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See detailUn « Laboratoire belge » du droit international (1869-1940) ? Réseaux internationaux, expériences et mémoires de guerre des juristes belges
Genin, Vincent ULg

Doctoral thesis (2017)

Circonscrire une problématique implique de dégager plusieurs hypothèses de travail. La Première Guerre mondiale représente le pivot autour duquel ces hypothèses s’articuleront et seront mises à l’épreuve ... [more ▼]

Circonscrire une problématique implique de dégager plusieurs hypothèses de travail. La Première Guerre mondiale représente le pivot autour duquel ces hypothèses s’articuleront et seront mises à l’épreuve. Celle-ci étant destinée à les « mettre à l’épreuve ». À l’issue de ce travail, nous espérons que la confrontation de ces hypothèses à l’analyse historique permettra la décantation de conclusions générales dont émanera une thèse définie. La Guerre de 1914-1918, par son caractère global, ses « innovations » technologiques, son degré de violence, marque une étape significative de l’histoire contemporaine. La Belgique, premier pays du front Ouest à être envahi, se situe aux premières loges de cette nouvelle phase historique. Territoire dont la neutralité « perpétuelle, permanente et garantie » est violée, en transgression du droit international public, ce point d’ancrage semble propice à l’étude d’un milieu ayant peu attiré l’attention des historiens : les juristes belges de droit international. Nous estimons que cette étude est à même de mieux nous informer sur les caractéristiques de ce milieu professionnel en soi, concerné au premier chef par l’acte inaugural de la guerre, sur ses pratiques, ses codes, ses réseaux internationaux, la positionnalité des juristes, mais aussi, en négatif, de nous renseigner sur un aspect méconnu de l’image de la Belgique et de sa position dans la hiérarchie internationale, à savoir sa contribution au droit international. L’évolution de ce milieu et de ce qu’il représente, à l’aune de la Guerre de 1914-1918, reconnue pour avoir acceléré la juridicisation des relations internationales, constitue l’essentiel de l’angle d’approche adopté par notre recherche. Toutefois, il est permis de dégager plusieurs hypothèses, dont chacune recouvre un critère de cette approche plus générale : En effet, le conflit modifie-t-il le degré de légitimité de cette catégorie de juristes dans le champ scientifique belge et exerce-t-il une influence similaire dans le champ académique ? Dans quelle mesure les internationalistes belges jouent-ils un nouveau rôle, après 1918, dans le cadre de la politique étrangère officielle du pays ? Par extension, nous nous intéresserons à leur rapport au milieu des diplomates. Nous tenterons également d’évaluer dans quelle mesure ces juristes sont les acteurs d’un phénomène transnational ou, au contraire, s’ils poursuivent des objectifs dont les intérêts sont « nationaux ». Par ailleurs, ces juristes peuvent-ils être considérés comme des indicateurs, des pierres de touche, de l’évolution de la position de la Belgique dans le « Concert des nations » ? Le cas échéant, nous tenterons de comprendre dans quelle mesure cette « condition » d’indicateur évolue entre l’avant-1914 et l’après-1918. Ces juristes contribuent-ils à la défense d’enjeux idéologiques et/ou politiques et comment se positionnent-ils par rapport aux conceptions jusnaturalistes et juspositivistes ? À l’aune des réflexions précédentes, il est possible d’envisager une problématique générale, que l’on peut énoncer comme suit : Dans quelle mesure les juristes belges de droit international public, de la fin du XIXème siècle au milieu du XXème siècle, ont tissé des réseaux internationaux, été des indicateurs de l’évolution de la Belgique dans la hiérarchie internationale et, surtout, ont été influencés par l’expérience de la Guerre de 1914-1918, en tant que génératrice d’une mémoire influant sur les modes d’expressions et de représentations de ce groupe social, jusqu’en 1940. [less ▲]

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See detailLe marché, le politique et le réseau : les intermédiaires privés du marché du travail à l’épreuve de l’action publique
Gérard, Julie ULg

Doctoral thesis (2016)

Ce travail de thèse porte sur les enjeux de l’activation en Belgique francophone au sein du segment des intermédiaires privés du marché du travail. Il prend pour objet une mesure d’activation ... [more ▼]

Ce travail de thèse porte sur les enjeux de l’activation en Belgique francophone au sein du segment des intermédiaires privés du marché du travail. Il prend pour objet une mesure d’activation : l’accompagnement des demandeurs d’emploi. Cette mesure vise la réinsertion socioprofessionnelle des demandeurs d’emploi par une lutte contre l’exclusion et un retour à l’emploi. L’analyse de cette mesure d’activation repose sur l’étude approfondie de neuf dispositifs d’intermédiation privée, regroupés en trois catégories heuristiques : les intermédiaires de l’accompagnement vers, dans et après l’emploi. Ces catégories incarnent trois types d’accompagnement mis en oeuvre par les intermédiaires privés. Elles sont étudiées à partir d’une démarche empirique qualitative constituée d’observations (N=368), d’analyses documentaires et d’entretiens semi-directifs (N=95) ainsi que d’un cadre d’analyse général constitué d’une sociologie de l’action publique articulant trois perspectives théoriques : l’analyse des politiques publiques d’emploi ; la sociologie de l’action organisée et la sociologie des marchés. L’analyse montre que l’action de ces intermédiaires se concrétise par l’articulation de trois logiques d’action et de trois effets de trappe provoqués par l’influence de pressions institutionnelles exercées par le contexte social et par l’environnement à l’intérieur duquel la prise en charge des demandeurs d’emploi se réalise. Cette thèse entend ainsi démontrer qu’au-delà des contingences organisationnelles de chaque dispositif et de la marge de discrétion des acteurs en présence, l’action des intermédiaires privés du marché du travail s’inscrit dans un mouvement d’homogénéisation de l’action publique. Cette homogénéisation se traduit en une activité de profilage des demandeurs d’emploi fondée sur de multiples formes d’isomorphisme institutionnel. [less ▲]

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See detail"'Unreadable' Texts: From the Metaphysical Detective Story to the Metacognitive Mystery Tale"
Dechene, Antoine ULg

Doctoral thesis (2016)

This dissertation aims at establishing the genealogy of a literary genre called the metacognitive mystery tale. Its main goal is to delineate a corpus of texts presenting "unreadable" mysteries which ... [more ▼]

This dissertation aims at establishing the genealogy of a literary genre called the metacognitive mystery tale. Its main goal is to delineate a corpus of texts presenting "unreadable" mysteries which, under the deceptively monolithic appearance of subverting "traditional" detective story conventions, offer a multiplicity of motifs – the overwhelming presence of chance, the unfulfilled quest for knowledge, the urban stroller lost in a labyrinthine text – that generate a vast array of epistemological and ontological uncertainties explored by the genre. The selected corpus, composed of some of the genre's most emblematic avatars as well as of less usual suspects, accounts for the specificity and heterogeneity of authors who, in different but related ways, have addressed a certain number of issues underlying the acquisition of knowledge. Following three major intertextual matrices based on the concepts of the "unreadable" city, the "dark" grotesque and the sublime, respectively, this project brings together texts by writers as diverse as Percy Bysshe Shelley, Edgar Allan Poe, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Herman Melville, Henry James, Horacio Quiroga, Jorge Luis Borges, Franz Kafka, Samuel Beckett, Paul Auster, Iain Sinclair and Roberto Bolaño under the banner of the metacognitive mystery tale. This approach represents an opportunity to gather canonical and barely academically studied works and provide new perspectives on stories dealing with the darker, more anxious aspects of investigations led by defective sleuths. [less ▲]

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See detailApplication des techniques de photogrammétrie par drone à la caractérisation des ressources forestières
Lisein, Jonathan ULg

Doctoral thesis (2016)

Une gestion raisonnée et multifonctionnelle des forêts n’est possible qu’avec une description à jour de l’état de la ressource naturelle. Les inventaires forestiers traditionnels, réalisés sur le terrain ... [more ▼]

Une gestion raisonnée et multifonctionnelle des forêts n’est possible qu’avec une description à jour de l’état de la ressource naturelle. Les inventaires forestiers traditionnels, réalisés sur le terrain, sont couteux et ne couvrent qu’un échantillonnage de la surface boisée. L’essor des drones civils pour la cartographie a initié une révolution dans le domaine de la télédétection environnementale. La polyvalence et la diversité des systèmes drones sont une aubaine pour la foresterie de précision. Ceux-ci sont utilisés pour la réalisation de cartographie très fine des habitats naturels avec une résolution temporelle et spatiale sans précédent. Nous explorons les possibilités d’utilisation de mini-drones pour la caractérisation quantitative et qualitative de la ressource forestière. Nous nous intéressons en particulier à l’estimation de la hauteur des arbres et à la caractérisation de la composition spécifique au sein de peuplements forestiers. La hauteur de la canopée est une variable dendrométrique de première importance : elle est un bon indicateur du stade de développement des peuplements et intervient notamment dans les estimations de biomasse ou de niveau de productivité. La composition spécifique est une information essentielle en regard des principales fonctions que remplit la forêt (conservation, production, récréation, etc). Nous avons comparé l’estimation de la hauteur des peuplements à partir de mesures LiDAR et celle obtenue par photogrammétrie. Bien que permettant une mesure de hauteur individuelle avec une incertitude de l’ordre de 1.04 m (RMSE) en feuillus, la photogrammétrie par drone sur des zones forestières est systématiquement moins précise que les mesures par LiDAR (RMSE de 0.83 m). Ces résultats sont cependant prometteurs, étant donné que la mesure sur terrain de la hauteur totale des arbres est également sujette à une importante imprécision. De plus, la grande flexibilité que confère les petits drones permet d’acquérir, au moment propice du stade de végétation, et l’information de relief de la canopée, et l’information spectrale. La période de fin de feuillaison, au début du mois de juin, s’est avérée le moment le plus propice à une discrimination automatique de cinq groupes d’essences feuillues (le chênes pédonculé, les bouleaux, l’érable sycomore, le frêne commun et les peupliers). Une erreur globale de classification des houppiers de 16% est obtenue avec des acquisitions monotemporelles, alors que l’utilisation d’images acquises à différentes dates permet encore d’améliorer cette classification (erreur globale de classification de 9% pour la meilleure combinaison de 3 dates). Les contraintes de la législation régissant l’utilisation des aéronefs sans pilote à bord restreignent le champs d’action des drones civils. Ainsi, afin d’assurer une sécurité pour tous les usagers de l’espace aérien, les opérations avec un drone sont limitées sous un seuil d’altitude et à une distance maximale du télépilote, ce qui ne permet pas une utilisation optimale de cette technologie pour la couverture de grands domaines forestiers (plusieurs milliers d’hectares). De plus, d’autres outils de télédétection utilisés en foresterie, tels que le LiDAR et l’imagerie satellite et aéroportée, sont plus compétitifs que les drones dès qu’il s’agit de couvrir de grandes surfaces (plusieurs milliers d’hectacre). C’est pourquoi nous pensons que les drones resterons un outils d’analyse de petites surfaces (dizaines voire centaines d’hectares), plus utiles à des fins de recherches scientifiques qu’à une utilisation en gestion forestière. [less ▲]

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See detailInitiatives populaires de solidarité internationale, des « bonnes intentions » au « professionnalisme » ? Sociologie d’un groupe professionnel à l’aune du sentiment de légitimité, dans une perspective comparative Belgique / France
Godin, Julie ULg

Doctoral thesis (2016)

Alongside established, high-profile non-governmental organisations (NGOs), many individuals decide that they need to “do something” to improve the lives of the people they have met (while travelling ... [more ▼]

Alongside established, high-profile non-governmental organisations (NGOs), many individuals decide that they need to “do something” to improve the lives of the people they have met (while travelling, living in another country or adopting a child, etc.). These people join forces with a small group of friends to set up their own development organisations (referred to hereafter as “popular development initiatives”, or PDIs). At present, one of the major concerns in international development cooperation is to make development workers more professional in the interest of better aid effectiveness. This thesis therefore looks at the discourses and practices of these “ordinary” citizens, in order to highlight their role and to identify key issues for this sector. More specifically, we study the dialectic process by which NGO staff and PDI volunteers build and define their professional and amateur legitimacy as development actors, through the prism of the interactionist perspective of the sociology of professional groups. We also draw on the sociology of public action to consider how public authorities, through their policy tools, influence the responsibility and legitimacy of these actors, the interactions between them, and their mutual recognition. The need for professionalism also stems from demands by local partners in the developing world, so we have taken an interest in their perceptions in the case of Senegal. [less ▲]

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See detailMineralogy and crystal chemistry of natural and synthetic uranyl oxysalts
Dal Bo, Fabrice ULg

Doctoral thesis (2016)

Since 1960, the number of described uranyl mineral species has been multiplied by three. To date more than 200 mineral species containing uranium as a main structural element are reported in Nature, and ... [more ▼]

Since 1960, the number of described uranyl mineral species has been multiplied by three. To date more than 200 mineral species containing uranium as a main structural element are reported in Nature, and the crystal structures have been determined and refined for only one third of them. Furthermore, many new uranyl minerals are still reported to data, showing sometimes novel chemical compositions and structural arrangements. The uranium mineralogy is a fascinating subject, and an essential field of research as it contributes to the improvement of the management techniques of nuclear waste. The first part of this work was dedicated to the mineralogical characterisation of uranyl minerals, and especially of the autunite-type minerals, occurring in the Rabejac deposit. Indeed, the identification analyses have shown that many samples contain uranyl arsenates of the autunite and meta-autunite groups. Electron-microprobe chemical analyses performed on these minerals species indicate that the P content in (meta-)zeunerite and (meta-)uranospinite is significant in several samples, confirming the solid-solution series between uranyl arsenates and phosphates. Also, cationic substitutions occurring on the A site were observed, especially in uranospinite samples, in which significant amount of Ca is substituted for Mg. Single-crystal X-ray diffraction experiments have been performed on many members of the (meta-)zeunerite-(meta-)torbernite series, and the crystallographic parameters were put into correlation with the variation of the chemical composition. The crystal structure of arsenuranospathite, the Asanalogue of the Al-bearing uranyl phosphate uranospathite, was solved for the first time, indicating that these two minerals are isostructural (Dal Bo et al., 2015). Also, a structure model is proposed for metauranocircite-I, one of the Ba-bearing uranyl phosphate of the meta-autunite group. Investigations of uranyl mineral samples from other localities have allowed to discover single-crystals of bassetite, one of the Fe end-members of the autunite group. The crystal structure of bassetite was also solved for the first time, and these new structural data were presented in parallel to those obtained on saléeite, the Mg-analogue of bassetite (Dal Bo et al., 2016). Thanks to these new data, a discussion about the mineral hierarchy of the (meta-)autunite group is proposed. In addition, the crystal structure of the rare Al-bearing uranyl phosphate furongite from the Kobokobo pegmatite was determined, showing that this mineral species has unique and novel structural features. This specific study, as well as the redefinition of the structural formula of phuralumite, was the occasion to provide a review about the formation of Al polyhedra clusters in uranyl minerals, and to try to elucidate their physicochemical conditions of crystallisation. Many new crystallographic data were also collected on uranyl minerals for which the crystal structure was already reported in the literature. Therefore, it was possible to confirm the previous studies, or to highlight important discrepancies, especially in the case of the Al-bearing uranyl phosphate phuralumite. The H-bonds networks, which are essential for the stability of the structure, have been established in the structure of the uranyl carbonate liebigite, and in the structure of the uranyl silicates cuprosklodowskite, kasolite and soddyite. The second part of this work was devoted to the hydrothermal synthesis of uranyl oxysalts. The experimental conditions, as well as the chemical systems, were chosen in agreement with the conditions occurring in natural uranium deposits, or in geological repositories. A new compound, Be[(UO2)(PO4)]2(H2O)2.5, has been synthesized at low temperature. This is the third Be-bearing uranyl phosphate reported to date, and its crystal structure is based upon sheets showing the uranophane anion topology, typical of uranyl silicates occurring in the oxidation zone of the uranium deposits. The well-known Ba[(UO2)3(MoO4)4(H2O)](H2O)3 and (NH4)2[(UO2)(MoO4)2](H2O) compounds have been synthesized, and new crystallographic data were collected on them. In addition, it was possible to determine the hydrogen-bonds networks for the first compound, and to redefine the Mo6+ coordination polyhedra in the second one. [less ▲]

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See detailEvaluation des impacts des projets de développement sur les exploitations agricoles familiales et les ménages de l’ATACORA (Nord-Ouest du Benin)
Tohinlo, Yecy ULg

Doctoral thesis (2016)

This doctoral research aims to contribute to a better understanding of the effects of development projects on the improvement of living conditions and livelihoods of rural households in Benin. It begins ... [more ▼]

This doctoral research aims to contribute to a better understanding of the effects of development projects on the improvement of living conditions and livelihoods of rural households in Benin. It begins with the analysis of development trends in Atacora known about the last three decades. It is focused on matching between the dynamics promoted by intervention devices and those endogenous or emerging to lead a part in the consideration of the productive trajectories and performance of family farms and also in the analysis of effects of development projects on food security, living standards and poverty of rural households. The post-development theories and the various conceptions of poverty have served as a guideline for research work. The intervention mechanisms conducted in Atacora (north-western Benin) by the various cooperations (bilateral and multilateral) between 1990 and 2010 constituted the research object of this thesis. The empirical phase took place in the communes of Cobly (West) and Péhunco (East). These communes were selected from their contrasting agro-ecological and socio-economic situations and socio-economic indicators on the one hand and on the other on a typology of the concentration of development projects and the perception of their effects by local people. A stratified sample of 344 households (respectively 214 in Cobly and 130 in Péunco) was formed for the characterization survey. Later, a thorough investigation on living conditions and livelihood of households followed and involved 208 households (129 Cobly; 79 Péhunco). Finally 16 case studies (8 per commune) were conducted on the trajectories of evolution and accumulation of property and wealth of households and farms. Due to the empirical research, special attention was given to primary data collection which lasted more than three (3) years. Qualitative and quantitative tools (including PSM) were combined for the analysis of collected data through individual and group interviews. Results show that the development interventions do not always promote the endogenous dynamics but they generate and maintain, in rural areas, pathways that allow the integration and participation of producers in the world market for agricultural products. And to benefit from various promotional activities, producers adopt supported crops, this have some positive and negative consequences. The integration and participation of rural producers of Atacora to international trade, promote the increase of production and crop yields while further increasing their dependence on the world prices of agricultural products. So while the income of producers is increasing their vulnerability to food insecurity is also increasing because many of the food crops, already insufficient (because of the share of the cotton planted and the cotton production quotas established by the government) to cover food needs, are substracted from consumption to be sold on the market to meet urgent liquidity needs. Thereby, Atacora's rural households, despite the increase of their food production, suffered a rupture of food stocks resulting to annual food crises of at least 4 months (16 weeks) which strikes indiscriminately both recipient households than non-project beneficiaries. However with the increase of sources and income level of recipient households (36% of households of the study sites), those beneficiaries improve their homes and food consumption and invest more in the education of their children. This marks a significant difference between beneficiaries and non-beneficiaries of development projects. Indeed, installed with the same resources, we counted, in 2014, twice more prosperous households and fewer poor among beneficiaries than non-beneficiaries. Furthermore farms and households beneficiaries of assistance have accumulated and hold more productive assets (land, farm equipment, livestock rearing), economic assets and holdines (transportation measures, housing, plots and houses to rent, etc.) than non-beneficiaries with a highly significant difference at 1%. However the level of improvements and living conditions induced by development interventions are still inadequate and insecure, as reduced to the equivalent adult,income as well as capital show no significant difference between beneficiaries and non-beneficiaries. Thus, households (even beneficiaries) remain vulnerable to crises so that any natural disaster (flood, drought, pest invasion, etc.), illness, injury and death of a member of the household, provokes the rapid degradation of living standards and the fall into poverty. This is compounded by the fact that farms owners’ don’t invest really in the restoration and enhancement of the capital '' land fertility ''; mainly in Cobly where the soil fertility level experienced a drastic decline with a consequent increasing use of chemical fertilizers that degrade the soil structure furthermore. It follows that any action aimed at poverty reduction should allow a sustainable improvement in conditions and livelihoods of rural producers by the preservation and restoration of soil fertility on the one hand and the increased resilience to crises on the other hand. Actions to identify specific needs with measures and solutions adapted to each category of producers and households with mainly particular mechanisms of management and restoration of the fertility of agricultural land shall be considered and implemented. [less ▲]

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See detailL'Afrique centrale: entre traditions et transitions. La mutation des socio-écosystèmes en Afrique centrale
Gillet, Pauline ULg

Doctoral thesis (2016)

The forests of the Congo Basin are among the best preserved areas on Earth. Nevertheless, the factors causing deforestation around the world are also present in this subregion. The forest transition ... [more ▼]

The forests of the Congo Basin are among the best preserved areas on Earth. Nevertheless, the factors causing deforestation around the world are also present in this subregion. The forest transition theory describes how the trend of forest areas decline at national level may precede an increase in these areas. If the effects of the forest transition are well known in terms of forest cover degradation, little is known about the effects of forest transition on socio-ecosystems (SES) (understood as a group of actors with impacts on a group of resources and subject to specific institutions). The general objective of this thesis is to characterize the mutation of socio-ecosystems in the Congo Basin in order to identify dynamic of change of Congo Basin forested SES and their possible futures. The collection of socioeconomic data, focusing on the description of the population, the description of the different activities and incomes, the description of food intake and the access to land and resources, were conducted in three SES with a forest cover gradient, located in Cameroon and Gabon. The results show that the cost price of meals is globally increasing with the loss of forest cover. The share of food intake related to the exploitation of natural resources such as hunting, fishing and gathering decreases in favor of proteins from livestock and agricultural products. This leads to the translocation of demand but also to pressures on other anthropogenic ecosystems. The effects of deforestation are then visible at the local level but also on neighboring areas. The diversity of the game and prey decreases moving towards smaller species with the progression of the forest transition. Consequently, there is a reduction in the proportion of these products in both the food intake and household incomes. This analysis shows a decline in the importance of NTFPs in the production and villagers livelihoods. Slash and burn agriculture is practiced in three SES. If the ratio between fallow period and cultivation period decreases with the forest transition, there is an increase in crop diversification leading to a diversification of the diet. Access to forest resources, agricultural land, markets and an external source of employment condition the village activities. The land potential is made to report levels of ownership and co-management of customary space (Le Roy et al., 1996). During the progression of the forest transition curve, the land potential evolves from relatively loose to privatization and the ability to alienate resources. These important modifications of traditional control systems of the relations between man and resources lead to a more adequate management of some commercial resources value (such as agricultural products or mining resources). But, this process is incompatible with the maintenance of certain ecosystem services like large populations of wildlife preservation. If these results fit rather well with the forest transition curve, this is not the case of all SES in Central Africa. Therefore, we propose to combine some results to reflect significant changes of the qualities of a socio-ecosystem, regardless of forest cover rate. The priority would be to establish a standardized data collection protocol to test sites with different forest cover and located on different trajectories. The use of a socio-economic index would make it possible to predict the evolution of SES under different scenarios, whether linked to global or regional pressures (such as the emergence plans enacted by the Central African States) or in contexts of economic crisis or the introduction of new legislation. [less ▲]

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See detailSpace Thermal Analysis through Reduced Finite Element Modelling
Jacques, Lionel ULg

Doctoral thesis (2016)

The finite element method (FEM) is widely used in mechanical engineering, in particular for structure design. However, it is not often exploited for the thermal analysis of space structures for which the ... [more ▼]

The finite element method (FEM) is widely used in mechanical engineering, in particular for structure design. However, it is not often exploited for the thermal analysis of space structures for which the use of the lumped parameter method is still commonplace. To alleviate the computational burden of the FEM for thermal analyses involving conduction and radiation, an innovative global conductive-radiative reduction scheme based on the clustering of the finite element mesh is presented. The proposed method leads to a significant reduction of the number of radiative exchange factors (REFs) to compute and size of the corresponding matrix. It further keeps accurate conduction information by introducing the concept of physically meaningful super nodes associated to the clusters from which are derived the reduced conductive couplings. To complement the reduction of the number of faces, an improved Monte Carlo ray tracing algorithm is developed. It provides better accuracy and convergence rate than the classic Monte Carlo method. The algorithm is adapted to the partitioned FE mesh and includes quadrics fitting for accurate normal representation. The resulting conductive-radiative reduced model is solved using standard iterative techniques and the detailed mesh temperatures, recovered from the super nodes temperatures, can be directly exploited for thermo-mechanical analysis. The proposed global reduction method is validated on several space structures and is benchmarked against ESATAN-TMS, the standard thermal analysis software used in the European aerospace industry. [less ▲]

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See detailCooperative spontaneous emission with quantized atomic motion
Damanet, François ULg

Doctoral thesis (2016)

In this thesis, we present investigations on the cooperative dynamics of (ultra)cold atoms coupled to the electromagnetic field in vacuum. The main objective is to identify the consequences of the ... [more ▼]

In this thesis, we present investigations on the cooperative dynamics of (ultra)cold atoms coupled to the electromagnetic field in vacuum. The main objective is to identify the consequences of the quantization of the atomic center-of-mass motion on the atoms-field dynamics, more particularly the atomic \emph{internal} dynamics including dipole-dipole interactions and cooperative spontaneous emission processes. For this purpose, we derive a Markovian master equation for the internal state of a collection of two-level atoms coupled to vacuum accounting for all effects related to the quantization of their motion. These effects depend on three characteristic lengths that can be tuned experimentally: the interatomic distance $r$, the wavelength $\lambda$ of the emitted radiation, and the typical size $\ell$ of the atomic wave packets. This leads to a rich panel of phenomena depending on the hierarchy between these characteristic lengths. Our master equation provides a unifying picture of the consequences of recoil and quantum statistics (bosonic or fermionic) on both the internal dissipative and conservative dynamics, and applies equally well to distinguishable and indistinguishable atoms. It is valid even beyond the Lamb-Dicke regime, i.e.\ for large recoil effects. We give general expressions for the decay rates and the dipole-dipole shifts entering the master equation for arbitrary motional states, and we find closed-form formulas for a number of relevant states (Gaussian states, harmonic oscillator eigenstates, Bose-Einstein condensates motional states). In particular, we show they can be strongly influenced by the motional state of the atoms, which suggests the possibility to quantum program their internal dynamics through motional state engineering. Based on the derived master equation, we investigate in full detail the super- and subradiance phenomena arising from a collection of indistinguishable atoms. Due to the symmetry (for bosons) or antisymmetry (for fermions) of the global state under exchange of atoms, the internal dynamics is restricted to the permutation invariant subspace whose dimension grows as $N^2$ with $N$ the number of atoms. In this particular case, the master equation involves only three rates: a single-atom decay rate $\gamma_0$, a cooperative decay rate $\gamma$ and a collective dipole-dipole shift $\Delta_\mathrm{dd}$. We solve the dynamics exactly for $2$ atoms, numerically for up to $30$ atoms, and obtain the large-$N$ limit by a mean-field approach. We show that a superradiant enhancement of the radiated intensity is always observed for a sufficiently large number of atoms. As regards subradiance, we show that exact decoherence free subspaces that protect against spontaneous emission through destructive interference of individual spontaneous emission amplitudes exist only in the limit of classically localized atoms, i.e.\ for atoms in infinitely steep traps. We assess the validity of our master equation in the optical domain through the study of the exact atoms-field dynamics. Among others, this complementary approach gives access to the vibrational state populations of the atoms after a photon emission and to the angular dependence of the emission spectrum. It also highlights the complex interplay between the atomic internal and motional states, such as the entanglement transfer that can occur during the collective decay of the atoms. Moreover, it opens the door for the study of the non-Markovianity of the internal dynamics. In conclusion, our thesis provides a comprehensive picture of the consequences of the quantization of the atomic motion on cooperative spontaneous emission processes and contributes to the development of theoretical tools for the study of the internal dynamics of (ultra)cold atoms. [less ▲]

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See detailL'art de gouverner les déchets hautement radioactifs. Analyse comparée de la Belgique, la France et le Canada
Parotte, Céline ULg

Doctoral thesis (2016)

Comment l'art de gouverner les déchets hautement radioactifs, tel qu'il a évolué au cours des deux dernières décennies, a-t-il redéfini les enjeux sociotechniques du programme de gestion des déchets ... [more ▼]

