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RADERMECKER, Régis ULg

in Revue de l'Association Belge du Diabète (2017), 60(3),

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See detailModeling the strain localization around an underground gallery with a hydro-mechanical double scale model; effect of anisotropy
van den Eijnden, AP; Bésuelle, Pierre; Collin, Frédéric ULg et al

in Computers and Geotechnics (2017), 85

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See detailFrom distant neighbours to bedmates: Exploring the synergies between the social economy and sustainable development
Hudon, Marek; Huybrechts, Benjamin ULg

in Annals of Public and Cooperative Economics (2017), 88(2), 141-154

To introduce this special issue we explore the conceptual and practical synergies between the social economy and sustainable development. New empirical evidence is presented on the emergence of these two ... [more ▼]

To introduce this special issue we explore the conceptual and practical synergies between the social economy and sustainable development. New empirical evidence is presented on the emergence of these two research fields and the increasing combination of these fields in the literature. Several avenues through which social enterprises can contribute to the transition towards sustainable development are then identified. This is followed by a discussion of how and why the combination can be particularly fruitful both for the social economy and for sustainability transition movements. We also highlight some important challenges facing the social economy with regard to its contribution to sustainable development. Finally we introduce the papers that constitute this special issue and show how they contribute, individually and collectively, to a better understanding of the increasing linkage between the social economy and sustainable development. [less ▲]

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See detailGestion d’un cas de brûlure étendue suite à une chirurgie de convenance
Picavet, Pierre ULg; Jacobs, Morgane ULg; Noël, Stéphanie ULg et al

in Monde Vétérinaire (Le) (2017), 169

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See detailTwo-qubit entangling gates between distant atomic qubits in a lattice
Cesa, Alexandre ULg; Martin, John ULg

in Physical Review A (2017), 95

Arrays of qubits encoded in the ground-state manifold of neutral atoms trapped in optical (or magnetic) lattices appear to be a promising platform for the realization of a scalable quantum computer. Two ... [more ▼]

Arrays of qubits encoded in the ground-state manifold of neutral atoms trapped in optical (or magnetic) lattices appear to be a promising platform for the realization of a scalable quantum computer. Two-qubit conditional gates between nearest-neighbor qubits in the array can be implemented by exploiting the Rydberg blockade mechanism, as was shown by D. Jaksch et al. [Phys. Rev. Lett. 85, 2208 (2000)]. However, the energy shift due to dipole-dipole interactions causing the blockade falls off rapidly with the interatomic distance, and protocols based on direct Rydberg blockade typically fail to operate between atoms separated by more than one lattice site. In this work, we propose an extension of the protocol of Jaksch et al. for controlled-Z and controlled-NOT gates which works in the general case where the qubits are not nearest neighbors in the array. Our proposal relies on the Rydberg excitation hopping along a chain of ancilla noncoding atoms connecting the qubits on which the gate is to be applied. The dependence of the gate fidelity on the number of ancilla atoms, the blockade strength, and the decay rates of the Rydberg states is investigated. A comparison between our implementation of a distant controlled-NOT gate and one based on a sequence of nearest-neighbor two-qubit gates is also provided. [less ▲]

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See detailComparative assessment of 6-[18F]fluoro-L-m-tyrosine and 6-[18F]fluoro-L-dopa to evaluate dopaminergic presynaptic integrity in a Parkinson’s disease rat model.
Becker, Guillaume ULg; Bahri, Mohamed Ali ULg; Michel, Anne et al

in Journal of Neurochemistry (2017), 141

Because of the progressive loss of nigro-striatal dopaminergic terminals in Parkinson’s disease (PD), in vivo quantitative imaging of dopamine (DA) containing neurons in animal models of PD is of critical ... [more ▼]

Because of the progressive loss of nigro-striatal dopaminergic terminals in Parkinson’s disease (PD), in vivo quantitative imaging of dopamine (DA) containing neurons in animal models of PD is of critical importance in the pre-clinical evaluation of highly awaited disease-modifying therapies. Among existing methods, the high sensitivity of positron emission tomography (PET) is attractive to achieve that goal. The aim of this study was to perform a quantitative comparison of brain images obtained in 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA) lesioned rats using two dopaminergic PET radiotracers, namely [18F]fluoro-3,4-dihydroxyphenyl-L-alanine ([18F]FDOPA) and 6-[18F]fluoro-L-m-tyrosine ([18F]FMT). Because the imaging signal is theoretically less contaminated by metabolites, we hypothesized that the latter would show stronger relationship with behavioural and post-mortem measures of striatal dopaminergic deficiency. We used a within-subject design to measure striatal [18F]FMT and [18F]FDOPA uptake in eight partially lesioned, eight fully lesioned and ten sham-treated rats. Animals were pretreated with an L-aromatic amino acid decarboxylase (AADC) inhibitor. A catechol-O-methyl transferase inhibitor was also given before [18F]FDOPA PET. Quantitative estimates of striatal uptake were computed using conventional graphical Patlak method. Striatal dopaminergic deficiencies were measured with apomorphine-induced rotations and post-mortem striatal DA content. We observed a strong relationship between [18F]FMT and [18F]FDOPA estimates of decreased uptake in the denervated striatum using the tissue-derived uptake rate constant Kc. However, only [18F]FMT Kc succeeded to discriminate between the partial and the full 6-OHDA lesion and correlated well with the post-mortem striatal DA content. This study indicates that the [18F]FMT could be more sensitive, with respect of [18F]FDOPA, to investigate DA terminals loss in 6-OHDA rats, and open the way to in vivo AADC activity targeting in future investigations on progressive PD models. [less ▲]

