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See detailEstetrol is a weak estrogen antagonizing estradiol-dependent mammary gland proliferation.
Gérard, Céline ULg; Blacher, Silvia ULg; Communal, Laudine et al

in Journal of Endocrinology (2015), 224(1), 86-95

Estetrol (E4) is a natural estrogen produced exclusively by the human fetal liver during pregnancy. Its physiological activity remains unknown. In contrast to ethinyl estradiol (EE) and estradiol (E2), E4 ... [more ▼]

Estetrol (E4) is a natural estrogen produced exclusively by the human fetal liver during pregnancy. Its physiological activity remains unknown. In contrast to ethinyl estradiol (EE) and estradiol (E2), E4 has a minimal impact on liver cells activity and could provide a better safety profile in contraception or hormone therapy. The aim of this study was to delineate if E4 exhibits an activity profile distinct from that of E2 on mammary gland. Compared to E2, E4 acted as a low affinity estrogen in both, human in vitro and murine in vivo, models. E4 was 100 times less potent than E2 to stimulate the proliferation of human breast epithelial (HBE) cells and murine mammary gland in vitro and in vivo, respectively. This effect was prevented by fulvestrant and by tamoxifen supporting the notion that ERalpha is the main mediator of the estrogenic effect of E4 on the breast. Interestingly, when E4 was administered along with E2, it significantly antagonized the strong stimulatory effect of E2 on HBE cells proliferation and on the growth of mammary ducts. This study characterizes for the first time the impact of E4 on mammary gland. Our results highlight that E4 is less potent than E2 and exhibits antagonistic properties towards the proliferative effect of E2 on breast epithelial cells. These data support E4 as a potential new estrogen for clinical use with a reduced impact on breast proliferation. [less ▲]

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See detailPhysiological interpretation of the slope during an isokinetic fatigue test
Bosquet, L.; Gouadec, K.; Berryman, N. et al

in International Journal of Sports Medicine (2015)

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See detailIsoform 165 of vascular endothelial growth factor in collagen matrix improves ovine cryopreserved ovarian tissue revascularisation after xenotransplantation in mice.
Henry, Laurie ULg; LABIED, Soraya ULg; Fransolet, Maïté ULg et al

in Reproductive biology and endocrinology (2015), 13(1), 15

BACKGROUND: Aggressive anti-cancer treatments can result in ovarian failure. Ovarian cryopreservation has been developed to preserve the fertility of young women, but early graft revascularisation still ... [more ▼]

BACKGROUND: Aggressive anti-cancer treatments can result in ovarian failure. Ovarian cryopreservation has been developed to preserve the fertility of young women, but early graft revascularisation still requires improvement. METHODS: Frozen/thawed sheep ovarian cortical biopsies were embedded in collagen matrix with or without isoform 165 of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF165) and transplanted into ovaries of immunodeficient mice. Ovaries were chosen as transplantation sites to more closely resemble clinical conditions in which orthotopic transplantation has previously allowed several spontaneous pregnancies. RESULTS: We found that VEGF165 significantly increased the number of Dextran-FITC positive functional vessels 3 days after grafting. Dextran- fluorescein isothiocyanate (FITC) positive vessels were detectable in 53% and 29% of the mice in the VEGF-treated and control groups, respectively. Among these positive fragments, 50% in the treated group displayed mature smooth-muscle-actin-alpha (alpha-SMA) positive functional vessels compared with 0% in the control group. CD31 positive murine blood vessels were observed in 40% of the VEGF165 transplants compared with 21% of the controls. After 3 weeks, the density of murine vessels was significantly higher in the VEGF165 group. CONCLUSION: The encapsulation of ovarian tissue in collagen matrix in the presence of VEGF165 before grafting has a positive effect on functional blood vessel recruitment. It can be considered as a useful technique to be improved and further developed before human clinical applications in female cancer patients in the context of fertility preservation. [less ▲]

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See detailThe retirement of the migrant labor force: pension portability and beyond
Jousten, Alain ULg

in CESifo Economic Studies (2015), 61(2), 416-437

The specificities of the workforce with a migrant background are often neglected in studies of retirement. Similarly, many studies of migration’s impact on pensions often focus on aggregate outcomes – ... [more ▼]

The specificities of the workforce with a migrant background are often neglected in studies of retirement. Similarly, many studies of migration’s impact on pensions often focus on aggregate outcomes – system sustainability or distributive characteristics. The present paper provides a fresh look at the nexus between these two literatures. It discusses the impact of the European social security coordination mechanisms on individual decision-making and on the functioning of social security systems – with a focus on retirement. The paper argues that such effects are non-negligible and are likely to have major policy consequences. [less ▲]

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See detailChemical characterisation and in vitro assessment of the nutritive value of co-products yield from the corn wet-milling process
Malumba Kamba, Paul ULg; Boudry, Christelle ULg; Roiseux, Olivier et al

in Food Chemistry (2015), 166

The chemical characteristics of co-products recovered during a laboratory-scale wet milling procedure as well as that of whole corn flour were characterised and their digestibility and fermentability ... [more ▼]

The chemical characteristics of co-products recovered during a laboratory-scale wet milling procedure as well as that of whole corn flour were characterised and their digestibility and fermentability value determined using a 2 steps in vitro digestibility and fermentation model of the pig digestive tract. Five co-products differing in their chemical composition were collected and analysed. These co-products differed in their in vitro dry matter Digestibility and in their kinetic of fermentation. High coefficients of digestibility were observed for starchy samples, while low coefficients of digestibility were observed for samples rich in lignocellulosic components. Fermentation patterns of samples analysed were different as well as the profile of volatile fatty acids produced during the fermentation. The production of straight-chain fatty acids produced was significantly correlated with the proportion of starch in the sample, while branched-chain fatty acids were correlated to proteins concentration of samples. [less ▲]

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See detailIdentification of Cytotoxic and Antioxidant Compounds from Allium gramineum Flowers
Mskhiladze, Lasha; Chincharadze, David; Tits, Monique ULg et al

in International Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Drug Research (2015), 7

The present study evaluates the in vitro anticancer, antiplasmodial and antioxidant activity of the ethanolic crude extract from the flowers of Allium gramineum growing in Georgia and of one flavonol and ... [more ▼]

The present study evaluates the in vitro anticancer, antiplasmodial and antioxidant activity of the ethanolic crude extract from the flowers of Allium gramineum growing in Georgia and of one flavonol and two steroidal glycosides which were isolated from this plant. The flowers were extracted with ethanol and this total extract was subjected to successive bioguided fractionations to provide glycosides 1-3. Their structures were elucidated on the basis of NMR and ESI-MS spectrometric data in comparison with the existing literature and have been identified as: isorhamnetin-3-O-β-D-glucopyranoside (1), diosgenin-3-O-α-rhamnopyranosyl-(1→2)-β-D-glucopyranoside (Prosapogenin A of dioscin) (2), diosgenin-3-O-α-rhamnopyranosyl-(1→2)-[β-D-glucopyranosyl-(1→4)-]-β-D-glucopyranoside (Deltonine) (3). The ethanolic extract has been shown to strongly inhibit the growth of breast adenocarcinoma cell lines, with an IC50 of 4.5 ± 0.7μg/mL for MDAMB-231 and 4.8 ± 0.9μg/mL for MCF-7 cells. The cytotoxic activity was related to 2 and 3 which exhibited potent cytotoxicity, with an IC50 of ± 3μM. Concerning antiplasmodial activities, only weak activities were observed using the ethanolic extract and the two saponins. The flavonoid was almost inactive. Finally, the radical-scavenging activity of the ethanolic extract was tested in presence of ABTS·+ solution. A decrease of the absorbance intensity was observed, with an IC50 value of 22.1 ± 0.6μg/mLwhile trolox, used as Standard drug, showed a pronounced activity (IC50 = 12.7±0.5μM). The glycoside 1 showed the lowest IC50 value of 20.1 ± 0.8μM while both 2 and 3 exhibited very weak radical scavenging activity. [less ▲]

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See detailThe Chemical compositions and the Antioxidant and Antimicrobial Activities of the Essential Oil of Rosemary Leaves from Eastern Morocco
Tahri, Mustapha; Imelouane, Bouchra; Amhamdi, Hassan et al

in Journal of Materials and Environmental Science (2015), 6(3), 666-672

The essential oils compositions of Rosmarinus. tournefortii wild plant, Rosmarinus. tournefortii domesticated plant, and Rosmarinus officinalis.L wild plant growing in different bio climates from eastern ... [more ▼]

The essential oils compositions of Rosmarinus. tournefortii wild plant, Rosmarinus. tournefortii domesticated plant, and Rosmarinus officinalis.L wild plant growing in different bio climates from eastern Morocco, was determined by GC-FID and GC–MS. Oils were assessed for their antimicrobial and antioxidant activities. A variation of chemical compositions attributed to varieties rather than to bio climates was revealed. α-Pinene (0.637% ; 44.22% ; 5.74%), Camphene (11.62% ; 6.52% ; 2.21%), ß-Pinene (14.72% ; 1.14% ; 3.71%), 1,8-Cineole (10.1% ; not identifying ; 56.51%) and Camphor (39.27% ; 7.64% ; 13.56%) were identified as the main constituents of R. tournefortii wild plant, R. tournefortii domesticated plant, and R. officinalis. L wild plant respectively. This study is based on the determination of the diameter of inhibition to moderate antimicrobial and antioxidant activities of oils revealed to be against eight bacteria tested. This was determined by 1,1-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) assay. The highest antimicrobial and antioxidant activities were found in oils from Rosmarinus. tournefortii domesticated plant. [less ▲]

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See detailComplete analytical procedure to assess the response of a frame submitted to a column loss
Huvelle, Clara; Hoang, Van Long ULg; Jaspart, Jean-Pierre ULg et al

in Engineering Structures (2015), 86

The present paper gives a global overview on recent developments performed at the University of Liege on structural robustness of buildings for the specific scenario ‘‘loss of a column’’. In particular, a ... [more ▼]

The present paper gives a global overview on recent developments performed at the University of Liege on structural robustness of buildings for the specific scenario ‘‘loss of a column’’. In particular, a complete analytical method to assess the response of a 2D frame losing statically one of its columns is presented in details. This method is based on the development of alternative load paths in the damaged structure and takes into account the couplings between the different parts of the structure which are differently affected by the column loss. Also, the validation of the developed method through comparison to experimental and numerical evidences is presented. [less ▲]

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See detailInhibiting or Antagonizing Glucagon: A Progress in Diabetes Care ?
LEFEBVRE, Pierre ULg; Paquot, Nicolas ULg; Scheen, André ULg

in Diabetes, obesity & metabolism (2015)

Absolute or relative hyperglucagonemia has been recognized for years in all experimental or clinical forms of diabetes. It has been suggested that excess secretion of glucagon by the islet alpha-cells is ... [more ▼]

Absolute or relative hyperglucagonemia has been recognized for years in all experimental or clinical forms of diabetes. It has been suggested that excess secretion of glucagon by the islet alpha-cells is a direct consequence of intra-islet insulin secretory defects. Recent studies have demonstrated that knock-out of the glucagon receptor or administration of a monoclonal specific glucagon receptor antibody make insulin deficient type 1 diabetic rodents thrive without insulin. These observations suggest that glucagon plays an essential role in the pathophysiology of diabetes and that targeting the alpha-cell and glucagon are innovative approaches in the management of diabetes. Despite active research and identification of promising compounds, no one selective glucagon antagonist is presently used in the treatment of diabetes. Interestingly, besides insulin, several drugs used today in the management of diabetes appear to exert their effects in part by inhibiting glucagon secretion (GLP-1 receptor agonists, DPP-4 inhibitors, alpha glucosidase inhibitors and, maybe, sulfonylureas) or glucagon action (metformin). The potential risks associated with total glucagon suppression include alpha-cell hyperplasia, increased mass of the pancreas, increased susceptibility to hepatosteatosis and hepatocellular injury and increased risk of hypoglycaemia and should be considered in the search and development of new compounds reducing glucagon receptor signalling. In conclusion, more than 40 years after its initial description, the hyperglucagonemia of diabetes can no longer be ignored or minimized and its correction represents an attractive way for improving diabetes management. [less ▲]

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See detailResponse of plant functional traits during the restoration of calcareous grasslands from forest stands
Piqueray, Julien; Ferroni, Lucia; Delescaille, Louis-Marie et al

in Ecological Indicators (2015)

In this survey, we studied the response of plant functional traits to calcareous grassland restoration in the Calestienne region, Southern Belgium (restoration protocol: forest clear-cutting followed by ... [more ▼]