Comment l'art de gouverner les déchets hautement radioactifs, tel qu'il a évolué au cours des deux dernières décennies, a-t-il redéfini les enjeux sociotechniques du programme de gestion des déchets hautement radioactifs et réciproquement? Telle est la question qui traverse cette thèse. Combinant l'analytique de gouvernement (Dean 2010) à une approche co-productionniste forte (Joly 2015), trois régimes de pratiques de gouvernement, en France, en Belgique et au Canada sont scrutés et comparés. Cet écrit propose de suivre l'objet, en cinq chapitres, depuis sa définition (au travers des systèmes de classification), en passant par l’élaboration, la mise en oeuvre territoriale et l'évaluation régulière de son programme de gestion. Chemin faisant, nous cherchons à comprendre comment le dépôt géologique est resté l’option de référence clef pour la catégorie "déchet hautement radioactif". Différentes co-productions seront mises à jour révélant l'asymétrie de pouvoir entre les acteurs, la trajectoire (dis)continue du programme et le caractère expérimental de l’art de gouverner les déchets hautement radioactifs. Un art expérimental, dont nous soutenons que les formes peuvent varier, entre autres, selon l'attitude des expérimentateurs. [less ▲]

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See detailActive Network Management for Electrical Distribution Systems
Gemine, Quentin ULg

Doctoral thesis (2016)

With the increasing share of renewable and distributed generation in electrical distribution systems, Active Network Management (ANM) has become a valuable option for a distribution system operator to ... [more ▼]

With the increasing share of renewable and distributed generation in electrical distribution systems, Active Network Management (ANM) has become a valuable option for a distribution system operator to operate his system in a secure and cost-effective way without relying solely on network reinforcement. ANM strategies are short-term policies that control the power injected by generators and/or taken off by loads in order to avoid congestion or voltage issues. While simple ANM strategies consist of curtailing temporary excess generation, more advanced strategies instead attempt to move the consumption of loads to anticipated periods of high renewable generation. Such advanced strategies mean that the system operator has to solve large-scale optimal sequential decision-making problems under uncertainty. The problems are sequential for several reasons. For example, decisions taken at a given moment constrain the future decisions that can be taken, and decisions should be communicated to the system’s actors sufficiently in advance to give them enough time for implementation. Uncertainty must be explicitly accounted for because neither demand nor generation can be accurately forecasted. This dissertation presents various research contributions about ANM for distribution systems. These contributions range from the motivation of using a framework of sequential decision-making under uncertainty to the study of computational methods that implement ANM strategies. A particular emphasis is placed on the formulation of the problem, which ultimately falls within the class of Markov decision processes. The modeling of stochasticity is explored and a novel approach that relies on a Gaussian Mixture Model is presented. Computational methods including several relaxations and approximations of multi-period and multi-scenario extensions of the optimal power flow problem with discrete decision variables were considered. [less ▲]

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See detailEtude de la régulation de l'expression de l'opéron ftsW-psr-pbp5 chez Enterococcus hirae
Maréchal, Maxime ULg

Doctoral thesis (2016)

Les entérocoques sont des microorganismes commensaux du tractus digestif de la plupart des animaux mais sont également des pathogènes opportunistes. Lorsque les entérocoques sont associés à une infection ... [more ▼]

Les entérocoques sont des microorganismes commensaux du tractus digestif de la plupart des animaux mais sont également des pathogènes opportunistes. Lorsque les entérocoques sont associés à une infection, la sélection d’un traitement antibiotique adéquat peut s’avérer difficile. Cela est dû à la résistance, intrinsèque ou acquise, des entérocoques à de nombreux antibiotiques. Dans ce travail, nous nous sommes intéressés à leur résistance intrinsèque aux β-lactamines. Un des mécanismes de résistance envers ces antibiotiques est la production d’un PBP de faible affinité. Cependant, le facteur responsable de la surproduction de cette protéine chez les souches présentant un niveau de résistance plus élevé n’est pas encore connu. Ce travail avait pour objectif principal de contribuer à une meilleure compréhension du mécanisme moléculaire responsable de la résistance aux β-lactamines et d’établir le rôle de l’opéron ftsWpsr-pbp5 chez Enterococcus hirae. La première partie de ce travail a été focalisée sur les protéines codées par les gènes ftsW, psr et pbp5. La publication du premier génome d’E. hirae ATCC9790 nous a permis d’identifier et situer dans le génome d’autres gènes codant pour des protéines de la même famille (SEDS pour FtsW, LCP pour Psr, et les autres PBPs pour PBP5). Nous avons produit et purifié ces différentes protéines avec pour visée principale la possibilité d’obtenir des anticorps spécifiques pouvant servir à localiser les protéines au sein de la cellule d’E. hirae. Nous avons établi que la protéine Psr lie le peptidoglycane, se localise avec PBP5 au niveau du site de division et possède des caractéristiques en accord avec une fonction similaire à celle proposée pour d’autres protéines LCP. La seconde partie du travail était axée sur la sélection et l’étude de nouveaux mutants hyperrésistants aux β-lactamines. L’analyse de leur physiologie, de l’expression du PBP5 et de l’environnement génétique du gène pbp5 chez chacun d’eux a été réalisée. Le séquençage du génome de deux mutants a été effectué afin de pouvoir identifier les mutations présentes permettant leur résistance. Des analyses de la force promotrice des séquences en amont de chaque gène de l’opéron ftsW-psr-pbp5 d’E. hirae ont été menées en utilisant le gène rapporteur de la luciférase de luciole. Ces expériences et les mutations observées chez les mutants, nous ont permis d’identifier des éléments régulateurs qui ont une influence sur l’expression de l’opéron ftsW-psr-pbp5. [less ▲]

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See detailDevelopment of a new design method to define the rotation capacity of steel hollow sections
Saloumi, Elsy ULg

Doctoral thesis (2016)

The present PhD thesis is dedicated to the characterisation of hollow section shapes’ rotational capacity. More precisely, the effort was made towards suggesting new ways to resort to plastic analysis, by ... [more ▼]

The present PhD thesis is dedicated to the characterisation of hollow section shapes’ rotational capacity. More precisely, the effort was made towards suggesting new ways to resort to plastic analysis, by defining a new and accurate proposition to characterise the rotation capacity Rcap of sections, which could be associated with the rotation demand of a structure Rdem. Therefore, the purpose of this thesis is to establish a direct dependence of the rotation capacity Rcap with a newly defined cross-section slenderness CS. Hence, current design standards disregard the rotation demand of the structure and allow plastic analysis based on a plate slenderness limit. To achieve this purpose, an experimental campaign was performed consisting in 23 bending tests on square and rectangular hollow sections tested in bending, in addition to 8 stub columns. Then, a numerical model based on the finite element software FINELg was calibrated to well represent these experimental tests, as well as cold-formed bending tests from literature. Based on these results, a good agreement between experimental and numerical results was shown and the numerical software was therefore validated. Accordingly, since the numerical software was proved to well represent the bending behaviour of hollow beams, around 8000 finite element simulations were performed while varying sections dimensions, material properties and loading configuration. These results reported that actual standards limitations were inappropriate, and stricter values were proposed. Moreover, based on the numerical computations, a continuous curve capable of describing the rotation capacity of sections as a function of the cross-section slenderness was proposed. The production route, loading application and yield strength were identified as key parameters having a major impact on the rotation capacity of sections. Consequently, different curves were proposed for each parameter; based on these curves, the rotation capacity of the section could be compared to the rotation demand of a structure in order to obtain a practical, safe, and reliable design calculation. [less ▲]

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See detailDevelopment of a new design method for steel hollow section members resistance
Hayeck, Marielle ULg

Doctoral thesis (2016)

This dissertation presents research done in the field of enhancing the performance and the carrying capacity of tubular members, through the development of an original design approach based on the ... [more ▼]

This dissertation presents research done in the field of enhancing the performance and the carrying capacity of tubular members, through the development of an original design approach based on the “Overall Interaction Concept” (O.I.C.). The proposed approach makes use of the interaction between the two ideal behaviours of structural members (resistance and instability) and includes the influence of initial imperfections (out-of straightness, residual stresses, non-homogenous material), to calculate the resistance of a structure through a single parameter: “relative slenderness”. A test program was carried out as a part of a European project named ‘HOLLOPOC’ to determine the experimental behaviour of beam-columns loaded by bi-axial bending with axial force. Twelve buckling tests, consisting of hot-rolled and cold-formed rectangular and circular hollow section members were conducted. These tests were accompanied by preliminary measurements of cross-section geometry, material properties, geometrical imperfections, residual stresses as well as stub column tests. Besides, a finite element model was calibrated on the basis of these tests. For both the present test series and another one from the literature, it was shown that the FE models were capable of replicating accurately the response and resistance of the experiments. Accordingly, the validated FE models have been further used in extensive numerical studies, and a database comprising more than seventy thousand results was built consecutively. Based on these computations, design proposals were made, by considering identified governing parameters, within the context of the Overall Interaction Concept, using an extension of the Ayrton-Perry approach. Finally, a safely evaluation was completed to check the proposed formulae against the results of current Eurocode 3 rules. [less ▲]

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See detailContribution to the study of the effect of drying on the nutritive value of corn grain (Zea mays L.) for poultry and pigs feeding
Odjo, Djosse Psijus Sylvanus ULg

Doctoral thesis (2016)

Corn grain (Zea mays L.) is widely produced all over the world and is intensively used in poultry and pigs feeding. Drying with hot air is usually utilized to preserve corn after harvest by decreasing the ... [more ▼]

Corn grain (Zea mays L.) is widely produced all over the world and is intensively used in poultry and pigs feeding. Drying with hot air is usually utilized to preserve corn after harvest by decreasing the water content. During high temperature drying, major components (starch and proteins) of corn grain undergo some structural changes with possible nutritional implication. This thesis aimed at increasing knowledge regarding the effect of the drying process on the feeding value of the corn grain for broilers and pigs feeding. After the general introduction and a review which attempts to summarize the major findings of previous studies carried out on the effects of drying on the nutritive value of corn for broilers feeding, the first in vitro experiment performed aimed to assess the effect of fluidized-bed drying on the digestibility of dry matter, starch and protein using a sequential pepsin-pancreatin protocol. It appeared that when corn grains harvested at similar moisture content are dried at different temperatures, the digestibility of starch and that of crude proteins are not affected in a similar way. Higher drying temperatures increased the final digestibility of starch while the digestibility of crude proteins decreased mainly during the pepsin step of digestion. Differences in the kinetics of starch digestion according to the corn grain temperature were attributed to the structural modifications induced within starch granules and proteins in response to the drying conditions. As the digestion of starch involves the breakdown of glycosidic bonds and results in the production of various oligosaccharides, a second experiment was performed in order to get more insight into the nature of saccharides released after the in vitro digestion of corn grains. Three methods were thus compared in their ability to provide relevant information about sugar saccharides released during an in vitro digestion procedure that mimics the pig digestive model. High Performance Anion Exchange Chromatography coupled with a Pulsed Amperometric Detector was revealed to give the most effective qualitative and quantitative information regarding the digestion of starch. Five major saccharides were found as the result of in vitro pepsin-pancreatin digestion of corn grain: glucose, isomaltose, maltose, maltotriose and glucosyl-maltotriose. The relative concentration of these saccharides varied according to the temperature applied during the corn drying, suggesting that structural changes occurring within starch granules (partial gelatinization) would lead to different digestion profiles in the small intestine and may therefore affect the nutritional physiology in pig intestinal tract. Protein is also affected by the high drying temperature. Among corn protein subgroups, salt-soluble proteins are the most sensitive to heat and their solubility decreases when the drying temperature increases. In a third experiment, the denaturation of salt-soluble proteins during corn drying and hydrothermal treatment was monitored and modelled. The impairment of corn protein solubility in saline buffer was revealed to depend mainly on temperature, time of processing and moisture content of materials treated. The evolution of extractible salt-soluble proteins content of corn kernels during drying at high temperature was more correctly described using the second order kinetic reaction than with the first order kinetic reaction when classical kinetic models were compared. In a forth study the relationship between the in vitro digestibility of dry matter and the salt-soluble protein index was assessed. It was found that the use of salt-soluble protein index as an indicator of the may lead to doubtful conclusion due to confounding factors (temperature and moisture content). Although this study has achieved some progress in understanding the possible link between corn drying parameters and their effects on the performance of poultry and pigs feeding using corn-based diets, as well as on methodologies that may be used to assess the nutritive value of dried corn grains, complementary studies aiming to determine the effectiveness of these effects on livestock and pigs have to be done. [less ▲]

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See detailCarbon dioxide and vegetable oil for the synthesis of biobased polymer precursors
Alves, Margot ULg

Doctoral thesis (2016)

Although it is a thermodynamically and kinetically stable molecule, carbon dioxide can be converted into five- and six-membered cyclic carbonates by coupling with epoxides or oxetanes, respectively, using ... [more ▼]

Although it is a thermodynamically and kinetically stable molecule, carbon dioxide can be converted into five- and six-membered cyclic carbonates by coupling with epoxides or oxetanes, respectively, using appropriate catalysts. Cyclic carbonates are used as green solvents, electrolytes for Li-ion batteries or intermediates for the synthesis of polymers. However, the catalytic performance must be further enhanced in particular for the coupling of CO2 with epoxidized vegetable oils or oxetanes. In this context, we developed a new highly efficient bicomponent homogeneous organocatalyst composed of an ammonium salt as the catalyst and fluorinated single or double hydrogen bond donors as co-catalysts. First, a screening of onium-based catalysts and hydrogen-bond donors was performed. Performances of the catalysts and optimization of the reaction was realized through detailed kinetics studies using in-situ FTIR/Raman spectroscopy under pressure. We demonstrated that fluorinated alcohols showed unexpected co-catalytic activity due to synergisms between the onium salt and fluorinated co-catalysts enabling the fast and selective addition of CO2 onto model epoxides and epoxidized vegetable oils under solvent-free and mild experimental conditions. The use of this powerful dual catalyst was then extended to the first organocatalytic coupling of CO2 with less reactive oxetanes to produce hydroxyl telechelic oligocarbonates that were used as precursor of CO2-based polyurethanes by chain-extension with a diisocyanate. In addition, a fine comprehension of the mechanisms was investigated by DFT calculations highlighting that the co-catalytic performance of the onium salt/fluorinated alcohol binary catalyst arose from the strong stabilization of the intermediates and transitions states by hydrogen-bonding. To date, through comparative studies, we evidenced that this new catalyst is one of the most performing and versatile system enabling the coupling of CO2 both with epoxides or oxetanes. [less ▲]

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See detailLe théorème fondamental comme pierre de touche de l'enseignement et de l'apprentissage de l'analyse au secondaire
Balhan, Kevin ULg

Doctoral thesis (2016)

Using the Anthropological Theory of Didactics and the Theory of Didactic Situations, this thesis brings an answer to several questions of learning the fundamental theorem of the analysis and shows that ... [more ▼]

Using the Anthropological Theory of Didactics and the Theory of Didactic Situations, this thesis brings an answer to several questions of learning the fundamental theorem of the analysis and shows that what prevents to understand it is significant of dysfunctions of the teaching of the analysis at the secondary level in French-speaking Belgium. [less ▲]

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See detailStudying the genetics of Mendelian and complex traits with high-throughput genotyping and sequencing in cattle
Li, Wanbo ULg

Doctoral thesis (2016)

Background For decades, identifying genes and mutations underlying inherited diseases and economically import traits has been at the core of genetic studies in domestic animals. The initial arduous task ... [more ▼]

Background For decades, identifying genes and mutations underlying inherited diseases and economically import traits has been at the core of genetic studies in domestic animals. The initial arduous task of gene mapping with microsatellites or low-density SNP panels was then followed by a often fruitless and tedious attempt to isolate the causative mutations for both monogenic and polygenic traits. The availability of high-density SNP arrays considerably accelerated the gene mapping process. More recently, advances in second-generation high-throughput sequencing (HTS) including whole genome, exome, and RNA sequencing have brought tremendous efficiency into dissecting the genetic underpinnings of phenotypes of interest. In this thesis, we describe the use of these new technologies to decipher the genetic basis of several monogenic and polygenic traits, in both forward and reverse genetic settings. Results We first describe the use of medium-density SNP arrays to dissect genetic basis of a monogenic disease (Crooked Tail Syndrome, CTS), as well as of complex phenotypes related to meiotic recombination in cattle. With regards to CTS, we first demonstrate that a common 2bp-deletion in the MRC2 gene causes the condition in Belgian Blue cattle (BBC), and that the frequency of the condition is due to a pleiotropic effect of the mutation on muscle mass. We discover a second loss-of-function mutation in the same gene MRC2, supporting the hypothesis of pleiotropy and balancing selection. With regards to recombination, we report that genetic variants in REC8 and RNF212 affect the genome-wide recombination rate in cattle. The RNF212 gene has also been shown to be associated with genome-wide recombination rate in humans, however REC8 is not supported as a candidate gene by newer data. We also demonstrated that several variants in the zinc-finger domain of a gonosomal PRDM9 paralogue influence hotspot usage in cattle, reminiscent of previous findings in human and mice. The subsequent application of HTS technology in forward genetic analyses, allowed us to identify: i) an intronic mutation in the PIGH gene that causes the skipping of exon 2, and is the cause of arthrogryposis in BBC, ii) a 3.3 kb deletion removing exons 25-27 of the FANCI gene, that causes brachyspina in Holstein-Friesian cattle. We finally used a reverse genetic approach to identify embryonic lethal (EL) mutations compromising fertility in beef (BBC) and dairy cattle (Holstein-Friesian and Jersey). We mined whole genome and exome sequence data from more than 500 animals for candidate embryonic lethal variants corresponding to loss-of-function (stop gain, frameshift and splice site variants) and disruptive missense variants. By doing so we demonstrate that against expectations domestic Bos taurus cattle are genetically more variable than humans including Africans, however, that their burden of disruptive variants is similar, amounting to ∼100 such variants per individual. We interpret this as resulting from more effective purifying selection in recent times as a result of increased inbreeding. We have genotyped thousands of animals for thousands of EL candidates, and estimate – from the observed depletion in homozygotes - that no more ∼15% of those are developmentally essential. We do not find evidence for synthetic epistasis between candidate EL mutations. By evaluating the departure from Mendelian expectations in matings between carrier sires and dams, we unambiguously demonstrate the embryonic lethal nature of nine relatively common candidate EL variants. All of them affect genes that are involved in basic cellular processes. We demonstrate that only one of these would have been detected using the haplotype-based approach that were applied thus far. The established list of loss-of-function variants is being mined for putative non-lethal, yet major phenotypic effects of medical relevance. Among these, we uncovered a 10-bp deletion in the MLPH gene, which results a premature stop codon, that causes diluted color – ‘cool gray’ – in BBC. Conclusions and Perspectives Due to the intensive use of some elite sires by means of artificial insemination in cattle, several outbursts of genetic defects have been observed in recent years. We herein demonstrate that uncovering the genetic basis of such Mendelian disorders can be very effective when integrating high-throughput genotyping and sequencing technology. Fertility in cattle and other domestic animals has declined over the last decades. Our discovery of a number of embryonic lethal variants segregating in cattle provide a complementary explanation for the decline in fertility, in addition to the theory of negative energy balance of high producing cows. The reverse genetic approach we developed for screening EL variants has at least two advantages. First, our approach also works in small sized populations. Second, our approach has higher sensitivity than the haplotype-based approach. It has been suspected for some time that most of the variants underlying complex traits map to noncoding regions. Deciphering the functional consequence of these regulatory variants has proven challenging. The ENCODE projects in human and mice provide good examples of how high-throughput functional assays based on NGS technology may enhance our knowledge of the non-coding regions of the genome. It is reasonable to anticipate that the release of ENCODE-like data in the animal research field will assist in the discovery of the genetic basis of complex traits at an unprecedented pace. [less ▲]

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See detailEtude des intermattes des herbiers à Posidonia oceanica
Abadie, Arnaud ULg

Doctoral thesis (2016)

Among Mediterranean marine ecosystems, Posidonia oceanica (L.) Delile seagrass meadows form a habitat playing an important ecological and economical role. They form heterogeneous seascapes influenced by ... [more ▼]

Among Mediterranean marine ecosystems, Posidonia oceanica (L.) Delile seagrass meadows form a habitat playing an important ecological and economical role. They form heterogeneous seascapes influenced by the impact of natural and anthropogenic phenomenon (of which the anchoring of leisure ships). These impacts lead to the formation of sand and bare mat patches called ‘intermattes’. By describing and using intermatte characteristics observed in Calvi Bay and more widely around Corsica, these PhD works precisely described intermatte and P. oceanica seascape dynamics in order to develop new methods of analysis. On the one hand, natural sandy intermattes formed by bottom currents show two types of border. Each has its own characteristics at the level of the sediments biogeochemistry. On the other hand, anthropogenic intermattes generated by anchoring (bare mat) present different sizes and shapes resulting from specific dynamics. They are not recolonized when the anchoring pressure remains high. A depletion of the substrate chemical quality occurs after the mechanical destruction. A new cartographic seascape index, the Patchiness Source Index, was created using the size and the nature of intermattes at large spatial scale. After a comparison of methods used for the study of intermattes, two new indices (Map Anchoring Index and Anchoring Index) for managers of coastal areas were developed to evaluate the impact of anchoring within P. oceanica meadows. [less ▲]

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See detailSleep and Electroencephalography, Preprocessing and analyses of a specific sleep EEG pattern
Coppieters't Wallant, Dorothe ULg

Doctoral thesis (2016)

Preprocessing and analyses of a specific sleep EEG pattern. Automatic detection methods, self-adjustable to individuals characteristics, were developed in order to remove artefacts from EEG sleep ... [more ▼]

Preprocessing and analyses of a specific sleep EEG pattern. Automatic detection methods, self-adjustable to individuals characteristics, were developed in order to remove artefacts from EEG sleep recordings, detect sleep spindles and analyse NREM power spectrum. Methods are described, assessed and discussed. [less ▲]

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See detailContribution to the Characterization of Piston Expanders for Their Use in Small-scale Power Production Systems
Oudkerk, Jean-François ULg

Doctoral thesis (2016)

Piston expanders are well suited for small scale power generation (<50kW) using heat engines such as Ericsson engine or Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC) system. Both systems offer the possibility to use ... [more ▼]

Piston expanders are well suited for small scale power generation (<50kW) using heat engines such as Ericsson engine or Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC) system. Both systems offer the possibility to use renewable energy sources and are increasingly considered in light of the economic and environmental context. This thesis aims at contributing to the knowledge and the development of piston expanders by presenting modeling, simulation and experimental investigations. Two types of piston engine models are proposed. The first type (denoted as “detailed”) describes the shaft angle (or time) evolution of the state of the fluid in the control volume limited by the cylinder wall and the piston. The second type of model (denoted as “semi-empirical”) is based on theoretical indicator diagram. A calibration process is proposed and applied with the measurement collected on two different expanders. The detailed model is first used to simulate an Ericsson engine. The simulations allow for the optimization of the pressure ratio, the determination of the ratio between the swept volumes of the expander and the compressor, the computation of the valve timing and the evaluation of the potential performances. The main modifications made to turn an available Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) into an Ericsson engine are described. This prototype is then tested but did not run as expected. The identified reasons are a too high leakage rate, a too large cut-off ratio and a too low expander supply temperature. These three features led to insufficient pressure. Nevertheless, a compressor is used to rise the pressure up to 7 bar in order to test the expander part. This expander shows a maximal isentropic efficiency of 59% at 600 RPM with a pressure ratio of 5. A swash-plate expander integrated into an ORC using R245fa is also investigated in a wide range of operating conditions. Performance maps in terms of pressure ratio and rotational speed are given. Maximal reached isentropic efficiency is 54% at 2500 RPM for a pressure ratio of 10.5. Experimental results obtained on both expanders are analyzed with the same methodology to assess the importance of each source of losses. This methodology is based on the disaggregation of the isentropic efficiency into different factors. Each of these factors represents one source of losses. In-cylinder pressure measurements are performed in order to measure mechanical losses. Leakage effects are simulated with the detailed model. Finally, an Ericsson engine-based m-CHP unit and an ORC-based m-CHP unit using the swash-plate expander are simulated with the validated semi-empirical model. Ericsson engine system shows a 6.5% electrical efficiency while the ORC system shows en efficiency of 8.2%. For both systems, possible improvements are simulated. It is shown, among other things, that the benefit of an increase of the built-in volume is limited by the decrease of the mechanical efficiency. [less ▲]

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See detailProcessus écologiques et évolutifs impliqués dans le succès de l’introduction de Quercus rubra L. en Europe
Merceron, Nastasia ULg

Doctoral thesis (2016)

Le chêne rouge d’Amérique (Quercus rubra L.) est un arbre originaire d’Amérique du Nord et introduit en Europe à partir de la fin du XVIIème siècle pour l’ornementation et le commerce du bois. Le but de ... [more ▼]

Le chêne rouge d’Amérique (Quercus rubra L.) est un arbre originaire d’Amérique du Nord et introduit en Europe à partir de la fin du XVIIème siècle pour l’ornementation et le commerce du bois. Le but de cette thèse est de comprendre les mécanismes écologiques et évolutifs qui contribuent à la dynamique et au succès de l’introduction de Q. rubra en Europe. Nous avons montré que cette espèce naturalisée et plantée dans certains pays européens parvient aisément à se développer de façon naturelle dans les forêts de feuillus et de conifères. La dispersion de ses glands est notamment rendue possible par des animaux fouisseurs-disperseurs, tels que les écureuils et les mulots, qui cependant préfèrent les glands du chêne natif Q. robur. Lors de l’introduction d’une espèce dans un nouvel environnement, des processus évolutifs sont susceptibles de se produire et d’engendrer des modifications phénotypiques et génétiques au sein des populations introduites. Une analyse comparative de la structure et de la diversité génétique des populations natives et introduites de Q. rubra a démontré que seulement deux des trois groupes génétiques de l’aire américaine sont actuellement présents en Europe. Aucun goulot d’étranglement fort n’a été détecté lors de l’introduction des populations en Europe laissant supposer que des introductions multiples ont pu maintenir la diversité génétique dans les populations introduites. Une analyse comparative des traits phénotypiques a permis de montrer que les populations introduites de Q. rubra présentent une croissance supérieure par rapport aux populations natives. Une différenciation génétique au sein des populations introduites est en cours pour le trait de débourrement foliaire suggérant une possible évolution adaptative rapide depuis l’introduction. [less ▲]

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See detailAssessment of fodder biomass in Senegalese rangelands using earth observation and field data
Diouf, Abdoul Aziz ULg

Doctoral thesis (2016)

Senegalese livestock size has largely increased during the last three decades in relation to the population growth. The fodder biomass stock available at the end of the growing season, therefore, becomes ... [more ▼]