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See detailThe internet as a source of information used by women after childbirth to meet their need for information: A web-based survey.
Slomian, Justine ULg; Bruyère, Olivier ULg; Reginster, Jean-Yves ULg et al

in Midwifery (2017), 48

OBJECTIVE: the aims of this survey were: (a) to evaluate the need of information after childbirth and what questions do 'new' mothers ask themselves; (b) to assess why and how women use the Internet to ... [more ▼]

OBJECTIVE: the aims of this survey were: (a) to evaluate the need of information after childbirth and what questions do 'new' mothers ask themselves; (b) to assess why and how women use the Internet to meet their need of information; (c) to describe how the respondents evaluate the reliability of the information found; (d) to understand how the information found on the Internet affects women's decision-making; and (e) to appreciate how health professionals react to the information found by the women. DESIGN: this study used a large web-based survey that was widely broadcasted on various websites and social networks. SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS: belgian women who had a child under 2 years old and who agreed to participate were included in the study. FINDINGS: 349 questionnaires were valid for analyses. After childbirth, 90.5% of women admitted to using the Internet to seek information about themselves or about their baby, regardless of socioeconomic status or age. There were various reasons for seeking information on the Internet, but the most frequent reason the women expressed was to find information 'on their own' (88.1%). The most searched for topic was breastfeeding. The women believed that the information was quite useful (82.7%) but they assigned an average score of 5.3 out of 10 for the quality of the information they found on the Internet. Approximately 80% of the women felt that the Internet helped them control a decision that they made 'a little', 'often' or 'very often'. Professionals are not always willing to talk about information found on the Internet with mothers. Therefore, many women believed that health professionals should suggest reliable Internet websites for new mothers. CONCLUSIONS: the integration of the Internet and new technologies could be a useful tool during postpartum management. [less ▲]

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See detailIntergroup variation in robbing and bartering by long-tailed macaques at Uluwatu Temple (Bali, Indonesia)
Brotcorne, Fany ULg; Giraud, Gwennan; Gunst, Noelle et al

in Primates : Journal of Primatology (2017)

Robbing and bartering (RB) is a behavioral practice anecdotally reported in free-ranging commensal macaques. It usually occurs in two steps: after taking inedible objects (e.g., glasses) from humans, the ... [more ▼]

Robbing and bartering (RB) is a behavioral practice anecdotally reported in free-ranging commensal macaques. It usually occurs in two steps: after taking inedible objects (e.g., glasses) from humans, the macaques appear to use them as tokens, returning them to humans in exchange for food. While extensively studied in captivity, our research is the first to investigate the object/food exchange between humans and primates in a natural setting. During a 4-month study in 2010, we used both focal and event sampling to record 201 RB events in a population of long-tailed macaques (Macaca fascicularis), including four neighboring groups ranging freely around Uluwatu Temple, Bali (Indonesia). In each group, we documented the RB frequency, prevalence and outcome, and tested the underpinning anthropogenic and demographic determinants. In line with the environmental opportunity hypothesis, we found a positive qualitative relation at the group level between time spent in tourist zones and RB frequency or prevalence. For two of the four groups, RB events were significantly more frequent when humans were more present in the environment. We also found qualitative partial support for the male-biased sex ratio hypothesis [i.e., RB was more frequent and prevalent in groups with higher ratios of (sub)adult males], whereas the group density hypothesis was not supported. This preliminary study showed that RB is a spontaneous, customary (in some groups), and enduring population-specific practice characterized by intergroup variation in Balinese macaques. As such, RB is a candidate for a new behavioral tradition in this species. [less ▲]

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See detailDiscovery and characterization of EIIB, a new α-conotoxin from Conus ermineus venom by nAChRs affinity capture monitored by MALDI-TOF/TOF mass spectrometry
Echterbille, Julien; Gilles, Nicolas; Araoz, Romulo et al

in Toxicon (2017), 130

Animal toxins are peptides that often bind with remarkable affinity and selectivity to membrane receptors such as nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs). The latter are, for example, targeted by α ... [more ▼]