In this survey, we studied the response of plant functional traits to calcareous grassland restoration in the Calestienne region, Southern Belgium (restoration protocol: forest clear-cutting followed by grazing at all sites). We considered traits related to dispersal, establishment, and persistence that integrate the main challenges of plants to re-establish and survive in restored areas. Functional traits were compiled from databases and compared among (i) pre-restoration and young restoration forests; (ii) restoration areas of different ages; and (iii) old restorations and reference grasslands. The following questions were addressed: (i) What is the early response (2-4 years) in terms of plant functional trait following one restorative clear-cut event? (ii) What plants functional trait responses occur from restorative management (i.e. sheep and goat grazing)? (iii) Which differences still persist between the oldest restored parcels (10-15 years), and the historical reference grasslands? Forest clear-cuts induced several changes among functional traits, including decreased mean seed mass and certain vegetative traits (i.e. decreased phanerophytes, branching species; and increased short lifespan species i.e. annuals and biennials). During restorative management, clonal, epizoochorous and autumn germinating species were favored. Despite numerous other changes during this phase, many differences remained compared to reference grasslands. In particular, geophytes, mycorrhizal and evergreen species abundance were not approaching reference grassland values. The observed pattern helped to draw inferences on the possible mechanisms operating under vegetation recovery following restorative forest clear-cut and subsequent management were identified and described in this study. Results indicated grazing was an important factor, which increased epizoochorous species, and autumn germinating taxa that filled niches in vegetation opened by summer grazing animals. Finally, differences between old restoration and reference grasslands emphasized that management should focus on reduction in soil fertility, and geophyte rhizomatous grasses. Long-term monitoring is vital to assess if management plans are effective in the complete restoration of species functional trait assemblages. [less ▲]

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See detailRuthenium catalysts bearing a benzimidazolylidene ligand for the metathetical ring-closure of tetrasubstituted cycloolefins
Borguet, Yannick; Zaragoza, Guillermo; Demonceau, Albert ULg et al

in Dalton Transactions (2015), 44

Deprotonation of 1,3-di(2-tolyl)benzimidazolium tetrafluoroborate with a strong base afforded 1,3-di(2-tolyl)benzimidazol-2-ylidene (BTol), which dimerized progressively into the corresponding ... [more ▼]

Deprotonation of 1,3-di(2-tolyl)benzimidazolium tetrafluoroborate with a strong base afforded 1,3-di(2-tolyl)benzimidazol-2-ylidene (BTol), which dimerized progressively into the corresponding dibenzotetraazafulvalene. The complexes [RhCl(COD)(BTol)] (COD is 1,5-cyclooctadiene) and cis-[RhCl(CO)2(BTol)] were synthesized to probe the steric and electronic parameters of BTol. Comparison of the percentage of buried volume (%VBur) and of the Tolman electronic parameter (TEP) of BTol with those determined previously for 1,3-dimesitylbenzimidazol-2-ylidene (BMes) revealed that the two N-heterocyclic carbenes displayed similar electron donicities, yet the 2-tolyl substituents took a slightly greater share of the rhodium coordination sphere than the mesityl groups, due to a more pronounced tilt. The anti,anti conformation adopted by BTol in the molecular structure of [RhCl(COD)(BTol)] ensured nonetheless a remarkably unhindered access to the metal center, as evidenced by steric maps. Second-generation ruthenium-benzylidene and isopropoxybenzylidene complexes featuring the BTol ligand were obtained via phosphine exchange from the first generation Grubbs and Hoveyda-Grubbs catalysts, respectively. The atropisomerism of the 2-tolyl substituents within [RuCl2([double bond, length as m-dash]CHPh)(PCy3)(BTol)] was investigated by using variable temperature NMR spectroscopy, and the molecular structures of all four possible rotamers of [RuCl2([double bond, length as m-dash]CH-o-OiPrC6H4)(BTol)] were determined by X-ray crystallography. Both complexes were highly active at promoting the ring-closing metathesis (RCM) of model [small alpha],[small omega]-dienes. The replacement of BMes with BTol was particularly beneficial to achieve the ring-closure of tetrasubstituted cycloalkenes. More specifically, the stable isopropoxybenzylidene chelate enabled an almost quantitative RCM of two challenging substrates, viz., diethyl 2,2-bis(2-methylallyl)malonate and N,N-bis(2-methylallyl)tosylamide, within a few hours at 60 °C. [less ▲]

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See detailAphid species and associated natural enemies in field crops: what about the invasive ladybird Harmonia axyridis (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae)?
Vandereycken, Axel ULg; Durieux, Delphine ULg; Joie, Emilie ULg et al

in Entomologie Faunistique = Faunistic Entomology (2015), 68

Following the introduction in the 80's of the invasive coccinellid species Harmonia axyridis (Pallas) in Europe, several studies have begun to focus on the interactions with other aphid predator species ... [more ▼]

Following the introduction in the 80's of the invasive coccinellid species Harmonia axyridis (Pallas) in Europe, several studies have begun to focus on the interactions with other aphid predator species. In this study, aphids and associated predators were sampled to determine their relative abundance in four agricultural crops (broad bean, corn, potato, and wheat) in Belgium during 2010 and 2011. The Moericke trap was used to quantify the mean number of aphids and aphid predators from May to September in both years. A total of 28 aphid species and 21 aphidophagous species were observed. In both years, H. axyridis was among the most abundant aphidophagous predators in all four crops, and was the second most abundant coccinellid species after Coccinella septempunctata L. The community of aphidophagous species was similar across all four inventoried crops. However, the highest population densities of this alien species were recorded in broad bean and potato crops, which also hosted the highest aphid population densities. In conclusion, this study demonstrates that the communities of aphid predators are highly diversified in the agroecosystems, despite the high occurrence of H. axyridis, an introduced predator that has become well established in this environment. [less ▲]

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See detailSedimentology and magnetic susceptibility of recent sediments from New Caledonia
Jadot, Hélène ULg; Boulvain, Frédéric ULg

in Special Publication - Geological Society of London (2015), 414

The interpretation of the primary origin of the minerals carrying the magnetic susceptibility (MS) signal from ancient rocks suffers notably from the scarcity of studies on Recent sediments. To bring new ... [more ▼]

The interpretation of the primary origin of the minerals carrying the magnetic susceptibility (MS) signal from ancient rocks suffers notably from the scarcity of studies on Recent sediments. To bring new data, a study of tropical coastal sediments of New Caledonia was undertaken. This island is surrounded by a nearly uninterrupted reef barrier, isolating a wide lagoon from the open ocean. The erosion of extremely varied rocks (from mantle rocks to laterites) produces different types of detrital sediments, which are mixed with the indigenous precipitated carbonates. This generates different types of coastal sediments, detrital- or carbonate-dominated or mixed. More than 300 samples were analysed for grain size, nature of sediment, MS and geochemistry (major elements). The first results show that: (a) carbonate sands and carbonate silts are characterized by lower MS than detrital sediments; (b) the MS signal of mixed sediments is mostly influenced by the proportion of detrital sediments; (c) MS is directly correlated with Mn and Fe content; (d) beachrocks are characterized by lower MS than equivalent loose sediment; (e) the MS signal of carbonate sediments is locally positively correlated with granulometry; (f) there is no MS change between surface and 20 cm deep samples; and (g) when the subsurface sediment is reducing, the MS is higher than that from surface sediment. [less ▲]

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See detailChemotherapy-driven dysbiosis in the intestinal microbiome
Montassier, E.; Gastinne, T.; Vangay, P. et al

in Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics (2015)

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See detailZebrafish bone and general physiology are differently affected by hormones or changes in gravity.
Aceto, Jessica ULg; Nourizadeh-Lillabadi, Rasoul; Marée, Raphaël ULg et al

in PLoS ONE (2015), 10(6), 1-42

Teleost fish such as zebrafish (Danio rerio) are increasingly used for physiological, genetic and developmental studies. Our understanding of the physiological consequences of altered gravity in an entire ... [more ▼]

Teleost fish such as zebrafish (Danio rerio) are increasingly used for physiological, genetic and developmental studies. Our understanding of the physiological consequences of altered gravity in an entire organism is still incomplete. We used altered gravity and drug treatment experiments to evaluate their effects specifically on bone formation and more generally on whole genome gene expression. By combining morphometric tools with an objective scoring system for the state of development for each element in the head skeleton and specific gene expression analysis, we confirmed and characterized in detail the decrease or increase of bone formation caused by a 5 day treatment (from 5dpf to 10 dpf) of, respectively parathyroid hormone (PTH) or vitamin D3 (VitD3). Microarray transcriptome analysis after 24 hours treatment reveals a general effect on physiology upon VitD3 treatment, while PTH causes more specifically developmental effects. Hypergravity (3g from 5dpf to 9 dpf) exposure results in a significantly larger head and a significant increase in bone formation for a subset of the cranial bones. Gene expression analysis after 24 hrs at 3g revealed differential expression of genes involved in the development and function of the skeletal, muscular, nervous, endocrine and cardiovascular systems. Finally, we propose a novel type of experimental approach, the "Reduced Gravity Paradigm", by keeping the developing larvae at 3g hypergravity for the first 5 days before returning them to 1g for one additional day. 5 days exposure to 3g during these early stages also caused increased bone formation, while gene expression analysis revealed a central network of regulatory genes (hes5, sox10, lgals3bp, egr1, edn1, fos, fosb, klf2, gadd45ba and socs3a) whose expression was consistently affected by the transition from hyper- to normal gravity. [less ▲]

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See detailAre unmanned aircraft systems (UASs) the future of wildlife monitoring? A review of accomplishments and challenges
Linchant, Julie ULg; Lisein, Jonathan ULg; Semeki, Jean et al

in Mammal Review (2015)

1. Regular monitoring of animal populations must be established to ensure wildlife protection, especially when pressure on animals is high. The recent development of drones or unmanned aircraft systems ... [more ▼]

1. Regular monitoring of animal populations must be established to ensure wildlife protection, especially when pressure on animals is high. The recent development of drones or unmanned aircraft systems (UASs) opens new opportunities. UASs have several advantages, including providing data at high spatial and temporal resolution, providing systematic, permanent data, having low operational costs and being low-risk for the operators. However, UASs have some constraints, such as short flight endurance. 2. We reviewed studies in which wildlife populations were monitored by using drones, described accomplishments to date and evaluated the range of possibilities UASs offer to provide new perspectives in future research. 3. We focused on four main topics: 1) the available systems and sensors; 2) the types of survey plan and detection possibilities; 3) contributions towards antipoaching surveillance; and 4) legislation and ethics. 4. We found that small fixed-wing UASs are most commonly used because these aircraft provide a viable compromise between price, logistics and flight endurance. The sensors are typically electro-optic or infrared cameras, but there is the potential to develop and test new sensors. 5. Despite various flight plan possibilities, mostly classical line transects have been employed, and it would be of great interest to test new methods to adapt to the limitations of UASs. Detection of many species is possible, but statistical approaches are unavailable if valid inventories of large mammals are the purpose. 6. Contributions of UASs to anti-poaching surveillance are not yet well documented in the scientific literature, but initial studies indicate that this approach could make important contributions to conservation in the next few years. 7. Finally, we conclude that one of the main factors impeding the use of UASs is legislation. Restrictions in the use of airspace prevent researchers from testing all possibilities, and adaptations to the relevant legislation will be necessary in future. [less ▲]

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See detailTiO2 Macroscopic Fibers with Enhanced Photocatalytic Properties Obtained through a Scale-Up Semi-Industrial Process
Kinadjian, Natacha; Le Bechec, Mickael; Henrist, Catherine ULg et al

in Advanced Engineering Materials (2015), 17(1), 36-44

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See detailChine et matières premières : entre satisfaction des besoins et anticipation sur la raréfaction des ressources
Merenne-Schoumaker, Bernadette ULg

in GEO (2015), 77

L'article analyse les rapports entre la Chine et les matières premières en s'intéressant à cinq points : l'analyse des besoins, l'origine des matières premières consommées, les stratégies mises en oeuvre ... [more ▼]

L'article analyse les rapports entre la Chine et les matières premières en s'intéressant à cinq points : l'analyse des besoins, l'origine des matières premières consommées, les stratégies mises en oeuvre pour sécuriser son approvisionnement, les problèmes rencontrés à l'interne et les conséquences à l'échelle internationales. [less ▲]

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See detailGeneration of Isogenic Human iPS Cell Line Precisely Corrected by Genome Editing Using the CRISPR/Cas9 System.
Grobarczyk, Benjamin ULg; Franco, Bénédicte ULg; Hanon, Kevin et al

in Stem cell reviews (2015)

Genome engineering and human iPS cells are two powerful technologies, which can be combined to highlight phenotypic differences and identify pathological mechanisms of complex diseases by providing ... [more ▼]

Genome engineering and human iPS cells are two powerful technologies, which can be combined to highlight phenotypic differences and identify pathological mechanisms of complex diseases by providing isogenic cellular material. However, very few data are available regarding precise gene correction in human iPS cells. Here, we describe an optimized stepwise protocol to deliver CRISPR/Cas9 plasmids in human iPS cells. We highlight technical issues especially those associated to human stem cell culture and to the correction of a point mutation to obtain isogenic iPS cell line, without inserting any resistance cassette. Based on a two-steps clonal isolation protocol (mechanical picking followed by enzymatic dissociation), we succeed to select and expand corrected human iPS cell line with a great efficiency (more than 2 % of the sequenced colonies). This protocol can also be used to obtain knock-out cell line from healthy iPS cell line by the NHEJ pathway (with about 15 % efficiency) and reproduce disease phenotype. In addition, we also provide protocols for functional validation tests after every critical step. [less ▲]

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See detailAllogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation for T-prolymphocytic leukemia: a report from the French society for stem cell transplantation (SFGM-TC)
Guillaume, Thierry; Beguin, Yves ULg; Tabrizi, Reza et al

in European Journal of Haematology (2015), 94

T-prolymphocytic leukemia (T-PLL), a rare aggressive mature T-cell disorder, remains frequently resistant to conventional chemotherapy. Studies have suggested that allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell ... [more ▼]