Senegalese livestock size has largely increased during the last three decades in relation to the population growth. The fodder biomass stock available at the end of the growing season, therefore, becomes increasingly limited to meet feeding needs of pastoral livestock which provides third of the national agricultural wealth. With the reduction of natural grazing lands mostly generated by the expansion of croplands, and the reduction of fodder biomass production due to drought effects, the increase of the livestock size leads to the rangelands overload whose persistence can lead in turn to their degradation. A technique based on a simple linear relationship between the temporal integration of the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) and the ground biomass data, developed in the 1980s, has been operationally applied by the Centre de Suivi Ecologique (CSE) of Dakar (Senegal) to assess the fodder biomass available in rangelands at the end of the growing season. The derived map of total biomass production enables to help pastoral livestock managers as well as national stakeholders against food insecurity and natural resources degradation. Carried out annually, this approach comprises unfortunately some uncertainties as: (1) the saturation drawback of NDVI in areas with high biomass productivity, (2) the temporal scale which is restricted to biomass data of the ongoing year not being used again in the following year, (3) the low predictive ability due to the large time gap between data collection and published results, and (4) the high costs for annual data collection. In addition, although the earth observation (EO) data have largely progressed during the last three decades, this technique has not changed over this period and consequently is not state-of-the-art. To tackle these limitations and advance the traditional method, new statistical models that include new earth observations datasets and historical in situ plant biomass data were developed for estimating and / or predicting the forage availability at the end of the growing season in Senegalese semi-arid rangelands. A backward analysis of the linear regression approach currently applied in Senegal provided evidence that nonlinear regression functions such as Exponential and Power are more suited to estimate the end-of-season total biomass in this region using annual data solely. A completely new methodology using multiple-linear models which include various phenological metrics from the time series of the Fraction of Absorbed Photosynthetically Active Radiation (FAPAR) and 14 years of in situ total biomass samples was developed. The proposed approach provided more reliable and accurate estimates as compared to the current CSE biomass product. Multiple-linear models developed with specific metrics adapted to ecosystem properties increased the overall accuracy of the fodder biomass estimates and mitigated the saturation of FAPAR obtained with models run across the whole study area. With this new approach, timely information about possible deficits/surplus of total fodder biomass can be provided to stakeholders using phenological metrics that are available relatively early in the growing season. Another new approach based on a machine learning algorithm (i.e., Cubist) was developed, as never done before, to assess herbaceous biomass in Senegalese Sahel. Three Cubist models using FAPAR seasonal metrics and/or agrometeorological variables (i.e., soil water status indicators) were established and compared. The Cubist model including both FAPAR and agrometeorological variables provided the best estimation performance. This model enabled to mitigate the saturation affecting optical remotely sensed vegetation data in areas of high plant productivity as well as the discrepancy between herbaceous biomass and greenness, and corrected therefore for herbaceous biomass underestimations observed with the sole FAPAR based model, particularly in sparsely vegetated areas. In contrast to the date of the growing season onset retrieved from FAPAR seasonal dynamics, the rainy season onset was significantly related to the herbaceous biomass and its inclusion in models could constitute a significant improvement in forecasting risks of fodder biomass deficit. The methods developed in this research provide tools to assess Senegalese forage resources at two levels: herbaceous and total fodder biomass (Herbaceous + woody leaf biomass). They require limited data and free available software and therefore can be easily replicated in other countries of the West African Sahel. [less ▲]

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See detailDECONSTRUCTING LANDSCAPE IN THE MIND OF PEOPLE: AN EXPLORATION OF EVERYDAY AND WIND ENERGY LANDSCAPES
Vanderheyden, Vincent ULg

Doctoral thesis (2016)

In the 19th century, geography was defining itself as the science of landscape, led by German and French schools. Other disciplines were also interested in landscape, each one with its own definition(s ... [more ▼]

In the 19th century, geography was defining itself as the science of landscape, led by German and French schools. Other disciplines were also interested in landscape, each one with its own definition(s). In public policy, landscape has remained, for a long time, a heritage object to be protected (e.g. cultural landscapes of UNESCO). In 2000, the European Landscape Convention, which aims to safeguard the European landscape diversity, proposed a common definition. This includes the idea of areas perceived by people. One of the recommendations of the Convention is the call to focus on other landscapes that only heritage landscapes, such as everyday landscapes and degraded landscapes. The convention also calls for better management and planning practices towards landscape changes. Today, landscape is often invoked as arbitrator in territorial disputes. This is the case in discussions for the installation of wind farms. Newcomers and farmers ‘visions on landscape are often opposed: idyllic landscape for living and recreation for the firsts, working environment for the seconds. Despite the European Landscape Convention, many grey areas remain about how to achieve its goals. Long before it, leading researchers called for a better interest in everyday landscapes. Yet they remain the poor relation in landscape research, to the benefit of natural, wild landscapes. Many uncertainties also remain on how non-specialists perceive their ordinary landscapes and how they have appropriated the landscape concept. The research helps to fill this double gap, deconstructing the concept through the lens of ordinary landscape. With several research questions, I plan to explore what is the landscape in people’s mind, how they conceptualize it, how they think it and how they question their own views on landscape. I will show how these conceptualizations and thoughts are shaped by the living environment, which often provides the tools necessary to the apprehension of the landscape. I will analyse how new elements such as wind farm can disrupt these patterns. The first part of the research is dedicated to the overall perception of their ordinary landscapes by Belgians, especially facing the issue of wind energy. Using a photo-questionnaire survey, we surveyed a representative sample of the Belgian population (n = 1542). Based on this investigation a model was developed. It highlights the positive influence of forest cover and the lack of anthropogenic elements, but also the negative influence of its urbanization and too flat relief on landscape attractiveness. The influence of wind turbines has to be qualified according to the landscape in which they are implanted. In landscapes strongly marked by the human footprint, they seem perceived as increasing the landscape attractiveness. In unspoilt landscapes, they seem rather to contribute to their degradation. These global findings are nuanced in further research. Deeper analysis shows that Flemish people have a more positive view of the landscape than Walloons. I hypothesize a decisive influence of the local context. Indeed, Flemish landscapes are generally more urbanized and marked by man than most of the Walloon landscapes. The building of wind farms seems to change or even reverse the situation. The analysis also shows significant influences related to educational level and gender. Anthropogenic landscapes are less disregarded by low educated people. Women seem to attach importance to stewardship and landscape maintenance. In contrast, although suspected, age influence has not been formally demonstrated. The second part of this dissertation, the cornerstone of this doctoral research, aims at deconstructing the landscape concept in the mind of people. In this part, wind farms are no longer considered as a case study, but as a leitmotif. I deeper surveyed smaller groups (n = 54) in three areas of Wallonia (Walloon Picardy, between the Sambre and Meuse rivers, and Ardennes) with qualitative techniques. This survey was conducted five years after the first. The analysis of the vocabulary used by the regional sub-groups shows that people are not equipped the same way for analysing landscapes. The experience of living environment seems to be crucial in providing analytical keys. Thus Ardennes people seem better equipped to talk about the forest, marking their landscapes, while the Picards seem more loquacious about their iconic cultivated landscapes. The research also highlighted different landscape analysis patterns. Some people ordered landscapes according to their degree of naturalness, the less spoiled landscapes being the most attractive. On the contrary, fewer attach importance to landscapes where human footprint is clearly visible. Some respondents remain in a purely aesthetic landscape analysis, while others project themselves into the landscape, imagining they are performing different actions. Depending on their interests, these actions influence the perception of one same landscape. Research shows that this overall pattern analysis is disturbed by various factors. The recognition of certain places transformed landscape analysis in an analysis of the place, with the emotional changes that this entails. The position of the participants facing wind energy projects also appears sharper. In the time between the two parts of the research, Wallonia has experienced unprecedented wind development; opinions have therefore had time to form. This was not yet totally the case during the first survey. Beyond these major disruptions, the research also shows clear influences of the ordered character of landscapes, their living character and variety of land uses. The research also highlights the influence of non-visual criteria such as noise or odours detectable in the landscape. In conclusion, the research shows that respondents often show a sense of landscape, weaker than sense of place and stronger than aesthetic. [less ▲]

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See detailThe dynamics of market, credit and liquidity risk in the US corporate bond market
Heck, Stéphanie ULg

Doctoral thesis (2016)

Market, credit and liquidity constitute important risk factors in financial markets. Investors looking for optimal combinations of risk and return have to monitor their portfolios with regard to each of ... [more ▼]

Market, credit and liquidity constitute important risk factors in financial markets. Investors looking for optimal combinations of risk and return have to monitor their portfolios with regard to each of those factors. This work brings answers to some of the challenges presented by these three risk factors in the US corporate bond market. Market risk is the earliest and most widely acknowledged risk factor, affecting all financial securities. The risk that the issuer of the bond might go bankrupt introduces credit risk for corporate bonds. Finally, these securities are also characterized by a low trading frequency. Liquidity in this market has been severely affected by the recent global financial crisis as well as by the regulatory changes that followed the crisis. The first part of this dissertation studies the return premium investors require in compensation for undertaking credit risk. It is shown that distributional characteristics of individual assets and in particular the contribution of an asset’s return to the market portfolio’s skewness and kurtosis are important determinants of these premiums. The second part explores commonality in individual bond liquidity levels. It is shown that the pricing of liquidity in yield spreads is essentially due to this commonality. The final part of this dissertation designs a corporate bond market index based on the repeat-sales technique. The index adequately captures aggregate market dynamics and contributes to the explanation of the cross-section of individual corporate bond returns. [less ▲]

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See detailInventory routing for perishable products
Rezaei Sadrabadi, Mahmood ULg

Doctoral thesis (2016)

We explore three problems in this thesis and develop solution methods for each problem. First, an inventory routing problem for a perishable product with stochastic demands is considered and different ... [more ▼]

We explore three problems in this thesis and develop solution methods for each problem. First, an inventory routing problem for a perishable product with stochastic demands is considered and different approximate solution methods are developed to solve. Based on computational experiments, the solution methods are compared in terms of average profit, service level, and actual freshness. The impact of relevant parameters on the performance of the solution methods is investigated. Managerial insights are drawn by analyzing the impact of shelf life and store capacity on the profit. The value of considering uncertainty and the value of accessing full information are measured. The computational results highlight that a simple ordering policy can often replace a more sophisticated solution method, while preserving the same efficacy. Second, we introduce a vehicle routing problem (VRP) where a set of stores places deterministic orders to a logistics service provider (LSP) for two successive periods. Deliveries requested in each period can be shifted by the LSP to the other period, possibly with modified quantities. The LSP incurs a penalty for any diversion from the initial delivery period. The data regarding shifted delivery quantities and penalties are provided by the stores. From the perspective of the LSP, diversions could be beneficial if savings in the routing costs outweigh the penalties. In this work, we introduce a new two-period VRP model where the LSP seeks to improve its total cost, compared to solving two independent VRPs with fixed delivery periods, by allowing deliveries to be shifted. We solve this model to optimality by an efficient branch-and-price algorithm implementing several cutting-edge techniques. We draw algorithmic and managerial insights based on our test instances. Third, a two-period VRP is considered where the orders placed by stores for each period can be partially shifted to the other period, given that the sum of the delivery quantities in two periods to each customer is fixed. A linear penalization of delivery shifts is assumed based on the quantity shifted. We represent two mixed integer linear programming (MILP) formulations for the problem. A column-row generation algorithm to solve the LP-relaxation of the first formulation is developed. To solve the LP-relaxation of the second formulation, we develop a column generation algorithm. Details of two label-setting algorithms to solve the pricing problems of the column-row generation and column generation algorithms are discussed. Numerical results can be compared with a similar model in which only full delivery shifts are allowed. [less ▲]

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See detailPlace de l'élevage bovin dans l'économie rurale des Peuls du Nord Bénin
Chabi Toko, Roukayath ULg

Doctoral thesis (2016)

Fulani belong to a socio-cultural group mainly encountered in West Africa and usually raises cattle. In Benin, Fulani are predominantly met in the two eastern departments of the North where they lead an ... [more ▼]

Fulani belong to a socio-cultural group mainly encountered in West Africa and usually raises cattle. In Benin, Fulani are predominantly met in the two eastern departments of the North where they lead an agro-pastoral way of life. In addition to livestock farming, they cultivate food and cash crops such as cotton. However, they hold majority of the country’s cattle population. The present study was initiated to understand to what extend cattle contributes to their rural economy. A stratified random sample of 150 heads of Fulani households, cattle farmers have been identified in Malanville, Banikoara and Kalalé districts in Borgou and Alibori departments. The criteria considered were: the agro-ecological zone, cattle population and the importance of Fulani population. The first series of surveys enable to characterize Fulani’s cattle farming system and their family farms. Among the 50 heads of households of Kalalé district (which has the more important Fulani community), 16 were selected and it is within their households that the study continued. The households selected were that with a better milk production. Surveys were then carried out during two years, both in dry season and rainy season to describe the Fulani’s household’s economy. The cattle stock composition showed a gender imbalance, with a preponderance of female stock (76%). Cattle herds which average size were 66 animals are made of 86% of Borgou breed. The herds have low breeding performance characterized by a high rate of calf mortality (10%) and low reproductive parameters: calving and fertility rates were 64%. The purchase of fodder in dry season, which concerns 17% of farmers, is a practice encountered in agroecological zones that register light rainfall. Fulani’s large households enable them to have enough family labor to carry out both livestock and agriculture activities. The land is mostly inherited and the average size for a household is about 10.5 ha. All Fulani households are crops producers of which majority (80%) is consumed. A significant part (45%) of them grow an average of 3.3 ha of cotton. In Fulani family farms, cattle represent 52% of the household livestock size; there is also small ruminants and poultry. This cattle permit to majority (76%) of Fulani households to have milk for sale. But milk is managed to favor household consumption and ensure the herd's reproduction. The organization around milk involves male and female. The profits from milk and cheese are distributed among the women of the household at various levels. Although the low (7%) cattle market rate, it contributes significantly (68%) to the household’s monetary income in rainy season and represents the second source (27%) of revenue in dry season. The 20% of food products are mainly sold in dry season and thus contribute to the majority (64%) of income sources. However, when rains started late and the delayed payment of cotton fees, the majority of Fulani households’ cash income in the rainy season, came from cotton (64%) and food products (23%). The growing involvement of Fulani cattle herders of northern Benin on the foodstuffs market and in cotton will lead to two types of farms with opposed production targets (those that will favor livestock and others agriculture). Fulani are a target population that should receive a little more support from authorities because enable them to value their resources would ensure availability and accessibility of food and pastoral products and contribute to the improvement of country’s agricultural production. [less ▲]

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See detailEvaluation de l'impact socio-économique en aval des aménagements hydroélectriques : exemple du barrage hydroélectrique de Nam Mang 3 au Laos
Kouangpalath, Phimthong ULg

Doctoral thesis (2016)

Since two decades, hydropower projects are multiplying in Laos. These projects are often criticized in the media and civil society organizations for their negative social and environmental impacts, which ... [more ▼]

Since two decades, hydropower projects are multiplying in Laos. These projects are often criticized in the media and civil society organizations for their negative social and environmental impacts, which can also generate regional geopolitical tensions in Southeast Asia. In this sensitive context, our interest has focused on rural populations downstream of hydropower dams; these populations are often ignored by compensation programs reserved for displaced populations from upstream. The objective of the research is to identify and assess the socio-economic effects in the Nam Nyam Valley (Vientiane Province, Lao PDR), downstream of the Nam Mang 3 hydropower dam. A current diagnostic-analysis of the agrarian system of the valley, together with a characterization of the recent evolution was conducted by household surveys in different villages. The diachronic study of agrarian dynamics and understanding the links of causality enabled us to model a counterfactual scenario to isolate, by difference with the current situation (scenario "with project"), the specific effects of the dam. In parallel, a similar approach was employed downstream of the Nam Lik 1-2 hydropower dam in the Meuang Feuang basin (Vientiane province, Lao PDR) in order to compare with the results of the Nam Nyam Valley, to better characterize the specific effects of hydropower infrastructure developments. As a result, the evolution of agrarian systems in the valleys downstream depends on the combination, variable over time, of several political, economic, demographic, environmental, technical, social, etc. factors. A hydropower dam, like the one of Nam Mang 3 is part of complex and continuous dynamics of transformation; its impact is not only the sole cause of changes affecting the communities. The socio-economic effects influence over time a much larger population downstream than upstream, even if the media attract the attention on punctual displacement of villages (and their compensation) to fill the reservoir. The hydropower dam project effects differ according to phases (construction, reservoir filling, operation) and social categories, depending on the investment capacities, adaptation and networks of each category. The socio-economic impact downstream is not assumed to be correlated with the size of hydropower dam, but its design and mode of water management are the key criteria of the importance of negative externalities. The massive investments in these projects have also positive effects for the local population, such as the development of local infrastructure, which open up villages and provide access to public services and markets. However, these positive externalities mainly concern well-off villagers disposing of capital and networks to benefit of new opportunities, while poor families are more vulnerable to changes in the political, environmental, technical and socio-economic context. Thus, hydropower dams contribute to increased socio-economic differentiation in villages downstream, with the poor left out of the profits from the energy export. [less ▲]

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See detailBelgian Heterosexuals’ Attitudes towards Gay and Lesbian Couples and Same-sex Parenting
Scali, Thérèse ULg

Doctoral thesis (2016)

The legal situation of Belgian gay men and lesbians may be perceived as one of the best in Europe. Indeed, the Belgian Parliament has legalized marriage and parenting for same-sex couples, has enacted ... [more ▼]

The legal situation of Belgian gay men and lesbians may be perceived as one of the best in Europe. Indeed, the Belgian Parliament has legalized marriage and parenting for same-sex couples, has enacted anti-discrimination laws, and has designed and funded several action plans to combat homophobia. Since the opening up of marriage to same-sex couples in 2003, around a thousand gay and a thousand lesbian marriages are celebrated each year in Belgium (Direction Générale Statistique et Information Économique, 2015). Moreover, since the legalization of parenthood for gay men and lesbians, more and more same-sex couples adopt children or resort to artificial insemination, and the total number of children growing up with same-sex parents is growing steadily. Thus, a new reality is emerging: the reality of same-sex headed families. However, in spite of the civil rights granted to gay men and lesbians, the issue of social acceptance of same-sex couples and their children still remains and Belgium continues to record increasing levels of violence against homosexual people. Therefore, the main objective of the present thesis was to explore Belgian heterosexuals’ attitudes towards same-sex marriage and same-sex parenting. The first goal was to investigate the social and personal factors that may be associated with positive and negative attitudes towards same-sex marriage and those towards same-sex parenting (Study 1). The results of self-report questionnaires (N = 1168) revealed that the general attitude towards gay men and lesbians, gender-role traditionalism, beliefs in the origin of homosexuality, representations about child well-being and contact are major predictors of attitudes towards gay and lesbian civil rights. Moreover, results revealed that attitudes differed according to participant’s gender (heterosexual men are less supportive of both same-sex marriage and same-sex parenting than heterosexual women). The respective role of several variables was also discussed (gender-role traditionalism, beliefs in the origin of homosexuality, general attitudes towards gay men and lesbians, representations of child well-being and contact). We demonstrated that increasing intergroup contact can help diminish the impact of some personal beliefs on attitudes towards same-sex parenting. Moreover, results revealed that the degree of support differed in regard to the different types of parenthood. Moreover, several authors in the field of social psychology highlighted the role of beliefs and social representations upon attitudes (Dardenne, 2006). Specifically, attitudes towards gay men and lesbians as parents seem to be somehow beliefs-based (Costa, 2013). Our next objectives were to explore the arguments in favour and against same-sex parenting, both in the general population through the comments posted on social networks (Study 2) and with health-care professionals working in family counselling centres (Study 3). Both studies highlighted positive and negative arguments, each linked to one of the following category: societal and legal context, religiosity, contact, representations of homosexuality, gender-role traditionalism, general attitudes towards gay men and lesbians and representations about child well-being. Moreover, a comparative analysis of the two samples allowed us to state that the arguments held by the social workers are quite similar to those held by the citizens in the general population. Thus, we concluded that health-care professionals’ attitudes are based on naïve knowledge rather than on scientific knowledge, and this lack of scientific knowledge on same-sex parenting has an impact not only on social workers’ attitudes but also on their interventions. To conclude, our work demonstrated that, in Belgium, the barriers to accepting rainbow couples and families are no longer legal, but social. Nearly ten years after the law on adoption for same-sex couples, the country remains relatively conservative and traditional in some regards. Therefore, by demystifying and deconstructing ill-conceived ideas, it will be possible to move towards greater acceptance. Thus, more positive attitudes may be reached when in-depth work has taken place on social perceptions, particularly around questions of gender-role traditionalism, the representations of homosexuality and same-sex lifestyle, and around the child’s well-being. In particular, it is important to deconstruct stereotypes about gay men and lesbians and open minds to other possible forms of families. To achieve those goals, the role of intergroup contact is very important. It is, consequently, also down to psycho-social trainers to create homophobia prevention programmes based on tailor-made training sessions, taking into account the specificities of each group and their beliefs. Finally, we recommend that future research focuses upon same-sex parent families, in order to enrich the scientific data available on these families and their experiences. [less ▲]

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See detailQuand le plan zonal de sécurité rencontre la police locale Analyse sociologique du processus de traduction d'un artefact d'action publique
Croquet, Alice ULg

Doctoral thesis (2016)

The thesis examines the implementation of a security policy introduced by the 1998 Belgian police reform through the public policy instrument that declines the latter on local level, that is the area ... [more ▼]

The thesis examines the implementation of a security policy introduced by the 1998 Belgian police reform through the public policy instrument that declines the latter on local level, that is the area security plan. The thesis is based on four case studies and crossed inputs from the Actor-Network Theory and the Sociology of organized action. It traced the career of the area security plan in the local police organizations as the construction of a “sociotechnical system”. We analyze the work of mutual translation that occurs between the instrument and the police environment around four “events” making them progressively irreversible. On the one hand, we discover the “turbulent” nature of the regulatory control within police organizations. On the other hand, we settle the performative nature of the area security plan, of which we consider the introduction in the police landscape as an artifact at the service of the structural compromise that has been stabilized since the reform. [less ▲]

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See detailXérogels de carbone comme matériaux modèles pour l'étude du comportement électrochimique en tant qu'anodes de batteries Li-ion
Piedboeuf, Marie-Laure ULg

Doctoral thesis (2016)

The main goal of this thesis aims at shedding some light on how the textural and surface chemistry properties of porous carbons influence their electrochemical behavior when used as anodes for Li-ion ... [more ▼]

The main goal of this thesis aims at shedding some light on how the textural and surface chemistry properties of porous carbons influence their electrochemical behavior when used as anodes for Li-ion batteries. In this respect, carbon xerogels (XC) have been used as model materials, since their tunable pore texture and surface chemistry have made it possible to perform a systematic study, where each variable could be modified independently. The first target consisted in obtaining a series of carbon xerogels with controlled meso- or macropore textures. These materials are made of interconnected nearly spherical microporous nodules, delimiting meso- or macroporous voids. Several series of carbon xerogels with controlled pore textures have been prepared. As a result, materials with a wide range of meso- or macropore sizes have been obtained and the influence of the aqueous formaldehyde precursor solution on the final textural characteristics could be highlighted. Additional post-synthesis treatments have been performed in order to tune the microporosity as well as the surface chemistry of selected materials. The second aim was to control and set several variables other than the pore texture and the surface chemistry of XC, that could influence their behavior as active materials for Li-ion batteries, such as the particle sizes or the electrode characteristics. In this respect, an in-depth study of the ball-milling process of carbon xerogels has allowed to determine the conditions leading to materials with a well-defined particle size distribution centered on 10 µm. The specific surface area, as well as the meso- or macroporosity remain identical from the monolithic form to the final powder. This work has also shown the possibility of using mercury intrusion porosimetry as a tool to assess the mean particle sizes of a XC powder. Several methods for the coating of active materials on current collectors (bar-coating and spray) have been investigated for different ink formulations (organic- or water-based). This study has shown that XC-binder composites resulting from aqueous-based inks preserve the porosity of the starting materials, whereas the microporosity is strongly reduced in the case of the organic pathway. As a result, the method of spraying a water-based ink, with xanthan gum as a binder, seems to be the most appropriate in terms of precision, ease of processing and safety in this case. The third goal consisted in performing detailed electrochemical characterizations of the electrodes produced with carbon xerogels displaying various defined pore textures and surface chemistries. In the case of electrodes obtained upon using an organic ink, a linear relationship is observed between the relative irreversible losses and i) the external surface area of the nodules as well as ii) the specific surface area of the XC-binder composites. In the case of the aqueous electrode processing method and upon using carbon xerogels with tuned microporosity, a linear relationship could be established between the total specific surface area of the starting materials (including micropores) and the irreversible as well as reversible capacities at the first charge-discharge cycle, if the maximum potential is set at 3 V vs. Li+/Li. Finally, after modulation, the surface chemistry has shown to have a significant effect on the accessibility of the surface by the electrolyte as well as on the SEI formation at the first charge-discharge cycle. [less ▲]

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See detailCaractérisation multi-échelle des bandes riveraines des cours d’eau wallons par télédétection active et passive
Michez, Adrien ULg

Doctoral thesis (2016)

Les bandes riveraines des cours d’eau constituent des milieux d’une richesse exceptionnelle aux multiples facettes, comportant les habitats parmi les plus variés, dynamiques et complexes de la surface ... [more ▼]

Les bandes riveraines des cours d’eau constituent des milieux d’une richesse exceptionnelle aux multiples facettes, comportant les habitats parmi les plus variés, dynamiques et complexes de la surface terrestre. Elles sont au cœur des stratégies des politiques de préservation et de restauration de l’environnement qui impliquent la mise en place de suivis multi-échelles devant être répétés dans le temps. La télédétection peut fournir des informations fines tant sur la végétation qui compose les bandes riveraines que sur la structure et les paramètres physiques de celles-ci. Le présent projet de doctorat est articulé autour de l’évaluation de la télédétection en tant qu’outil pour la gestion des cours d’eau ; tant au niveau local (<20 km de cours d’eau, usage de drone) qu’au niveau de l’ensemble du réseau hydrographique wallon (> 12 000 km de cours d’eau). Au niveau local, les drones civils tendent à émerger comme outils de caractérisation environnementale depuis le début des années 2000. Leurs principales caractéristiques sont relatives à leur résolution spatiale et temporelle, permettant d’obtenir des données très fines (résolution au sol ≤ 10cm) au sein d’une fenêtre temporelle très restreinte. Leur usage a été évalué avec succès afin de localiser les plantes invasives des bandes riveraines et de caractériser la composition spécifique et l’état sanitaire de l’aulne glutineux (Alnus glutinosa) en Ardenne. Des résultats satisfaisants ont été atteints dans le cas de l’étude de la détection des trois principales espèces végétales invasives des bandes riveraines wallonnes : balsamine de l'Himalaya (I. glandulifera), berce du Caucase (H. mantegazzianum) et renouée du Japon (F. sachalinensis et F. japonica et hybrides). Les meilleures précisions globales obtenues sont de 97% pour la berce du Caucase. A l’échelle régionale, l’approche développée est basée sur l’usage de données 3D (LiDAR et photogrammétriques) afin de caractériser les bandes riveraines associées à l’ensemble du réseau hydrographique wallon (> 12 000 km) à partir de 6 paramètres. Ces paramètres sont descriptifs de composantes physiques de l’hydromorphologie mais également de la structure des forêts riveraines. Une évaluation des patrons spatiaux de ces paramètres en lien avec différentes informations (occupation du sol, régions naturelles) a été réalisée. S’appuyant sur différentes techniques d’agrégation permettant des visualisations à l’échelle régionale, les résultats obtenus reflètent la connaissance a priori des cordons rivulaires, notamment le constat négatif relatif à la fonctionnalité des bandes riveraines en région limoneuse. Les principales perspectives d’application au domaine de la gestion des cours d’eau sont relatives au développement d’outils d’aide à la décision pour les gestionnaires. A l’échelle locale, une adaptation des solutions développées pour l’usage des drones est nécessaire tant en matière de plateforme (couverture d’un linéaire plus important) qu’en tant qu’outil d’analyse (simplification des chaînes de traitement). A l’échelle régionale, la construction d’indicateurs de gestion nécessitera un travail spécifique quant à la comparaison de la valeur observée à une valeur référence. [less ▲]

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See detailInfluences of electric charges on an isolated drop
Brandenbourger, Martin ULg

Doctoral thesis (2016)

Research such as the famous Millikan experiment or the studies concerning thunderclouds have shown that droplets can be considerably influenced by an excess of electric charges. Indeed, an excess of ... [more ▼]