Animal toxins are peptides that often bind with remarkable affinity and selectivity to membrane receptors such as nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs). The latter are, for example, targeted by α-conotoxins, a family of peptide toxins produced by venomous cone snails. nAChRs are implicated in numerous physiological processes explaining why the design of new pharmacological tools and the discovery of potential innovative drugs targeting these receptor channels appear so important. This work describes a methodology developed to discover new ligands of nAChRs from complex mixtures of peptides. The methodology was set up by the incubation of Torpedo marmorata electrocyte membranes rich in nAChRs with BSA tryptic digests (>100 peptides) doped by small amounts of known nAChRs ligands (α-conotoxins). Peptides that bind to the receptors were purified and analyzed by MALDI-TOF/TOF mass spectrometry which revealed an enrichment of α-conotoxins in membrane-containing fractions. This result exhibits the binding of α-conotoxins to nAChRs. Negative controls were performed to demonstrate the specificity of the binding. The usefulness and the power of the methodology were also investigated for a discovery issue. The workflow was then applied to the screening of Conus ermineus crude venom, aiming at characterizing new nAChRs ligands from this venom, which has not been extensively investigated to date. The methodology validated our experiments by allowing us to bind two α-conotoxins (α-EI and α-EIIA) which have already been described as nAChRs ligands. Moreover, a new conotoxin, never described to date, was also captured, identified and sequenced from this venom. Classical pharmacology tests by radioligand binding using a synthetic homologue of the toxin confirm the activity of the new peptide, called α-EIIB. The Ki value of this peptide for Torpedo nicotinic receptors was measured at 2.2 ± 0.7 nM. [less ▲]

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See detailMild mitochondrial uncoupling induces HSL/ATGL-independent lipolysis relying on a form of autophagy in 3T3-L1 adipocytes
Demine, Stéphane; Tejerina, Silvia; Bihin, Benoît et al

in Journal of Cellular Physiology (2017)

Obesity is characterized by an excessive triacylglycerol accumulation in white adipocytes. Various mechanisms allowing the tight regulation of triacylglycerol storage and mobilization by lipid droplet ... [more ▼]

Obesity is characterized by an excessive triacylglycerol accumulation in white adipocytes. Various mechanisms allowing the tight regulation of triacylglycerol storage and mobilization by lipid droplet-associated proteins as well as lipolytic enzymes have been identified. Increasing energy expenditure by inducing a mild uncoupling of mitochondria in adipocytes might represent a putative interesting anti-obesity strategy as it reduces the adipose tissue triacylglycerol content (limiting alterations caused by cell hypertrophy) by stimulating lipolysis through yet unknown mechanisms, limiting the adverse effects of adipocyte hypertrophy. Herein, the molecular mechanisms involved in lipolysis induced by a mild uncoupling of mitochondria in white 3T3-L1 adipocytes were characterized. Mitochondrial uncoupling-induced lipolysis was found to be independent from canonical pathways that involve lipolytic enzymes such as HSL and ATGL. Finally, enhanced lipolysis in response to mitochondrial uncoupling relies on a form of autophagy as lipid droplets are captured by endolysosomal vesicles. This new mechanism of triacylglycerol breakdown in adipocytes exposed to mild uncoupling provides new insights on the biology of adipocytes dealing with mitochondria forced to dissipate energy. [less ▲]

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See detailEccentric training for tendon healing after lesion: a rat model
Kaux, Jean-François ULg; Libertiaux, Vincent ULg; Leprince, Pierre ULg et al

in American Journal of Sports Medicine (2017), 45(6), 1440-1446

BACKGROUND:The tendon is a dynamic entity that remodels permanently. Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injection has been shown to have a beneficial effect on tendon healing after lesion in rats. Furthermore ... [more ▼]

BACKGROUND:The tendon is a dynamic entity that remodels permanently. Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injection has been shown to have a beneficial effect on tendon healing after lesion in rats. Furthermore, eccentric exercise seems to improve the mechanical quality of the tendon. HYPOTHESIS:A combination of PRP injection and eccentric training might be more effective than either treatment alone. STUDY DESIGN:Controlled laboratory study. METHODS:Adult male rats were anesthetized, an incision was performed in the middle of their left patellar tendon and an injection of physiological fluid (PF) or homologous PRP was randomly made at the lesion level. The rats were then divided into 2 groups: the eccentric group, undergoing eccentric training 3 times a week, and the untrained group, without any training. Thus, 4 groups were compared. After 5 weeks, the tendons were removed and their ultimate tensile strength and energy were measured. Tendons were frozen for proteomic analyses when all biomechanical tests were completed. Statistical analysis was performed with linear mixed effect models. RESULTS:No significant difference was found between the treatments using PF injection or PRP injection alone. However, the value of the ultimate tensile force at rupture was increased by 4.5 N (108% of control, P = .006) when eccentric training was performed. An intragroup analysis revealed that eccentric training significantly improved the ultimate force values for the PRP group. Proteomic analysis revealed that eccentric training led to an increase in abundance of several cytoskeletal proteins in the PF group, while a decrease in abundance of enzymes of the glycolytic pathway occurred in the PRP treated groups, indicating that this treatment might redirect the exercise-driven metabolic plasticity of the tendon. CONCLUSION: Eccentric training altered the metabolic plasticity of tendon and led to an improvement of injured tendon resistance regardless of the treatment injected (PF or PRP). CLINICAL RELEVANCE:This study demonstrates the necessity of eccentric rehabilitation and training in cases of tendon lesion regardless of the treatment carried out. [less ▲]