T-prolymphocytic leukemia (T-PLL), a rare aggressive mature T-cell disorder, remains frequently resistant to conventional chemotherapy. Studies have suggested that allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) might possibly serve to consolidate the response to initial chemotherapy. The current report summarizes the outcome of 27 T-PLL cases identified in the registry in French Society for stem cell transplantation (SFGM-TC). Prior to HSCT, 14 patients were in complete remission (CR), 10 in partial response, three refractory, or in progression. Following HSCT, 21 patients achieved CR as best response. With a median follow-up for surviving patients of 33 (range, 6–103) months, 10 patients are still alive in continuous CR. Overall survival and progression-free survival estimates at 3 yr were 36% (95% CI: 17–54%) and 26% (95% CI: 14–45%), respectively. The relapse incidence after HSCT was 47% occurring at a median of 11.7 (range, 2–24) months. Overall cumulative incidence of transplant-related mortality was 31% at 3 yr. These results suggest that HSCT may allow long-term survival in patients with T-PLL following induction treatment; however, it is associated with a significant rate of toxicity. [less ▲]

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See detail3D zero-thickness coupled interface finite element: Formulation and application
Cerfontaine, Benjamin ULg; Dieudonné, Anne-Catherine ULg; Radu, Jean-Pol ULg et al

in Computers and Geotechnics (2015)

In many fields of geotechnical engineering, the modelling of interfaces requires special numerical tools. This paper presents the formulation of a 3D fully coupled hydro-mechanical finite element of ... [more ▼]

In many fields of geotechnical engineering, the modelling of interfaces requires special numerical tools. This paper presents the formulation of a 3D fully coupled hydro-mechanical finite element of interface. The element belongs to the zero-thickness family and the contact constraint is enforced by the penalty method. Fluid flow is discretised through a three-node scheme, discretising the inner flow by additional nodes. The element is able to reproduce the contact/loss of contact between two solids as well as shearing/sliding of the interface. Fluid flow through and across the interface can be modelled. Opening of a gap within the interface influences the longitudinal transmissivity as well as the storage of water inside the interface. Moreover the computation of an effective pressure within the interface, according to the Terzaghi’s principle creates an additional hydro-mechanical coupling. The uplifting simulation of a suction caisson embedded in a soil layer illustrates the main features of the element. Friction is progressively mobilised along the shaft of the caisson and sliding finally takes place. A gap is created below the top of the caisson and filled with water. It illustrates the storage capacity within the interface and the transversal flow. Longitudinal fluid flow is highlighted between the shaft of the caisson and the soil. The fluid flow depends on the opening of the gap and is related to the cubic law. [less ▲]

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See detailTHERAPY OF ENDOCRINE DISEASE: Outcomes in patients with Cushing's disease undergoing transsphenoidal surgery: systematic review assessing criteria used to define remission and recurrence.
Petersenn, Stephan; Beckers, Albert ULg; Ferone, Diego et al

in European journal of endocrinology / European Federation of Endocrine Societies (2015), 172(6), 227-239

Objective: A number of factors can influence the reported outcomes of transsphenoidal surgery (TSS) for Cushing's disease - including different remission and recurrence criteria, for which there is no ... [more ▼]

Objective: A number of factors can influence the reported outcomes of transsphenoidal surgery (TSS) for Cushing's disease - including different remission and recurrence criteria, for which there is no consensus. Therefore, a comparative analysis of the best treatment options and patient management strategies is difficult. In this review, we investigated the clinical outcomes of initial TSS in patients with Cushing's disease based on definitions of and assessments for remission and recurrence. Methods: We systematically searched PubMed and identified 44 studies with clear definitions of remission and recurrence. When data were available, additional analyses by time of remission, tumour size, duration of follow-up, surgical experience, year of study publication, and adverse events related to surgery were performed. Results: Of the 44 articles selected, only one reported endoscopic TSS. Data from a total of 6,400 patients who received microscopic TSS were extracted and analysed. A variety of definitions of remission and recurrence of Cushing's disease after initial microscopic TSS was used, giving broad ranges of remission (42.0-96.6%; median, 77.9%) and recurrence (3.1-47.4%; median, 11.5%). Better remission and recurrence outcomes were achieved for micro- versus macroadenomas; however, no correlations were found with other parameters, other than improved safety with longer surgical experience. Conclusions: The variety of methodologies used in clinical evaluation of TSS for Cushing's disease strongly support the call for standardization and optimization of studies to inform clinical practice and maximize patient outcomes. Clinically significant rates of failure of initial TSS highlight the need for effective second-line treatments. [less ▲]

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See detailMultiple disulfide bridges modulate conformational stability and flexibility in hyperthermophilic archaeal purine nucleoside phosphorylase
Bagarolo; Porcelli, M; Martino et al

in Biochimica et Biophysica Acta-Proteins and Proteomics (2015), 1854

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See detailHeat can erase epigenetic marks of vernalization in Arabidopsis
Bouché, Frédéric ULg; Detry, Nathalie ULg; Périlleux, Claire ULg

in Plant Signaling & Behavior (2015), 10(3), 990799

Vernalization establishes a memory of winter that must be maintained for weeks or months in order to promote flowering the following spring. The stability of the vernalized state varies among plant ... [more ▼]

Vernalization establishes a memory of winter that must be maintained for weeks or months in order to promote flowering the following spring. The stability of the vernalized state varies among plant species and depends on the duration of cold exposure. In Arabidopsis thaliana, winter leads to epigenetic silencing of the floral repressor gene FLOWERING LOCUS C (FLC) and the duration of cold is measured through the dynamics of chromatin modifications during and after cold. The growing conditions encountered post-vernalization are thus critical for the maintenance of the vernalized state. We reported that high temperature leads to devernalization and, consistently, to FLC reactivation in Arabidopsis seedlings. Here we show that the repressive epigenetic mark H3K27me3 decreases at the FLC locus when vernalized seedlings are grown at 30°C, unless they were first exposed to a stabilizing period at 20°C. Ambient temperature thus controls the epigenetic memory of winter. [less ▲]

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See detailPrise en charge de la neutropénie fébrile chez le patient cancéreux
FRERES, Pierre ULg; GONNE, Elodie ULg; COLLIGNON, Joëlle ULg et al

in Revue Médicale de Liège (2015), 70(4), 195-200

Les cancers sont de plus en plus fréquents et leurs traitements de plus en plus agressifs. En conséquence, médecins généralistes, urgentistes, hématologues et oncologues se trouvent régulièrement ... [more ▼]

Les cancers sont de plus en plus fréquents et leurs traitements de plus en plus agressifs. En conséquence, médecins généralistes, urgentistes, hématologues et oncologues se trouvent régulièrement confrontés à un effet secondaire sévère des traitements cytotoxiques, le neutropénie fébrile (NF). La NF est une complication gravissime de la chimiothérapie, car elle peut être rapidement mortelle et provoque un arrêt temporaire, voire définitif, des traitements. Dans cet article, nous résumons les dernières recommandations quant à la prise en charge thérapeutique des patients présentant une NF sous traitements anti-cancéreux. [less ▲]

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See detailBifix codes and interval exchanges
Berthé, Valérie; De Felice, Clelia; Dolce, Francesco et al

in Journal of Pure and Applied Algebra (2015), 219(7), 27812798

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See detailLa médecine personnalisée : aspects pharmacoéconomiques
Bruyère, Olivier ULg; Reginster, Jean-Yves ULg; Ethgen, Olivier ULg

in Revue Médicale de Liège (2015), 70(5-6), 339-342

Personalized medicine : pharmacoeconomic aspects Summary : The development and establishment of personalized medicine should allow the improvement of the quality of the care services as well as of the ... [more ▼]

Personalized medicine : pharmacoeconomic aspects Summary : The development and establishment of personalized medicine should allow the improvement of the quality of the care services as well as of the development of new and adapted therapeutic solutions. In a society, whose resources for health care are not endless, the issue of costs and economic effectiveness of personalized medicine is important. Numerous pharmacoeconomic studies have been conducted and many of them suggest that personalized medicine leads to better health, but at higher cost. However, the pharmacoeconomic methods developed over recent years will have to be adapted to better take into account the complexity of the problem, especially the capacity and the reliability of tests to best target patients, and also the whole care process of patients. [less ▲]

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See detailTyranny of Trees in Global Climate Change Mitigation
Veldman, Joseph W.; Overbeck, Gerhard; Negreiros, Daniel et al

in Science (2015), 347(6221)

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See detailMicrofluidic Enzymatic Biosensing Systems: a Review
Mross, Stefan; Pierrat, Sebastien; Zimmermann, Tom et al

in Biosensors & Bioelectronics (2015), 70

Microfluidic biosensing systems with enzyme-based detection have been extensively studied in the last years owing to features such as high specificity, a broad range of analytes and a high degree of ... [more ▼]

Microfluidic biosensing systems with enzyme-based detection have been extensively studied in the last years owing to features such as high specificity, a broad range of analytes and a high degree of automation. This review gives an overview of the most important factors associated with these systems. In the first part, frequently used immobilization protocols such as physisorption and covalent bonding and detection techniques such as amperometry and fluorescence measurements are discussed with respect to effort, lifetime and measurement range. The Michaelis–Menten model describing the kinetics of enzymatic reactions, the role of redox mediators and the limitations of the linear measurement range of enzymatic sensors are introduced. Several possibilities of extending the linear measurement range in microfluidic systems such as diffusion-limiting membranes and the flow injection setup are presented. Regarding the integration of enzymes into microfluidic systems during the fabrication process, the constraints imposed by the biomolecules due to the limited usage of high temperatures and solvents are addressed. In the second part, the most common forms of enzyme integration into microfluidic systems, i.e. in channels and on electrodes, on microparticles, on paper and thread and as injected enzyme solutions, are reviewed, focusing on fabrication, applications and performance. [less ▲]

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See detailQuality of life and physical components linked to sarcopenia: The SarcoPhAge study.
Beaudart, Charlotte ULg; Reginster, Jean-Yves ULg; Petermans, Jean ULg et al

in Experimental gerontology (2015), 69

INTRODUCTION: The SarcoPhAge project is an ongoing longitudinal study following community-dwelling elderly subjects with the objective to assess some health and functional consequences of sarcopenia. The ... [more ▼]

INTRODUCTION: The SarcoPhAge project is an ongoing longitudinal study following community-dwelling elderly subjects with the objective to assess some health and functional consequences of sarcopenia. The sarcopenia diagnosis algorithm developed by the European Working Group on Sarcopenia in Older People (EWGSOP) and used in the present study needs further validation through cross-sectional and longitudinal studies. The aim of the present study is to assess, using this algorithm, the prevalence of sarcopenia and the clinical components linked to this geriatric syndrome. METHODS: Participants were community dwelling subjects aged 65years or older. To diagnose sarcopenia, we applied the definition of the EWGSOP. Muscle mass was measured by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry, muscle strength by a hydraulic dynamometer and physical performance by the SPPB test. Large amounts of socio-demographic, anamnestic and clinical data were collected in all subjects. RESULTS OVER ONE YEAR: 534 subjects were recruited for this study (60.5% of women, mean age of 73.5+/-6.16years), among whom 73 subjects were diagnosed sarcopenic, which represents a global prevalence of 13.7%. Prevalence was 11.8% in men and 14.9% in women. Sarcopenic subjects were older; had a lower Body Mass Index, lower calf, waist, wrist and arm circumferences; presented more cognitive impairments (Mini-Mental State Examination), more comorbidities; were more often malnourished; and consumed more drugs. After adjustment for age, BMI, cognitive status, nutritional status, number of comorbidities and number of drugs, sarcopenic subjects had a worse physical health-related quality of life (SF-36) for the domain of physical functioning, were at higher risk of falls (Timed Up and Go test), were more frail (Fried), presented more often tiredness for the achievement of activities of daily living (Mobility-test), presented less fat mass and obviously less lean mass. Sarcopenic women were also more dependent for housekeeping and handling finances (Lawton scale) than non-sarcopenic ones. CONCLUSION: Sarcopenia seems to be associated with many harmful clinical components making this geriatric syndrome a real public health burden. Follow-up data of the SarcoPhAge study will be helpful to assess the outcomes of sarcopenia based on the EWGSOP diagnosis algorithm and its different proposed cut-offs. [less ▲]

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See detailSimultaneous determination of insulin and its analogues in pharmaceutical formulations by micellar electrokinetic chromatography
Lamalle, Caroline ULg; Servais, Anne-Catherine ULg; RADERMECKER, Régis ULg et al

in Journal of Pharmaceutical & Biomedical Analysis (2015)

A simple and efficient MEKC method was developed to simultaneously determine human insulin, its five analogues, the main degradation products and the excipients usually present in injection formulations ... [more ▼]

A simple and efficient MEKC method was developed to simultaneously determine human insulin, its five analogues, the main degradation products and the excipients usually present in injection formulations. A very fast method with a total analysis time of 3 min was then successfully validated for the analysis of human insulin and the quality control of different commercial formulations was carried out. [less ▲]

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See detailAn automated statistical shape model developmental pipeline: application to the human scapula and humerus
Mutsvangwa, Tinashe; Burdin, Valérie; Schwartz, Cédric ULg et al

in IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering (2015), 62(4), 1098-1107

This work presents development of statistical shape models based on robust and rigid-groupwise registration followed by pointset non-rigid registration. The main advantages of the pipeline include ... [more ▼]