Research such as the famous Millikan experiment or the studies concerning thunderclouds have shown that droplets can be considerably influenced by an excess of electric charges. Indeed, an excess of charges can affect the intrinsic properties of a droplet, such as its natural oscillation frequency or its internal pressure. Moreover, the electric charges in excess in droplets can also interact with external electric fields. In this thesis, we investigated the influence of electric charges on millimetric droplets that are electrically isolated. In literature, research on isolated charged droplets are mainly focused on droplets with a micrometric size. The lack of studies concerning millimetric charged droplets is explained by the difficulty storing them while avoiding charge leakage. In order to answer to this issue, we examined three storage systems limiting the charge leakage: the microgravity, the vibrating bath method and the Leidenfrost effect. Through these systems, we studied the influence of electric charges on the droplet physical properties, but also the interaction between the charged droplet and its storage system. Furthermore, we investigated the interaction of charged droplets with external electric fields. More precisely, we studied the interaction between two electrically charged droplets and the interaction between one charged droplet and an external homogeneous electric field. A first set of experiments on electrically charged droplets allowed us modeling the charge migration process in liquids and the charge leakage from a millimetric droplet. In particular, we identified and modeled a new mechanism of charges leakage occurring at a time scale of several minutes. Moreover, we confirmed the influence of the electric charges on the droplet surface energy previously deduced from experiments on micrometric droplets. Concerning the three storage systems, the experiments performed in microgravity allowed us describing the influence of the electric interaction on the impact between two charged droplets. The diverse behaviors observed were compared to the cases of impacts between two neutral drops. On a different note, the study of a charged droplet moving on the surface of a vibrating bath because of the influence of an external electric field gave new insights on the interaction between a bouncing droplet and a viscous liquid bath. For example, we observed a ``go-stop" motion during which the droplet horizontally moves when it bounces away and is stopped during its interaction with the liquid bath. We showed that this motion occurs when large droplets are influenced by a weak electric field. Droplets with this kind of motion move with a constant average speed, which makes them easily manoeuvrable. Therefore, the control of the droplet motion led to the development of a new microfluidic prototype. Via this new setup, basic microfluidic tasks can be performed without polluting droplet via contacts with solids or liquids. With these results in mind, we also examined the interaction between two charged droplets bouncing on the vibrating bath. This study brought new insights on the interaction between two charged droplets. Indeed, we observed that two drops with the same charges tend to remain at an equilibrium distance. Our study showed that this equilibrium distance is due to the compensation of the electric repulsion by capillary attraction at the surface of the vibrating bath. Finally, our study of charged droplet in Leidenfrost state on a liquid bath led to a better understanding of the interaction between charged liquid interfaces. Indeed, we showed that electric charges cause the early coalescence of charged droplet because of an increase in the vapor layer drainage. We conclude from our results that an excess of electric charges influences ostensibly the intrinsic behavior of a droplet and its interaction with the environment. Furthermore, each storage system studied brought answers to specific issues. The study of the impact between charged droplets in microgravity outlines new explanations on the behavior of thunderclouds. The results accumulated on the micromanipulation of charged droplet bouncing on a vibrating bath opens the way to a new kind of microfluidic system. Finally, the study on the charged Leidenfrost droplets describes new ways to investigate the influence of electric charges on liquid interfaces. [less ▲]

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See detailLes enregistrements infirmiers : un outil d'efficience. Du RIM aux DI-RHM dans les hôpitaux belges.
Thonon, Olivier ULg

Doctoral thesis (2016)

Le Résumé Infirmier Minimum existe depuis 1988 et un certain nombre des objectifs initiaux ont été atteints. A la fin des années 90, la question de l’actualisation du RIM s’est posée avec acuité étant ... [more ▼]

Le Résumé Infirmier Minimum existe depuis 1988 et un certain nombre des objectifs initiaux ont été atteints. A la fin des années 90, la question de l’actualisation du RIM s’est posée avec acuité étant donné l’évolution des soins de santé en général et de l’art infirmier en particulier. Dorénavant intégré dans une base de données unique, le Résumé Hospitalier Minimal, ce Résumé Infirmier Minimum actualisé, implanté officiellement depuis janvier 2008, a sans aucun doute métamorphosé l’environnement des soins infirmiers. Le chapitre 1 décrit ce processus d’actualisation du RIM. Le cadre conceptuel du RIM « actualisé » définit un tremplin international, en référence à la Nursing Interventions Classification (NIC) utilisée pour sa conception. La visualisation de la variabilité des soins infirmiers se fera dorénavant à travers un langage plus riche et plus précis en passant de 23 à 78 items. La première composante de l’efficience, est abordée dans le chapitre III. Il concerne l’évaluation du niveau de preuve des interventions répertoriées dans les DI-RHM. L’approche justificative de l’outil est abordée dans le chapitre IV de ce travail. Le chapitre V examine dans quelle mesure il serait possible d’allouer les moyens infirmiers de façon plus rigoureuse aux hôpitaux. Le chapitre VI se consacre à l’élaboration de profils de soins infirmiers sur base des DI-RHM et à la mise en évidence de leur potentiel d’utilisation. Nous concluons par une discussion générale reprenant les divers éléments abordés dans ces différentes approches à la lumière du contexte actuel de l’outil. [less ▲]

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See detailEtude des déterminants de l'efficacité organisationnelle des associations sans but lucratif bénéficiaires de microcrédits au Burundi: une approche d'alignement stratégique
Nduwayo, Marie Goreth ULg

Doctoral thesis (2016)

Even if the Henderson and Venkatraman (1993) works on the strategic alignment have paved the way for several research to determine the impact of strategic alignment on companies’ organizational ... [more ▼]

Even if the Henderson and Venkatraman (1993) works on the strategic alignment have paved the way for several research to determine the impact of strategic alignment on companies’ organizational performance, there is absence of consensus in the literature regarding how companies can align. In addition, while the question of the effectiveness of non-profit organizations remains an important topic for researchers, empirical studies of their organizational effectiveness remain rare. We address this issue by taking on account a specific attribute of a difficult economic environment: the threat of survival of Burundian's Non-Profit Associations (ASBL) beneficiaries of microcredits. Thus, our study shows that the strategic alignment of these ASBL is realize through on their adjustment (taken in the sense of finality or condition that is different from the process) to the constraints of their donors. This approach articulate on three registers: in positioning us in the field of research of company strategies, we base on strategic alignment in the context of survival, and then we address survival issues. We demonstrate that the strategic adjustment is the basis of the survival strategies of these microstructures in a Burundian context dominated by insecurity and extreme poverty. The primary needs of these entities are indeed at the root of the adjustment response to key resources provided by microfinance institutions. Thus, the objective of our study is to explain how the strategic alignment of these ASBL to the constraints of the donors can have a decisive influence on their organizational effectiveness (a facet of performance). To this end, we build a model and we test it empirically with 150 ASBL beneficiaries of microcredits created from 1992 to 2011. We prove that their internal organization is an important determinant of their organizational effectiveness and is the basis of their efficiency. This organizational asset has certain particular features and is the result of strategic alignment. [less ▲]

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See detailIsolement et caractérisation de mutants affectés dans le transport d'électrons photosynthétique en anoxie chez la microalgue verte Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. Photoproduction d'hydrogène et Voie de biosynthèse de la phylloquinone.
Emonds-Alt, Barbara ULg

Doctoral thesis (2016)

La microalgue verte Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, qui a contribué de façon remarquable à la compréhension de nombreux mécanismes biologiques tels que la photosynthèse, intéresse aujourd’hui plus ... [more ▼]

La microalgue verte Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, qui a contribué de façon remarquable à la compréhension de nombreux mécanismes biologiques tels que la photosynthèse, intéresse aujourd’hui plus particulièrement le secteur des énergies renouvelables pour sa capacité à produire de l’hydrogène moléculaire (H2) à la lumière. Cette photoproduction d’H2 est liée à la présence en anoxie d’hydrogénases qui sont connectées via la ferrédoxine à la chaîne de transport d’électrons photosynthétique. On distingue deux voies de transfert d’électrons: la première dépendant de la photolyse de l’eau par le PSII (voie PSII-dépendante), la seconde de l’action d’une NAD(P)H déshydrogénase de type II (NDA2, voie PSII-indépendante). En raison de la sensibilité des hydrogénases à l’oxygène, cette production n’est que transitoire. Bien que ce processus puisse potentiellement réduire notre dépendance aux énergies fossiles, il est à l’heure actuelle économiquement inexploitable compte tenu de sa faible productivité. L’amélioration génétique des microalgues pourrait partiellement remédier à ce problème mais cette stratégie nécessite toutefois de posséder une connaissance fondamentale de toutes les voies métaboliques impliquées dans ce processus spécifique de l’anoxie. Afin d’identifier de nouvelles enzymes clés contrôlant la photoproduction d’H2 et de manière plus générale le métabolisme anaérobique, chez l’algue modèle Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, nous avons cherché dans un premier temps à comprendre la fonction de la protéine NDA3, une NAD(P)H déshydrogénase de type II chloroplastique. A l’instar de NDA2, celle-ci pourrait potentiellement participer à la réduction non-photochimique du pool de plastoquinones. Dans un deuxième temps, nous avons contribué au développement d’une nouvelle technique de criblage «haut débit» basée sur l’enregistrement de la cinétique d’induction de fluorescence des algues lors d’une transition de l’obscurité à la lumière en anoxie. Grâce à l’efficacité et à la rapidité de cette méthode nous avons pu identifier au sein d’une large collection de mutants insertionnels (~ 23 000) quatre mutants déficients pour le facteur d’assemblage HYDG (essentiel à la maturation des hydrogénases) et quatre autres mutants déficients pour la voie de biosynthèse de la phylloquinone. La caractérisation subséquente de ces mutants par des méthodes génétiques, moléculaires, biochimiques et biophysiques, nous a ainsi permis de comprendre in fine l’impact négatif de la perte du facteur HYDG ou de la phylloquinone sur le transfert d’électrons photosynthétique en anoxie. [less ▲]

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See detailIdentification de mécanismes moléculaires d’induction de la réponse immunitaire de type Th2 par les cellules dendritiques conventionnelles CD11b+ du poumon
Janss, Thibaut ULg

Doctoral thesis (2016)

Currently, the activation mechanisms of type 2 helper T cells (Th2) by dendritic cells are not yet fully understood. In recent years, more and more evidences show that there is a functional specialization ... [more ▼]

Currently, the activation mechanisms of type 2 helper T cells (Th2) by dendritic cells are not yet fully understood. In recent years, more and more evidences show that there is a functional specialization of the different dendritic cells populations. Therefore, in our laboratory, it was demonstrated that lung CD11b+ conventional dendritic cells (cDC) are the cells responsible for the allergic sensitization after an inhalation of house dust mite extracts in mice. Because this population is responsible for priming Th2 response, we decided to study them in an allergic context as a model in order to identify new mechanisms involve in Th2 induction. So far, few transcription factors required for the pro-Th2 activity of dendritic cells have been identified. Their discovery could considerably improve the understanding of Th2 activation by dendritic cells. Transcriptomic profiling of lung CD11b+ cDCs exposed to HDM in vivo revealed first that HDM triggered an antiviral defence-like response and second that the majority of HDM-induced transcriptional changes depended on the transcription factor Inresterferon Response Factor-3 (Irf3). Validating the functional relevance of these observations, Irf3-deficient CD11b+ cDCs displayed reduced pro-allergic activity. Indeed, Irf3-deficient CD11b+ cDCs induced less Th2, more regulatory T cell, and similar Th1 differentiation in naïve CD4+ T cells compared to their wild-type counterparts. The altered APC activity of Irf3 CD11b+ cDCs was associated with reduced expression of CD86 and was phenocopied by blocking CD86 activity in wild-type CD11b+ cDCs. Altogether, these results establish Irf3, mostly known for its role in antiviral responses, as a transcription factor involved in the induction of Th2 responses through the promotion of pro-Th2 costimulation in CD11b+ DCs. [less ▲]

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See detailDetection and characterization of transiting hot Jupiters
Delrez, Laetitia ULg

Doctoral thesis (2016)

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See detailLa viande des uns, la faune des autres. Analyse anthropologique de la conservation de la faune dans trois villages Badjoué de la zone forestière de l'Est-Cameroun
Dieudonné, Mélodie ULg

Doctoral thesis (2016)

The Cameroonian forestry and environmental policies adopted in 1994 come within the scope of a will to manage forests sustainably and to involve local populations in the management of their environment ... [more ▼]

The Cameroonian forestry and environmental policies adopted in 1994 come within the scope of a will to manage forests sustainably and to involve local populations in the management of their environment. The aim of this doctoral thesis is to take an anthropological look at the wildlife conservation at the “microsociological” level of three Badjoué villages from the East region while putting these observations in the larger context of Cameroonian forest governance. In what way are wildlife community management measures appropriated, transformed and distorted by the actors? How do interactions between local populations and conservation organizations help transform local contexts and relations to wildlife? By applying an approach at the crossroads of the anthropology of conservation, the anthropology of development and an anthropology of nature which considers human-animal relations in an interactive and dynamic perspective, this thesis aims at paying a particular attention to the relations that the Badjoué of the Dja entertain with their environment, the intertwining of these relations in the local social, economic and political dynamics as well as to the evolution of these problems in the context of the community management of forest resources in Cameroon. The thesis so allows a reflection on the place of participation and local community autonomy in the management of natural resources and a questioning of the impact of coercive models on the environmental practices and conceptions. It finally raises the question of the intertwining between global environmental issues and the necessary consideration of peoples’ right to self-determination. [less ▲]

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See detailL'apprentissage des conversations de conception. Analyse exploratoire des pratiques discursives et graphiques médiées par ordinateur.
Joachim, Guillaume ULg

Doctoral thesis (2016)

A large proportion of architects’ educational and professional activities take place in the form of informal and formal discussions revolving around design artefacts, such as blueprints, sketches and ... [more ▼]

A large proportion of architects’ educational and professional activities take place in the form of informal and formal discussions revolving around design artefacts, such as blueprints, sketches and models. However, there has been little investigation into the multimodal resources mobilized by designers in order to collectively simulate experiments on their projects. In this thesis, we focus on remote mediated-by-computer design conversations in which architects jointly mobilise speech, inscription practices and artefacts handling for the purpose of examining how these function in the negotiation and joint development of architectural design knowledge. On the basis of a cross-cutting theoretical appraisal to the design conversation and on-field observations of remote synchronous meetings between professional designers, this exploratory study aims to describe and define the interactional processes implemented by architects in order to develop a shared reasoning on their project. The cross-disciplinary approach developed in the course of this research results in the formulation of a theoretical and analytical framework for studying the interactional organization behind jointly constructing the meaning of an architectural design. It also offers a better understanding of the fundamental links between graphical and discursive activities in communication between architects, while examining their digital mediations. [less ▲]

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See detailPRODUCTION D’UNE PROTEINE CD40L BOVINE RECOMBINANTE SOLUBLE : UN ADJUVANT VACCINAL POTENTIEL CONTRE LES MAMMITES A STAPHYLOCOCCUS AUREUS
Pujol, Julien ULg

Doctoral thesis (2016)

Staphylococcus aureus est le principal agent responsable des mammites chroniques chez la vache laitière. Malgré les lourdes pertes économiques engendrées et les décennies de recherche sur le sujet, aucun ... [more ▼]

Staphylococcus aureus est le principal agent responsable des mammites chroniques chez la vache laitière. Malgré les lourdes pertes économiques engendrées et les décennies de recherche sur le sujet, aucun vaccin réellement efficace n’a encore été mis au point. Cet échec pourrait être dû à la capacité de survie du pathogène dans les cellules épithéliales mammaires et les phagocytes, où il échappe à l’immunité humorale induite par les vaccins. Les études semblent en effet unanimes sur l’importance majeure de la réponse immune cellulaire, particulièrement la réponse cytotoxique des lymphocytes TCD8+, dans la lutte contre S. aureus. Il a par ailleurs été prouvé, chez les animaux de laboratoire comme chez l’homme, que l’administration de CD40 ligand est un moyen efficace de stimuler cette réponse. Nous avons alors produit, dans un système bactérien et dans des cellules de mammifères, plusieurs formes de CD40L recombinants bovins multimériques. Nous avons ensuite montré leur capacité à activer in vitro le récepteur CD40 de différentes cellules bovines. Enfin, nous avons observé que l’immunisation de bovins avec notre CD40L produit en bactéries, combiné à des bactérines de S. aureus, augmentait significativement le nombre et la réactivité des lymphocytes TCD4+ et TCD8+ spécifiques de celles-ci dans les noeuds lymphatiques. L’évaluation de la protection conférée par l’adjuvant GST-CD40L lors d’une infection intramammaire expérimentale a malheureusement montré l’incapacité de ce nouvel outil moléculaire à prévenir les mammites bovines à S. aureus. Il pourrait cependant rester utile au développement de stratégies vaccinales contre d’autres maladies bovines causées par S. aureus ou d’autres pathogènes intracellulaires. [less ▲]

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See detail"Favorites of the Gods". The Seleucid Kings coping with the divine. A qualitative and quantitative approach of the numismatic evidence attesting the "discreet" divinization of the Seleucids"
Iossif, Panagiotis ULg

Doctoral thesis (2016)

Les Séleucides ont hérité de la plus grande partie du territoire légué par Alexandre le Grand. Leur empire, dans son extension maximale, s’étendait de la Chersonèse de Thrace à l’ouest jusqu’à la ... [more ▼]

Les Séleucides ont hérité de la plus grande partie du territoire légué par Alexandre le Grand. Leur empire, dans son extension maximale, s’étendait de la Chersonèse de Thrace à l’ouest jusqu’à la Bactriane à l’est. Des études récentes ont montré que la population de l’empire a pu atteindre un maximum de 30 millions d’habitants appartenant à différents groupes ethniques et culturels. L’administration de ce vaste territoire multiethnique constituait un véritable défi pour les Séleucides. Il ne fait pas de doute que l’essentiel de leur structure administrative la plus grande part de leur structure administrative provenait directement des Achéménides, mais d’autres aspects plus innovants étaient des créations ad hoc visant à résoudre des problèmes particuliers de la Cour royale et de l’administration. Les deux premiers Séleucides, Séleucos Ier et Antiochos Ier, développèrent une politique coloniale intensive en fondant de nouvelles cités dans l’ensemble des territoires nouvellement conquis. Les nouvelles colonies visaient à marquer physiquement et idéologiquement le territoire et les populations indigènes. Certaines de ces nouvelles fondations devinrent des cités importantes de l’empire, tandis que d’autres restèrent simplement des postes militaires protégeant des zones sensibles. Parmi les premières, Séleucie du Tigre et Antioche devinrent d’importants centres urbains et sont souvent, bien que de manière incorrecte, qualifiées de « capitales ». OBJECTIFS DE LA RECHERCHE La ligne idéologique reliant les différents territoires, populations et groupes ethniques de ce vaste empire n’était autre que le roi lui-même et sa dynastie. Dans cet état de la recherche, nous avons considéré que la figure du roi séleucide était sous-étudiée et relativement marginalisée. Les récentes études ont rarement (voire jamais) posé la question du rôle de la personne royale elle-même en tant que constituant idéologique de l’empire. Son rôle vis-à-vis de et avec le divin est virtuellement ignoré, et le culte royal séleucide n’a jamais fait l’objet d’une étude approfondie. L’analyse iconographique des représentations des rois séleucides n’est jamais allée au-delà de la simple description. Pour ces raisons, dans notre thèse nous avons tenté de répondre aux questions suivantes : quel est le rôle du roi (et de la famille royale en général) dans la création idéologique de ce que nous appelons l’empire séleucide ? Comment ces rois ont-ils envisagé leur relation avec le divin ? Quels dieux ont-ils privilégiés et pour quelles raisons ? Ont-ils jamais tenté de devenir eux-mêmes des dieux, ainsi qu’on peut parfois le lire dans des manuels généraux d’histoire et d’art hellénistiques ? Quels médias les rois (et leur administration) ont-ils de préférence utilisés pour communiquer leur image ? Quels étaient les publics visés ? LA MÉTHODOLOGIE Cette étude est avant tout numismatique, iconographique et religieuse. Cela ne signifie pas que d’autres sources soient exclues de l’analyse, et nous utilisons un large éventail de données archéologiques, épigraphiques et philologiques. La méthode que nous avons adoptée pour répondre aux questions ci-dessus est simple et directe: une analyse exhaustive des données numismatiques établissant un lien entre les rois et le divin et témoignant de la position particulière de la hiérarchie entre les hommes et les dieux. Ces sources numismatiques sont analysées à la fois « quantitativement » et « qualitativement ». Dans un premier temps, nous proposons une analyse détaillée d’une série de questions numismatiques liée à la position des rois en relation avec le divin et/ou leur volonté d’établir une idéologie royale commune. L’impact de ces analyses est ensuite évalué quantitativement à partir de deux bases de données qui ont été établies spécifiquement en vue de cette recherche et se trouve in extenso dans les annexes de la thèse. La première, la « Seleucid Hoard Database » (SHD), réunit virtuellement tous les trésors séleucides, c’est-à-dire tous les trésors contenant au moins une monnaie séleucide. Les données/pièces de monnaie sont étudiées dans les moindres détails afin de permettre à la SHD d’être utilisée pour examiner un large éventail de questions telles que la « quantité relative » de monnaies portant les types d’Apollon ou de Zeus, ou celles présentant le roi avec des attributs divins. La seconde base de données, la « Seleucid Excavations Database » (SED), rassemble le matériel numismatique provenant de fouilles archéologiques et de trouvailles isolées, c’est-à-dire les monnaies trouvées dans des fouilles mais aussi celles qui sont rapportées sans contexte archéologique précis. La structure des deux bases de données est comparable et permet d’obtenir une image représentative de la production monétaire originelle des rois. Ceci dit, nous nous sommes appliqué à démontrer méthodologiquement et statistiquement la représentativité des deux bases de données. Dans ce but, nous avons essayé d’aller au-delà de la simple réunion du « maximum de données possible » afin d’obtenir un échantillon fiable. En ce sens, cette étude s’inspire de la numismatique romaine, et tout particulièrement des analyses proposées par des spécialistes de la (Grande-) Bretagne romaine STRUCTURE DE LA THÈSE La thèse est divisée en quatre parties. Dans la première, nous analysons ce que nous appelons le « contexte du culte royal », c’est-à-dire les sources archéologiques et épigraphiques témoignant d’un culte royal et/ou des relations des Séleucides avec le divin. Le premier chapitre examine les données archéologiques liées au culte royal des Séleucides: naoi (temples), temenoi (enceintes consacrées), autels ou statues des rois. Notre analyse se concentre sur les cultes offerts aux rois par les cités grecques, principalement en Asie Mineure. Le second chapitre analyse les témoignages épigraphiques du prétendu culte « étatique », c’est-à-dire de la façon dont les rois (et leur Cour) se conféraient à eux-mêmes des τιμαὶ (honneurs). Nous examinons en détail le cadre méthodologique des études antérieures concernant la distinction entre culte « civique » et « étatique » avant de nous concentrer sur les fameux prostagmata (ordonnances) de 193 av. n. è. instaurant le culte de la reine Laodicée dans les satrapies du royaume. Le dernier chapitre de la première partie propose une analyse nouvelle de la documentation babylonienne relative au culte du roi et de sa famille. Cette analyse témoigne de l’influence des pratiques grecques sur les rituels locaux en Babylonie et explique pourquoi les rois séleucides participaient activement (et parfois en personne) au festival de l’Akitu. La conclusion de cette première partie introductive est que l’association des Séleucides au divin reste discrète, tant dans les contextes grecs que dans les contextes indigènes. La seconde partie de la thèse introduit l’analyse numismatique et iconographique des données. Il faut toutefois noter que les monnaies ne sont que le point de départ d’analyses plus approfondies dès lors que l’ensemble de données disponibles sont mises à contribution. Dans cette partie nous testons notre thèse principale quant à la « discrétion » des Séleucides lorsqu’ils traitaient avec le divin. Cette thèse est mise à l’épreuve des données visuelles tout en étant discutée à la lumière d’autres sources d’information relatives au rôle du roi séleucide. L’ordre des chapitres est à la fois chronologique et thématique: le premier chapitre examine les toutes premières émissions monétaires de Séleucos Ier portant des attributs divins, i. e. les monnaies de Suse que l’on appelle communément « au trophée ». L’étude de ce monnayage produit par le fondateur de la dynastie dans un atelier monétaire important mais périphérique introduit une série de questions qui seront posées à travers la thèse : pour quelle raison les représentations du roi comportaient-elles des attributs divins ? Quelles étaient la signification et l’importance de ces attributs dans l’idéologie royale ? Comment le roi se positionnait-il en relation avec le divin au moyen de ses représentations numismatiques ? Une grande attention est portée aux détails (par exemple l’episemon du bouclier macédonien au revers, la clef pour comprendre ce monnayage), mais le problème est également envisagé sur le long terme en comparant les données des bases de données SHD et SED. Le second chapitre reste dans le domaine des cornes et introduit la politique taurine et cornue des Séleucides. Nous examinons toutes les données disponibles et arrivons, une fois de plus, à la « discrète » des Séleucides. La même conclusion est obtenue suite à l’analyse d’une petite émission d’un atelier incertain sous Séleucos Ier qui va élargir l’imagerie dionysiaque de la numismatique séleucide. Le chapitre suivant s’intéresse à la signification de l’association du roi avec la représentation d’Apollon assis sur l’omphalos, une image généralement considérée comme la marque déposée de la dynastie. Ce chapitre joue un rôle central dans notre démonstration car il se concentre sur l’ancêtre divin de la dynastie, son archégète, et sur les moyens par lesquels les Séleucides introduisirent et envisagèrent cette filiation au travers de différents médias. Même si une filiation divine semble impressionnante, les rois (et leur administration) s’en servirent d’une façon plutôt « discrète », à la fois dans les sources visuelles et épigraphiques, ce qui suggère que les implications de cette filiation divine étaient discrètes dans l’idéologie royale. Les rois apparaissent comme les « favoris » des dieux, ils sont eusebès (pieux) et jouissent de l’eunoia (bienveillance) divine; ceci est également démontré dans le chapitre suivant où nous focalisons sur un détail un peu marginal : une barbe apparaissant temporairement sur les portraits de certaines émissions monétaires. Ces séries sont liées à des vœux faits par les rois ; une fois de plus, le roi s’associe et se rattache au divin d’une façon « discrète », que nous osons aussi dire « personnelle ». Cette discrétion est aussi discutée lorsque nous considérons une série de monnaies montrant le buste royal drapé. Les chapitres précédents ont insisté sur le caractère subtil de l’association de Séleucos Ier et Antiochos II avec le divin. L’analyse de l’imagerie céleste d’Antiochos IV et de ses successeurs démontre que la situation change sous le règne de l’Epiphane. Antiochos IV s’associe en effet avec le divin d’une manière plus flagrante, usant (et abusant)des attributs divins sur ses portraits. La suite de l’étude suggère cependant que sa politique était beaucoup plus nuancée par rapport à ce qu’affirment certaines études. L’analyse de la circulation et du volume des émissions monétaires nous permettent en effet de réévaluer la politique d’Antiochos IV, et de comprendre que le roi n’était pas, après tout, moins « discret » que ses progonoi, mais qu’il tentait simplement de s’adapter au problème critique de son époque, c’est-à-dire l’arrivée d’un nouveau et important compétiteur en Méditerranée orientale, Rome. Le dernier chapitre de la seconde partie de notre thèse examine la relation des reines avec le divin au travers de l’analyse d’une émission de petits bronzes frappés dans l’est et l’ouest de l’empire. Il apparait que les reines séleucides étaient associées de manière préférentielle avec la déesse Aphrodite, une divinité autrement marginale parmi les types monétaires séleucides. Le chapitre suivant introduit la troisième partie de la thèse, laquelle correspond à l’analyse quantitative des données numismatiques (et sigillographiques). Notre analyse offre une démonstration méthodologique de la fiabilité, de l’utilité et des perspectives futures des bases de données SED et SHD. Les analyses de ces deux bases de données sont les plus détaillées possibles, car il s’agit d’une toute nouvelle méthode en numismatique grecque. C’est pourquoi les bases de données sont testées au moyen de méthodes statistiques. Cela mène l’analyse à quelques conclusions surprenantes concernant, par exemple, le volume des productions monétaires et le niveau de monétarisation des Séleucides et des Ptolémées, ou le rapport étroit observé en comparant la SED et la SHD aux plus grandes collections numismatiques du monde. En vue de ces études comparatives, plus de 25.000 pièces de monnaie appartenant à cinq collections majeures ont été examinées, ce qui donne à nos bases de données et à leur usage dans le futur un poids supplémentaire. Après la démonstration de la fiabilité des bases de données, les trois chapitres suivants se concentrent sur la question principale de la thèse: à quel point la relation des Séleucides avec le divin était-elle « discrète » ? Nous y répondons d’abord en analysant les monnaies appelées « divines », c’est-à-dire les pièces où le roi est décrit portant un ou plusieurs attributs divins. Le résultat est surprenant : pas plus de 30 pourcents des monnaies séleucides portent un type divin. Ce pourcentage est même plus faible lorsque l’on prend en considération les paramètres du métal, de la circulation et de la chronologie. En tout cas, une fois de plus, nous constatons que les Séleucides hésitèrent à s’associer au divin de manière plus ostentatoire. Ce résultat, un simple nombre, a des conséquences importantes pour la compréhension de l’idéologie royale et religieuse, et pour déterminer les publics visés par ces médias visuels. L’analyse comparative des données numismatiques et des données sigillographiques de Séleucie du Tigre sert d’étude de cas pour identifier les différentes audiences visées par les différents types de communication visuelle. Dans tous ces cas, il est évident que les rois séleucides n’affirmèrent jamais réellement un statut divin ; ils restèrent des rois eusebès, les « favoris des dieux », voulant simplement afficher soit leur piété, soit la faveur divine dont ils bénéficiaient, plutôt que leur (supposé) statut divin. L’étude comparative et diachronique des représentations d’Apollon et de Zeus montre également que les monnaies, en tant que documents officiels, étaient l’expression de politiques précises, déterminées et ciblées. L’évolution de l’iconographie numismatique de Zeus à Apollon et puis de nouveau à Zeus ne fut pas une question de goût personnel, mais l’expression visuelle de la naissance d’une dynastie et des luttes internes de cette dynastie, tout particulièrement après la défaite de Magnésie du Méandre en 189 av. n. è. Le court chapitre suivant vise à démontrer les possibilités offertes par les bases de données SED et SHD. Dans cette optique, nous avons choisi, d’une manière assez provocante, de comparer la vitesse de circulation de la monnaie dans la zone Euro et l’empire séleucide. Le résultat est surprenant mais montre clairement les nombreuses perspectives offertes par la création de grandes bases de données. Le chapitre de conclusion est consacré à ce que nous considérons comme la scène idéale pour l’étalage de la magnificence royale séleucide: la procession de Daphné organisée par Antiochos IV. L’analyse de ce cortège met en évidence la manière dont ce roi voulait être perçu par ses sujets et par les représentants étrangers (les theoroi) et désirait se positionner dans la dichotomie entre l’humain et le divin. En conclusion, dans cette thèse, nous examinons le roi séleucide face au divin en nous concentrant sur les expressions visuelles des médias produits par le roi lui-même (et son administration). C’est la démarche du sommet vers la base (top-to-bottom) qui nous intéresse. Le roi et sa Cour mirent en scène une idéologie et une politique communes : la façon dont le roi doit être vu et perçu par ses sujets et les dynasties hellénistiques rivales. Au cours de ce processus, le roi (et sa Cour et son administration) restèrent très prudents ; ils ne franchirent jamais la ligne rouge séparant les sphères humaine et divine. Ils préférèrent toujours mettre en valeur leur piété envers le divin plutôt que leur hypothétique nature divine. Les rois préférèrent afficher leur position en tant que favoris des dieux plutôt que prétendre être des dieux eux-mêmes. Il leur importait plutôt de revendiquer leur victoire (espérée ou obtenue) en exprimant leur position unique de « favoris des dieux ». C’est cela que les données numismatiques donnent à voir et c’est ce qu’Antiochos IV mit en scène lors de la procession de Daphné. La thèse porte le titre parlant de « Favoris des dieux ». La raison en est simple: être les préférés des dieux était la seule position que revendiquaient les rois séleucides. Ils étaient les fils d’Apollon, mais par-dessus tout, ils exprimaient leur piété envers le divin ; et comme ils étaient des rois pieux, ils pouvaient être les favoris des dieux. C’est là le message politique, idéologique et religieux qu’ils élaborèrent et communiquèrent. On peut observer que c’était un message plutôt subtil, discret et efficace, puisque la piété est une valeur commune à toutes les religions et que pour cette raison elle devait être comprise par les différents sujets de leur immense empire. Nous avons soutenu la thèse que le roi séleucide n’est pas dieu, que jamais il n’a souhaité exprimer sa propre divinité et/ou ne s’est présenté comme tel. Il se servait des attributs divins comme de marqueurs visuels de son eusebia, sa piété, et pour afficher sa position de « favori des dieux ». [less ▲]