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See detailFinite element model reduction for space thermal analysis
Jacques, Lionel ULg; Béchet, Eric ULg; Kerschen, Gaëtan ULg

in Finite Elements in Analysis and Design (2017), 127

To alleviate the computational burden of the nite element method for thermal analyses involving conduction and radiation, this paper proposes an automatic conductive-radiative reduction process based on ... [more ▼]

To alleviate the computational burden of the nite element method for thermal analyses involving conduction and radiation, this paper proposes an automatic conductive-radiative reduction process based on the clustering of a detailed mesh coming from a structural model for instance. The proposed method leads to a signi cant reduction of the number of radiative exchange factors (REFs) to compute and size of the corresponding matrix. It further keeps accurate conduction information by introducing the concept of physically meaningful super nodes. The REFs between the super nodes are computed through Monte Carlo ray-tracing on the partitioned mesh, preserving the versatility of the method. The resulting conductive-radiative reduced model is solved using standard iterative techniques and the detailed mesh temperatures can be recovered from the super nodes temperatures for further thermo-mechanical analysis. The proposed method is applied to a structural component of the Meteosat Third Generation mission and is benchmarked against ESATAN-TMS, the standard thermal analysis software used in the European aerospace industry. [less ▲]

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See detailIsotopic half-life and enrichment factor in two species of European freshwater fish larvae: an experimental approach
Latli, Adrien; Sturaro, Nicolas ULg; Dujardin, Nelson et al

in Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry (2017), 31(8), 685-692

RATIONALE: Stable isotope ratios of carbon and nitrogen are valuable tools for field ecologists to use to analyse animal diets. However, the application of these tools requires knowledge of the tissue ... [more ▼]

RATIONALE: Stable isotope ratios of carbon and nitrogen are valuable tools for field ecologists to use to analyse animal diets. However, the application of these tools requires knowledge of the tissue enrichment factor (TEF) and half-life (HL). We experimentally compared TEF and HL in two freshwater fish larvae. We hypothesised that chub had a better growth/tissue replacement ratio than roach, due to the use of a food closer to their natural diet. METHODS: We determined the isotopic HL, the TEF and the contribution of growth or metabolic tissue replacement to dynamic isotopic incorporation. After yolk sac resorption, larvae were fed for 5 weeks with prey similar to their natural diet (Artemia nauplii) up to the isotopic equilibrium followed by Chironomid larvae. Stable isotope measurements were carried out using a continuous flow isotope ratio mass spectrometer coupled to an elemental analyser. RESULTS: Changes in isotopic composition strongly followed the predictions of exponential growth and time-dependent models. The isotopic HL varied between 8.2 and 12.6 days and the TEF of nitrogen and carbon ranged from 1.7 to 2.1‰ and from –0.9 to 1.2 ‰, respectively. The incorporation of dietary 13C was due more to the production of new tissue (between 56 and 79%) than to the metabolic process. Chub allocated more energy to growth than roach and the Chironomidae diet contributed more to the consumers’ growth than the Artemia diet. CONCLUSIONS: Metabolic rates seemed lower for chub than for roach, especially when they were fed with Chironomidae. A Chironomidae-based diet would be more profitable to chub, and the high associated growth rate could increase the development of the fish larvae. The HL and TEF were in the range of those reported in the literature. These results will be helpful for field-based studies, because they can help to increase the accuracy of models. [less ▲]

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See detailPhotosensitive polydimethylsiloxane networks for adjustable-patterned films
Jellali, Rachid; Alexandre, Michaël; Jérôme, Christine ULg

in Polymer Chemistry (2017), 8(16), 2499-2508

Polydimethylsiloxanes (PDMSs) bearing photoreactive coumarin groups have been synthesized by amida- tion of a coumarin acid chloride derivative with various amine-functionalized PDMSs. Upon exposure to UV ... [more ▼]

Polydimethylsiloxanes (PDMSs) bearing photoreactive coumarin groups have been synthesized by amida- tion of a coumarin acid chloride derivative with various amine-functionalized PDMSs. Upon exposure to UV light having a wavelength of above 300 nm, multifunctional coumarin-PDMSs are transformed into covalent networks via [2 + 2] photocycloaddition of two coumarin moieties forming a cyclobutane ring. Taking advantage of the possible localized irradiation through a photomask, a novel concept to generate patterned PDMS films with various surface topologies was demonstrated. This concept is based on the combination of a low molar mass difunctional PDMS with a multifunctional PDMS of a high molar mass forming a photoreversible network allowing osmotic diffusion of a linear PDMS-coumarin of low mole- cular weight in a loosely crosslinked network. Advantageously, illumination by a light source at 254 nm induces the photocleavage of the cyclobutane cross-links offering some photo-induced reversibility to the PDMS network. These novel photo-responsive networks are interesting for several applications, in photo-adaptable biomedical implants (particularly photo-adjustable intra-ocular lenses), photo-tuneable patterned microsystems (e.g. for microfluidics) and photo-switchable controlled release systems. [less ▲]

