However, research methods and tools that allow a precise quantification of energy uses in buildings and energy savings related to various actions (insulating the roofs, changing the glazing, behavioral changes, etc.) are mainly dedicated to trained professional users, thus neglecting the huge potential energy savings that is linked to individual actions undertaken by citizens in their dwellings. In this context, the main aim of our research is to raise awareness of energy efficiency in residential buildings and encourage positive changes to the energy efficiency of the building stock, starting at the individual scale. This paper first presents the methodology that allows a precise energy assessment (heating, cooling, ventilation, lighting, appliances and cooking) of buildings (at the house, neighborhood, city and region scales) on the basis of a “bottom-up” approach. This methodology uses a typological classification of buildings, thermal simulations and local surveys. In this paper, this methodology is applied to the Walloon (Belgium) building stock. Many parameters are defined and taken into account to capture the specificities of numerous types of buildings (e.g., the number of floors, common ownership, orientation, thermal performances, ventilation, etc.). Several occupation modes are modelled to capture the impact of occupants’ behavior on energy consumption. To take into account the impact of urban form, correction factors are defined and applied according to the type of neighborhoods in which the buildings are located. All things considered, 250,000 individual results are obtained and stored in a huge database. Linear extrapolations and correction factors are used to extrapolate and apply these results to any type of residential building in Wallonia. This methodology is then used to develop an online portal that aims to strengthen citizens’ awareness of the necessity for ecological changes in the building sector and encourage individual actions to improve the energy efficiency of buildings. This tool allows for a transfer of the main results of a two-year scientific research effort to citizens in a very simple and intuitive way. Although the results presented in this paper are focused on Wallonia (Belgium), the research is easily reproducible to other territories by adapting local parameters. [less ▲]

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See detailImproving the grinding performance in ball mills with a conductive and inductive sensor
Köttgen, Axel ULg; de Haas, Bernard; Keshav, Pratish et al

Poster (2010)

A series of tests were conducted in a South African concentrator on the secondary grinding mill. The results were analysed and provided showed the importance of selecting an optimum density and filling ... [more ▼]

A series of tests were conducted in a South African concentrator on the secondary grinding mill. The results were analysed and provided showed the importance of selecting an optimum density and filling degree of the mill. Moreover, a Sensomag (r) is installed on this mill and the surveys showed that an increase of the density was improving the mixing of balls in the pulp and increasing the grinding performance. [less ▲]

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See detailImproving the performance of low-gain designs for bounded control of linear systems
Grognard, F.; Sepulchre, Rodolphe ULg; Bastin, G.

in Automatica (2002), 38(11), 1777-1782

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See detailImproving the performance of μ-ORC systems
Declaye, Sébastien ULg

Doctoral thesis (2015)

This thesis contributes to the knowledge and the characterization of micro Organic Rankine Cycles (ORC). It is based on experimental data and simulation models. An oil-free scroll expander is tested in a ... [more ▼]

This thesis contributes to the knowledge and the characterization of micro Organic Rankine Cycles (ORC). It is based on experimental data and simulation models. An oil-free scroll expander is tested in a wide range of operating conditions in order to better characterize its performance. Particular attention is paid to the tightness of the machine which is obtained using a magnetic coupling. The measured isentropic efficiency reaches 75% which is higher than typical values reported in the literature. From the experimental results, a performance map of the expander is generated. This performance map can be used to provide fast and accurate calculation of the volumetric and isentropic performance of the expander in a wide range of operating conditions. Five displacement pumps adapted to μ-ORC systems are also tested. These pumps are diaphragm, piston, plunger and gear types. The measured values include the overall efficiency, the volumetric efficiency and the NPSH. A deep analysis of the performance is performed to quantify the losses of each pump, of their electric motor and of their frequency drive. This analysis shows that the weakness of the overall effectiveness (max. 46%) of the pumps tested is mainly due to the low efficiency of the electric motor. A semi-empirical model of the diaphragm pump is proposed and validated based on manufacturer data. This model can predict the mechanical power of the pump and the flow delivered with a good accuracy. The simulation models developed for the expander and the pump are used to simulate a configuration including the pump, the generator and the expander on a single shaft. This configuration aims to avoid the use of a motor and a frequency drive whose performance is poor in the range of power consumed by the pump of a μ-ORC system. The results show a significant increase in the net power produced using the integrated configuration Finally, performance of a prototype of μ-ORC suitable for recovering heat from a two-stage screw compressor are measured and analyzed. The prototype allows generating maximum 3.9% of the electrical power consumed by the compressor. Several optimization options of the prototype are evaluated numerically, showing that the power generation could be increased up to 5.4% of the compressor consumption. These options include using the integrated configuration and optimizing the intercooler boiler design. [less ▲]

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See detailImproving the power of out of control states detection in multivariate processes using variable sampling intervals policy
Seif, A.; Faraz, Alireza ULg; Torabian, M.

in Journal of Applied Mathematics (2009), 23

The familiar multivariate process monitoring and control procedure is the Hotelling’s T2 control chart, a direct analog of the univariate shewhart chart. But, its efficiency for detecting small to ... [more ▼]

The familiar multivariate process monitoring and control procedure is the Hotelling’s T2 control chart, a direct analog of the univariate shewhart chart. But, its efficiency for detecting small to moderate shifts in the process mean is poor. To improve the power of chart, this paper presents the variable sampling intervals (VSI) scheme. It is assumed that the length of time the process remains in control has exponential distribution. The chart is modeled using Markov chains and is optimized using genetic algorithm optimization method. The results show that the T2 chart with variable ratio sampling scheme is quicker than the classical one in detecting almost all shifts in the process mean [less ▲]

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See detailImproving the seismic robustness of reinforced concrete frames by using locally hybrid steel-concrete columns
Degée, Hervé ULg; Plumier, André ULg

in Proceedings of the STESSA 2009 Conference (2009)

The proposed concept consists in placing a steel profile with limited size inside the reinforced concrete column of the first level of the building. This profile is not considered for the design and is ... [more ▼]

The proposed concept consists in placing a steel profile with limited size inside the reinforced concrete column of the first level of the building. This profile is not considered for the design and is essen-tially assumed to act as a safety belt activated only in case of deficiencies of the concrete under earthquake action, providing thus the requested robustness and limiting the risk of soft-storey mechanisms even in the most unfavorable conditions. Theoretical, experimental and numerical investigations summarized in the pre-sent contribution are aiming at demonstrating the efficiency of the concept. [less ▲]

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