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See detailOn the GMP production of [18]FUCB-H : Imaging neurotransmission
Warnier, Corentin ULg

Doctoral thesis (2016)

We herein describe the straightforward synthesis of a stable pyridyl(aryl)iodonium salt and its [18F]radiolabelling within a one-step, fully automated and cGMP compliant radi-osynthesis of [18F]UCB-H, a ... [more ▼]

We herein describe the straightforward synthesis of a stable pyridyl(aryl)iodonium salt and its [18F]radiolabelling within a one-step, fully automated and cGMP compliant radi-osynthesis of [18F]UCB-H, a PET tracer for the imaging of Synaptic Vesicle glycoprotein 2A (SV2A). Over the course of one year, 40 automated productions provided 34±2% of injectable [18F]UCB-H from up to 7.7 Ci of [18F]fluoride in 50 minutes (uncorrected radiochemical yield. Specific Activity = 22±5 Ci/µmol). The successful implementation of our synthetic strategy within routine, high-activity and cGMP productions attests to its practicality and reliability for the production of large doses of [18F]UCB-H. In addition to enabling efficient and cost-effective clinical research on a range of neurological pathologies through the imaging of SV2A, this work further demonstrates the real value of iodonium salts in the cGMP 18F-PET tracer manufacturing industry and their ability to fulfill practical and regulatory requirements in that field. [less ▲]

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See detailMécanismes moléculaires associés à l’induction de la pathogénicité chez Streptomyces scabies
Jourdan, Samuel ULg

Doctoral thesis (2016)

Streptomyces are filamentous soil-dwelling bacteria that actively participate in the mineralization of dead organic matter. Members of this bacterial genus are commonly known for the plethora of secondary ... [more ▼]

Streptomyces are filamentous soil-dwelling bacteria that actively participate in the mineralization of dead organic matter. Members of this bacterial genus are commonly known for the plethora of secondary metabolites of interest they secrete. Predominantly saprophytes, some Streptomyces species have been proved to be phytopathogenic. The most widespread and best characterized of these species is Streptomyces scabies which is the causative agent of the common scab disease that affects the underground organs of many plants with a preference for storage organs such as potato tubers or pivot roots (beet, turnip, carrot, etc.). Common scab is characterized by brown and corky lesions on the infected organs and causes significant economic losses around the world. The pathogenicity of S. scabies is directly related to its ability to produce the phytotoxin thaxtomin. Unveiling when, how and why S. scabies triggers the production of its phytotoxin is therefore of major interest to understand phytopathogenicity and the virulence associated with this bacteria. Previous works identified cellobiose as the main elicitor of thaxtomin production. However, no signaling pathway from the sensing of the eliciting signal to the biosynthesis of thaxtomin has been proposed so far. The aim of this work is to elucidate the molecular mechanisms involved in the onset of thaxtomin production in the model species S. scabies. In this work we highlighted the central role of the cellulose utilization transcriptional repressor CebR in S. scabies pathogenicity. Indeed, we showed that this regulator directly controls the expression of thaxtomin biosynthesis genes, but also the expression of genes involved in sensing, transport and catabolism of cellooligosaccharides. Together, our results allow to propose a first signaling pathway from cellooligosaccharide transport to the production of thaxtomin in S. scabies, with each step of the cascade controlled by CebR. The results obtained in the course of this thesis extended well beyond the fundamental research scope of elucidating the mechanisms associated with the onset of virulence of S. scabies. Indeed, assessed if/how our findings could propose solutions to current industrial biotechnology iapplications, i.e. i) to provide a mutant that constitutively produce thaxtomine could improve the production yields of this promising bioherbicide, and ii) to assess the enzymatic characteristics of a Beta-glucosidase of S. scabies as possible candidate in lignocellulose saccharification processes. [less ▲]

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See detailHydrodynamics and bed stability at smooth-to-rough transitions. Experiments based on acoustic flow measurements
Duma, Diana ULg

Doctoral thesis (2016)

As reflected in the scale of large contemporary hydropower schemes, flowing water may carry huge amounts of energy. If not mastered properly, this energy may cause impressive channel erosion and local ... [more ▼]

As reflected in the scale of large contemporary hydropower schemes, flowing water may carry huge amounts of energy. If not mastered properly, this energy may cause impressive channel erosion and local scour. Therefore, one lasting concern in hydraulic engineering has been the stability of structures, riverbeds and riverbanks against flow erosion. Two main limitations of current understanding of riverbed and riverbank stability are highlighted: the first one is directly linked to the evaluation of the flow action, while the second one relates to the conceptual framework in which stone stability is evaluated. Since the standard approaches use the mean bed shear stress to quantify the flow forces, they may only apply under uniform flow conditions, for which the ratio of turbulence intensity to the bed shear stress remains almost constant and the influence of turbulence is therefore implicitly incorporated. For non-uniform flow, correction factors have been conventionally applied to account for the turbulence fluctuations; but this approach does not reproduce the physical influence of turbulence higher in the water column and can only be used as a rule of thumb. A new approach was initiated recently in literature. Instead of using the standard Shields parameter, it quantifies the flow forces by means of a new set of parameters which combine explicitly the velocity and turbulence distributions over a certain water depth above the riverbed, while remaining reasonably accessible for engineering applications. Next, this quantity is related to a mobility parameter, which describes the bed damage. This new approach requires additional high quality experimental data to confirm its validity for a wider range of non-uniform flow. In this research, the focus was set on a single canonical configuration, namely a smooth-to-rough transition. We take a preventive perspective by focusing on the flow and bed stability conditions before a scour hole starts to develop and we are interested in characterising the flow conditions to ensure bed stability, i.e. prevent the dislodging of bed material downstream of the structure. As a second specific objective of the thesis, we aimed at evaluating the feasibility of using acoustic techniques to properly estimate the new bed stability parameters proposed in literature in the last decade and draw conclusions on stone mobility at smooth-to-rough transitions. The experimental tests were conducted in two laboratory flumes, a horizontal bottom flume (6 m long and 15 cm wide) and a tilting flume (up to 4% slope, 20 m long and 50 cm wide), in which we measured the flow velocity at a 100 Hz frequency, using two different acoustic instruments: an Ultrasound Velocity Profiler (UVP) and a 3D Acoustic Doppler Velocity Profiler (ADVP). The measurements were done immediately downstream of the transition from smooth-to-rough. Two types of tests were undertaken. In the first type, the stones were glued with silicone on the flume bottom and velocity measurements were performed without stone motion. This enables measurements of the flow characteristics both below and above the threshold for inception of sediment motion, without perturbations induced by stone displacements. In the second type, the stones in the measurement area were laid on the bottom of the flume (i.e. not glued) and the number of entrained stones was recorded. The tests were conducted by varying (i) the grain size of the bed material (8 mm, 15 mm and 30 mm), (ii) the flow velocity (between 0.74 m/s and 1.16 m/s), (iii) the sediments density (1410 kg/m³, 1690 kg/m³ and 2650 kg/m³) and (iv) the configuration (quasi-uniform vs. smooth-to-rough transition). Indeed, for the purpose of comparison, a uniform rough bed (quasi-uniform configuration) was considered also, by replacing the smooth part of the bed with similar sediments as in the measurement area. After a specific signal processing, flow variables were derived from the measurements and were next exploited to evaluate several bed stability parameters, with the aim of correlating them with bed damage data obtained from dedicated experiments. The results showed no correlation between the bed damage and the bed shear stress or between the bed damage and flow turbulent kinetic energy. In contrast, when the flow action is described by both mean velocity and turbulence characteristics, a relative good correlation with the bed damage was observed. Nonetheless, these correlations appear only per subset of points corresponding to the same grain size and/or same material density or flume geometry. With a total of 45 hydraulic configurations for which the flow characteristics were measured and 66 (times four repetitions) tests in which the bed damage was observed, the present research ends up with a unique dataset, which may prove useful in various research such as for the validation of 2D-vertical and 3D turbulent flow and morphodynamic simulations. Another key outcome of the present doctoral research is a systematic comparison between measurements conducted with the UVP and the ADVP. The ADVP is deemed generally more accurate and reliable. Nonetheless, both instruments remain somehow complementary. We showed that, under certain conditions, the considered instruments have the potential to contribute to the assessment of bed stability in the considered configurations. [less ▲]

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See detailDevelopment of alternative methods to control aphids (Hemiptera: Aphididae): from wheat-pea intercropping to the use of semiochemical dispensers
Chevalier Mendes Lopes, Thomas ULg

Doctoral thesis (2016)

Increasing the sustainability of food production is a major challenge in today’s agriculture. Several practices can be implemented to reduce the use of external inputs such as agrochemicals. In terms of ... [more ▼]

Increasing the sustainability of food production is a major challenge in today’s agriculture. Several practices can be implemented to reduce the use of external inputs such as agrochemicals. In terms of insect pest control, the concept of integrated pest management (IPM) has been exploited to minimize the application of chemical insecticides. The idea is to limit pest infestations while promoting their control by natural enemies. One possibility is to increase within crops plant diversity namely by intercropping. Semiochemical dispensers may also be used to attracted natural enemies into crops. Focusing on wheat (Triticum aestivum Linnaeus), several types of intercropping can be practiced with variable effects on pests and natural enemies. This PhD thesis focuses on the potential of wheat-pea (Pisum sativum Linnaeus) intercropping as a way to reduce aphid (Hemiptera: Aphididae) infestations. We firstly assessed the diversity of aphid and their parasitoid species in wheat and pea fields using yellow pan traps and in situ observations on plants. Whether several aphid species were trapped, only Sitobion avenae (Fabricius), Metopolophium dirhodum (Walker), Rhopalosiphum padi (Linnaeus) and Acyrthosiphon pisum (Harris) were found on wheat tillers and pea plants respectively. Regarding parasitoids, some species can use wheat and/or pea aphids as hosts. The first Belgian parasitoid species checklist was established, with the inclusion of four Aphidiinae (Hymenoptera: Braconidae) and three Aphelinus (Hymenoptera: Aphelinidae) species as new records. In terms of abundance, we firstly compared the effect of two types of wheat-pea intercropping (mixed and alternate strip cropping) on aphids and their natural enemies with pure stands of both crops. The mixture was particularly efficient to reduce pea aphid populations, while alternate strips were more suitable for the control of wheat aphids. However, natural enemies were more abundant in the pure stands, showing that additional methods may be needed to attract them more efficiently. One possibility is the use of semiochemicals dispensers. In another field study, we combined a wheat-pea mixture with methyl salicylate (MeSA) dispensers. This substance was selected due to its known attractive effect towards some aphid beneficials. Even though adult hoverflies (Diptera: Syrphidae) were not particularly attracted by the mixture combined with MeSA dispensers, they may have stimulated their oviposition behaviour. Also, mummified aphids were significantly more abundant in the pure stand of pea compared with the mixture (with and without MeSA). However, parasitism rates did not differ significantly between treatments. Beneficial effects of wheat-pea intercropping were clearly demonstrated for aphid control. Other agronomic aspects make this practice particularly interesting in low-input farming systems. These are discussed, along the limitations related to the use semiochemicals in field conditions. Perspectives for further research works are also proposed. [less ▲]

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See detailStructure and Dynamics of Ge-Se Liquids and Glasses under Pressure
Yildirim, Can ULg

Doctoral thesis (2016)

Among network forming glasses, chalcogenide glasses are of great importance not only for their optoelectronic applications, but also for the network structure that displays enhanced structural variability ... [more ▼]

Among network forming glasses, chalcogenide glasses are of great importance not only for their optoelectronic applications, but also for the network structure that displays enhanced structural variability due to the covalent bonding network. In this project, we study the Ge-Se binary alloy as the target system in order to investigate the structure and dynamics of the liquid and glassy phases under pressure by using a combination of ab initio molecular dynamics (AIMD) simulations and X-ray scattering experiments. The wide glass forming range of the GexSe100􀀀x system allows one to tune the stiffness of the network structure by increasing the mean coordination number with the Ge content which affects the macroscopic material properties such as resistance to aging, hardness, conductivity, and fragility. In this respect, we study 10 different AIMD generated and 5 experimentally produced (i.e melt quenching) compositions spanning the flexible-to-rigid elastic phase transitions according to Maxwell’s isostatic stability criterion. As for the liquid state, after having validated the structural models by comparing the experimental findings available, we examine the dynamics of Ge-Se melts at ambient pressure. The investigations on the diffusion coefficients and viscosity at 1050 K showed clear anomalies, departing from the expectation that atomic mobility should decrease as the system becomes more and more rigid. Furthermore, the relaxation behavior at 1050 K also shows similar anomalies when intermediate scattering factors are examined at q vector corresponding to the principal peak position of the total structure factor. To elucidate this anomaly, we discuss the effect of the topological constraints on the dynamics in liquid state. The results show that the isostatic systems have slower dynamics as compared to flexible and stressed rigid phases. Moreover, we speculate that the reason of this anomaly may originate from the distribution of the topological bond bending constraints of the higher coordinated species (i.e. Ge) results. In particular, the flexible, and stressed rigid compositions showed a high variance in the Ge bond bending constraints whereas the isostatic composition forms a network in which the bond bending constraints are homogeneously distributed. We link this behavior with a global fragility concept for network forming liquids in such a way that fragility minima are obtained both by experimental findings and the calculated fragility values of the AIMD generated compositions (i.e. VFT or MYEGA fits) when scaled to the isostatic composition for a number of different systems. As for the glassy phase, the AIMD generated structural models show good agreement in both real and reciprocal space. The equation of state and normalized stress-strain curves are compared to the available experiments in order to verify the pressure behavior of the simulations. The results show a good agreement. In addition to the simulations under pressure, we show results of X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS) and X-ray diffraction (XRD) experiments under pressure. Both simulations and the experiments show that there are no sign of crystallization during compression up to 42 GPa. One of the main important finding is the evolution of the Ge-Se bond length for the compositions studied. We observe a bond compression in the early stages of densification in the phase identified as low density amorphous (LDA), which is followed by an abrupt jump starting in pressures around 10-15 GPa, both in simulations and experiments. Furthermore, a semiconductor to metal transition is identified with the red shift in Ge K edge energy. The features of polyamorphism was also detected from the pressure evolution of the principal peak position of the structure factor which show two distinct slopes indicating different structural response to the applied pressure. In order to have a deeper understanding of the densification mechanisms, we apply neighbor analyses to our atomic trajectories and show that the tetrahedral to octahedral transformation (i.e LDA to HDA) starts to take place when the fifth and sixth neighbors effectively become the part of first shell neighbors, where the bond angles adapt themselves to 90 degrees. We furthermore speculate the effect of network rigidity of the glasses at ambient conditions onto the kinetics of the amorphous-amorphous transitions. It appears that the polyamorphic transitions are more sluggish as the network rigidity (i.e Ge content) increases. Finally we show that there is a universal threshold value in coordination change from LDA to HDA phases GexSe100􀀀x (where x 25) when scaled to reduced densities. [less ▲]

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See detailREFINEMENT OF PERI-ANAESTHESIA PRACTICES FOR LABORATORY ANIMAL CARE
Thomas, Aurélie ULg

Doctoral thesis (2016)

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See detailDealing with storm impacts on the forest sector through integrated and systemic approaches at the regional level
Riguelle, Simon ULg

Doctoral thesis (2016)

Wind is one the most damaging natural hazard that forests are facing worldwide and in Europe. Destructive storms lead to severe forest damage and consequently cause disruptions in daily forest management ... [more ▼]

Wind is one the most damaging natural hazard that forests are facing worldwide and in Europe. Destructive storms lead to severe forest damage and consequently cause disruptions in daily forest management and timber supply chains. Major dysfunctions can happen at each step of forest-wood chains and at each level of management, leading to huge economic losses and long-lasting crises within public organisations and private companies. In this context, the first part of this work aims at handling those complex and multi-facetted storm-related issues with new approaches in order to mitigate economic, environmental and societal impacts of storms on the forest-based sector. In a first step, an overview of risk management practices in forestry is presented, as well as major determinants of storm damage risk management. SWOT analyses are also used for highlighting main issues and opportunities in current windthrow management process. In a second step, an integrated framework is proposed for tackling those strategic issues and seizing opportunities arising from the uncertain decision-making context. A systemic perspective is also presented for managing storm damage risk at regional, national or supranational level with a holistic perspective. In regards to those original approaches, the thesis also highlights some of the crucial challenges public authorities might address for enhancing their affectivity in this process. In the second part of the manuscript, three particular aspects of storm damage management are considered: contingency planning, the development of decision-supporting tools for the forest community, and timber storage planning at the regional level. Those topics are illustrated by case studies taking place in Wallonia, Belgium. In particular, the development of a model-based decision support system (DSS) illustrate how systemic analysis can help on the one hand designing balanced strategies for the regional forest-based sector in case of severe wind damage and on the other hand identifying bottlenecks that should be solved before the next huge storm to enhance systemic resilience and resistance. Regarding timber conservation, a GIS-based methodology for locating optimal areas for sprinkling storage at the regional scale is presented, together with an applied study on the influence of anaerobic storage process on the quality of spruce logs. From a wider perspective, this thesis reveals that taking decision under uncertainty will remain a key challenge to address in forestry, especially in the context of climatic change. However, original methodologies focusing on systemic and integrated risk management approaches can help in this effort. Finally, the work emphasises the urgent need of effective risk management policies at regional, national, and international levels to guide researchers, forest managers and industrials. [less ▲]

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See detailSynthesis of poly(ionic liquid)-type nanogels, by cobalt-mediated radical cross-linking copolymerization for coating applications
Weiss-Maurin, Mathilde ULg

Doctoral thesis (2016)

To answer the increasing demand for long-lasting antibacterial polymeric coatings, this thesis explores a straightforward synthetic approach to cationically charged nanogels by cobalt-mediated radical ... [more ▼]

To answer the increasing demand for long-lasting antibacterial polymeric coatings, this thesis explores a straightforward synthetic approach to cationically charged nanogels by cobalt-mediated radical cross-linking copolymerization (CMRCcP), thus expanding previous works on the cobalt-mediated radical polymerization of poly(ionic liquid)s, or PILs. This method involves a vinyl monomer and a divinyl cross-linker, in presence of a complex of Cobalt(III) playing the role of both the initiator and the controlling agent. The syntheses of globular nanogels were first investigated under mild conditions, using a mono- and a divinyl co-monomer with similar reactivities. CMRCcP was implemented on either neutral (vinyl acetate (VAc) and divinyl adipate (DVA)) co-monomers, or hydrophilic (bromide-containing) ionic liquid co-monomers. Control over each polymerization was ascertained, and dormant cobalt-carbon chain-ends could be re-activated to form “second-generation” nanogels. CMRCcP of N-vinyl-3-ethyl imidazolium bromide (VEtImBr) and 1,13-divinyl-3-decyl diimidazolium bromide (DVImBr) was achieved in water at 30 °C, leading to hydrophilic poly(VEtImBr-co-DVImBr) nanogels. The antibacterial activity of these cross-linked structures was investigated, and an effect of architecture is detected. The hydrophobic pendants of these PIL-based nanogels were synthesized via direct CMRCcP in ethyl acetate, using bis(trifluromethanesulfonyl)imide (NTf2-) counter anions. An array of these poly(VEtImNTf2-co-DVImNTf2) nanogels was then investigated as possible coatings for porous patterned surfaces. Thin films of hydrophobic PIL-based nanogels were also evaluated in ionic conductivity tests. “Second-generation” nanogels exhibited better ionic conductivity, and were able to form better organized porous patterned surfaces than “first-generation” nanogels. Different cross-linked architecture were approached, using a mono- and a divinyl co-monomers of completely different reactivities: synthesizing poly(VEtImBr-co-DVA) nanogels met limited success, while copolymerizing VAc and DVImBr yielded too low conversion. A two-step arm-first process was implemented to form star-like poly(VEtImNTf2-co-DVImNTf2) nanogels with PVAc arms. [less ▲]

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See detailDevelopment and validation of analytical methods for quantifying isoflavones and equol in biological matrices
Daems, Frédéric ULg

Doctoral thesis (2016)

Isoflavones are natural plant substances that attract widespread interest because of their association with a large variety of beneficial effects on human health. When they are ingested by animals or ... [more ▼]

Isoflavones are natural plant substances that attract widespread interest because of their association with a large variety of beneficial effects on human health. When they are ingested by animals or humans, most of these compounds are metabolized by bacteria present in the digestive system. Among the isoflavone microbial metabolites, equol is probably the most widely studied because it seems to have numerous health benefits. In the human population, however, not everyone is able to produce equol. Equol enrichment of some food, such as cow's milk, could be an alternative strategy for making equol’s health benefits available to everyone. The main objective of the present thesis was to develop analytical tools for quantifying these compounds in several biological matrices, thus contributing to the feasibility study being conducted on producing milk naturally enriched with equol. For this purpose, four analytical procedures, using ultra performance liquid chromatography coupled with tandem mass spectrometry (UPLC®-MS/MS), were developed and fully validated. The analytical tools were then applied successfully in two original exploratory studies that sought to quantify equol concentrations in commercial cow's milk in Belgium and study the evolution of isoflavone concentration in red clover (Trifolium pratense L.) silage in laboratory-scale silos. This thesis describes new and reliable analytical tools that will help to improve current knowledge about the feasibility of producing cow's milk naturally enriched with equol and to study isoflavone metabolization in dairy cow. [less ▲]

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See detailPerformance de l'indicateur Azote Potentiellement Lessivable pour l'évaluation de la gestion du nitrate en agriculture et du risque pour la qualité de l’eau
Vandenberghe, Christophe ULg

Doctoral thesis (2016)

Since the end of last century, the nitrate concentration in groundwater has steadily increased in Wallonia as in other parts of Europe, particularly in regions where agriculture is intensively practised ... [more ▼]

Since the end of last century, the nitrate concentration in groundwater has steadily increased in Wallonia as in other parts of Europe, particularly in regions where agriculture is intensively practised. In response to this, Europe developed a ' Nitrates ' directive in 1991 that each member state had to transcribe in its legislation. In the Walloon region, the transcription took the form of a Sustainable Nitrogen Management Program (PGDA). This program provides among others control of farms through the analysis of nitrate nitrogen soil residue, in autumn, the beginning of the leaching period of nitrate. This measure is commonly referred to as APL for ‘Potentially Leachable Nitrogen’. The results are assessed by comparison to references established annually based on observations in plots where PGDA is applied and where fertilization recommendations are based on nitrogen balance. In case of non -compliance, the farmer has to follow an observation program, or even to pay a fine. The aim of the thesis is to evaluate the performance of the APL as agronomic (nitrogen management) and environmental indicator (risk to groundwater quality). On the agronomic side, through experimentations or treatment of field APL controls, it has been demonstrated that the indicator was well correlated with fertilization practices and intercrop management. The performance of the indicator has been validated. Some uncertainty factors (intra-plot variability, temporal variability, bulk density, stone content) were quantified. Finally, the influence of soil physicochemical properties on the APL was studied and discussed. The performance of the APL control was also discussed and improvements to regulation have been proposed. On the environmental side, through observations made during a decade in plots equipped with a lysimiter or in a small watershed, the dependence of the nitrate concentration in water (at the base of the root zone or in aquifer) to the APL has been demonstrated. It therefore appears that the APL can be used to firstly assess the reality of the sustainable nitrogen management in controlled farms and also to validate or, if necessary, complete the PGDA to make it more efficient for water quality preservation / restoration. [less ▲]

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See detailMonitoring water and pollutant leaching at an industrial site using geophysics and a vadose zone monitoring system.
Fernandez de Vera, Natalia ULg

Doctoral thesis (2016)

The development of protection and remediation plans for contaminated soil and groundwater require a detailed understanding of water flow dynamics and contaminant distribution in the subsurface. However ... [more ▼]