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See detailX-LAG: How did they grow so tall?
BECKERS, Albert ULg; Rostomyan, Liliya ULg; Potorac, Iulia ULg et al

in Annales d'Endocrinologie (2017)

X-linked acrogigantism (XLAG) is a new, pediatric-onset genetic syndrome, due to Xq26.3 microduplications encompassing the GPR101 gene. XLAG has a remarkably distinct phenotype with disease onset ... [more ▼]

X-linked acrogigantism (XLAG) is a new, pediatric-onset genetic syndrome, due to Xq26.3 microduplications encompassing the GPR101 gene. XLAG has a remarkably distinct phenotype with disease onset occurring before the age of 5 in all cases described to date, which is significantly younger than in other forms of pituitary gigantism. These patients have mixed GH and prolactin positive adenomas and/or mixed-cell hyperplasia and highly elevated levels of GH/IGF-1 and prolactin. Given their particularly young age of onset, the significant GH hypersecretion can lead to a phenotype of severe gigantism with very advanced age-specific height Z-scores. If not adequately treated in childhood, this condition results in extreme final adult height. XLAG has a clinical course that is highly similar to some of the tallest people with gigantism in history. « X-linked acrogigantism » (XLAG) est un syndrome pédiatrique récemment décrit, lié à des microduplications du chromosome Xq26.3, englobant le gène GPR101, responsable de l’affection. Les patients XLAG présentent un phénotype remarquablement distinct des autres cas de gigantisme hypophysaire. Dans tous les cas décrits, la maladie s’exprime avant 5 ans soit beaucoup plus tôt que dans les autres formes. Les patients ont habituellement un gros adénome ou une hyperplasie mixte pour la GH et la prolactine et des taux très élevés de GH/IGF1 et prolactine. En raison de son début très précoce, l’hypersécrétion importante de GH peut conduire à un gigantisme extrêmement sévère avec un Z-score très important pour l’âge. Si cette condition n’est pas traitée pendant l’enfance, elle peut conduire à une taille finale extrême. XLAG montre une évolution clinique similaire à celle observée chez les géants les plus grands de l’histoire. [less ▲]

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See detailPressure flaking to serrate bifacial points for the hunt during the MIS5 at Sibudu Cave (South Africa)
Rots, Veerle ULg; Lentfer, Carol ULg; Schmid, Viola C. et al

in PLoS ONE (2017), 12(4), 61

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See detailReconstructions of the 1900–2015 Greenland ice sheet surface mass balance using the regional climate MAR model
Fettweis, Xavier ULg; Box, Jason; Agosta, Cécile ULg et al

in Cryosphere (The) (2017), 11

With the aim of studying the recent Greenland ice sheet (GrIS) surface mass balance (SMB) decrease relative to the last century, we have forced the regional climate MAR (Modèle Atmosphérique Régional ... [more ▼]

With the aim of studying the recent Greenland ice sheet (GrIS) surface mass balance (SMB) decrease relative to the last century, we have forced the regional climate MAR (Modèle Atmosphérique Régional; version 3.5.2) model with the ERA-Interim (ECMWF Interim Re-Analysis; 1979–2015), ERA-40 (1958–2001), NCEP–NCARv1 (National Centers for Environmental Prediction–National Center for Atmospheric Research Reanalysis version 1; 1948–2015), NCEP–NCARv2 (1979–2015), JRA-55 (Japanese 55-year Reanalysis; 1958–2014), 20CRv2(c) (Twentieth Century Reanalysis version 2; 1900–2014) and ERA-20C (1900–2010) reanalyses. While all these forcing products are reanalyses that are assumed to represent the same climate, they produce significant differences in the MAR-simulated SMB over their common period. A temperature adjustment of +1 °C (respectively −1 °C) was, for example, needed at the MAR boundaries with ERA-20C (20CRv2) reanalysis, given that ERA-20C (20CRv2) is ∼ 1 °C colder (warmer) than ERA-Interim over Greenland during the period 1980–2010. Comparisons with daily PROMICE (Programme for Monitoring of the Greenland Ice Sheet) near-surface observations support these adjustments. Comparisons with SMB measurements, ice cores and satellite-derived melt extent reveal the most accurate forcing datasets for the simulation of the GrIS SMB to be ERA-Interim and NCEP–NCARv1. However, some biases remain in MAR, suggesting that some improvements are still needed in its cloudiness and radiative schemes as well as in the representation of the bare ice albedo. Results from all MAR simulations indicate that (i) the period 1961–1990, commonly chosen as a stable reference period for Greenland SMB and ice dynamics, is actually a period of anomalously positive SMB (∼ +40 Gt yr−1) compared to 1900–2010; (ii) SMB has decreased significantly after this reference period due to increasing and unprecedented melt reaching the highest rates in the 120-year common period; (iii) before 1960, both ERA-20C and 20CRv2-forced MAR simulations suggest a significant precipitation increase over 1900–1950, but this increase could be the result of an artefact in the reanalyses that are not well-enough constrained by observations during this period and (iv) since the 1980s, snowfall is quite stable after having reached a maximum in the 1970s. These MAR-based SMB and accumulation reconstructions are, however, quite similar to those from Box (2013) after 1930 and confirm that SMB was quite stable from the 1940s to the 1990s. Finally, only the ERA-20C-forced simulation suggests that SMB during the 1920–1930 warm period over Greenland was comparable to the SMB of the 2000s, due to both higher melt and lower precipitation than normal. [less ▲]