This work presents development of statistical shape models based on robust and rigid-groupwise registration followed by pointset non-rigid registration. The main advantages of the pipeline include automation in that the method does not rely on manual landmarks or a regionalization step; there is no bias in the choice of reference during the correspondence steps and the use of the Probabilistic Principal Component Analysis framework increases the domain of the shape variability. A comparison between the widely used Expectation Maximization- Iterative Closest Point algorithm and a recently reported groupwise method on publicly available data (hippocampus) using the well-known criteria of generality, specificity and compactness is also presented. The proposed method gives similar values but the curves of generality and specificity are superior to those of the other two methods. Finally the method is applied to the human scapula, which is a known difficult structure, and the human humerus. [less ▲]

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See detailLa Biodiversité Autrement... Avec les lunettes d’une sociologie modeste
Mougenot, Catherine ULg; Petit, Sandrine

in Revue d'Anthropologie des Connaissances (2015), 9(2), 291-310

Biodiversity is not just a concept, it is also a story, an encounter, a place, a good one is in charge of, a familiar and sensitive reality, “attached” to a multitude of ties. This reality possesses the ... [more ▼]

Biodiversity is not just a concept, it is also a story, an encounter, a place, a good one is in charge of, a familiar and sensitive reality, “attached” to a multitude of ties. This reality possesses the stories of about sixty researchers who accepted an extraordinary experience for them: tell their story and which of their works. In these stories, the making of scientific facts is set in practices, anecdotes, personal or institutional relationships, in choices which become entangled. This experience raises the question of knowing how to encompass the totality or, more modestly how to attest? In this article, our point consists of adopting the glasses of a modest sociology, that is to say: follow the reality in its making (1), experiment stories that account for it and argue about their capacities (2) and feel concerned and responsible of our descriptions of the world (3). These are three proposals which work together and match to the will of producing “situated” knowledge. [less ▲]

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See detailLes corticoïdes inhalés sont-ils suffisants pour traiter l'asthme? Perspective historique
LOUIS, Renaud ULg; Demarche, Sophie ULg; SCHLEICH, FLorence ULg

in Vaisseaux, Coeur, Poumons (2015), 20(4), 66-68

Cet article retrace l'évolution du traitement médicamenteux de l'asthme depuis l'avènement des corticoïdes inhalés à la fin des années 80. Une meilleure compréhension de la maladie, de ses différents ... [more ▼]

Cet article retrace l'évolution du traitement médicamenteux de l'asthme depuis l'avènement des corticoïdes inhalés à la fin des années 80. Une meilleure compréhension de la maladie, de ses différents phénotypes et des cytokins et médiateurs protéiques impliqués dans les différentes voies inflammatoires, a ouvert la porte à une prise en charge plus pointue de la maladie et plus particulièrement de ses formes sévères. A l'heure actuelle, le traitement des patients atteints d'asthme sévère requiert une caractérisation plus poussée de la maladie. [less ▲]

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See detailContribution of a Trunk Accelerometer System to the Characterization of Gait in Patients With Mild-to-Moderate Parkinson’s Disease
Demonceau, Marie ULg; Donneau, Anne-Françoise ULg; CROISIER, Jean-Louis ULg et al

in IEEE Journal of Biomedical and Health Informatics (2015)

OBJECTIVE: Gait disturbances like shuffling and short steps are obvious at visual observation in patients with advanced Parkinson's disease (PD). However, quantitative methods are increasingly used to ... [more ▼]

OBJECTIVE: Gait disturbances like shuffling and short steps are obvious at visual observation in patients with advanced Parkinson's disease (PD). However, quantitative methods are increasingly used to evaluate the wide range of gait abnormalities that may occur over the disease course. The goal of this study was to test the ability of a trunk accelerometer system to quantify the effects of PD on several gait features when walking at self-selected speed. METHODS: We recruited 96 subjects split into three age-matched groups: 32 healthy controls (HC), 32 PD patients at Hoehn and Yahr stage < II (PD-1), and 32 patients at Hoehn & Yahr stage II-III (PD-2). The following outcomes were extracted from the signals of the tri-axial accelerometer worn on the lower back: stride length, cadence, regularity index, symmetry index and mechanical powers yielded in the cranial-caudal, antero-posterior and medial-lateral directions. Walking speed was measured using a stopwatch. RESULTS: beside other gait features, the PD-1 and the PD-2 groups showed significantly reduced stride length normalized to height (p<0.02) and symmetry index (p<0.009) in comparison to the HC. Regularity index was the only feature significantly decreased in the PD-2 group as compared with the two other groups (p<0.01). The clinical relevance of this finding was supported by significant correlations with mobility and gait scales (r is around -0.3; p<0.05). CONCLUSION: Gait quantified by a trunk accelerometer may provide clinically useful information for the screening and follow-up of PD patients. [less ▲]

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See detailLipopeptides as main ingredients for inhibition of fungal phytopathogens by Bacillus subtilis/amyloliquefaciens
Cawoy, H.; Debois, Delphine ULg; Franzil, Laurent ULg et al

in Microbial Biotechnology (2015), 8(2), 281-295

Summary: Some isolates of the Bacillus subtilis/amyloliquefaciens species are known for their plant protective activity against fungal phytopathogens. It is notably due to their genetic potential to form ... [more ▼]

Summary: Some isolates of the Bacillus subtilis/amyloliquefaciens species are known for their plant protective activity against fungal phytopathogens. It is notably due to their genetic potential to form an impressive array of antibiotics including non-ribosomal lipopeptides (LPs). In the work presented here, we wanted to gain further insights into the relative role of these LPs in the global antifungal activity of B.subtilis/amyloliquefaciens. To that end, a comparative study was conducted involving multiple strains that were tested against four different phytopathogens. We combined various approaches to further exemplify that secretion of those LPs is a crucial trait in direct pathogen ward off and this can actually be generalized to all members of these species. Our data illustrate that for each LP family, the fungitoxic activity varies in function of the target species and that the production of iturins and fengycins is modulated by the presence of pathogens. Our data on the relative involvement of these LPs in the biocontrol activity and modulation of their production are discussed in the context of natural conditions in the rhizosphere. © 2014 The Authors. Microbial Biotechnology published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd and Society for Applied Microbiology. [less ▲]

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See detailModeling of cobalt and copper speciation in metalliferous soils from Katanga (Democratic Republic of Congo)
Pourret, Olivier; Lange, Bastien; Houben, David et al

in Journal of Geochemical Exploration (2015), 149

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See detailDes chiffres de la politique à la politique du chiffre Le cas des réformes du financement de la recherche dans les universités belge francophones.
Fallon, Catherine ULg

in Reflets et Perspectives de la Vie Economique (2015)

“Governing by numbers” is a trend on the increase in public action. Numbers tend to pervade the politico-administrative space without questioning neither the quantification processes which produce them ... [more ▼]

“Governing by numbers” is a trend on the increase in public action. Numbers tend to pervade the politico-administrative space without questioning neither the quantification processes which produce them nor the conditions of their utilization in government. And yet the use of numbers and data in political arguments contribute to transform the terms of the debate: politics can transform data and indicators, but one should not neglect how numbers affect policymaking. This article proposes as case study the analysis of some recent transformations of public research funding mechanism in universities in French speaking Belgium. It questions the systemic effects of the use of performance indicators in public management in this sector and it proposes some starting points for a discussion of their impact on the quality of the political debate. [less ▲]

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See detailLes cheveux et leur environnement.
Pierard-Franchimont, Claudine ULg; Pierard, Gérald ULg

in Revue medicale de Liege (2015), 70(2), 70-2

Hair is influenced by the effects of the daily environment. Some toxic xenobiotics slow down or block the cell renewal of the hair matrix, thus inhibiting hair growth. The ultraviolet light obviously ... [more ▼]

Hair is influenced by the effects of the daily environment. Some toxic xenobiotics slow down or block the cell renewal of the hair matrix, thus inhibiting hair growth. The ultraviolet light obviously influences the physical structure and physiology of the hair follicle. Tobacco is similarly responsible for negative influences on the evolution of various alopecias. Several cosmetic procedures for maintaining and making hair more attractive are not always harmless, and they occasionally represent a possible origin for alopecia. [less ▲]

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See detailOstéoporose et Médecine Personnalisée
Reginster, Jean-Yves ULg; NEUPREZ, Audrey ULg; LECART, Marie-Paule ULg et al

in Revue Médicale de Liège (2015), 70(5-6), 321-324

Osteoporosis is at the very early stages of the implementation of personalized medicine. However, the development of FRAX®, an algorithm offering the opportunity to calculate, in an individual patient ... [more ▼]

Osteoporosis is at the very early stages of the implementation of personalized medicine. However, the development of FRAX®, an algorithm offering the opportunity to calculate, in an individual patient, his/her 10-year fracture risk improves the decision process on the appropriateness to initiate a pharmacological treatment. This algorithm helps the physician to select drugs which are active on non-vertebral fractures only in high risk patients. Taking into consideration patients’ preferences, when selecting a therapeutic option, will improve long term adherence and subsequently efficacy and efficiency of the treatments. Attempts to define the natural course of osteoporosis or the response to therapy in individual patients by assessing their genetic profile remains, so far, inconclusive. [less ▲]

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See detailAnalysis of the technical / economic performance of four cropping systems involving Jatropha curcas L. in the Kinshasa Region (Democratic Republic of the Congo)
Minengu, J.D.; Mobambo, P.; Mergeai, Guy ULg

in Tropicultura (2015), 33(2),

In order to assess the sustainability of cultivating Jatropha curcas L. in rural areas in the Kinshasa region, four cropping systems were compared : cultivation of J. curcas as a sole crop with and ... [more ▼]

In order to assess the sustainability of cultivating Jatropha curcas L. in rural areas in the Kinshasa region, four cropping systems were compared : cultivation of J. curcas as a sole crop with and without fertilisers, a combination of J. curcas with subsistence crops (maize - Zea mays L., the common bean - Phaseolus vulgaris L.) with and without fertilisers. The major attacks by pests (mainly Aphthona sp.) suffered by J. curcas plants in the region make it vital to conduct at least two insecticide treatments per year. Dry seed yields of J. curcas obtained in the 4th year of cultivation amounted to 753 kg ha-1 when J. curcas was cultivated as a sole crop without fertilisers, 797 kg ha-1 for intercropping without fertilisers, 1158 kg ha-1 when J. curcas was cultivated as a sole crop with fertilisers and 1173 kg ha-1 for intercropping with fertilisers. Yields from the two annual crops were not improved by the application of mineral fertilisers on the J. curcas plants. They amounted to an average of 815 kg ha-1 for maize and 676 kg ha-1 for the beans. It is more profitable to cultivate J. curcas with maize and beans than to cultivate it as a sole crop. By combining crops in this way, a one-hectare farm can earn 1102 USD ha-1 without fertilisers and 1049 USD ha-1 with fertilisers. Sustainable cultivation of J. curcas under the test conditions requires the development of efficient weed / pest control methods and improved soil fertility management, in order to minimise the use of mineral fertilisers. [less ▲]

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See detailIntratumoral heterogeneity and consequences for targeted therapies
Turtoi, Andrei ULg; Blomme, Arnaud ULg; Castronovo, Vincenzo ULg

in Bulletin du Cancer (2015), 102(1), 17-23

According to the clonal model and Darwinian evolution, cancer cell evolves through new mutations helping it to proliferate, migrate, invade and metastasize. Recent genetic studies have clearly shown that ... [more ▼]

According to the clonal model and Darwinian evolution, cancer cell evolves through new mutations helping it to proliferate, migrate, invade and metastasize. Recent genetic studies have clearly shown that tumors, when diagnosed, consist of a large number of mutations distributed in different cells. This heterogeneity translates in substantial genetic plasticity enabling cancer cells to adapt to any hostile environment. As targeted therapy focuses only on one pathway or protein, there will always be a cell with the "right" genetic background to survive the treatment and cause tumor relapse. Because today's targeted therapies never took tumor heterogeneity into account, nearly all novel drugs fail to provide patients with a considerable improvement of the survival. However, emerging proteomic studies guided by the idea that Darwinian selection is governed by the phenotype and not genotype, show that heterogeneity at the protein level is much less complex, then it could be expected from genetic studies. This information together with the recent trend to switch from functional to cytotoxic targeting may offer an entirely new strategy to efficiently combat cancer. [less ▲]

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See detailValidation of an extended French version of ID MigraineTM as a migraine-screening tool
Streel, Sylvie ULg; Donneau, Anne-Françoise ULg; Dardenne, Nadia ULg et al

in Cephalalgia : An International Journal of Headache (2015), 35(5), 437-442

Introduction: Migraine has a considerable social, economic, physical and emotional burden but remains underdiagnosed and undertreated. A specific migraine screening tool could help remove barriers to ... [more ▼]

Introduction: Migraine has a considerable social, economic, physical and emotional burden but remains underdiagnosed and undertreated. A specific migraine screening tool could help remove barriers to health care and be an attractive instrument for epidemiological studies. The objective of this work was to assess the validity of an extended French version of ID MigraineTM as a migraine-screening tool. Methods: Sixty-seven subjects from the NESCaV study (2010–2012) completed the migraine screen and were diagnosed by a neurologist specializing in headache medicine using the International Classification of Headache Disorders, 2nd edition criteria (gold standard). Agreement between the two diagnoses was evaluated by Cohen kappa coefficient (k). Sensitivity, specificity and predictive values of the migraine screen were calculated. Results: Migraine was diagnosed in 21 (31.3%) of the 67 subjects according to the screening tool and in 24 (35.8%) by the neurologist (k¼0.90). The prevalence of migraine was unrelated to age, gender, education and perception of financial resources. Sensitivity and specificity of the screen were 87.5% and 100%, respectively. The screen prevalence of migraine with aura was 10.4% (sensitivity and specificity: 83.3% and 96.7%, respectively). Conclusion: The extended French version of ID MigraineTM (ef-ID Migraine) is a validated tool to screen migraine in French-speaking countries. [less ▲]