The development of protection and remediation plans for contaminated soil and groundwater require a detailed understanding of water flow dynamics and contaminant distribution in the subsurface. However, the retrieval of such information across the vadose zone is challenging, as most field technologies have limited accessibility beyond the first meters of subsoil and industrial environments pose additional technical difficulties for installation. The research presented here aims to provide effective in situ characterization tools that are capable of providing information about water flow dynamics, contaminant distribution and chemistry across the vadose zone of industrial contaminated sites. The Vadose Zone Monitoring System (VMS) was selected in conjunction with geophysical methods (Electrical Resistivity Tomography), given their adaptability for installation in polluted industrial sites. The VMS allows retrieval of in situ continuous hydraulic and chemical information of infiltrated water at different depths of the vadose zone through customized sensors installed in a slanted borehole. The spatial resolution of the subsurface is improved with geophysical methods, which are used to characterize structural heterogeneities in the subsurface and the spatial distribution of solutes therein. The setup containing both the VMS and a geophysical system was installed at a former industrial contaminated site in the west of Belgium. Soil and groundwater at the study site are contaminated with heavy metals, Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAH) and inorganic contaminants, among others. Upon installation, the site was monitored under natural recharge conditions. Results from water content sensors installed in the VMS reveal quick rises in water content as a response to rainfall events to depths reaching 3.65m. From such water fluctuations, macropore, micropore, matrix and preferential flow mechanisms are identified. At greater depths, slower flow dynamics and matrix mechanisms are dominant. Results from sampled waters across the vadose zone reveal the existence of two predominant chemical facies at different depths, which are related with water infiltration flow mechanisms. Ni is identified as the main contaminant that is leaching across the vadose zone. Subsequent to such initial monitoring period, a saline tracer test was infiltrated on site and monitored via surface, cross-borehole ERT methods and the VMS to simulate the transport of a contaminant across the vadose zone. Results from a short term monitoring period (5 days) reveal the formation of a plume in the first meter of the subsurface. Slow vertical flow through matrix is found to be dominant. Measurements carried out 105 days after tracer infiltration vertical transport of the tracer towards depths that reached 4m. Results obtained from the VMS indicate that the tracer has reached such depths through the activation of matrix and fracture flow mechanisms following frequent rainfall episodes. The implementation of the setup has provided detailed information about water flow dynamics and chemistry across the vadose zone, as well as the spatial characterization of structures and tracer distribution in the subsurface. From such outcome, it can be concluded that this setup could be used to improve site conceptual models which are essential for developing risk assessments and remediation plans. [less ▲]

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See detailMix and match: Essays on collective dynamics in nascent social entrepreneurship
Dufays, Frédéric ULg

Doctoral thesis (2016)

Social entrepreneurship is increasingly recognized both in research and practice as a form of entrepreneurship that is inherently hybrid as it combines a social-welfare logic with a commercial logic at ... [more ▼]

Social entrepreneurship is increasingly recognized both in research and practice as a form of entrepreneurship that is inherently hybrid as it combines a social-welfare logic with a commercial logic at its core. Collective dynamics, whether they point at an networked individual or a team, appear particularly salient both in the discourse on social entrepreneurship and in its practice. These would constitute a distinguishing feature of social entrepreneurship, which this dissertation examines through a set of four related research papers. First, social entrepreneurship as generically collective is taken as a starting point to review the literature. In particular, it identifies how the social network concept is used in relation to social entrepreneurship and develops research proposals aiming to explain social entrepreneurship emergence through this lens. Considering the entrepreneurial team as a crystallized social network that allows for bridging distinct logics constitutes one of these proposals, which is further explored in the second paper. Grounded in institutional theory, it develops a processual model describing how hybridity emerges and sustains throughout the entrepreneurial process and suggests that the entrepreneurial team may be a carrier of hybridity. The empirical part of the dissertation examines particular moments of this process. The third paper questions the collective dimension by seeking individuals’ meanings of entrepreneuring in team in the context of social entrepreneurship. Located a bit further in time in the entrepreneurial process, the fourth paper looks at organizational tensions in social entrepreneurial teams and nascent social enterprises and seeks to portray the manifestations of hybridity. Overall, this dissertation contributes to institutional theory by exploring the emergence of hybrid organizations; to team entrepreneurship literature by unravelling its antecedents and by explaining tensions in a context of institutional complexity; and to knowledge on social entrepreneurship by examining its collective dynamics at the early stages of the process. [less ▲]

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See detailRadiosynthesis and preclinical development of [18F]labeled tryptophan for human indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase PET imaging
Henrottin, Jean ULg

Doctoral thesis (2016)

Nowadays, Cancer is probably the global incidence disease which is the most widespread, the most varied, still constantly rising and that can affect all levels and social classes of the population. Its ... [more ▼]

Nowadays, Cancer is probably the global incidence disease which is the most widespread, the most varied, still constantly rising and that can affect all levels and social classes of the population. Its treatment and care of patients suffering from this disease made it undoubtedly a crucial medical and scientific challenge, but also and above all, a major political, economical and social challenge for the coming years. Since its early detection often leads to a positive prognostic for the future of the patient, numerous methods are currently being developed to make easier its screening and improve its treatment. Positron Emission Tomography (PET) is one of the best techniques used to diagnose and bring out the presence of tumor cells, but also to study enzymatic activities within them, allowing therefore the prescription of a more adequate treatment and better tailored to each individual patient. That’s in this spirit that a novel specific radiotracer of the human indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase enzyme (hIDO) has been developed during this PhD thesis. This enzyme, highly expressed in numerous human tumors, is also currently subject to the development of various inhibitors. This report presents the development of N1-(2-[18F]fluoroethyl)-L-tryptophan (1-[18F]FE-L-Trp), a novel PET radiotracer derived from L-tryptophan and bearing a radioactive atom of fluorine-18 ([18F]F). This “story” starts with the synthesis of this compound and its selection as a specific substrate of hIDO among several potential candidates, and continues until its in vivo PET imaging on mice, while including also its enantiomerically pure and automated radiosynthesis, and numerous in vitro enzymatic and cellular assays, demonstrating the properties and the characteristics (specificity and selectivity) of this radiotracer with respect to hIDO. According to this study, in vitro cellular uptake have demonstrated that 1-[18F]FE-L-Trp is a radiotracer of choice to facilitate the development and the preclinical validation of novel potential inhibitors of hIDO (e.g. 1-methyl-L-tryptophan). Additionally, some in vivo PET imaging on mice bearing one tumor in each flank have shown that this radiotracer allows the in vivo detection of tumors expressing this enzyme. Nevertheless, in the conditions tested until now, only very small preferential uptake was observed with this radiotracer, in hIDO expressing tumors as compared to hTDO and control tumors. As a result, this radiotracer cannot be yet considered as a PET contrast agent in this animal model. Therefore, further additional investigation will be required to understand and characterize this animal model, to improve these in vivo results, and finally reach this objective. However, this PhD research constitutes the first step towards the preclinical development of radiopharmaceutical compounds allowing the molecular cancer imaging through the intermediary of hIDO enzyme. [less ▲]

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See detailMethods and models for brain connectivity assessment across levels of consciousness
Amico, Enrico ULg

Doctoral thesis (2016)

The human brain is one of the most complex and fascinating systems in nature. In the last decades, two events have boosted the investigation of its functional and structural properties. Firstly, the ... [more ▼]

The human brain is one of the most complex and fascinating systems in nature. In the last decades, two events have boosted the investigation of its functional and structural properties. Firstly, the emergence of novel noninvasive neuroimaging modalities, which helped improving the spatial and temporal resolution of the data collected from in vivo human brains. Secondly, the development of advanced mathematical tools in network science and graph theory, which has recently translated into modeling the human brain as a network, giving rise to the area of research so called Brain Connectivity or Connectomics. In brain network models, nodes correspond to gray-matter regions (based on functional or structural, atlas-based parcellations that constitute a partition), while links or edges correspond either to structural connections as modeled based on white matter fiber-tracts or to the functional coupling between brain regions by computing statistical dependencies between measured brain activity from different nodes. Indeed, the network approach for studying the brain has several advantages: 1) it eases the study of collective behaviors and interactions between regions; 2) allows to map and study quantitative properties of its anatomical pathways; 3) gives measures to quantify integration and segregation of information processes in the brain, and the flow (i.e. the interacting dynamics) between different cortical and sub-cortical regions. The main contribution of my PhD work was indeed to develop and implement new models and methods for brain connectivity assessment in the human brain, having as primary application the analysis of neuroimaging data coming from subjects at different levels of consciousness. I have here applied these methods to investigate changes in levels of consciousness, from normal wakefulness (healthy human brains) or drug-induced unconsciousness (i.e. anesthesia) to pathological (i.e. patients with disorders of consciousness). [less ▲]

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See detailDynamics of ligands on gold surface to obtain Janus nanoclusters: A theoretical and experimental investigation
Lugo Preciado, Jesús Gustavo ULg

Doctoral thesis (2016)

We performed a joint computational – experimental investigation of the dynamics of ligand exchange on gold nanoclusters (GNC) surface with the aim to understand how to control the structural and optical ... [more ▼]

We performed a joint computational – experimental investigation of the dynamics of ligand exchange on gold nanoclusters (GNC) surface with the aim to understand how to control the structural and optical properties of GNC through the design of their ligand shell. Our computational studies were carried out in the framework of the Kohn – Sham implementation of density functional theory in quantum chemistry. We analyzed the main features of UV – Vis spectra computed at the TD – DFT / CAM – B3LYP level for the Au13, Au25, and Au28 metallic cores protected by thiolate, chloride, and phosphine ligands. Our results show that it is possible to tune the energy of the lowest absorption band of gold clusters by ligand shell engineering in order to control the charge redistribution between ligand shell and metallic core. In parallel we synthesized a set of Au25(ATP)x(TP)18 – x clusters with different ATP/TP ratios using an adapted Demessence protocol by combining 4ATP (4 – aminothiophenol) and TP (thiophenol) ligands. ESI – MS measurements evidence that for these mixed ligand shells the Au25 nuclearity is preserved. However, the addition of the DDT (1 – dodecanethiol) ligand in the mixture leads to nanoparticle formation. FT – IR spectroscopy confirms the absorption of two different ligands on the gold surface and SAXS shows that we have a good correlation between the distance between two clusters and the length of the ligand protecting them. Furthermore, we collaborated with the Institut Charles Gerhardt in the Université de Montpellier, France whose experimental results show that several n – heterocyclic carbenes (NHC) bearing different groups on the N atoms exhibit similar reactivity when protecting a gold nanosurface. The formation of the bis(NHC) AuI gold complexes is evidenced by 13C NMR. In order to complement and interpret the experimental results, we carried out a computational study of the adsorption of a single NHC on Au38 which acts as a model for the gold surface, as well as of the fully NHC ligated Au38 cluster. The joint experimental – theoretical study, in particular the comparison between computed and 13C NMR spectra allows proposing a possible mechanism explaining the formation of [NHC – Au – NHC]+ complexes and the erosion experienced by the nanoparticle. Finally, we carried out a comparison of the mode of binding and the structural and optical properties of the fully ligated PH3 and NHC GNC with metallic cores of different nuclearities. Our computations show that the Au – P bond is weaker than the Au – NHC one. Additionally, our study confirms that the ligand – to – metal charge transfer is an important parameter for understanding the electronic transitions and the UV – Vis spectra in these clusters. Our computations on the PH3 – Au38 set of complexes show that there is a site selectivity for the reactivity for the PH3 interacting on the Au38 surface which allows predicting where the PH3 is likely to be adsorbed. This selectivity is not observed in the case of the binding of a single NHC ligand on the surface of the Au38 cluster. [less ▲]

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See detailCaractérisation multiscalaire de contaminations en éléments traces dans les sols : distribution spatiale et verticale, évaluation du transfert sol-plante-vers de terre et gestion potentielle par amendements organiques
Liénard, Amandine ULg

Doctoral thesis (2016)

Human economic and technological development has a negative impact on the environment. The soil is not spared from this growing threat through its role in the environmental interface. Once degraded as a ... [more ▼]

Human economic and technological development has a negative impact on the environment. The soil is not spared from this growing threat through its role in the environmental interface. Once degraded as a result of contamination, it can no longer fulfill its ecosystem functions such as the protection of ecosystems, food production or preservation of the quality of surface water and groundwater. The studies presented in the thesis are on soil contaminated by atmospheric fallouts enriched by trace elements. This type of contamination increases the natural levels of contaminants in soils and particularly in surface horizons to exceed the maximum levels set by legislation. The first axe of research concerns the assessment of contamination at a landscape scale around a former zinc-lead ore-treatment plant. The spatial distribution of cadmium, lead and zinc in the topsoil (0-20 cm) was characterized using 247 samples taken in crop, grassland and forest on three major types of loam soils representative of the study area Sclaigneaux (Wallonia, Belgium). The distribution of contaminants is explained by the distance to the source of contamination, direction of dominant winds, land use and soil type. Subsequently, 22 soil profiles were sampled within the study area to estimate the vertical transfer of contaminants. Based on various indexes of contamination, no migration along the profiles has been demonstrated. Only some more clay horizons presented contaminant levels that increased relative to their upper horizons. The second approach studied the soil-plant transfer and soil-plant-worm transfer of contaminants. First, a field study of the quality of grains of barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) harvested in the study area Sclaigneaux was performed. It appears that the concentration of cadmium in the grain meets quality standards for placing the cereals on the market. However, 78% and 94% of zinc and cadmium, respectively, concentrations measured in grains exceed the expected levels of a non-impacted environment by human activity. Secondly, a study on microcosms was conducted with soils of agricultural parcels around Sclaigneaux on which two crops (faba bean, Vicia faba L. and corn, Zea mays L.) were grown and where earthworms (Eisenia fetida (Savigny)) were introduced. The life traits of E. fetida such as mortality and adult weight were not affected by the levels of contaminants unlike the presence of plants which limit their reproduction (weight and number of cocoons). Moreover, the presence of E. fetida in microcosms influenced the mobility and bioavailability of contaminants. The third approach deals with metal contaminations in vegetable gardens and their management using organic amendments. This method of stabilization aims to decrease the labile fraction of soil contaminants and further reduce their transfer to plants. To do so, two vegetables (spinach, Spinacia oleracea L. and lettuce, Lactuca sativa L.) were grown on contaminated garden soils enriched in various amendments sold in garden centers. The major finding of this study is that management by amendments does not allow a systematic decrease in the soluble fraction contaminants. This is mainly due to the direct intake of rapidly mobilized trace elements produced by the addition of some of the studied amendments. [less ▲]

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See detailProfessionalization of Human Resource Management in Social Enterprises
Moreau, Charlotte ULg

Doctoral thesis (2016)

Social enterprises put the human being at the heart of their functioning. But managing human beings, and consequently managing human resources, remains poorly developed and studied in social enterprises ... [more ▼]

Social enterprises put the human being at the heart of their functioning. But managing human beings, and consequently managing human resources, remains poorly developed and studied in social enterprises. However, the social enterprise sector is currently undergoing important changes: increased complexity of legal and institutional frameworks; focus on impact evaluation; transformation of public funding schemes; increased competition, etc. Those evolutions question the functioning of social enterprises and strongly impact their human resource management (HRM) practices. A movement towards professionalization of social enterprises is observed. In this doctoral thesis, we focus on the topic of HRM professionalization in social enterprises. First, we clarified our understanding of the black box of professionalization. We developed a conceptual model composed of three dimensions, the HR tools, the HR function and the HR philosophy, which together allowed apprehending HRM professionalization. Then, the data collection was achieved through a methodology mixing quantitative and qualitative approaches. Indeed, a large quantitative survey was conducted by sending a questionnaire to the Belgian French-speaking social enterprises working with at least ten workers. In parallel, in-depth case studies were performed in four voluntary very different social enterprises, as the objective was to observe the diversity of the HR practices. The results of those mixed-methodologies offer a wealth of learning opportunities and allow for a better apprehension of HRM and its evolution in social enterprises. An important diversity in the HR practices is observed. A certain level of formalization has to be highlighted but the real stakes lay elsewhere. The deeper issues in terms of HRM professionalization occur around the HR function, i.e. the roles of the HR actors, but above all around the philosophy underlying the HR evolutions. Indeed, social enterprises seem constructed, even implicitly, around a critical choice that impacts the whole organization and its functioning. That critical choice can be conceived as the internal concretization of the organization’s larger mission and is thus specific to each social enterprise. The paths of HRM professionalization and its different dimensions are strongly influenced by these critical choices. In social enterprises, the critical choices act as a filter toward the potential external pressures. Furthermore, critical choices are the results of an evolving compromise between different logics. If new logics arise, the critical choice is challenged, leading to strong questionings of HR issues among others. Critical choices are subject to an important legitimization and power stakes between the actors. Finally, these different elements let us think that the classic perspectives on HRM (universalistic, contingency and configurational) are hardly appropriate here. Consequently, we offer a new approach, a “processual” perspective to study the paths of HRM professionalization by considering the contexts surrounding the social enterprise, their internal characteristics, the power stakes around those questions and the evolution of all these elements through time. The contributions of this work include the “processual” approach, the conceptual model or the analysis of a poorly studied phenomenon. [less ▲]

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See detailETUDE FONCTIONNELLE DES FACTEURS D’ÉPISSAGE SR D’ARABIDOPSIS THALIANA
Stankovic, Nancy ULg

Doctoral thesis (2016)

Dans ce travail, nous avons montré que la protéine RSZ22, est une protéine hautement dynamique. Cette protéine fait partie de la sous-famille des protéines RSZ d’Arabidopsis et est l’homologue de la ... [more ▼]

Dans ce travail, nous avons montré que la protéine RSZ22, est une protéine hautement dynamique. Cette protéine fait partie de la sous-famille des protéines RSZ d’Arabidopsis et est l’homologue de la protéine SRSF7 humaine. Elle possède un domaine RRM, un domaine RS et entre les deux un domaine de liaison au RNA Zn-knuckle de type CCHC. L’utilisation des approches de FRAP (Fluorescence Recovery After Photobleaching) et de FLIP (Fluorescence Loss In Photobleaching) ont permis d’étudier la dynamique de cette protéine mais aussi sa capacité de navette entre le noyau et le cytoplasme comme son homologue humain SRSF7. Ces études ont été réalisées avec RSZ22 fusionnée à la GFP et surexprimée transitoirement dans des cellules foliaires mais aussi en transformation stable chez Arabidopsis (Rausin et al., 2010; Tillemans et al., 2006). Dans cette étude, nous avons montré que RSZ22, comme les protéines de la famille SR, est une protéine navette. Par analyses de FLIP-shuttling nous avons pu établir des cinétiques d'exportation et confirmer que les protéines SR végétales utilisent le récepteur CRM1/XPO1 comme voie d’exportation. Sa mobilité dépend du niveau de phosphorylation et de la concentration en ATP de la cellule. La complémentarité des techniques de surexpression en transformation transitoire et de l’expression stable ayant été démontrée (Rausin et al., 2010), nous nous y sommes référés pour notre étude de dynamique des protéines nucléaires. Nous avons également cherché à évaluer les rôles des domaines d’accrochage au RNA de RSZ22 dans sa localisation et sa dynamique. Par mutagenèse dirigée, nous avons modifié les acides aminés conservés connus pour jouer un rôle dans les interactions avec le RNA (Clery et al., 2008; Hargous et al., 2006; Lunde et al., 2007; Maris et al., 2005; Phelan et al., 2012). Nos résultats montrent que les domaines Zn-knuckle et RRM fonctionnels ne sont pas nécessaires à la localisation nucléaire de la protéine RSZ22, ni à sa localisation en speckles. La dynamique nucléocytoplasmique de la protéine RSZ22 n’est pas altérée par la mutation des motifs Zn-knuckle et RNP1. Cependant, les protéines mutées de RSZ22 répondent différemment aux traitements par la LMB. En effet, celles-ci ne sont plus « retenues » dans le noyau après un tel traitement et continuent d’être exportées vers le cytoplasme. Sachant que la LMB est un inhibiteur spécifique de la voie CRM1/XPO1, ce dernier récepteur est impliqué dans l’exportation des protéines SR en interaction avec le RNA (Williams et al., 2008). Dans la suite des recherches réalisées au sein du laboratoire, nous avons étudié la dynamique nucléo-cytoplasmique des protéines SR, en étudiant la sous-famille SRSF1-like. Chez Arabidopsis thaliana, cette famille se compose des protéines SR34, SR34a, SR34b et SR30 et possède deux domaines RRM et un domaine RS. Comme RSZ22, SR34 et SR34a font la navette entre le noyau et le cytoplasme. Nous formulons ainsi l’hypothèse que comme son homologue humain SRSF1, SR34 pourrait être impliquée dans l’exportation du mRNA vers le cytoplasme. Nous avons analysé les rôles des différents domaines de SR34 par mutagénèse dirigée. Nous avons montré que le domaine RS de la protéine SR34 est nécessaire pour la localisation nucléaire et la stabilité de la protéine. Les motifs de liaison au RNA sont impliqués dans l’exportation de SR34 par la voie CRM1/XPO1. Par la technique du double hybride en levure, une interaction entre SR34 et SR45 a pu être mise en évidence et confirmée par FLIM-FRET (Fluorescence-Lifetime Imaging Microscopy - Fluorescence Resonance Energy Transfert). L’analyse des interactions entre SR45 et les protéines SR34 mutantes montre l’importance des différents domaines de la protéine dans les interactions protéine-protéine. [less ▲]

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See detailCaractérisation biochimique et structurale des tagatose-1,6-bisphosphate aldolases de classe I d’origine procaryotique
Freichels, Régine ULg

Doctoral thesis (2016)

La réaction d’addition catalysée par la D-tagatose-1,6-bisphosphate aldolase (TBPA) de classe I n’est pas spécifique. A partir du dihydroxyacétone phosphate et du D-glycéraldéhyde-3-phosphate, la TBPA ... [more ▼]

La réaction d’addition catalysée par la D-tagatose-1,6-bisphosphate aldolase (TBPA) de classe I n’est pas spécifique. A partir du dihydroxyacétone phosphate et du D-glycéraldéhyde-3-phosphate, la TBPA génère quatre D-cétohexoses-1,6-bisphosphate qui diffèrent au niveau des carbones 3 et 4 : D-tagatose-1,6-bisphosphate, D-fructose-1,6-bisphosphate, D-psicose-1,6-bisphosphate et D-sorbose-1,6-bisphosphate. Dans le cadre de ce travail, nous contribuons à la compréhension du contrôle stéréochimique de cette enzyme en identifiant des acides aminés impliqués dans sa spécificité. Pour ce faire, une analyse in silico a été réalisée afin de sélectionner des TBPA présentant des particularités dans le site actif. Des alignements de séquences montrent que la lysine à la position 125, décrite comme importante pour la catalyse, est remplacée par une arginine dans une seule TBPA : celle de Streptococcus porcinus. Les paramètres cinétiques révèlent que cette arginine entraine un changement de spécificité en faveur du D-tagatose-1,6-bisphosphate alors que la lysine correspondante est importante pour une spécificité élargie. Cependant, l’arginine diminue fortement l’activité de clivage et de formation des D-cétohexoses-1,6-bisphosphate. La détermination de la structure par cristallographie des rayons-X aide à comprendre le rôle de l’arginine dans la TBPA de S. porcinus. Finalement, des études HPLC révèlent que toutes les TBPA synthétisent principalement du D-tagatose-1,6-bisphosphate et du D-fructose-1,6-bisphosphate. [less ▲]

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See detailBrain connectivity and sensory stimulation in disorders of consciousness
Heine, Lizette ULg

Doctoral thesis (2016)

This thesis explores brain connectivity and sensory stimulation in patients with disorders of consciousness (DOC). These are serious conditions where massive brain damage can lead to a dissociation ... [more ▼]

This thesis explores brain connectivity and sensory stimulation in patients with disorders of consciousness (DOC). These are serious conditions where massive brain damage can lead to a dissociation between arousal and awareness (e.g., UWS and MCS). Part I explores brain connectivity. We highlight that brain function and structure are intimately related to each other, and to consciousness. The decrease in brain function can be used to distinguish between the clinically indicated states of consciousness. Part II evaluates passive sensory stimulations. Preferred stimuli may have the power to momentarily enhance brain function, and behavioral responses. [less ▲]

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See detailETUDE SUR LA REALISATION ET LES COMPLICATIONS DE LA CESARIENNE DANS LA RACE BLANC BLEU BELGE
Djebala, Salem ULg

Master of advanced studies dissertation (2016)

La césarienne est une chirurgie importante en Wallonie. Pour faire le point sur cette intervention chirurgicale et les complications post-opératoires qui en découlent ; deux enquêtes ont été adressées aux ... [more ▼]

La césarienne est une chirurgie importante en Wallonie. Pour faire le point sur cette intervention chirurgicale et les complications post-opératoires qui en découlent ; deux enquêtes ont été adressées aux vétérinaires ruraux et aux éleveurs de Blanc-bleu Belge exerçant dans cette région. Ces deux enquêtes traitent différents points, notamment : la détection et la surveillance des vêlages, la préparation de la césarienne (box à césarienne, tonte ou rasage, asepsie), les différentes techniques, les matériaux et les médicaments utilisés pour réaliser une césarienne ainsi que les soins et les complications postopératoires observées. Les résultats de ces deux enquêtes ont permis de constater la diversité des pratiques, mais également, le fait qu’un certain nombre d’entre elles s’écartent des recommandations académiques ou bibliographiques habituelles. Ces deux enquêtes ont permis aussi de mettre en relation les différentes pratiques des éleveurs et des vétérinaires avec les complications post-opératoires observées. A l’issus de ces enquêtes, des recommandations ont été formulées afin d’exclure les mauvaises pratiques habituelles des vétérinaires et des éleveurs et de réduire le pourcentage des complications postopératoires recensées sur le terrain. Ces enquêtes nous ont permis aussi de pointer du doigt certains points obscurs qui feront l’objet de nouvelles perspectives de recherche. [less ▲]

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See detailLes conséquences civiles des polices administratives sur la vente immobilière. Etude comparée des droits wallon, flamand et bruxellois
Onclin, François ULg

Doctoral thesis (2016)

On observe une influence grandissante des polices administratives sur le droit des contrats. La police administrative désigne l'ensemble des pouvoirs qui sont accordés, par ou en vertu d'une disposition ... [more ▼]

On observe une influence grandissante des polices administratives sur le droit des contrats. La police administrative désigne l'ensemble des pouvoirs qui sont accordés, par ou en vertu d'une disposition législative, aux autorités administratives et qui permettent de restreindre les droits et libertés des individus en vue d'assurer le maintien de l'ordre public. A côté de la police administrative générale qui tend à assurer le maintien de la sécurité, de la salubrité et de la tranquillité publiques, de nombreuses polices administratives spéciales se sont développées. Ces dernières visent à prévenir des troubles spécifiques, dont l'objet est défini par chaque législation particulière. Lors de la mise en œuvre de sa compétence, le législateur de police recourt à différents procédés. Il en résulte que de nombreuses contraintes de police encerclent les opérations contractuelles qui portent sur des biens immeubles. La recherche entreprise a toutefois limité son champ d’étude à la vente immobilière étant donné qu’il s’agit de l’acte de droit civil le plus fréquent et le plus souvent encadré par les polices administratives des biens. La législation de police renforce parfois la violation des exigences qu’elle impose d’une sanction administrative ou pénale. L’exercice se complique lorsqu’il s’agit d’apprécier les conséquences civiles des polices administratives. Dans ce cas, il convient à la fois de se référer à la théorie générale des obligations et à l’éventuelle sanction civile qui est aménagée par la législation de police. Tel est précisément l’objet de cette thèse, à savoir l’étude des conséquences, sur le plan civil, des polices administratives sur la vente immobilière. La thèse se structure en deux parties. La première a examiné la situation dans laquelle les polices administratives influencent la formation de la vente. La seconde avait, quant à elle, pour objet d’apprécier la mesure dans laquelle ces mêmes polices ont un impact sur les effets de la vente. Le système de répartition des compétences mis en place au sein du fédéralisme belge impose une recherche comparée. Celle-ci est entreprise en droit interne. De nombreuses polices administratives ont été, pour d’importantes parties, régionalisées. Elles ressortissent dès lors à la compétence du législateur régional. Pour cette raison, la recherche a été étendue aux droits wallon, flamand et bruxellois. Le droit des obligations et des contrats demeure, sous réserve de certaines exceptions, de la compétence de l’autorité fédérale. Lorsque la sanction civile est étudiée, il en résulte une tension entre, d’une part, la compétence du législateur fédéral et, d’autre part, celle du législateur de police. La rigidité de cette division des compétences engendre des difficultés. [less ▲]

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See detailNietzsche & la neurologie
JEDIDI, Haroun ULg

Master of advanced studies dissertation (2016)

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See detailL'ENSEIGNEMENT DU FRANÇAIS AUX ANGLOPHONES AU CAMEROUN : ANALYSE ET PROPOSITIONS DIDACTIQUES
Mouto Betoko, Christiane ULg

Doctoral thesis (2016)

Au Cameroun, l’école est la garante de la politique du bilinguisme officiel qui vise à faire de tous les citoyens camerounais des individus parfaitement bilingues, afin de garantir leur intégration sur ... [more ▼]