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See detailResolved astrometric orbits of ten O-type binaries
Le Bouquin, J.-B.; Sana, H.; Gosset, Eric ULg et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2017), 601

Our long term aim is to derive model-independent stellar masses and distances for long period massive binaries by combining apparent astrometric orbit with double-lined radial velocity amplitudes (SB2 ... [more ▼]

Our long term aim is to derive model-independent stellar masses and distances for long period massive binaries by combining apparent astrometric orbit with double-lined radial velocity amplitudes (SB2). We follow-up ten O+O binaries with AMBER, PIONIER and GRAVITY at the VLTI. Here, we report about 130 astrometric observations over the last 7 years. We combine this dataset with distance estimates to compute the total mass of the systems. We also compute preliminary individual component masses for the five systems with available SB2 radial velocities. Nine over the ten binaries have their three dimensional orbit well constrained. Four of them are known colliding wind, non-thermal radio emitters, and thus constitute valuable targets for future high angular resolution radio imaging. Two binaries break the correlation between period and eccentricity tentatively observed in previous studies. It suggests either that massive star formation produce a wide range of systems, or that several binary formation mechanisms are at play. Finally, we found that the use of existing SB2 radial velocity amplitudes can lead to unrealistic masses and distances. If not understood, the biases in radial velocity amplitudes will represent an intrinsic limitation for estimating dynamical masses from SB2+interferometry or SB2+Gaia. Nevertheless, our results can be combined with future Gaia astrometry to measure the dynamical masses and distances of the individual components with an accuracy of 5 to 15\%, completely independently of the radial velocities. [less ▲]

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See detailSize and shape variations of the bony components of sperm whale cochleae
Schnitzler, Joseph ULg; Frederich, Bruno ULg; Früchtnicht, Sven et al

in Scientific Reports (2017), 7

Several mass strandings of sperm whales occurred in the North Sea during January and February 2016. Twelve animals were necropsied and sampled around 48h after their discovery on German coasts of ... [more ▼]

Several mass strandings of sperm whales occurred in the North Sea during January and February 2016. Twelve animals were necropsied and sampled around 48h after their discovery on German coasts of Schleswig Holstein. The present study aims to explore the morphological variation of the primary sensory organ of sperm whales, the left and right auditory system, using high-resolution computerised tomography imaging. We performed a quantitative analysis of size and shape of cochleae using landmark-based geometric morphometrics to reveal inter-individual anatomical variations. A hierarchical cluster analysis based on thirty-one external morphometric characters classified these 12 individuals in two stranding clusters. A relative amount of shape variation could be attributable to geographical differences among stranding locations and clusters. Our geometric data allowed the discrimination of distinct bachelor schools among sperm whales that stranded on German coasts. We argue that the cochleae are individually shaped, varying greatly in dimensions and that the intra-specific variation observed in the morphology of the cochleae may partially reflect their affiliation to their bachelor school. There are increasing concerns about the impact of noise on cetaceans and describing the auditory periphery of odontocetes is a key conservation issue to further assess the effect of noise pollution. [less ▲]

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See detailOrganometallic-mediated radical polymerization of 'less activated monomers': fundamentals, challenges and opportunities
Debuigne, Antoine ULg; Jérôme, Christine ULg; Detrembleur, Christophe ULg

in Polymer (2017), 115

Access to well-defined polymers made of the so-called ‘Less Activated Monomers’ (LAMs) via controlled radical polymerization has long been a challenge due to the lack of radical stabilizing group on the ... [more ▼]