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See detailUsing zero-inlated models to predict the relative distribution and abundance of roe deer over very large spatial scales
Bouyer, Yaëlle ULg; Rigot, Thibaud; Panzacchi, Manuela et al

in Annales Zoologici Fennici (2015), 52

In Norway, recovering populations of large carnivores commonly prey on roe deer (Capreolus capreolus). Understanding predator habitat use and ecology requires fine-scaled information on prey distribution ... [more ▼]

In Norway, recovering populations of large carnivores commonly prey on roe deer (Capreolus capreolus). Understanding predator habitat use and ecology requires fine-scaled information on prey distribution and abundance. However, the massive spatial scales at which large carnivores use the landscape presents many practical and statistical challenges for developing functional prey distribution models. Pellet-count data from >1000 km of transects gathered across southeastern Norway from 2005 to 2011 were used to derive a map of relative prey abundance for roe deer. These data were modeled using zero-inflated hurdle models using both environmental and anthropogenic variables. Snow depth and agricultural fields were the most significant variables in explaining both presence and abundance. Internal k-cross validation of the model showed medium accuracy (Spearman r = 0.35), whereas external evaluation carried out on the basis of independently collected snow-tracking data (Spearman r = 0.37) and hunting statistics (Spearman r = 0.88) showed high accuracy. The map generated can facilitate both the study of broad scale processes linking predators and prey as well as roe deer management in southeastern Norway. [less ▲]

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See detailDirective mère-filiale: la disposition anti-abus est approuvé
Peeters, Bart ULg

in Fiscologue International (2015), 2015(375), 6-8

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See detailIncentive salience attribution under reward uncertainty: A Pavlovian model
Anselme, Patrick ULg

in Behavioural Processes (2015), 111(1), 6-18

There is a vast literature on the behavioural effects of partial reinforcement in Pavlovian conditioning. Compared with animals receiving continuous reinforcement, partially rewarded animals typically ... [more ▼]

There is a vast literature on the behavioural effects of partial reinforcement in Pavlovian conditioning. Compared with animals receiving continuous reinforcement, partially rewarded animals typically show (a) a slower development of the conditioned response (CR) early in training and (b) a higher asymptotic level of the CR later in training. This phenomenon is known as the partial reinforcement acquisition effect (PRAE). Learning models of Pavlovian conditioning fail to account for it. In accordance with the incentive salience hypothesis, it is here argued that incentive motivation (or ‘wanting’) plays a more direct role in controlling behaviour than does learning, and reward uncertainty is shown to have an excitatory effect on incentive motivation. The psychological origin of that effect is discussed and a computational model integrating this new interpretation is developed. Many features of CRs under partial reinforcement emerge from this model. [less ▲]

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See detailOperational entanglement families of symmetric mixed N-qubit states
Bastin, Thierry ULg; Mathonet, Pierre ULg; Solano, Enrique

in Physical Review A (2015), 91

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See detailMartin Hilpert, Construction Grammar and its Application to English
Brems, Lieselotte ULg

in English Text Construction (2015), 8(1), 132-136

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See detailUpper Frasnian (Upper Devonian) bryozoans in proximal facies of southern Belgium
Ernst, Andrej; Tolokonnikova, Zoya; Denayer, Julien ULg

in Rivista Italiana di Paleontologia e Stratigrafia (2015), 121(2), 3-20

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See detailMutation of the iron-sulfur cluster assembly gene IBA57 causes fatal infantile leukodystrophy.
DEBRAY, François-Guillaume ULg; Stumpfig, Claudia; Vanlander, Arnaud V. et al

in Journal of inherited metabolic disease (2015)

Leukodystrophies are a heterogeneous group of severe genetic neurodegenerative disorders. A multiple mitochondrial dysfunctions syndrome was found in an infant presenting with a progressive ... [more ▼]

Leukodystrophies are a heterogeneous group of severe genetic neurodegenerative disorders. A multiple mitochondrial dysfunctions syndrome was found in an infant presenting with a progressive leukoencephalopathy. Homozygosity mapping, whole exome sequencing, and functional studies were used to define the underlying molecular defect. Respiratory chain studies in skeletal muscle isolated from the proband revealed a combined deficiency of complexes I and II. In addition, western blotting indicated lack of protein lipoylation. The combination of these findings was suggestive for a defect in the iron-sulfur (Fe/S) protein assembly pathway. SNP array identified loss of heterozygosity in large chromosomal regions, covering the NFU1 and BOLA3, and the IBA57 and ABCB10 candidate genes, in 2p15-p11.2 and 1q31.1-q42.13, respectively. A homozygous c.436C > T (p.Arg146Trp) variant was detected in IBA57 using whole exome sequencing. Complementation studies in a HeLa cell line depleted for IBA57 showed that the mutant protein with the semi-conservative amino acid exchange was unable to restore the biochemical phenotype indicating a loss-of-function mutation of IBA57. In conclusion, defects in the Fe/S protein assembly gene IBA57 can cause autosomal recessive neurodegeneration associated with progressive leukodystrophy and fatal outcome at young age. In the affected patient, the biochemical phenotype was characterized by a defect in the respiratory chain complexes I and II and a decrease in mitochondrial protein lipoylation, both resulting from impaired assembly of Fe/S clusters. [less ▲]

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See detailUncertainty in simulating biomass yield and carbon-water fluxes from grasslands under climate change
Sándor, Renata; Ma, Shaoxiu; Acutis, Marco et al

in Advances in Animal Biosciences (2015), 6(01), 49--51

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See detailEstrogenic Evaluation and Organochlorine Identification in Blubber of North Sea Harbour Porpoise (Phocoena phocoena) Stranded on the North Sea Coast
Didimo Imazaki, Pedro Henrique ULg; Brose, François ULg; Jauniaux, Thierry ULg et al

in BioMed Research International (2015), Volume 2015(Article ID 438295), 13

Thirteen individual organochlorine compounds at 3 concentrations (80, 400, and 2000 ng/mL culture medium), as well as mixtures, were assayed for the estrogen receptor (ER) activation or inhibition, using ... [more ▼]

Thirteen individual organochlorine compounds at 3 concentrations (80, 400, and 2000 ng/mL culture medium), as well as mixtures, were assayed for the estrogen receptor (ER) activation or inhibition, using a luciferase reporter gene assay (RGA). None of the PCB 138, 153, or 180 or their mixture induced a response in the RGA. o,p'-DDT was the most potent xenoestrogen fromthe DDT group, inducing a response already at 80 ng/mL. From the HCH and HCB group, only 𝛽-HCH (at 400 and 2000 ng/mL) and 𝛿-HCH (at 2000 ng/mL) displayed estrogenic activities.These 13 organochlorines were determined by GC-MS in 12 samples of North Sea harbor porpoise blubber. The PCBs were the main contaminants. Within each group, PCB 153 (6.0 × 102∼4.2 × 104 𝜇g/kg), p,p'- DDE (5.1 × 102∼8.6 × 103 𝜇g/kg), and HCB (7.6 × 101∼1.5 × 103 𝜇g/kg) were the compounds found in highest concentrations.The hormonal activity of the porpoise blubber samples was also assayed in RGA, where two samples showed estrogenic activity, seven samples showed antiestrogenic activity, and one sample showed both estrogenic and antiestrogenic activity. Our results suggest that the 13 POPs measured by GC-MS in the samples cannot explain alone the estrogenicity of the extracts. [less ▲]

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See detailRethinking Vulnerability Analysis and Governance with Emphasis on a Participatory Approach
Rossignol, Nicolas ULg; Delvenne, Pierre ULg; Turcanu, Catrinel

in Risk Analysis : An Official Publication of the Society for Risk Analysis (2015), 35(1), 129-141

This paper draws on vulnerability analysis as it emerged as a complement to classical risk analysis, and it aims at exploring its ability of nurturing risk and vulnerability governance actions. An ... [more ▼]

This paper draws on vulnerability analysis as it emerged as a complement to classical risk analysis, and it aims at exploring its ability of nurturing risk and vulnerability governance actions. An analysis of the literature on vulnerability analysis allows us to formulate a threefold critique: first, vulnerability analysis has been treated separately in the natural and the technological hazards fields. This separation prevents vulnerability to unleash the full range of its potential, as it constraints appraisals into artificial categories and thus already closes down the outcomes of the analysis. Second, vulnerability analysis focused on assessment tools that are mainly quantitative, whereas qualitative appraisal is a key to assessing vulnerability in a comprehensive way and to informing policy-making. Third, a systematic literature review of case studies reporting on participatory approaches to vulnerability analysis allows us to argue that participation has been important to address the above, but it remains too closed down in its approach and would benefit from embracing a more open, encompassing perspective. Therefore, we suggest rethinking vulnerability analysis as one part of a dynamic process between opening-up and closing-down strategies, in order to support a vulnerability governance framework. [less ▲]

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See detailA quasi-optimal domain decomposition algorithm for the time-harmonic Maxwell's equations
El Bouajaji, Mohamed; Thierry, Bertrand; Antoine, Xavier et al

in Journal of Computational Physics (2015), 294

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See detailPrevalence and prognosis of Alzheimer’s disease at the mild cognitive impairment stage
Vos; VERHEY, F.; Frölich, L. et al

in Brain : A Journal of Neurology (2015), 138

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See detailSurveillance systems evaluation: a systematic review of the existing approaches
Calba, C; Goutard, FL; Hoinville, L et al

in BMC Public Health (2015), 15

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See detailIncidence and outcomes of acute kidney injury after cardiac surgery using either criteria of the RIFLE classification.
Lagny, Marc-Gilbert; Jouret, François ULg; Koch, Jean-Noel et al

in BMC nephrology (2015), 16(1), 76

BACKGROUND: Adult cardiac surgery is significantly associated with the development of acute kidney injury (AKI). Still, the incidence and outcomes of AKI vary according to its definition. Our ... [more ▼]

BACKGROUND: Adult cardiac surgery is significantly associated with the development of acute kidney injury (AKI). Still, the incidence and outcomes of AKI vary according to its definition. Our retrospective monocentric study comparatively investigates the yield of RIFLE definition, which is based on the elevation of serum creatinine levels (SCr) or the reduction of urine output (UO), taking into account only one or both criteria. Pre- and per-operative risk factors for post-operative AKI were evaluated. METHODS: All adult patients undergoing cardiac surgery, with or without cardiopulmonary bypass, from April 2008 to March 2009 were included. Clinical, biological and surgical features were recorded. Baseline serum creatinine was determined as its value on day 7 before surgery. Post-operative AKI was diagnosed and scored based upon the highest serum creatinine and/or the lowest urine output. RESULTS: 443 patients (Male/Female ratio, 2.3; median age, 69y) were included, with 221 (49.9 %) developing postoperative AKI. Elevated serum creatinine (AKISCr) and oliguria (AKIUO) was observed in 9.7 % and 40.2 %, respectively. AKI patients had a significantly higher BMI and baseline SCr. In comparison to AKIUO, AKISCr mostly occurred in patients with co-morbidities, and was associated with an increased mortality at 1-year post surgery. CONCLUSIONS: The use of standard RIFLE definition of AKI in a cohort of 443 patients undergoing cardiac surgery resulted in an incidence reaching 50 %. Still, significant discrepancies were found between AKISCr and AKIUO regarding the incidence and outcomes. In line with previous reports, our data questions the utility of urine output as a criterion for AKI diagnosis and management after cardiac surgery. [less ▲]

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See detailSolar Energy Prediction: An International Contest to Initiate Interdisciplinary Research on Compelling Meteorological Problems
McGovern, Amy; Gagne II, David John; Eustaquio, Lucas et al

in Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society [= BAMS] (2015)

As meteorological observing systems and models grow in complexity and number, the size of the data becomes overwhelming for humans to analyze using traditional techniques. Computer scientists, and ... [more ▼]

As meteorological observing systems and models grow in complexity and number, the size of the data becomes overwhelming for humans to analyze using traditional techniques. Computer scientists, and specifically machine learning and data mining researchers, are developing frameworks for analyzing big data. The AMS Committee on Artificial Intelligence and its Applications to Environmental Science aims to bring AI researchers and environmental scientists together to increase the synergy between the two. The AI committee has sponsored 4 previous contests on a variety of meteorological problems including wind energy, storm classification, winter hydrometeor classification, and air pollution, with the goal of bringing together the two fields of research. Although these were successful, the audience was limited to existing environmental science researchers (usually 10-20 teams of people primarily within the AMS community). For the 2013/14 contest, we expanded to a global audience by focusing on the compelling problem of solar energy prediction and by having the established forum Kaggle host our contest. Using this forum, we had over 160 teams from all around the world participate. Improved solar energy forecasting is a necessary component of making solar energy a viable alternative power source. This paper summarizes our experiences in the 2013/14 contest, discusses the data in detail, and presents the winning prediction methods. The contest data come from the NOAA/ESRL Global Ensemble Forecasting System Reforecast Version 2 and the Oklahoma Mesonet with sponsorship from EarthRisk Technologies. All winning methods utilized gradient boosted regression trees but differed in parameter choices and interpolation methods. [less ▲]