Au Cameroun, l’école est la garante de la politique du bilinguisme officiel qui vise à faire de tous les citoyens camerounais des individus parfaitement bilingues, afin de garantir leur intégration sur l’ensemble du territoire national. Les élèves anglophones apprennent donc le français, leur deuxième langue officielle (LO2), comme toutes les autres disciplines, tout au long de leur cursus secondaire. En classes terminales, l’un des objectifs prioritaires de l’enseignement de la LO2 (French) est de préparer les élèves à intégrer les milieux universitaires et/ou socioprofessionnels majoritairement implantés en zone francophone. Néanmoins, dans ce contexte, l’atteinte des objectifs scolaires du bilinguisme constitue une problématique imputable à de nombreuses inadéquations inhérentes au sous-système éducatif anglophone. C’est dans cette optique que nous nous sommes demandé comment allier « objectifs scolaires du bilinguisme » et « méthodologie de l’enseignement du French» pour une préparation effective de notre public cible à son intégration dans son milieu de vie au sortir du secondaire. Ainsi, nous avons inscrit cette étude dans le champ épistémologique de la didactique du français langue étrangère, domaine disciplinaire qui fait de la connaissance des publics le point de départ de tout projet de formation en langues étrangères. Ceci dit, nous défendons la thèse selon laquelle la prise en compte des besoins réels des principaux acteurs devrait constituer l’étape préalable à la mise au point des projets de réforme tels la réforme du système éducatif et par ricochet, des programmes de formation que connaît actuellement l’éducation au Cameroun. Ayant constaté que l’environnement sociolinguistique où se déroulent l’enseignement et l’apprentissage du French n’est pas sans conséquence directe sur la mise en application du bilinguisme scolaire, nous avons jugé nécessaire de comprendre les politiques linguistique et éducative du milieu d’étude. Ainsi, dans la première partie de ce travail, il convenait de s’interroger sur le mode d’emploi réel des langues officielles, particulièrement en ce qui concerne l’usage de la langue française dans la société camerounaise ; de comprendre la problématique de la formation bilingue au Cameroun ; de questionner la place des langues maternelles à l’école ; d’analyser les failles du sous-système éducatif anglophone en matière d’enseignements des langues officielles ; et enfin, de mener une réflexion didactique sur les programmes de français II. Dans la deuxième partie de ce travail, nous avons mis en exergue l’importance de la prise en compte des caractéristiques des principaux acteurs de la salle de classe dans l’élaboration des programmes de formation. Les profils de ces acteurs étant absents des directives institutionnelles, nous les avons questionnés pour mettre leurs caractéristiques au grand jour. Pour ce faire, nous avons mené une enquête de terrain dans les deux régions qui constituent la zone anglophone (Nord-Ouest et Sud-Ouest) et, dans une région de la zone francophone (Centre). La récolte des données s’est faite par le biais de deux questionnaires (un pour les enseignants et un pour les élèves en classes terminales) et d’une grille d’observation des pratiques de classe. La méthode utilisée est l’analyse quantitative et descriptive des données statistiques. À travers la discussion des résultats obtenus sur la terrain d’enquête, nous avons validé l’hypothèse générale émise au départ, stipulant qu’il y a actuellement une inadéquation entre les objectifs scolaires du bilinguisme et la méthodologie mise en œuvre pour les atteindre en classes terminales du sous-système éducatif anglophone. À travers cette démonstration, nous avons tout simplement touché du doigt la réalité selon laquelle l’atteinte des objectifs visés dans le cadre du bilinguisme ne peut se faire sans avoir établie, au préalable, les besoins réels des principaux acteurs de la salle de classe. [less ▲]

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See detail« Le courtage associatif en développement et l’émergence de nouvelles élites rurales dans le Sud-Est marocain. Le cas de la région Drâa-Tafilalet »
Benidir, Mohammed ULg

Doctoral thesis (2016)

Cette recherche appréhende le renouvellement des élites sur fond de courtage associatif en développement dans les arènes locales de la région de Drâa-Tafilalet dans le Sud-Est du Maroc. Sur la base d’une ... [more ▼]

Cette recherche appréhende le renouvellement des élites sur fond de courtage associatif en développement dans les arènes locales de la région de Drâa-Tafilalet dans le Sud-Est du Maroc. Sur la base d’une enquête ethnographique, nous tenterons de comprendre les processus individuels et collectifs du courtage associatif dans le domaine du développement local. Dans cette région présaharienne, le courtage associatif s’avère être un phénomène composite et imbriqué avec des structures tribales, notabiliaires, associatives, bureaucratiques et politiques. Par ailleurs, le courtage associatif prend deux formes principales : la première est liée à la rétribution matérielle qui favorise la mobilité socioprofessionnelle grâce à l’intermédiation pour la mise en œuvre projets de développement. La seconde est relative à la rétribution symbolique et politique, qui permet aux courtiers associatifs de négocier des positions de leadership en vue d’accéder au rang d’élite. Les profils sociologiques et politiques des courtiers associatifs attestent de l’émergence d’un nouveau groupe élitaire homogène. Celui-ci adopte une stratégie de redéploiement qui emprunte de nouvelles voies d’intermédiation lors de la conduite de projets de développement. L’étude révèle enfin l’existence de conflits à en juger par l’affrontement entre de nouvelles élites rurales et les élites politiques en place lors de la gestion des affaires publiques villageoises. Il s’ensuit de ce qui précède une recomposition des relations de pouvoir dont notamment le renforcement des capacités de l’État en matière de cooptation et de régulation des arènes compétitives entre courtiers. [less ▲]

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See detailPertes et Reconstructions Identitaires des Foyers Post-Divorce
Bullens, Quentin ULg

Doctoral thesis (2016)

La présente étude s’intéresse au parcours des foyers post-divorce via deux objectifs. Premièrement, nous voulons mettre en avant les éléments organisateurs permettant à ces foyers de passer d’un état à un ... [more ▼]

La présente étude s’intéresse au parcours des foyers post-divorce via deux objectifs. Premièrement, nous voulons mettre en avant les éléments organisateurs permettant à ces foyers de passer d’un état à un autre. Pour ce faire, nous recourons à la méthode par théorisation ancrée, bien qu’en nous en écartant partiellement. Deuxièmement, nous cherchons à savoir quels sont les champs lexicaux qui peuvent être extraits des transcriptions d’entretiens avec ces foyers. Pour ce second objectif, nous recourons à la méthode Alceste, via le logiciel Iramuteq. Celui-ci nous permet un croisement des données d’entretiens avec des métadonnées issues notamment du FACES-III et du Jeu du Pique-Nique. Tous ces éléments sont discutés au regard des apports de la littérature scientifique. Mais aussi, au regard de la clinique du deuil, à laquelle il est fait appel pour éclairer ces parcours. En outre, nous contextualisons les notions de famille, mariage et divorce dans une perspective historique prenant ses bases au Moyen Âge. [less ▲]

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See detailRôle du climat et de la compétition interspécifique dans la limitation de l'aire d'invasion d'Ambrosia artemisiifolia L. en Europe de l'Ouest
Ortmans, William ULg

Doctoral thesis (2016)

The invasion process is classically described from a temporal point of view, where a species overcomes a defined number of barriers. First, a species has to get through the geographical barrier, i.e., be ... [more ▼]

The invasion process is classically described from a temporal point of view, where a species overcomes a defined number of barriers. First, a species has to get through the geographical barrier, i.e., be introduced in the new area. Once introduced, the species has to survive new environmental conditions and reproduce successfully. When the environmental barrier is overcome, i.e. when the species is able to reproduce and its populations are self-sufficient, it is considered as naturalized. To finally be considered as invasive, the species has to overcome the dispersal barrier and spread across landscapes. Within a given continent, a species could have overcome a variable number of barriers depending on the considered area. At a given moment, depending on the geographical area, one can observe non-naturalized populations, naturalized populations that are not invasive, and invasive populations. This geographical variation may be the result of an environmental variation across the continent. The common ragweed (Ambrosia artemisiifolia L.) invasion in Western Europe is a good opportunity to study this aspect of invasion biology. The invasion history and the species distribution are well documented, and highlight a geographical variation of the invasion dynamics. This is particularly clear in Western Europe, where there is a contrast between the highly invaded zone of the Rhône valley in France, and more northern areas such as the North of France, Belgium, and the Netherlands. In this work, we tested the hypothesis that the current invasion area is limited northwards, because of an unfavorable local climate or a too strong interspecific competition. In order to answer this general objective, four different questions were asked: 1) Is the climate and/or the interspecific competition causing a variation in plant performances across Western Europe?; 2) In an agricultural context north to the current invaded range, is the local climate allowing the establishment and the reproduction of newly introduced populations?; 3) What is the role of seed morphological variability in the invasion of areas with rigorous climatic conditions?; and 4) What is the role of the priority effect in the species establishment within a ruderal community? No clear limit to the colonization of areas beyond the current invaded range was found in this study. The local climate and the interspecific competition did not appear to limit the naturalization or spread of the species north to the current invaded range, be it in agricultural or ruderal situations. Results showed that once introduced in an agricultural habitat outside the current invaded range, the species was able to establish self-sustaining populations. On average, each plant produced a number of descendants equal to 273 ± 18.4 (mean ± standard error). In ruderal habitats, populations already exist in Belgium and in Southern Netherlands, and are able to produce a high quantity of seeds: on average, the measured plants carried 222 ± 32.0 seeds. The measured plant performances were similar to those measured within the invaded area. The findings of this work are consistent with those of other authors that questioned the “non-naturalized” species status in Belgium, and illustrate how temporally dynamic invasions are. The results showed the importance of the timing in the colonization of disturbed habitats. When the species started its development a few weeks before the rest of the community, its performance gain was higher than that of other ruderal Asteraceae species: its above ground biomass was 30.5 ± 1.94 times higher, and the number of flower heads 570 ± 160 times more important. The high variability of the species observed all along this work is probably playing an important role in the invasion success. The high morphological variability of the seeds seems to widen the range of environmental conditions the species is able to colonize. This study suggests a great invasion potential north to the current invaded area in Western Europe. In this uncertain situation, it appears critical to create an early detection system of the species in Belgium. Early detection may allow the eradication of the species before the invasion becomes as problematic as in France. Awareness campaigns should be encouraged in Belgium in order to avoid that new occurrences of the species remain unnoticed. [less ▲]

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See detailContribution to the study of the mineral hypothesis in relation to the Kashin-Beck disease in Tibet Autonomous Region
DERMIENCE, Michael ULg

Doctoral thesis (2016)

A little known disease called Kashin-Beck disease (KBD) plagues the poor and rural populations in the Tibet Autonomous Region (T.A.R.) and in other provinces of the People’s Republic of China. It is an ... [more ▼]

A little known disease called Kashin-Beck disease (KBD) plagues the poor and rural populations in the Tibet Autonomous Region (T.A.R.) and in other provinces of the People’s Republic of China. It is an endemic and chronic osteochondropathy affecting long bones and joints, sometimes as soon as of the early childhood. Although the etiology of this disease is not clearly established, little doubt remains as to the implication of multiple environmental factors. Intoxication by mycotoxins in cereals and by organic acids in water, deficiencies in selenium and iodine, are all factors having a place in the multifactorial etiology hypothesized. In T.A.R., diet, notably, differentiates the rural community, affected by KBD, from the other communities (nomads and city-dwellers), who remain unaffected. Because more than one chemical element is essential to a healthy bone metabolism, and because there is scarce data, if not any, on the topic, this thesis had to primary objective to investigate the mineral and trace element dietary status of young Tibetan children living in areas endemic for KBD. The first logical action step led us to determine which elements are involved in bone and joints metabolism through an exhaustive review of the scientific literature. Thirty elements were highlighted, and a dozen was deemed relevant in this context. An exploratory study on the Tibetan food composition concluded on a high risk of introducing important bias by using the existing food composition tables for nutritional assessment in T.A.R. Being inescapable tools, a specific food composition table was elaborated for our area of investigation with the close collaboration of the China National Center for Food Safety Risk Assessment (CFSA). During a scientific internship of 7 month in the CFSA, 19 chemical elements were analyzed in not less than 1119 samples of sixteen traditional foods and beverages of rural T.A.R. In order to assess the nutritional status of the children, a cross-sectional study was implemented. 250 preschool children aged 3 to 5 years old from three rural counties around Lhasa were enrolled. They were interviewed twice, at six month of interval, via the 24-hour recall method. The results suggest several imbalances in their dietary mineral intakes compared to the Chinese recommendations. Sodium and manganese intakes are too high, while they are too low for potassium, calcium, zinc, copper and selenium. The Tibetan diet is rich in fiber and in phytic acid, which are susceptible to decrease the bioavailability and to aggravate the deficiencies of the later elements. For this reason, we conducted an animal experimentation on a rat model to assess the apparent digestibility, the fecal excretion and the urinary excretion of minerals and trace elements in the traditional Tibetan dish called tsampa pag. This traditional dish consisting of roasted barley flour mixed with yak butter tea is the mainstay of the Tibetan diet. The results of this experiment suggest low bone mineral density, a possible secondary copper deficiency, and a possible manganese excess in rats that consumed tsampa pag. In view of the results presented, it would be interesting to compare the mineral intake between children living in endemic areas and in non-endemic areas. It would also be interesting to include more of elements known to affect bone metabolism in future studies. [less ▲]

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See detailLe droit coutumier dans les ordres juridiques contemporains (19e-21e siècles). Étude comparative des pratiques judiciaires et de la doctrine
Braillon, Charlotte ULg

Doctoral thesis (2016)

The study questions the concept of customary law and its interventions in contemporary legal orders. From an historical perspective, it offers to approach this question at the light of a comparison ... [more ▼]

The study questions the concept of customary law and its interventions in contemporary legal orders. From an historical perspective, it offers to approach this question at the light of a comparison between the legal doctrine (theory of customary law) and the judicial practice (decision on the content of customary law). After a preliminary part dedicated to a synthesis of the legal grounds of customary law in contemporary legal orders, the first part of the study analyses the developments of a theory of customary law in legal doctrines, after the era of the Ancien Regime. A second part compares doctrinal creations to contemporary practices, through a selection of case studies, mainly in the practice of colonial law in the Belgian Congo and in the case law of the International Court of Justice. These first case studies share an expression of the theory of customary law in practice: whereas the practictioner may unofficially step in the creation of customary law, the decision is grounded, at least to all appearances, on this theory. The third and last part of the study, on the other hand, presents several cases, also selected from the contemporary practice, where judicial decisions share the fact that they are grounded on moral elements – which are not considered in the theory –, and therefore illustrates a more explicit intervention of the magistrates. These cases originate in the case law of the public prosecutor’s court in the Belgian Congo and the International Criminal Tribunal for the ex-Yougoslavia. [less ▲]

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See detailActivation de la coagulation par la Transition Epithélio-Mésenchymateuse: impact sur la colonisation métastatique
Bourcy, Morgane ULg

Doctoral thesis (2016)

Au cours de la cascade métastatique, des cellules tumorales quittent la tumeur primaire et envahissent le sang (Cellules Tumorales Circulantes, CTCs) pour former des métastases dans des organes ... [more ▼]

Au cours de la cascade métastatique, des cellules tumorales quittent la tumeur primaire et envahissent le sang (Cellules Tumorales Circulantes, CTCs) pour former des métastases dans des organes secondaires. Le processus métastatique est hautement sélectif et seule une faible proportion de CTCs survit dans la circulation et colonise les sites secondaires pour former des métastases. Les cellules tumorales subissent des changements phénotypiques qui leur procurent des propriétés migratoires et invasives ainsi que des capacités de survie accrue leur permettant de franchir ces différentes étapes. A ce jour, il est largement accepté que les processus de Transition Epithélio-Mésenchymateuse (TEM) sont impliqués dans cette plasticité cellulaire et participent à la libération et à la biologie des CTCs. Des données de la littérature indépendantes ainsi que des résultats du laboratoire suggèrent, par ailleurs, que les processus de coagulation pourraient favoriser les étapes précoces de la dissémination métastatique (survie, persistance, arrêt et extravasation). Au cours de ce travail de doctorat, nous avons examiné l’acquisition potentielle de propriétés pro-coagulantes par les CTCs dérivées d’une TEM impliquant l’expression du Facteur Tissulaire (FT), l’initiateur cellulaire clé de la cascade de coagulation. De telles propriétés coagulantes permettraient la formation d’une matrice de fibrine protectrice autour des CTCs favorisant, ainsi, leur survie dans la circulation sanguine et la colonisation métastatique. A l’aide de divers modèles cellulaires in vitro, nous avons montré que les processus de TEM sont associés à une expression accrue du FT et à des propriétés pro-coagulantes. Ensuite, nous avons fonctionnellement lié les processus de TEM à ces régulations en y impliquant des facteurs de transcription de la TEM, ZEB1 et Snail. De plus, en utilisant des modèles de métastases expérimentales, nous avons montré que l’axe TEM/FT/coagulation procure aux CTCs des propriétés de survie et des capacités de colonisation métastatique accrues. Enfin, nous avons apporté une validation clinique à ces résultats en observant des CTCs positives pour le FT et la vimentine, un marqueur mésenchymateux, dans le sang de patientes atteintes d’un cancer du sein métastatique. L’ensemble de nos résultats met en évidence un nouvel axe de régulation TEM/FT permettant une activation locale de la coagulation par les CTCs TEM+ favorisant la colonisation métastatique précoce. [less ▲]

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See detailEntre traditions et innovations. La tête végétalisée dans les décors romains: origine, diffusion et signification d'un thème ornemental
Derwael, Stéphanie ULg

Doctoral thesis (2016)

La tête végétalisée est un témoin privilégié de la culture visuelle des Romains. Innovation de l’époque tardo-républicaine et proto-impériale, elle n’en demeure pas moins l’héritière du traitement formel ... [more ▼]

La tête végétalisée est un témoin privilégié de la culture visuelle des Romains. Innovation de l’époque tardo-républicaine et proto-impériale, elle n’en demeure pas moins l’héritière du traitement formel de figures telles que la Rankenfrau et le Rankengott et d’un symbolisme végétal séculaire. Elle évoque une nature naissante ou renaissante qui ne possède pas encore les frontières du cosmos ordonné, et fonctionne comme une épithète iconographique permettant de mettre en évidence un aspect particulier d’un personnage, tel le dieu Oceanus. L’étude des spécificités culturelles et des traditions iconographiques des différentes régions de l’Empire romain, couplée à la mise en série et à l’analyse contextualisée des documents, permet de mettre en évidence les formes de diffusion, de réception et d’appropriation de ce thème ornemental, de sa naissance à son assimilation par le monde chrétien. A côté de tendances relativement homogènes communes à l’Empire, se dessinent quelques courants particuliers, comme l’enrichissement nord-africain de la forme océanique, le renouveau oriental de la bordure à rinceau peuplé héritée de la tradition picturalisante hellénistique, ou « l’humanisation du végétal » gallo-germanique. Entre traditions et innovations, la tête végétalisée du monde romain développe des spécificités iconographiques pérennes qui lui confèrent une signification inhérente à toute forme d’hybridité végétale, tout en permettant à différentes visions du monde de s’exprimer en elle sans se dissoudre. [less ▲]

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See detailPrecision synthesis of poly(ionic liqui)s in aqueous media by cobalt-mediated radical polymerization
Cordella, Daniela ULg

Doctoral thesis (2016)

Poly(ionic liquid)s (PILs) are a subclass of polyelectrolytes that gained an enabling role in many fields of polymer chemistry and material science. PILs combine the unique properties of ionic liquids ... [more ▼]

Poly(ionic liquid)s (PILs) are a subclass of polyelectrolytes that gained an enabling role in many fields of polymer chemistry and material science. PILs combine the unique properties of ionic liquids with the flexibility and properties of macromolecules, and provide novel attractive functions. Recently, the precision design of novel PILs by controlled/living polymerization (CLP) techniques was intensively searched for developing emerging applications, such as those based on the self-assembly of block copolymers (BCPs). Indeed, combining the physicochemical properties of PILs with the self-assembly of BCPs is a route to easily produce innovative functional nanostructures that have a huge potential for many applications, e.g. for electrochemical devices, gas membranes, nanostructures materials, etc. Among the panel of poly(ionic liquid)-based block copolymers (PIL BCPs) that is available, vinyl imidazolium-based derivatives are highly attractive due their high charge density, the possibility to easily tune their properties by the nature of the alkyl chain, etc. However, when this PhD thesis started, their synthesis by direct polymerization of N-vinyl imidazolium-type monomers was challenging for most of the CLP techniques. Only few examples of vinyl imidazolium-based PIL BCPs were accessible by Reversible Addition Fragmentation Transfer (RAFT) polymerization or Cobalt-Mediated Radical Polymerization (CMRP), and in organic media exclusively. The aim of this PhD thesis was to develop a controlled radical polymerization technique for N-vinyl imidazolium-type monomers in water that would facilitate the precision synthesis of PIL BCPs in this green solvent under non-demanding experimental conditions. Due to its compatibility to water and to its high versatility, the CMRP process was used for that purpose. The synthetic challenges that we address in this thesis are (1) to perform the CMRP of N-vinyl imidazolium type monomers in water, (2) to prepare hydrosoluble but also amphiphilic all PIL BCPs in this green solvent, and (3) to simplify the process to facilitate its scaling-up. The potential of the innovative PILs developed during this thesis was then explored for applications in energy (as solid electrolytes for battery applications) and environment (as antibacterial coatings/materials). [less ▲]

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See detailStochastic multi-scale modelling of MEMS
Lucas, Vincent ULg

Doctoral thesis (2016)

When studying Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems (or MEMS) made of poly-crystalline materials, as the size of the device is only one or two orders of magnitude higher than the size of the grains, the ... [more ▼]

When studying Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems (or MEMS) made of poly-crystalline materials, as the size of the device is only one or two orders of magnitude higher than the size of the grains, the structural properties exhibit a scatter at the macro-scale due to the existing randomness in the grain size, grain orientation, surface roughness... In order to predict the probabilistic behaviour at the structural scale, we investigated the recourse to a stochastic 3-scale approach in this thesis dissertation. Estimating the scatter in the response of the structure is studied at macro-scale based on stochastic finite elements along with Monte-Carlo simulations. To produce accurate results, the mesh size of the finite element approach should be small enough so that the heterogeneities can be captured. This can lead to overwhelming computation if the microstructure is directly considered, thus justifying the recourse to stochastic homogenisation to define a meso-scale random field. Based on a stochastic model of this random field, the variability of the response of the structure can be computed. In this work, the micro-scale uncertainties are modelled based on measurements provided by the IMT-Bucharest institute. These uncertainties are then propagated towards the macro-scale for 3 different problems. The first one serves the purpose of verification. The variability of the resonance frequency of a micro-beam is computed and compared to a reference numerical solution. The second problem extends the 3-scale approach to the thermo-elastic case. Thus the uncertainties of the quality factor of 3D beams are studied with a modelling of the anchor. Finally, the third problem aims at propagating surface roughness uncertainties on the resonance frequency of thin plates. [less ▲]

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See detailPrévalence de l’hypovitaminose D chez la femme enceinte : quelle est la situation en région liégeoise ?
VRANKEN, Laura ULg

Master of advanced studies dissertation (2016)

Vitamin D deficiency is a worldwide health problem, also during pregnancy, especially in women with limited access to sunlight due to minimal outdoor activity or heavy use of sunscreen, cultural practices ... [more ▼]

Vitamin D deficiency is a worldwide health problem, also during pregnancy, especially in women with limited access to sunlight due to minimal outdoor activity or heavy use of sunscreen, cultural practices or traditional clothing, and among women with dark skin pigmentation and poor dietary habits. Inadequate maternal vitamin D status in pregnancy is associated with poor fetal growth, impaired bone development and rickets in infants after birth. Furthermore, higher rates of preeclampsia and gestational diabetes are associated with low maternal vitamin D status during pregnancy. Toxicity of vitamin D is rare. Most countries recommend vitamin D supplementation during pregnancy but guidelines are controversial and inadequate compared to real mother’s and child’s needs. Wath’s the best strategy to follow and supplement mother during pregnancy? [less ▲]

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See detailElectric current crowding effects in microstructured superconductors
Adami, Obaïd-Allah ULg

Doctoral thesis (2016)

Many applications of modern electronic devices are based on thin film geometries including sharp turns, holes and exhibiting inhomogeneities. The inevitable detour of current streamlines around such ... [more ▼]

Many applications of modern electronic devices are based on thin film geometries including sharp turns, holes and exhibiting inhomogeneities. The inevitable detour of current streamlines around such obstacles cause an inhomogeneous current density profile giving rise to current crowding. The goal of my research is to highlight the current crowding effects in micro and nanopatterned superconducting films. [less ▲]

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See detailEtude des rôles du produit d'expression du gène M138L du virus Myxoma dans la pathogénie de la myxomatose
Boutard, Bérengère ULg

Doctoral thesis (2016)

Myxoma virus belongs to the Poxviridae family and induces a severe and often lethal disease called myxomatosis in the European rabbit (Bertagnoli & Marchandeau, 2015). Numerous genes of the virus encode ... [more ▼]

Myxoma virus belongs to the Poxviridae family and induces a severe and often lethal disease called myxomatosis in the European rabbit (Bertagnoli & Marchandeau, 2015). Numerous genes of the virus encode for proteins with immunomodulatory functions (Spiesschaert et al., 2011; Zuniga, 2002). Among them, it has been demonstrated that the virus encodes for an α-2,3-sialyltransferase (Jackson et al., 1999; Markine-Goriaynoff et al., 2004b) that catalyzes the transfer of sialic acid to the N and O-glycans of glycoproteins and glycolipids (Varki & Schauer, 2009). Glycans, and especially sialic acids, are known to play significant roles in interactions and recognition between cells and between cells and viruses (Cohen & Varki, 2010; Raman et al., 2005; Vigerust & Shepherd, 2007). The aim of this thesis was to better understand the roles played by the viral α-2,3-sialyltransferase in the pathogenesis of myxomatosis. Using the Lausanne strain as parental strain, we have constructed strains deficient for the M138L gene encoding the α-2,3-sialyltransferase, and a revertant strain. Although no difference could be detected between the strains in vitro, the M138L knockout strains were highly attenuated in vivo. Especially, we observed more neutrophils at the beginning of infection and then an important mononuclear cells infiltrate in the dermis of the primary sites of infection for rabbits infected with the M138L knockout strains. We then wanted to determine which viral and / or cellular proteins were affected by the viral α-2,3-sialyltransferase, to check if their modification could explain the phenotype that we observed. We showed that the viral M-T7 protein was sialylated by the viral enzyme. M-T7 is a homologue of the interferon-γ receptor (Mossman et al., 1995) which is also able to bind and inhibit several chemokines, to block the chemokine gradient formation and to inhibit the inflammatory cells attraction towards the site of infection (Alcami, 2003; Lalani et al., 1997). However, we could not detect any effect of sialylation on the secretion or the activity of the M-T7 proteins purified from the four strains, either in vitro or in vivo. Altogether , these results show that the viral α-2,3-sialyltransferase is a virulence factor of the virus that could act directly or indirectly on several immunomodulatory viral proteins, and so on the immune cells attraction and adaptive immunity development. [less ▲]

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See detailEtude des sémiochimiques volatils impliqués dans le mutualisme fourmis-pucerons
Fischer, Christophe ULg

Doctoral thesis (2016)

For decades, the mutualistic relationship that ant and aphids may present has fascinated entomologists, as evidenced by the abundant literature on the subject. The principles of this interaction are ... [more ▼]

For decades, the mutualistic relationship that ant and aphids may present has fascinated entomologists, as evidenced by the abundant literature on the subject. The principles of this interaction are simple: as long as their colony remains, aphids provide ants with a stable and abundant source of sugars, honeydew. In exchange, ants tend aphid colonies and provide them cleaning and protection against various natural enemies. Nevertheless, some aspects of this relationship remain misunderstood. This is for example the case of the factors influencing the search and the discovery of a potential partner, first step to any potential mutualistic interaction. The role held by volatile chemical cues, called semiochemicals, in this relationship is also misunderstood. The objective of this thesis is to improve understanding of the role played by volatile semiochemicals in this mutualistic relationship, especially during the partner search stage, both from the perspective of the ant and of the aphid. The black garden ant, Lasius niger L., and the black bean aphid, Aphis fabae Scop., constitute our biological model. The impact of volatile compounds on the search behavior of the ant has first been investigated. These compounds are from multiple origins, either directly emitted by the aphid or induced by its presence. First, the ability of ants to perceive E-β-farnesene, the main component of many aphid alarm pheromone, and to use it to locate aphid colonies has been highlighted. This compound has indeed shown attractiveness to ants, even at low doses corresponding to the emissions of an unstressed aphid colony. Then, the roles played by honeydew volatile compounds in ant attraction have been demonstrated. These compounds also allow ants to remotely discriminate different aphid species and to direct their searches accordingly. These semiochemicals are produced by honeydew microflora, and a particularly attractive bacterial strain, Staphylococcus xylosus, has been isolated from A. fabae honeydew. Finally, the active role of winged aphids, which are aphid’s dispersal form, in the search for a mutualistic partner was also studied. Aphids do not appear to be preferentially attracted toward a host plant frequented by ants or close an ant nest. Nevertheless, once a potential host plant reached, they remain longer on it in case of ant presence. This thesis highlights the importance of volatile semiochemicals and honeydew microflora in ant-aphid mutualistic relationships, thus completing by a new aspect an already well documented biological model. [less ▲]