Access to well-defined polymers made of the so-called ‘Less Activated Monomers’ (LAMs) via controlled radical polymerization has long been a challenge due to the lack of radical stabilizing group on the double bond of these monomers. This Feature Article summarizes substantial progress in the organometallic-mediated radical polymerization (OMRP) of this important class of monomers including vinyl esters, olefins, vinyl chloride, vinyl amides, or ionic-liquid vinyl monomers. It aims to provide a clear and comprehensive account of the fundamentals and challenges in the OMRP of LAMs as well as an overview of the resulting macromolecular engineering opportunities. The input of photochemistry, environmentally friendly solvents or flow reactors in OMRP is also presented. Finally, it emphasizes how some well-defined LAMs-based materials contributed to the development of specific applications notably in the fields of biomedicine or energy. [less ▲]

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See detailVortex Lattice simulations of attached and separated flows around flapping wings
Lambert, Thomas ULg; Abdul Razak, Norizham; Dimitriadis, Grigorios ULg

in Aerospace (2017), 4(2), 22

Flapping flight is an increasingly popular area of research, with applications to micro-unmanned air vehicles and animal flight biomechanics. Fast but accurate methods for predicting the aerodynamic loads ... [more ▼]

Flapping flight is an increasingly popular area of research, with applications to micro-unmanned air vehicles and animal flight biomechanics. Fast but accurate methods for predicting the aerodynamic loads acting on flapping wings are of interest for designing such aircraft and optimising thrust production. In this work, the unsteady Vortex Lattice method is used in conjunction with three load estimation techniques in order to predict the aerodynamic lift and drag time histories produced by flapping rectangular wings. The load estimation approaches are the Katz, Joukowski and simplified Leishman-Beddoes techniques. The simulations' predictions are compared to experimental measurements from a flapping and pitching wing presented by Razak and Dimitriadis [1]. Three types of kinematics are investigated, pitch-leading, pure flapping and pitch lagging. It is found that pitch-leading tests can be simulated quite accurately using either the Katz or Joukowski approaches as no measurable flow separation occurs. For the pure flapping tests, the Katz and Joukowski techniques are accurate as long as the static pitch angle is greater than zero. For zero or negative static pitch angles these methods underestimate the amplitude of the drag. The Leishman-Beddoes approach yields better drag amplitudes but can introduce a constant negative drag offset. Finally, for the pitch-lagging tests the Leishman-Beddoes technique is again more representative of the experimental results, as long as flow separation is not too extensive. Considering the complexity of the phenomena involved, in the vast majority of cases the lift time history is predicted with reasonable accuracy. The drag (or thrust) time history is more challenging. [less ▲]

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See detailThe recent warming trend in North Greenland
Orsi, A.; Kawamura, K.; Masson-Delmotte, V. et al

in Geophysical Research Letters (2017)

The Arctic is among the fastest warming regions on Earth, but it is also one with limited spatial coverage of multi-decadal instrumental surface air temperature measurements. Consequently, atmospheric ... [more ▼]

The Arctic is among the fastest warming regions on Earth, but it is also one with limited spatial coverage of multi-decadal instrumental surface air temperature measurements. Consequently, atmospheric reanalyses are relatively unconstrained in this region, resulting in a large spread of estimated 30-year recent warming trends, which limits their use to investigate the mechanisms responsible for this trend. Here, we present a surface temperature reconstruction over 1982-2011 at NEEM (51∘ W, 77∘ N), in North Greenland, based on the inversion of borehole temperature and inert gas isotope data. We find that NEEM has warmed by 2.7±0.33∘C over the past 30 years, from the long-term 1900-1970 average of -28.55±0.29∘C. The warming trend is principally caused by an increase in downward longwave heat flux. Atmospheric reanalyses underestimate this trend by 17%, underlining the need for more in situ observations to validate reanalyses. [less ▲]

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See detailScaling Theory of the Anderson Transition in Random Graphs: Ergodicity and Universality
Garcia-Mata, Ignacio; Giraud, Olivier; Georgeot, Bertrand et al

in Physical Review Letters (2017), 118

We study the Anderson transition on a generic model of random graphs with a tunable branching parameter 1 < K < 2, through large scale numerical simulations and finite-size scaling analysis. We find that ... [more ▼]

We study the Anderson transition on a generic model of random graphs with a tunable branching parameter 1 < K < 2, through large scale numerical simulations and finite-size scaling analysis. We find that a single transition separates a localized phase from an unusual delocalized phase that is ergodic at large scales but strongly nonergodic at smaller scales. In the critical regime, multifractal wave functions are located on a few branches of the graph. Different scaling laws apply on both sides of the transition: a scaling with the linear size of the system on the localized side, and an unusual volumic scaling on the delocalized side. The critical scalings and exponents are independent of the branching parameter, which strongly supports the universality of our results. [less ▲]

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See detailAssessment of bacterial superficial contamination in classical or ritually slaughtered cattle using metagenetics and microbiological analysis
Korsak Koulagenko, Nicolas ULg; Taminiau, Bernard ULg; Hupperts, Caroline et al

in International Journal of Food Microbiology (2017), 247

The aim of this study was to investigate the influence of the slaughter technique (Halal vs. Classical slaughter) on the superficial contamination of cattle carcasses, by using traditional microbiological ... [more ▼]