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See detailConservation research presence protects: a case study of great ape abundance in the Dja region, Cameroon
Tagg, Nikki; Willie, Jacob; Duarte, Jesus et al

in Animal Conservation (2015)

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See detailINTERMÈDE. COUP DE THÉÂTRE ET CHANGEMENT DE RÔLES
Dawans, Stéphane ULg

in CLARA Architecture/Recherche (2015), 3

Architecture is often perceived as "not pure". Too much or not enough, It resists in many rankings. But this fundamental indeterminacy can be seen as an obstacle to the rationality or becoming itself a ... [more ▼]

Architecture is often perceived as "not pure". Too much or not enough, It resists in many rankings. But this fundamental indeterminacy can be seen as an obstacle to the rationality or becoming itself a real subject of research. We believe that architecture can help other disciplines' researchers to interrupte their "dogmatic slumber." [less ▲]

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See detailRoughness evolution of sol–gel optical coatings by ion beam sputtering
Gailly, Patrick ULg; Dubreuil, Olivier ULg; Fleury-Frenette, Karl ULg

in Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research B (2015)

The surface roughness evolution of two silica-based sol–gel materials under 650 eV argon ion beam sputtering has been investigated. The liquid sol–gel solutions were applied on silicon substrates using ... [more ▼]

The surface roughness evolution of two silica-based sol–gel materials under 650 eV argon ion beam sputtering has been investigated. The liquid sol–gel solutions were applied on silicon substrates using the dip coating technique and thermally cured to obtain thin solid films and their thicknesses were then controlled over the samples surface using spectroscopic ellipsometry. The surface roughness of the sol–gel films was measured using both interferometric profilometry and atomic force microscopy depending on the obtained sputtering depths. We observed a significant increase of the roughness according to the sputtering depth, faster in the case of sol–gel layers than with bulk fused silica. Interestingly, the sputtering rates of the sol–gel layers were found much higher than the rate obtained on bulk fused silica. The development of micron scale holes with relatively stable interstices is supposed to rule the surface roughness evolution. AFM measurements revealed a regular submicron scale lateral structure which nanometric amplitude is amplified within sputtering. [less ▲]

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See detailVers une généralisation des quartiers durables ? Présentation du référentiel d’aide à la conception et à l’évaluation développé en Wallonie et analyse prospective de douze quartiers.
Marique, Anne-Françoise ULg; Delbar, Caroline; Loiseau, Véronique ULg et al

in Urbia (2015)

Un référentiel a été développé en Wallonie, à la demande du Ministre de l’Environnement, de l’Aménagement du Territoire et de la Mobilité, pour opérationnaliser le concept de « quartier durable » en ... [more ▼]

Un référentiel a été développé en Wallonie, à la demande du Ministre de l’Environnement, de l’Aménagement du Territoire et de la Mobilité, pour opérationnaliser le concept de « quartier durable » en objectivant les critères minimum à respecter pour inscrire un quartier dans une vision transversale de développement durable. Ce référentiel constitue un cadre général qui régira les projets de quartiers durables menés en Wallonie (Belgique). Les 5 thématiques et les 25 critères qui constituent ce référentiel sont présentés. La grille de critères est ensuite appliquée à douze quartiers de façon à identifier les invariants communs aux processus de conception de ces quartiers et les freins à l’intégration des principes transversaux du développement durable dans les opérations de ce type. Si les critères relatifs aux performances énergétiques des bâtiments ont percolé dans un grand nombre de cas, la mixité des logements et leur accessibilité, la mixité sociale et la participation restent peu abordés. Le référentiel est disponible depuis début 2014 pour tous les acteurs de l’architecture et de l’urbanisme. [less ▲]

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See detailMelting of the primitive martian mantle at 0.5-2.2 GPa and the origin of basalts and alkaline rocks on Mars
Collinet, M.; Médard, E.; Charlier, Bernard ULg et al

in Earth and Planetary Science Letters (2015), 427

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See detailD'une question patrimoniale à une réflexion sur l'Etat : de l'utilité de la théorie du droit pour comprendre une décision judiciaire
Vandenbulke, Antoine ULg

in Revue de la Faculté de Droit de l'Université de Liège (2015)

The High Court of Paris was required to rule in its judgment of November 20th 2013 on the quality of public archives of telegrams written by General de Gaulle in London between 1940 and 1942. This issue ... [more ▼]

The High Court of Paris was required to rule in its judgment of November 20th 2013 on the quality of public archives of telegrams written by General de Gaulle in London between 1940 and 1942. This issue leads to a question about the status of Free France as a State, and its coexistence with Vichy France. This paper analyzes the Court's decision through the prism of Legal Theory mobilizing Hart’s reflection in terms of internal and external points of view. [less ▲]

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See detailWestern lowland gorilla seed dispersal: Are seeds adapted to long gut retention times?
Petre, Charles-Albert ULg; Tagg, Nikki; Beudels-Jamar, Roseline et al

in Acta Oecologica: International Journal of Ecology (2015)

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See detailLetter to the Editor.
Bruyère, Olivier ULg; Reginster, Jean-Yves ULg

in Seminars in arthritis and rheumatism (2015), 44(5), 15

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See detailQuels medecins pour quelle medecine?
Scheen, André ULg

in Revue medicale de Liege (2015), 70(1), 1-4

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See detailAnti-inflammatory agents to treat or prevent type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular disease.
Esser, Nathalie ULg; Paquot, Nicolas ULg; Scheen, André ULg

in Expert opinion on investigational drugs (2015), 24(3), 283-307

Introduction: There is a growing body of evidence to suggest that chronic silent inflammation is a key feature in abdominal obesity, metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes (T2DM) and cardiovascular disease ... [more ▼]

Introduction: There is a growing body of evidence to suggest that chronic silent inflammation is a key feature in abdominal obesity, metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes (T2DM) and cardiovascular disease (CVD). These observations suggest that pharmacological strategies, which reduce inflammation, may be therapeutically useful in treating obesity, type 2 diabetes and associated CVD. Area covered: The article covers novel strategies, using either small molecules or monoclonal antibodies. These strategies include: approaches targeting IKK-b-NF-kB (salicylates, salsalate), TNF-alpha (etanercept, infliximab, adalimumab), IL-1beta (anakinra, canakinumab) and IL-6 (tocilizumab), AMP-activated protein kinase activators, sirtuin-1 activators, mammalian target of rapamycin inhibitors and C-C motif chemokine receptor 2 antagonists. Expert opinion: The available data supports the concept that targeting inflammation improves insulin sensitivity and beta-cell function; it also ameliorates glucose control in insulin-resistant patients with inflammatory rheumatoid diseases as well in patients with metabolic syndrome or T2DM. Although promising, the observed metabolic effects remain rather modest in most clinical trials. The potential use of combined anti-inflammatory agents targeting both insulin resistance and insulin secretion appears appealing but remains unexplored. Large-scale prospective clinical trials are underway to investigate the safety and efficacy of different anti-inflammatory drugs. Further evidence is needed to support the concept that targeting inflammation pathways may represent a valuable option to tackle the cardiometabolic complications of obesity. [less ▲]

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See detailCionodendron and related lithostrotionid genera from the Mississippian of eastern Australia: systematics, stratigraphy and evolution
Denayer, Julien ULg; Webb, Gregory E.

in Alcheringa : An Australasian Journal of Paleontology (2015), 39

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See detailClinical significance of dynamic pulmonary vascular resistance in two populations at risk of pulmonary arterial hypertension.
Gabriels, Charlien; Lancellotti, Patrizio ULg; Van De Bruaene, Alexander et al

in European heart journal cardiovascular Imaging (2015), 16

AIMS: Patients at risk of pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) may present with abnormal dynamic pulmonary vascular resistance (PVR) during exercise. However, its clinical significance remains unclear ... [more ▼]

AIMS: Patients at risk of pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) may present with abnormal dynamic pulmonary vascular resistance (PVR) during exercise. However, its clinical significance remains unclear. The present study aimed at analysing the meaning of dynamic PVR in two populations at risk of PAH: secundum atrial septal defect (ASD) and systemic sclerosis (SSc). METHODS AND RESULTS: Adult patients with corrected ASD were consecutively selected from the database of Pediatric and Congenital Heart Disease of the University Hospitals Leuven. Patients with SSc were consecutively selected from the rheumatology database of the University Hospital Liege. At inclusion, all underwent a rest and bicycle stress echocardiography to obtain baseline right heart characteristics and dynamic PVR. Routine follow-up echocardiography was performed. Twenty-eight patients with corrected ASD (mean age 41 +/- 17 years, 79% female) were followed for a median time of 3.7 [inter-quartile range (IQR) 2.9-4.1] years. No patient developed PAH. Dynamic PVR was significantly associated with right atrial dilatation at latest follow-up (Spearman's rho 0.51, P = 0.013). Forty-five SSc patients (mean age 54 +/- 13 years, 76% female) were followed for a median time of 2.4 (IQR 0.8-2.9) years. Thirteen patients (30%) developed PAH. Dynamic PVR was the only independent predictor of PAH (hazards ratio 1.22, 95% confidence interval 1.01-1.47). No significant right heart morphometric changes occurred. CONCLUSION: Dynamic PVR predicted PAH development in patients with SSc, whereas dynamic PVR was associated with right heart morphometric changes after ASD closure. The predictive role of dynamic PVR might depend on the underlying disease type. Larger studies are needed to confirm this hypothesis. [less ▲]

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See detailDevelopment of thermal comfort models for various climatic zones of North-East India
Singh, Manoj Kumar ULg; Mahapatra, Sadhan; Teller, Jacques ULg

in Sustainable Cities and Society (2015), 14

Thermal comfort study provides crucial information about thermal performance of naturally ventilated buildings. Humphreys and Auliciems comfort model uses indoor and outdoor temperatures to predict ... [more ▼]

Thermal comfort study provides crucial information about thermal performance of naturally ventilated buildings. Humphreys and Auliciems comfort model uses indoor and outdoor temperatures to predict comfort temperatures. It is found that the comfort temperatures obtained by using these methods do not take into account the occupant behavioral adaptability to a particular climatic zone. This demands development of new set of comfort models based on local environmental parameters, socio-cultural setup and behavioral action. Analysis shows that four major variables like indoor and outdoor temperature, relative humidity and clothing pattern plays an important role in defining comfort and greatly influence the occupant’s perception and acceptance on thermal comfort. In this study, comfort models are developed based on these variables. The computed neutral temperatures based on the models are compared with the comfort temperatures obtained through comfort survey. The models are developed using the measured data of January and July months and validated with the measured data of April and October months. This study also concludes that it is not possible to obtain a generalized thermal comfort model for all climatic zone because adaptation process, expectation and perception of people are region specific and governed by local socio-cultural requirement. [less ▲]

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See detailLower Carboniferous ramp sedimentation of the Central Alborz Basin, North Iran: integrated sedimentological and rock–magnetic studies.
Sardar Abadi, Mehrdad ULg; Da Silva, Anne-Christine ULg; Mosaddegh, hossein et al

in Special Publication - Geological Society of London (2015), 414

The Lower Carboniferous Mobarak Formation in the Alborz Basin (northern Iran) was deposited along the northeastern margin of Gondwana in a carbonate ramp setting. This paper focuses on the Tournaisian ... [more ▼]

The Lower Carboniferous Mobarak Formation in the Alborz Basin (northern Iran) was deposited along the northeastern margin of Gondwana in a carbonate ramp setting. This paper focuses on the Tournaisian stratigraphic interval of this formation that crops out at the Jaban section in the southwestern Central Alborz Basin. The following facies associations, representing different ramp palaeoenvironments, have been identified: (1) mudstone–wackestone outer-ramp facies; (2) crinoidal to skeletal grainstone–packstone mid-ramp facies; (3) peloidal to crinoidal grainstone–packstone inner-ramp facies; and (4) coastal facies, which include a variety of microbial laminated to oncoidal grainstones and mudstones with evaporitic pseudomorphs. This ramp profile was affected by frequent storms that were responsible for the formation of several skeletal to non-skeletal shoals in the distal mid-ramp to the most proximal inner-ramp areas. The development of the skeletal to non-skeletal shoals along the sea side of the ramp formed a semi-enclosed lagoon sensitive to the influence of both high tides and storm surges.The magnetic susceptibility (xin) of all the samples was measured and compared with that of the facies from which the sample was taken. There is a clear link between xin and the facies; the average xin values were higher for the distal facies than for the proximal facies. The xin profile of this Lower Carboniferous carbonate sequence reflects stratigraphic variations in response to relative changes in sea level and the input of detrital materials. In the context of the sequence stratigraphic framework, the average xin values for lowstand and transgressive systems tract deposits are higher than for the highstand systems tract deposits. The clear link between xin and facies indicates at least a partly preserved primary xin signal related to the detrital inputs. However, to obtain a better understanding of the nature and origin of the minerals carrying the xin, we performed hysteresis measurements on selected samples. It appears that the xin signal is mainly carried by lowcoercivity ferromagnetic minerals such as magnetite, with a mixture of relatively coarse grains (detrital fraction) and ultra-fine grains (probably formed during diagenesis). [less ▲]