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See detailMESURES INCITATIVES A LA PRODUCTION COTONNIERE ET PERSPECTIVES DE LA PRIVATISATION DES FILIALES CMDT AU MALI
Koné, Bouréma ULg

Doctoral thesis (2016)

Cotton is the first export crop in Mali with 84,370 billion Fcfa in 2010 (INSTAT, 2010), but the production of this crop has huge problems due to external factors (prices of inputs and seed cotton) and ... [more ▼]

Cotton is the first export crop in Mali with 84,370 billion Fcfa in 2010 (INSTAT, 2010), but the production of this crop has huge problems due to external factors (prices of inputs and seed cotton) and internal (within payment to producers, internal debts of cooperatives). To boost cotton production during the years 2010/11 and 2011/12, the government had maintained the level of fertilizer subsidy at 50% of normal price on the market. In addition to this level of subsidy, the incentive price of 255Fcfa / kg was fixed to the producer and the National Union of Cotton Producers Cooperative Societies (NU-CPCS) facilitated the clearance of the internal debts of cooperatives. Despite the fall in world prices after 2011/12, the price of cotton seed remains little changed. The price stayed at 255 CFA francs / kg in 2012/13 and got back to 250 CFA francs / kg in 2013/14. The objective of this work is to analyze the effects of incentives factors cotton production with a view to the privatization of CMDT subsidiaries Surveys were conducted with a sample of 240 farms selected from the four zones of the CMDT zones based on two villages subsidiary during the years of 2008/09, 2010/11 and 2011/12. The results showed a positive trend in production (mainly due to an increase in the area) and in the income of cotton producers with a higher reimbursement rate of input credits under cultivation. The analysis of the Domestic Resource Cost (DRC) the Nominal protection coefficients (NPC) and the Effective (CPE) showed an improvement in thèse variables in 2011/12 with the incentive policy. An analysis of the determinants of the supply of cotton showed that only two variables were significant: the price cottonseed and payment period. The incentive factors are influenced by fiber market in 2011/12 which took a downward trend from the campaign. This incentive policy being favored by the market of fiber which is very unstable, it would be necessary to create conditions in which the producer can benefit from the price obtained on the quality of fiber to maintain the incentive policy for producers. For the privatization of Cotton Company, an upgrade of this company is necessary with the support of the Malian state. But this upgrade should not affect too much the selling price of sale of cotton that can bring new companies in a situation of too long term recovery of capital invested (long period of investment recovery). The privatization scheme as presented makes major companies more competitive. In order to reduce the operating costs a form of collaborative relationships among delivery companies would be required. Keywords: fertilizer subsidy, incentive price, cotton sector in Mali, privatization subsidiary, competitiveness. [less ▲]

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See detailDevelopment of innovative and practical management tools to improve sustainability of milk production and quality of dairy products
Arnould, Valérie ULg

Doctoral thesis (2016)

In the current complex economical context, novel strategies are needed to help local dairy farmers to face the European dairy sector crisis. This thesis was initiated in the framework of ManageMilk ... [more ▼]

In the current complex economical context, novel strategies are needed to help local dairy farmers to face the European dairy sector crisis. This thesis was initiated in the framework of ManageMilk project and was globally aimed to investigate the possibility to develop some innovative and practical management tools helping dairy farmers in their daily decisions. To develop such management tools, several conditions must be fulfilled. Firstly, used data must be relevant. According to the literature, the milk composition, and in particular, the milk fatty acid (FA) profile, appears to be a suitable trait allowing useful information about the dairy cow’s health status or about the management system efficiency. These data must also be easily available at low cost from milk recording organization. Recently, the MIR spectrometry offers the possibility to build routinely cheaper and more important databases. To develop management tools, milk samples have to be collected using comparable sampling methods. Unfortunately, in order to decrease the milk quality control costs, the International Committee for Animal Recording allows alternative sampling schemes including the collection of samples from morning or evening only milkings. This alternative sampling scheme can interact with phenotypic and genetic parameters. Therefore, additionally to the development of conversion equations, this thesis is establishing if morning or evening only milkings are genetically different traits. Last condition concerns a useful phenotypic and genetic variability. Milk FA profile is, among others, altered by genetics. So, one paper of this thesis concerns the setup of a useful genetic evaluation model able to estimate accurately the genetic part of milk fat composition variations. Routine genetic evaluation of production traits in dairy cattle commonly uses random regression model (RRM). Recently, “splines” have been advocated as a good alternative to Legendre polynomials (LP) for analyzing test-day yields in RRM. Therefore, several models are compared. Obtained results show the possibility to propose a practical and robust method for estimating accurate daily major FA production from single milking, useful for a further development of practical management tools helping dairy farmers in their daily decisions. [less ▲]

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See detailANALYSE DE LA DEMANDE EN CHARBON DE BOIS PAR LES MÉNAGES URBAINS DE BUJUMBURA AU BURUNDI
Sabuhungu, Emery Gaspard ULg

Doctoral thesis (2016)

The objective of this study is to evaluate the demand for charcoal by urban households in Bujumbura in order to make recommendations ensuring the security of household energy and environmental protection ... [more ▼]

The objective of this study is to evaluate the demand for charcoal by urban households in Bujumbura in order to make recommendations ensuring the security of household energy and environmental protection. To achieve this objective, the analysis of the related documentation and collection of secondary data were carried out in order to formulate specific objectives, hypotheses and the methodology used in the course of this study. The specific objectives are: to analyze the structure, operation and market performance of the charcoal market in the city of Bujumbura and to compare this market to the cities of Lubumbashi and Kigali; to determine the charcoal consumption pattern by urban households in Bujumbura; to identify the factors which influence the demand for charcoal by urban households in Bujumbura; to evaluate the demand for charcoal by urban households in Bujumbura. The assumptions made in this study are: the charcoal market in the city of Bujumbura is a competitive and effective market; charcoal is the dominating cooking fuel used by urban households in Bujumbura and is consumed exclusively or in combination with others; an urban household’s demand for charcoal in Bujumbura is essentially based on household income, the size of household, eating habits (preparation of food that requires a long cooking time), the frequency of use of carbon and the possession or not of improved cooking stoves; the demand for charcoal by urban households in Bujumbura is high and this leads to significant annual deforestation. Three surveys were conducted to collect primary data. The first survey, with the specific objective of analysing the charcoal market in Bujumbura, was conducted among the key players of the charcoal value chain produced in the communes of Mugamba and Muramvya and consumed in the city of Bujumbura. The remaining two surveys, with the specific objective of analysing the consumption of charcoal by households, were conducted among households-users of charcoal of different standards of living in three areas of the city of Bujumbura (areas Buterere, Cibitoke and Rohero). The results indicate that the charcoal market is competitive. The production, the commercialisation and the consumption of charcoal allow the creation of positive value added all along the charcoal value chain. The use of cooking fuels by households in Bujumbura shows that they have not yet achieved an energy transition. In fact, 83% of those surveyed only use charcoal; 12% combine charcoal and electricity and 5% combine charcoal and firewood. The results revealed that the main factors influencing households demand for charcoal are: household income, the price of charcoal, household size, number of cooking sessions per day, frequency of preparation of cassava leaves and the possession or not of improved braziers. To solve the energy and environmental problem, a rehabilitation of woodland, an implementation of the best techniques of woodland planting with the most adaptable species on productive land, a greater penetration of substitutable energy to wood fuel such as gas or electricity, a growth in the use of improved cooking stoves in households and greater efficiency in wood carbonisation will help reduce the number of hectares of deforestation for wood energy needs. [less ▲]

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See detailThe Chemistry of New Garlic-Derived Organosulfur Compounds and the Molecular Basis of Olfaction »
Dethier, Bérénice ULg

Doctoral thesis (2016)

Garlic is a very popular condiment that has been used around the world for centuries. It is also a source of a remarkably extensive range of organosulfur compounds, whose chemistry is the focus of this ... [more ▼]

Garlic is a very popular condiment that has been used around the world for centuries. It is also a source of a remarkably extensive range of organosulfur compounds, whose chemistry is the focus of this thesis. The central reaction in formation of these compounds is the enzymatic cleavage of alk(en)yl cysteine sulfoxides by alliinases, which leads to sulfenic acids. The latter can then undergo condensation and rearrangement into various organosulfur compounds. Three aspects of the chemistry of garlic have been investigated in this thesis. First, little studied, minor organosulfur compounds in extracts of freshly chopped garlic were studied. These higher molecular weight compounds (MW 150–550) can be conveniently studied using state-of-the-art Liquid Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry (LC-MS) and Direct Analysis in Real Time-Mass Spectrometry (DART-MS) techniques. Novel garlic-derived compounds were studied and the structure of one representative compound containing a five-membered thiolane ring, ajothiolane, was determined by spectroscopic methods, using synthetic analogues as spectroscopic standards. The fate of compounds in a garlic extract over time was also studied, since the new, higher mass sulfur compounds are slowly formed by rearrangement of smaller metabolites a few days after maceration of the garlic. A second part of this thesis provides hands-on methods for the analysis and preparation of key garlic metabolites. The isolation and/or synthesis of alliin, alliinase and vinyldithiins have been optimized, and are proposed as turnkey procedures for future work. Finally, in an effort to explain the unique odor of garlic-related thiols and sulfides (in garlic breath, sweat, etc.), the interactions between odorants and olfactory receptors have been studied. Work described in this thesis contributed to this larger project by designing and synthesizing model macrocyclic odorants to resolve the mechanism of olfaction at the receptor level. The conclusions, arguing against the plausibility of the so-called “vibration theory of olfaction”, have been published as a foundation for future work on olfactory detection of thiols and other sulfur-containing compounds. [less ▲]

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See detailCanine idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis : improvement of the phenotype characterization and search for biomarkers and for etiologic agents
Roels, Elodie ULg

Doctoral thesis (2016)

Canine idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (CIPF) is a progressive parenchymal lung disease of unknown origin, mainly described in old-aged West Highland white terriers (WHWTs). It is characterized by exercise ... [more ▼]

Canine idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (CIPF) is a progressive parenchymal lung disease of unknown origin, mainly described in old-aged West Highland white terriers (WHWTs). It is characterized by exercise intolerance, cough and dyspnoea/tachypnea with a progressive deterioration until death from respiratory insufficiency. CIPF shares clinical features with human idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), while tomodensitometric and histopathological findings do not appear to be exactly the same. Over the past 10 years, several studies have been performed to improve our knowledge about CIPF. However, this disease is still misunderstood and clinicians are dealing with several challenges including the absence of clinical or biological markers for estimating the presence, severity or progression of the disease and related comorbidities such as pulmonary hypertension, the absence of etiologic agent, and the absence of targeted therapy. Consequently, the aims of the present project were (1) to investigate whether high-resolution computed tomography (HRCT) of the lungs obtained under sedation can be used for the diagnosis and for the follow-up of the disease, (2) to study a new echocardiographic parameter for the diagnosis of precapillary pulmonary hypertension induced by CIPF, (3) to study the potential roles of 2 chemokines of interest, CCL2 and CXCL8, as biomarkers of fibrosis and as actors in the pathogenesis of the disease, (4) to determine breed variation of basal blood concentrations of the same chemokines, vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), and serotonin, and (5) to search for the presence of herpesvirus as a possible etiologic agent. [less ▲]

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See detailPublic Participation in Science and Technology and its Normative Context. The Participatory Turn’s Legacy and the European ‘Responsible Research and Innovation’ Emerging Framework
Macq, Hadrien ULg

Master's dissertation (2016)

Over the last two decades in Europe, science and technology’s unforeseen impacts led many STS scholars to plead for a ‘participatory turn’ in order to make our democracies more able to handle ... [more ▼]

Over the last two decades in Europe, science and technology’s unforeseen impacts led many STS scholars to plead for a ‘participatory turn’ in order to make our democracies more able to handle sociotechnical controversies. However, since the outset of this participatory turn, critiques sharing the common emphasize on the importance of taking into account the context in which public participation takes place have pointed to the risk of participation being either romanticized or instrumentalized. This thesis contributes to the critical scrutinizing of public participation in science and technology. By drawing on a set of qualitative data collection strategies and on a discourse analysis of collected materials, it investigates the normative context in which public participation is currently conceived and promoted at the European level and links it to historical perspectives in order to grasp the way in which the participatory turn’s legacy has been impacted. At it shows, far from being left opened-up, public participation is strongly closed-down by normative forces that lies in the context is which its promotion is currently taking place. As argued, public participation appears as instrumentalized in Horizon 2020 due to the increasing economization of policies and the steering of science and innovation toward tackling societal challenges. However, while acknowledging that these trends are characteristic of current developments, some longer ones are highlighted. Indeed, as this research suggests, the instrumentalization of public participation goes largely beyond the mere Horizon 2020. From the Sixth Framework Programme already, it appears that the normative context in which public participation in science and technology has been conceived and promoted has always tended to instrumentalized and to close down the deliberative governance of science. [less ▲]

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See detailClostridium difficile a new zoonotic agent? Assessment of human transmission potential of hypervirulent strains of Clostridium difficile through food products consumption
Rodriguez Diaz, Cristina ULg

Doctoral thesis (2016)

Clostridium difficile is a spore-forming anaerobic bacterium recognised as a major human pathogen responsible for pseudomembranous colitis and nosocomial-antibiotic associated diarrhea. Traditionally ... [more ▼]

Clostridium difficile is a spore-forming anaerobic bacterium recognised as a major human pathogen responsible for pseudomembranous colitis and nosocomial-antibiotic associated diarrhea. Traditionally, hospitals were considered the main reservoirs for infection. However, in the last years the incidence, deaths, complications and costs of C. difficile infection (CDI) have been rising, not only in healthcare facilities, but also within the community. In the community, it has been detected in a growing number of CDI cases in previously healthy individuals without antimicrobial exposure, hospital stay or any other classical risk factors. Furthermore, the disease has been repeatedly described in younger patients, including children. Some hypotheses have been proposed to explain this peak of community cases, the most obvious being that nowadays more attention is given to CDI surveillance. In the last years, diarrhea due to C. difficile disease might have gone undiagnosed, and in many cases went unreported, particularly in the community. Since 2004, severe outbreaks of CDI have been documented increasingly in the United States, Canada and in Europe. These outbreaks have been associated with the emergence of a novel strain, known as PCR-ribotype 027, characterised by higher than usual levels of toxins A and B production, and the presence of a third toxin named CDT or binary toxin. This strain type is also characterised by its resistance to both erythromycin and fluoroquinolones (i.e. moxifloxacin, gatifloxacin and levofloxacin). However, according to the latest hospital surveillance studies in Europe, since 2010 there is a decrease in the incidence rates of PCR-ribotype 027 while other PCR-ribotypes, including PCR-ribotypes 014, 020, 001, 002, 078 and 015 are increasing. Person to person contact is one source proposed for the spread in the community, occurring after visiting hospitalised patients or residents in long-term care facilities. Employees of these health-care settings can also carry spores and contaminate their entourage. The second hypothesis is contamination from the environment, following visits to a potentially contaminated place, such as hospitals or nursing homes. The two most important potential sources of CDI in the community, which have been demonstrated by investigations in the last decade are animals and foods. While C. difficile is also known as enteric pathogen in some food producing and companion animal species, there are several reports describing the presence of the bacterium in the intestinal contents of apparently healthy animals. Moreover, data published recently suggests animals as an important source of human CDI, which can spread disease through environmental contamination, direct or indirect contact, or food contamination, including carcass and meat contamination at slaughter or in the case of crops, through the use of organic animal manure. By definition, zoonoses are infectious diseases that can be transmitted directly or indirectly between animals and humans, through direct contact or close proximity with infected animals, or through the environment. Foodborne zoonotic pathogens are transmitted via the consumption of contaminated food or drink water. The first description of C. difficile in domestic animals and their environments dates from 1974 and possible foodborne transmission was reported for the first time in 1982. However, nowadays the importance of C. difficile as zoonotic disease remains largely unknown. The "One Health" concept is a worldwide strategy, which recognises that the health of humans and animals is connected and also depends on the environment. The present dissertation is a 5 year national study that has investigated the presence of C. difficile in animals and food, from “farm-totable”. The study was also extended to humans resident in a nursing home and in two hospitals in Belgium and in Spain. The characterisation of the isolates obtained has ultimately allowed comparison of the PCR-ribotype distribution in the different European hospitals, as well as with the PCR-ribotype distribution found in animals and foods. This work explores how C. difficile spreads among human patients, animals, foods and the environment to better understand the potential of the bacterium as a zoonotic or foodborne infectious agent. [less ▲]

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See detailFrom Statistical to Biological Interactions via Omics Integration
Bessonov, Kyrylo ULg

Doctoral thesis (2016)

The XXI century opened a new ‘Big Data’ era in which, thanks to rapid technological advancements and appearance of high throughput technologies, vast amounts of unstructured omics data (e.g ... [more ▼]

The XXI century opened a new ‘Big Data’ era in which, thanks to rapid technological advancements and appearance of high throughput technologies, vast amounts of unstructured omics data (e.g., transcriptomic, genomic, etc.) are generated every day. This thesis mainly focuses on solving the problems related diverse omics data integration and interaction identification tasks. Particular attention is given to useful knowledge extraction in the context of complex diseases including pathological mechanisms with the development of software tools and pipelines. The diseases covered included glioblastoma multiforme, asthma, and ankylosing spondylitis. Interactions detection in genomic data requires standardization of the protocols. In Chapter 3, we tested the impact of different settings in a genome-wide association interaction study (GWAIS). Some of the settings included marker selection strategy, the LD pruning, lower order effects adjustment, analytical tool. We were able to show that even small changes in each setting can have drastic impacts requiring careful assessment of proper settings and results comparisons across several analysis protocols. The greatest impact was attributed to the input dataset composition highlighting the importance of the marker selection strategy and use of prior knowledge. Expression of genes can be affected by nearby (‘cis’) or distant (‘trans’) genotypes. Thus, we developed methodology to identify complex trans/cis regulatory mechanisms between expression and genotype data in the context of asthma (CAMP data). Significant overlap between ‘trans’ and ‘cis’ gene regulatory components related to immune and signaling pathways was clearly identified matching asthma disease pathology. The semi-parametric Model-Based Multifactor Dimensionality Reduction (MB-MDR) method was applied for the first time in the context eQTL study achieving low false discovery and family-wise error rates (FDR and FWER). Identification of a meaningful data structure from omics data is a pressing topic nowadays. Gene regulatory networks (GRN) conveniently summarize large amounts of data allowing for useful knowledge generation. GRN inference is especially attractive for deciphering of complex diseases mechanisms allowing biologists to formulate a better hypothesis. We were able to generate GRNs from a single source (e.g., microarray expression data) using conditional inference forest (CIF) with more attractive features compared to classical Random-Forest (RF) including unbiased node variable selection even in the context of highly correlated variables particularly relevant in transcriptomics. The CIF methods provided attractive features and performance characteristics coupled to valuable pathological insights into type 1 diabetes. [less ▲]

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See detailCONTRIBUTION A L’ETUDE DE L’ECHOGRAPHIE INTERVENTIONNELLE DU RACHIS CHEZ LE CHIEN : MISE AU POINT DE TECHNIQUES ECHOGUIDEES POUR LES PONCTIONS SOUS-ARACHNOÏDIENNES ET ANALYSE DE LEUR APPLICATION
Etienne, Anne-Laure ULg

Doctoral thesis (2016)

SUMMARY Percutaneous ultrasound guidance has become a routine procedure in veterinary medicine in domestic animals. It allows precise placement of the needle in the desired target. Punctures of the ... [more ▼]

SUMMARY Percutaneous ultrasound guidance has become a routine procedure in veterinary medicine in domestic animals. It allows precise placement of the needle in the desired target. Punctures of the subarachnoid space in dogs are frequently carried out in veterinary practice for diagnostic purposes. In these procedures, the placement of the needle into the subarachnoid space (atlanto-occipital or lumbar) is commonly performed blindly by feeling the bony anatomical landmarks but this can be laborious or even impossible in some patients as reported in human medicine. The topic of this study is ultrasound guidance for the placement of the needle during puncture of the subarachnoid space. The needle placement can be done under ultrasound guidance according to two methods. The "indirect guidance" is a method of deferred ultrasound guidance. The "direct guidance" is a real time procedure in which the operator holds the needle in one hand and the ultrasound probe in the other. It allows direct visualization of the needle (if direct guidance), the target structure, adjacent tissues (including vascular structures) and potential injectate while minimizing the risk of complications. Punctures of the subarachnoid space are carried out by placing the needle in the cisterna magna or in the caudal lumbar subarachnoid space (between the fifth and sixth lumbar vertebrae). The cisternal puncture is most frequently used in practice but presents greater risk of iatrogenic lesions of the brain stem. The lumbar puncture is technically more difficult and is frequently contaminated by iatrogenic blood. Cerebrospinal fluid punctures have several clinical applications. They allow to collect cerebrospinal fluid for diagnostic testing, to realize myelograms or myeloscanners by injecting contrast medium and to perform spinal anesthesia or analgesia by injecting one or more substance(s) blocking the conduction of the spinal nerves. Subarachnoid lumbar puncture is used commonly in the dog for cerebrospinal fluid collection and/or myelography. Percutaneous ultrasound anatomy of the lumbar region in the dog and a technique for ultrasound-guided lumbar puncture were described in the first study. Ultrasound images obtained ex- vivo and in-vivo were compared with anatomic sections and used to identify the landmarks for ultrasound-guided lumbar puncture. The ultrasound-guided procedure was established on cadavers and then applied in-vivo on eight dogs. The anatomic landmarks for the ultrasound-guided puncture, which should be identified using the parasagittal oblique ultrasound image, were the articular processes of the fifth and sixth lumbar vertebrae and the interarcuate space. The spinal needle was directed under direct ultrasound-guidance toward the triangular space located between the contiguous articular processes of the fifth and sixth lumbar vertebrae and then advanced to enter the vertebral canal. Using these precise ultrasound anatomic landmarks, an ultrasound-guided technique for lumbar puncture is applicable to dogs. Cisternal puncture in dogs and cats is commonly carried out. Percutaneous ultrasound anatomy of the cisternal region in the dog and the cat and an indirect technique for ultrasound-guided cisternal puncture were described in the second study. Ultrasound images obtained ex-vivo and in-vivo were compared with anatomic sections and used to identify the landmarks for ultrasound-guided cisternal puncture. The ultrasound-guided procedure was established in cadavers and then applied in- vivo in seven dogs and two cats. The anatomic landmarks for the ultrasound-guided puncture were the cisterna magna, the spinal cord, the two occipital condyles on transverse images, the external occipital crest and the dorsal arch of the first cervical vertebra on longitudinal images. Using these ultrasound anatomic landmarks, an indirect ultrasound-guided technique for cisternal puncture is applicable to dogs and cats. The standard technique for placing a needle into the canine lumbar subarachnoid space is primarily based on the palpation of anatomic landmarks and the use of probing movements of the needle. However, this technique can be challenging for novice operators. The aim of the third observational, prospective, ex vivo, feasibility study was to compare ultrasound-guided versus standard anatomic landmark approaches for novices performing needle placement into the lumbar subarachnoid space using dog cadavers. Eight experienced operators validated the canine cadaver model as usable for training landmark and ultrasound-guided needle placement into the lumbar subarachnoid space based on realistic anatomy and tissue consistency. With informed consent, 67 final year veterinary students were prospectively enrolled in the study. Students had no prior experience in needle placement into the lumbar subarachnoid space nor use of ultrasound. Each student received a short theoretical training about each technique before the trial and then attempted blind landmark-guided and ultrasound-guided techniques on randomized canine cadavers. After having performed both procedures, the operators completed a self-evaluation questionnaire about their performance and self-confidence. Total success rates for students were 48% and 77% for the landmark- and ultrasound-guided technique, respectively. Ultrasound guidance significantly increased total success rate when compared to the landmark-guided technique and significantly reduced the number of attempts. With ultrasound guidance self-confidence was improved, without bringing any significant change in duration of the needle placement procedure. Findings indicated that the use of ultrasound guidance and cadavers is a feasible method for training novice operators in needle placement into the canine lumbar subarachnoid space after short theoretical training. Ultrasound-guided techniques for needle placement in the cisterna magna and in the lumbar subarachnoid space were described in the dog. The aim of the fourth observational, prospective, ex-vivo study was to compare the impact of ultrasound guidance for the cisternal versus lumbar needle placement using dog cadavers. With informed consent, 83 operators were prospectively enrolled in the study. They were divided in four groups depending on experience. Each operator received a short theoretical training about each technique before the trial and then attempted a cisternal and lumbar punctures with blind landmark-guided and ultrasound-guided techniques on randomized canine cadavers. The lumbar ultrasound-guidance was direct while the cisternal ultrasound-guidance was indirect. After having performed each procedure, the operators completed a self-evaluation questionnaire about their previous experience, their performance and their self-confidence. The ultrasound guidance significantly increased total success rate in both areas compared with the blind technique but more significantly in the lumbar region. The cisternal ultrasound guidance significantly improved the number of attempts, the time needed to perform the procedure and the self-confidence in inexperienced and experienced operators. The lumbar ultrasound guidance significantly increased the self-confidence in inexperienced and experienced operators and significantly decreased the number of attempts in inexperienced operators. The first cause of failure cited was different according to the location of the puncture and was related to the nature of ultrasound guidance. Findings indicated that the use of ultrasound guidance by novice and experienced operators improved different parameters according to the location of the needle placement. This study demonstrated that inexperienced operators are able to use ultrasound guidance after a short theoretical teaching session in an ex-vivo context and this supports the use of ultrasound-guidance for learning and teaching purposes. The study of the impact of ultrasound guidance for needle placement procedures described in this work could be developed and studied for other technically difficult or risky procedures on dogs. If the benefits of ultrasound guidance demonstrated ex-vivo in this work are transferable to the clinical conditions, punctures of the subarachnoid injections would be less « scary » for novice operators and become routine procedures applicable by a large numbers of veterinarians. [less ▲]

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See detail"Saisir l'État". Les conflits d’héritage, la justice et la place du droit à Cotonou.
Andreetta, Sophie ULg

Doctoral thesis (2016)

Tout comme de nombreux autres États sur le continent africain, le Bénin a entrepris, à partir des années 1990, une large réforme de ses services publics dans laquelle la justice occupe une place centrale ... [more ▼]

Tout comme de nombreux autres États sur le continent africain, le Bénin a entrepris, à partir des années 1990, une large réforme de ses services publics dans laquelle la justice occupe une place centrale. Parmi les premiers textes à faire l’objet d’une révision figure le Code des personnes et de la famille, censé promouvoir l’égalité des sexes, contrairement au droit « coutumier » jusque-là applicable à la majorité des familles. Avec les conflits d’héritage comme porte d’entrée, cette recherche avait pour objectif de réfléchir à l’appropriation de ce nouveau texte par différents types d’acteurs. En effet, les questions liées à la gestion et à la répartition de l’héritage sont fréquemment source de conflits à Cotonou et dans les localités voisines. De nombreuses familles saisissent les cours et tribunaux. Dans un contexte où les services publics sont souvent associés à la corruption et aux pratiques informelles, cette thèse envisage les spécificités du système judicaire béninois, la question de la place du droit pour les citoyens, dans le travail des juges et le fonctionnement des tribunaux, démontrant ainsi que les règles officielles sont loin d’être systématiquement contournées dans les administrations africaines. [less ▲]

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