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See detailTowards a genotype-based approach for a patient-centered pharmacologic therapy of type 2 diabetes.
Scheen, André ULg

in Annals of translational medicine (2015), 3(Suppl 1), 36

The recent data reported by Tang and colleagues in Science Translational Medicine suggest that alpha-2 adrenoceptors (alpha2AAR) genetic heterogeneity may explain diverging results regarding the effects ... [more ▼]

The recent data reported by Tang and colleagues in Science Translational Medicine suggest that alpha-2 adrenoceptors (alpha2AAR) genetic heterogeneity may explain diverging results regarding the effects of alpha2AAR antagonists on insulin secretion and glucose control in patients with type 2 diabetes. They first confirmed that the risk variant for rs553668 (the A allele for a single-nucleotide polymorphism in ADRA2A) is likely to cause defective insulin secretion in human pancreatic islets. Second they showed that blocking alpha2AAR with yohimbine dose-dependently improves the reduced insulin secretion during an oral glucose tolerance test in patients with the risk variant. The successful translation of genomic information into clinical intervention in patients with type 2 diabetes provides proof of concept for the feasibility of individualized treatment based on genotype. [less ▲]

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See detailA generic anisotropic continuum damage model integration scheme adaptable to both ductile damage and biological damage-like situations
Mengoni, Marlène ULg; Ponthot, Jean-Philippe ULg

in International Journal of Plasticity (2015), 66

This paper aims at presenting a general versatile time integration scheme applicable to anisotropic damage coupled to elastoplasticity, considering any damage rate and isotropic hardening formulations ... [more ▼]

This paper aims at presenting a general versatile time integration scheme applicable to anisotropic damage coupled to elastoplasticity, considering any damage rate and isotropic hardening formulations. For this purpose a staggered time integration scheme in a finite strain framework is presented, together with an analytical consistent tangent operator. The only restrictive hypothesis is to work with an undamaged isotropic material, assumed here to follow a J2 plasticity model. The only anisotropy considered is thus a damage-induced anisotropy. The possibility to couple any damage rate law with the present algorithm is illustrated with a classical ductile damage model for aluminium, and a biological damage-like application. The later proposes an original bone remodelling law coupled to trabecular bone plasticity for the simulation of orthodontic tooth movements. All the developments have been considered in the framework of the implicit non-linear finite element code Metafor (developed at the LTAS/MN2L, University of Liège, Belgium - www.metafor.ltas.ulg.ac.be). [less ▲]

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See detailClimate Change and Tritrophic Interactions: Will Modifications to Greenhouse Gas Emissions Increase the Vulnerability of Herbivorous Insects to Natural Enemies?
Boullis, Antoine ULg; Francis, Frédéric ULg; Verheggen, François ULg

in Environmental Entomology (2015)

Insects are highly dependent on odor cues released into the environment to locate conspecifics or food sources. This mechanism is particularly important for insect predators that rely on kairomones ... [more ▼]

Insects are highly dependent on odor cues released into the environment to locate conspecifics or food sources. This mechanism is particularly important for insect predators that rely on kairomones released by their prey to detect them. In the context of climate change and, more specifically, modifications in the gas composition of the atmosphere, chemical communication-mediating interactions between phytophagous insect pests, their host plants, and their natural enemies is likely to be impacted. Several reports have indicated that modifications to plants caused by elevated carbon dioxide and ozone concentrations might indirectly affect insect herbivores, with community-level modifications to this group potentially having an indirect influence on higher trophic levels. The vulnerability of agricultural insect pests toward their natural enemies under elevated greenhouse gases concentrations has been frequently reported, but conflicting results have been obtained. This literature review shows that the higher levels of carbon dioxide, as predicted for the coming century, do not enhance the abundance or efficiency of natural enemies to locate hosts or prey in most published studies. Increased ozone levels lead to modifications in herbivore-induced volatile organic compounds (VOCs) released by damaged plants, which may impact the attractiveness of these herbivores to the third trophic level. Furthermore, other oxidative gases (such as SO2 and NO2) tend to reduce the abundance of natural enemies. The impact of changes in atmospheric gas emissions on plant–insect and insect–insect chemical communication has been under-documented, despite the significance of these mechanisms in tritrophic interactions. We conclude by suggesting some further prospects on this topic of research yet to be investigated. [less ▲]

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See detailA note on weighted likelihood and Jeffreys modal estimation of proficiency levels in polytomous item response models
Magis, David ULg

in Psychometrika (2015), 80

Warm (1989) established the equivalence between the so-called Jeffreys modal and the weighted likelihood estimators of proficiency level with some dichotomous item response models. The purpose of this ... [more ▼]

Warm (1989) established the equivalence between the so-called Jeffreys modal and the weighted likelihood estimators of proficiency level with some dichotomous item response models. The purpose of this note is to extend this result to polytomous item response models. First, a general condition is derived to ensure the perfect equivalence between these two estimators. Second, it is shown that this condition is fulfilled by two broad classes of polytomous models including, among others, the partial credit, rating scale, graded response and nominal response models. [less ▲]

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See detailComment écrire l’histoire de la médecine pour les étudiants des sciences de la santé ? Ethnométhodologie d’une pratique pédagogique
Absil, Gaëtan ULg; Govers, Patrick ULg

in Pédagogie Médicale (2015), 16(1), 9-22

Background: The history of medicine is now part of the health sciences curriculum. This article was written by two historians working in the health field. In it, they challenge the ways in which ... [more ▼]

Background: The history of medicine is now part of the health sciences curriculum. This article was written by two historians working in the health field. In it, they challenge the ways in which physicians are writing down the history of medicine for pedagogical purposes. Material and method: The corpus of documents (n = 20) was analyzed according to ethnomethodological methods. Results: The authors identify eight rules in writing down the history of medicine. They also suggest other rules that could help bring the history of medicine up to date. Conclusions: The objective is to critically review the ideological and mythological premises underpinning the history of medicine today. Further proposals aimed at changing the pedagogical organization of the history of medicine are also suggested [less ▲]

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See detailA quality by design approach for longitudinal quality attributes
Lebrun, Pierre ULg; Giacoletti, Katherine; Scherder, Tara et al

in Journal of Biopharmaceutical Statistics (2015), 25

The concept of quality by design (QbD) as published in ICH-Q8 is currently one of the most recurrent topics in the pharmaceutical literature. This guideline recommends the use of information and prior ... [more ▼]

The concept of quality by design (QbD) as published in ICH-Q8 is currently one of the most recurrent topics in the pharmaceutical literature. This guideline recommends the use of information and prior knowledge gathered during pharmaceutical development studies to provide a scientific rationale for the manufacturing process of a product and provide guarantee of future quality. This poses several challenges from a statistical standpoint and requires a shift in paradigm from traditional statistical practices. First, to provide “assurance of quality” of future lots implies the need to make predictions regarding the quality given past evidence and data. Second, the quality attributes described in the Q8 guidelines are not always a set of unique, independent measurements. In many cases, these criteria are com- plicated longitudinal data with successive acceptance criteria over a defined period of time. A common example is a dissolution profile for a modified or extended-release solid dosage form that must fall within acceptance limits at several time points. A Bayesian approach for longitudinal data obtained in various conditions of a design of experiment is provided to elegantly address the ICH-Q8 recommendation to provide assurance of quality and derive a scientifically sound design space. [less ▲]

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See detailLeft ventricular regional function and maximal exercise capacity in aortic stenosis.
DULGHERU, Raluca Elena ULg; Magne, J.; DAVIN, Laurent ULg et al

in European heart journal cardiovascular Imaging (2015)

AIMS: The objective assessment of maximal exercise capacity (MEC) using peak oxygen consumption (VO2) measurement may be helpful in the management of asymptomatic aortic stenosis (AS) patients. However ... [more ▼]

AIMS: The objective assessment of maximal exercise capacity (MEC) using peak oxygen consumption (VO2) measurement may be helpful in the management of asymptomatic aortic stenosis (AS) patients. However, the relationship between left ventricular (LV) function and MEC has been relatively unexplored. We aimed to identify which echocardiographic parameters of LV systolic function can predict MEC in asymptomatic AS. METHODS AND RESULTS: Asymptomatic patients with moderate to severe AS (n = 44, aortic valve area <1.5 cm2, 66 +/- 13 years, 75% of men) and preserved LV ejection fraction (LVEF > 50%) were prospectively referred for resting echocardiography and cardiopulmonary exercise test. LV longitudinal strain (LS) of each myocardial segment was measured by speckle tracking echocardiography (STE) from the apical (aLS) 4-, 2-, and 3-chamber views. An average value of the LS of the analysable segments was provided for each myocardial region: basal (bLS), mid (mLS), and aLS. LV circumferential and radial strains were measured from short-axis views. Peak VO2 was 20.1 +/- 5.8 mL/kg/min (median 20.7 mL/kg/min; range 7.2-32.3 mL/kg/min). According to the median of peak VO2, patients with reduced MEC were significantly older (P < 0.001) and more frequently females (P = 0.05). There were significant correlations between peak VO2 and age (r = -0.44), LV end-diastolic volume (r = 0.35), LV stroke volume (r = 0.37), indexed stroke volume (r = 0.32), and E/e' ratio (r = -0.37, all P < 0.04). Parameters of AS severity and LVEF did not correlate with peak VO2 (P = NS for all). Among LV deformation parameters, bLS and mLS were significantly associated with peakVO2 (r = 0.43, P = 0.005, and r = 0.32, P = 0.04, respectively). With multivariable analysis, female gender (beta = 4.9; P = 0.008) and bLS (beta = 0.50; P = 0.03) were the only independent determinants (r2 = 0.423) of peak VO2. CONCLUSION: In asymptomatic AS, impaired LV myocardial longitudinal function determines reduced MEC. Basal LS was the only parameter of LV regional function independently associated with MEC. [less ▲]

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See detailA Three-Dimensional Computational Fluid Dynamics Model Of Shear Stress Distribution During Neotissue Growth In A Perfusion Bioreactor.
Guyot, Yann ULg; Luyten, F. P.; Schrooten, J. et al

in Biotechnology and bioengineering (2015)

Bone tissue engineering strategies use flow through perfusion bioreactors to apply mechanical stimuli to cells seeded on porous scaffolds. Cells grow on the scaffold surface but also by bridging the ... [more ▼]

Bone tissue engineering strategies use flow through perfusion bioreactors to apply mechanical stimuli to cells seeded on porous scaffolds. Cells grow on the scaffold surface but also by bridging the scaffold pores leading a fully filled scaffold following the scaffold's geometric characteristics. Current computational fluid dynamic approaches for tissue engineering bioreactor systems have been mostly carried out for empty scaffolds. The effect of 3D cell growth and extracellular matrix formation (termed in this study as neotissue growth), on its surrounding fluid flow field is a challenge yet to be tackled. In this work a combined approach was followed linking curvature driven cell growth to fluid dynamics modeling. The level-set method (LSM) was employed to capture neotissue growth driven by curvature, while the Stokes and Darcy equations, combined in the Brinkman equation, provided information regarding the distribution of the shear stress profile at the neotissue/medium interface and within the neotissue itself during growth. The neotissue was assumed to be micro-porous allowing flow through its structure while at the same time allowing the simulation of complete scaffold filling without numerical convergence issues. The results show a significant difference in the amplitude of shear stress for cells located within the micro-porous neo-tissue or at the neotissue/medium interface, demonstrating the importance of taking along the neotissue in the calculation of the mechanical stimulation of cells during culture.The presented computational framework is used on different scaffold pore geometries demonstrating its potential to be used a design as tool for scaffold architecture taking into account the growing neotissue. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved. [less ▲]

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See detailThermophilic and cellulolytic consortium isolated from composting plants improves anaerobic digestion of cellulosic biomass: toward a microbial resource management approach
Kinet, Romain ULg; Destain, Jacqueline ULg; Hiligsmann, Serge ULg et al

in Bioresource Technology (2015)

A cellulolytic consortium was isolated from a composting plant in order to boost the initial hydrolysis step encountered in anaerobic digestion. Improvement of the cellulose degradation, as well as biogas ... [more ▼]

A cellulolytic consortium was isolated from a composting plant in order to boost the initial hydrolysis step encountered in anaerobic digestion. Improvement of the cellulose degradation, as well as biogas production, was observed for the cultures inoculated with the exogenous consortium. Metagenomics analyses pointed out a weak richness (related to the number of OTUs) of the exogenous consortium induced by the selective pressure (cellulose as sole carbon source) met during the initial isolation steps. Main microbial strains determined were strictly anaerobic and belong to the Clostridia class. During cellulose anaerobic degradation, pH drop induced a strong modification of the microbial population. Despite the fact that richness and evenness were very weak, the exogenous consortium was able to adapt and to maintain the cellulolytic degradation potential. This important result point out the fact that simplified microbial communities could be used in order to increase the robustness of mixed cultures involved in environmental biotechnology. [less ▲]

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See detailLe trésor des reliques de la chartreuse de Liège
George, Philippe ULg

in analecta cartusiana (2015), 306

Etude critique et édition du trésor des reliques de la chartreuse retrouvé grâce à une source d'archive de 1905

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See detailClinical trial design principles and endpoint definitions for transcatheter mitral valve repair and replacement: part 1: clinical trial design principles: A consensus document from the mitral valve academic research consortium.
Stone, Gregg W.; Vahanian, Alec S.; Adams, David H. et al

in European heart journal (2015), 36(29), 1851-77

Mitral regurgitation (MR) is one of the most prevalent valve disorders and has numerous aetiologies, including primary (organic) MR, due to underlying degenerative/structural mitral valve (MV) pathology ... [more ▼]

Mitral regurgitation (MR) is one of the most prevalent valve disorders and has numerous aetiologies, including primary (organic) MR, due to underlying degenerative/structural mitral valve (MV) pathology, and secondary (functional) MR, which is principally caused by global or regional left ventricular remodelling and/or severe left atrial dilation. Diagnosis and optimal management of MR requires integration of valve disease and heart failure specialists, MV cardiac surgeons, interventional cardiologists with expertise in structural heart disease, and imaging experts. The introduction of transcatheter MV therapies has highlighted the need for a consensus approach to pragmatic clinical trial design and uniform endpoint definitions to evaluate outcomes in patients with MR. The Mitral Valve Academic Research Consortium is a collaboration between leading academic research organizations and physician-scientists specializing in MV disease from the United States and Europe. Three in-person meetings were held in Virginia and New York during which 44 heart failure, valve, and imaging experts, MV surgeons and interventional cardiologists, clinical trial specialists and statisticians, and representatives from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration considered all aspects of MV pathophysiology, prognosis, and therapies, culminating in a 2-part document describing consensus recommendations for clinical trial design (Part 1) and endpoint definitions (Part 2) to guide evaluation of transcatheter and surgical therapies for MR. The adoption of these recommendations will afford robustness and consistency in the comparative effectiveness evaluation of new devices and approaches to treat MR. These principles may be useful for regulatory assessment of new transcatheter MV devices, as well as for monitoring local and regional outcomes to guide quality improvement initiatives. [less ▲]

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See detailStructural Characterization, Technological Functionality and Physiological Aspects of Fungal β-D-Glucans : A Review
Borchani, Chema; Fonteyn, Fabienne; Jamin, Guilhem et al

in Critical Reviews in Food Science & Nutrition (2015)

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See detailFunctional adaptations of the bacterial chaperone trigger factor to extreme environmental temperatures
Godin-Roulling, Amandine ULg; Schmidpeter, P.A.M.; Schmid, F.X. et al

in Environmental Microbiology (2015), 17(7), 2407-2420

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See detailOstéoporose et Médecine personalisée
Reginster, Jean-Yves ULg; Neuprez, Audrey ULg; LECART, Marie-Paule ULg et al

in Revue Médicale de Liège (2015), 70

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See detailIn-depth phenotyping of a Donnai-Barrow patient helps clarify proximal tubule dysfunction.
Dachy, Angelique; Paquot, Francois; Debray, Guillaume et al

in Pediatric nephrology (Berlin, Germany) (2015), 30(6), 1027-31

BACKGROUND: The megalin/cubilin/amnionless complex is essential for albumin and low molecular weight (LMW) protein reabsorption by renal proximal tubules (PT). Mutations of the LRP2 gene encoding megalin ... [more ▼]

BACKGROUND: The megalin/cubilin/amnionless complex is essential for albumin and low molecular weight (LMW) protein reabsorption by renal proximal tubules (PT). Mutations of the LRP2 gene encoding megalin cause autosomal recessive Donnai-Barrow/facio-oculo-acoustico-renal syndrome (DB/FOAR), which is characterized by LMW proteinuria. The pathophysiology of DB/FOAR-associated PT dysfunction remains unclear. CLINICAL CASE: A 3-year-old girl presented with growth retardation and proteinuria. Clinical examination was unremarkable, except for a still-opened anterior fontanel and myopia. Psychomotor development was delayed. At 6, she developed sensorineural hearing loss. Hypertelorism was noted when she turned 12. Blood analyses, including renal function parameters, were normal. Urine sediment was bland. Proteinuria was significant and included albumin and LMW proteins. Immunoblotting analyses detected cubilin and type 3 carbonic anhydrase (CA3) in the urine. Renal ultrasound was unremarkable. Optical examination of a renal biopsy did not disclose any tubular or glomerular abnormality. Electron microscopy revealed that PT apical endocytic apparatus was significantly less developed. Immunostaining for megalin showed a faint signal in PT cytosol contrasting with the distribution of cubilin at the apical membrane. The diagnostic procedure led to identifying two mutations of the LRP2 gene. CONCLUSIONS: The functional loss of megalin in DB/FOAR causes PT dysfunction characterized by increased urinary shedding of CA3 and cubilin. [less ▲]

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See detailOptical collimation of an atomic beam using a white light molasses
Glover, Rohan ULg; Bastin, Thierry ULg

in Journal of the Optical Society of America. B, Optical Physics (2015), 32(5), 1-10

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See detailTooling Materials and Solutions for Thixoforming: A key to the process industrialization
Rassili, Ahmed ULg; Lecomte-Beckers, Jacqueline ULg

in Solid State Phenomena (2015), 217-218

Investigations on steel thixoforming started in the early 90's and many developments were carried out, mainly driven by the industrialization of the process. After a series of basic investigations on ... [more ▼]

Investigations on steel thixoforming started in the early 90's and many developments were carried out, mainly driven by the industrialization of the process. After a series of basic investigations on adapted steels and materials as well as near-net shaping investigations, the issue of mass production raised and thus induced some other challenges mainly on die life and process automation and cycling. High working temperatures and components complexity were then the main locks to mass productions. In most of reported literature, none of the involved research group reached or real production and industrialization criteria. The euro group holds most of these research investigations [1]. We have reported many of these results in previous communications and this paper presents a continuity of what have already been presented. Some advanced tooling materials and solutions are presented and applied to a real complex industrial component. [less ▲]

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See detailRecommandations Europeennes concernant le diagnostic de l'embolie pulmonaire.
ANCION, Arnaud ULg; Melissopoulou, M.; Lancellotti, Patrizio ULg

in Revue medicale de Liege (2015), 70(1), 17-21

This article summarizes the role of imaging techniques for the diagnosis of pulmonary embolism, according to the European Society of Cardiology 2014 guidelines. In case of hemodynamic instability, bedside ... [more ▼]

This article summarizes the role of imaging techniques for the diagnosis of pulmonary embolism, according to the European Society of Cardiology 2014 guidelines. In case of hemodynamic instability, bedside echocardiography is the most useful initial test. In case of hemodynamic stability, plasma D-dimers measurement represents the first step and computed tomographic angiography is the second line test, except if pulmonary embolism is likely; then, computed tomographic angiography is the first choice test. Otherwise, lung scintigraphy remains a valid option for patients with elevated D-dimers and a contraindication to computed tomography. [less ▲]

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See detailAssessment of the health status of wild fish inhabiting a cotton basin heavily impacted by pesticides in Benin (West Africa).
Agbohessi, Prudencio T.; Imorou Toko, Ibrahim; Ouedraogo, Alfred et al

in The Science of the total environment (2015), 506-507

To determine the impact of agricultural pesticides used in cotton cultivation on the health status of fish living in a Beninese cotton basin, we compared the reproductive and hepatic systems of fish ... [more ▼]

To determine the impact of agricultural pesticides used in cotton cultivation on the health status of fish living in a Beninese cotton basin, we compared the reproductive and hepatic systems of fish sampled from rivers located in both contaminated and pristine conditions. Different types of biomarkers, including biometric indices (a condition factor K, a gonadosomatic index GSI, and a hepatosomatic index HSI), plasma levels of sex steroids (11-ketotestosterone 11-KT, testosterone T and estradiol-17beta E2) and the histopathology of the gonads and liver, were investigated for two different trophic levels of the following two fish species: the Guinean tilapia Tilapia guineensis and the African catfish Clarias gariepinus. The fish were captured during both the rainy season (when there is heavy use of pesticides on cotton fields) and the dry season from one site, in Pendjari River (reference site), which is located outside the cotton-producing basin, and from three other sites on the Alibori River within the cotton-producing basin. Comparing fish that were sampled from contaminated (high levels of endosulfan, heptachlor and DDT and metabolites) and reference sites, the results clearly indicated that agricultural pesticides significantly decreased K and GSI while they increased HSI, regardless of the season, species and sex of the fish. These pesticides also induced a decrease in the plasma levels of 11-KT and T and increased those of E2. The histopathology of the testes revealed, in both species, a high rate of testicular oocytes, up to 50% in the African catfish, downstream of the Alibori River, which indicated estrogenic effects from the pesticides. The disruption of male spermatogenesis primarily included necrosis, fibrosis and the presence of foam cells in the lobular lumen. The histopathology of the ovaries revealed high levels of pre-ovulatory follicular atresia, impaired oogenesis, a decrease in the oocyte vitellogenic diameter and other lesions, such as fibrosis, vacuolation and melano-macrophagic centers. The histopathology of the liver revealed the presence of necrosis, hypertrophic hepatocytes, foci of vacuolation, glycogen depletion and hemosiderin. An assessment of the general health of the fish indicated that all of the sampled fish from the polluted sites were in poorer health compared with those from the reference site but that the African catfish appeared much more affected than the Guinean tilapia, regardless of the sex and season. In conclusion, the overall results indicated that agricultural pesticides significantly impair the endocrine regulation of fish living in the Beninese cotton basin and that this would most likely be one of the causes of the severe damage observed in the liver and gonads and the reduced health condition. [less ▲]

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See detailComparative study of the methane production based on the chemical composition of Mangifera Indica and Manihot Utilissima leaves
Mambanzulua Ngoma, Philippe; Hiligsmann, Serge ULg; Sumbu Zola, Eric et al

in SpringerPlus (2015), 4(75), 1-8

Leaves of Mangifera Indica (MI, mango leaves) and Manihot Utilissima (MU, cassava leaves) are available in tropical regions and are the most accessible vegetal wastes of Kinshasa, capital of Democratic ... [more ▼]

Leaves of Mangifera Indica (MI, mango leaves) and Manihot Utilissima (MU, cassava leaves) are available in tropical regions and are the most accessible vegetal wastes of Kinshasa, capital of Democratic Republic of Congo. These wastes are not suitably managed and are not rationally valorized. They are abandoned in full air, on the soil and in the rivers. They thus pollute environment. By contrast, they can be recuperated and treated in order to produce methane (energy source), organic fertilizer and clean up the environment simultaneously. The main objective of this study was to investigate methane production from MI and MU leaves by BMP tests at 30°C. The yields achieved from the anaerobic digestion of up to 61.3 g raw matter in 1 l medium were 0.001 l/g and 0.100 l CH4/g volatile solids of MI and MU leaves, respectively. The yield of MU leaves was in the range mentioned in the literature for other leaves because of a poor presence of bioactive substrates, and low C/N ratio. This methane yield corresponded to 7% of calorific power of wood. By contrast, the methane yield from MI leaves was almost nil suggesting some metabolism inhibition because of their rich composition in carbon and bioactive substrates. Whereas classical acidogenesis and acetogenesis were recorded. Therefore, methane production from the sole MI leaves seems unfavorable by comparison to MU leaves at the ambient temperature in tropical regions. Their solid and liquid residues obtained after anaerobic digestion would be efficient fertilizers. However, the methane productivity of both leaves could be improved by anaerobic co-digestion. [less ▲]

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See detailRestoring testosterone levels by adding dehydroepiandrosterone to a drospirenone containing combined oral contraceptive: II. Clinical effects.
Zimmerman, Y.; Foidart, Jean-Michel ULg; Pintiaux, Axelle ULg et al

in Contraception (2015), 91(2), 134-42

OBJECTIVES: Combined oral contraceptives (COCs) decrease androgen levels, including testosterone (T), which may be associated with sexual dysfunction and mood complaints in some women. We have shown that ... [more ▼]

OBJECTIVES: Combined oral contraceptives (COCs) decrease androgen levels, including testosterone (T), which may be associated with sexual dysfunction and mood complaints in some women. We have shown that 'co-administration' of dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) to a drospirenone (DRSP)-containing COC restored total T levels to baseline and free T levels by 47%. Here we describe the effects on sexual function, mood and quality of life of such an intervention. STUDY DESIGN: This was a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study in 99 healthy COC starters. A COC containing 30mcg ethinylestradiol (EE) and 3mg DRSP was used for three cycles, followed by six cycles of the same COC combined with 50mg/day DHEA or placebo. Subjects completed the Moos Menstrual Distress Questionnaire (MDQ), the McCoy Female Sexuality Questionnaire and the short form of the Quality of Life Enjoyment and Satisfaction Questionnaire (Q-LES-Q). Safety and tolerability, including effects on skin, were evaluated. RESULTS: The addition of DHEA induced small but significant improvements compared to placebo in the MDQ score for autonomic reactions during the menstrual (-2.0 vs. 0.71; p=0.05) and the premenstrual phase (-3.1 vs. 2.9; p=0.01) and for behavior during the intermenstrual phase (-1.4 vs. 3.6; p=0.02). A significant difference was found in the MDQ score for arousal during the premenstrual phase in favor of placebo (-5.0 vs. 1.0; p=0.01). There were no statistically significant differences between groups for the MSFQ and Q-LES-Q scores. DHEA 'co-administration' resulted in an acceptable safety profile. DHEA negated the beneficial effect of the COC on acne according to the subjects' self-assessment. CONCLUSIONS: 'Co-administration' with DHEA did not result in consistent improvements in sexual function, mood and quality of life indicators in women taking EE/DRSP. Retrospectively, the 50 mg dose of DHEA may be too low for this COC. IMPLICATIONS: A well-balanced judgment of the clinical consequences of normalizing androgens during COC use may require complete normalization of free T. [less ▲]

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