The aim of this study was to investigate the influence of the slaughter technique (Halal vs. Classical slaughter) on the superficial contamination of cattle carcasses, by using traditional microbiological procedures and 16S rDNA metagenetics. The purpose was also to investigate the neck area to identify bacteria originating from the digestive or the respiratory tract. Twenty bovine carcasses (10 from each group) were swabbed at the slaughterhouse, where both slaughtering methods are practiced. Two swabbing areas were chosen: one “legal” zone of 1,600 cm2 (composed of zones from rump, flank, brisket and forelimb) and locally on the neck area (200 cm2). Samples were submitted to classical microbiology for aerobic Total Viable Counts (TVC) at 30°C and Enterobacteriaceae counts, while metagenetic analysis was performed on the same samples. The classical microbiological results revealed no significant differences between both slaughtering practices; with values between 3.95 and 4.87 log CFU/100 cm2 and 0.49 and 1.94 log CFU/100 cm2, for TVC and Enterobacteriaceae respectively. Analysis of pyrosequencing data showed that differences in the bacterial population abundance between slaughtering methods were mainly observed in the “legal” swabbing zone compared to the neck area. Bacterial genera belonging to the Actinobacteria phylum were more abundant in the “legal” swabbing zone in “Halal” samples, while Brevibacterium and Corynebacterium were encountered more in “Halal” samples, in all swabbing areas. This was also the case for Firmicutes bacterial populations (families of Aerococcaceae, Planococcaceae). Except for Planococcoceae, the analysis of Operational Taxonomic Unit (OTU) abundances of bacteria from the digestive or respiratory tract revealed no differences between groups. In conclusion, the slaughtering method does not influence the superficial microbiological pattern in terms of specific microbiological markers of the digestive or respiratory tract. However, precise analysis of taxonomy at the genus level taxonomy highlights differences between swabbing areas. Although not clearly proven in this study, differences in hygiene practices used during both slaughtering protocols could explain the differences in contamination between carcasses from both slaughtering groups. [less ▲]

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See detailUse of a metagenetic approach to monitor the bacterial microbiota of “Tomme d’Orchies” cheese during the ripening process
Ceugniez, Alexandre; Taminiau, Bernard ULg; Coucheney, Françoise et al

in International Journal of Food Microbiology (2017), 247

The study of microbial ecosystems in artisanal foodstuffs is important to complete in order to unveil its diversity. The number of studies performed on dairy products has increased during the last decade ... [more ▼]

The study of microbial ecosystems in artisanal foodstuffs is important to complete in order to unveil its diversity. The number of studies performed on dairy products has increased during the last decade, particularly those performed on milk and cheese derivative products. In this work, we investigated the bacterial content of "Tomme d'Orchies" cheese, an artisanal pressed and uncooked French cheese. To this end, a metagenetic analysis, using Illumina technology, was utilized on samples taken from the surface and core of the cheese at 0, 1, 3, 14 and 21 days of ripening process. In addition to the classical microbiota found in cheese, various strains likely from environmental origin were identified. A large difference between the surface and the core content was observed within samples withdrawn during the ripening process. The main species encountered in the core of the cheese were Lactococcus spp. and Streptococcus spp., with an inversion of this ratio during the ripening process. Less than 2.5% of the whole population was composed of strains issued from environmental origin, as Lactobacillales, Corynebacterium and Brevibacterium. In the core, about 85% of the microbiota was attributed to the starters used for the cheese making. In turn, the microbiota of the surface contained less than 30% of these starters and interestingly displayed more diversity. The predominant genus was Corynebacterium sp., likely originating from the environment. The less abundant microbiota of the surface was composed of Bifidobacteria, Brevibacterium and Micrococcales. To summarize, the “Tomme d’Orchies” cheese displayed a high diversity of bacterial species, especially on the surface, and this diversity is assumed to arise from the production environment and subsequent ripening process. [less ▲]

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See detailVers une (r)évolution du renseignement belge : la nécessaire émergence d'une communauté du renseignement
Leroy, Patrick ULg

in Revue "Diplomatie" (2017)

Le renseignement belge entre dans une période de (r)évolution amenée par la crise des attentats qui secouent le sol européen. La tentations est grande pour les décideurs politiques de palier les "failles ... [more ▼]

Le renseignement belge entre dans une période de (r)évolution amenée par la crise des attentats qui secouent le sol européen. La tentations est grande pour les décideurs politiques de palier les "failles" du renseignement par des mesures radicales qui pourraient atteindre l'ADN, le coeur de métier du renseignement. [less ▲]

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See detailOxidative wear behaviour of laser clad high speed steel thick deposits: influence of sliding speed, carbide type and morphology
Hashemi, Seyedeh Neda ULg; Mertens, Anne ULg; Montrieux, Henri-Michel ULg et al

in Surface & Coatings Technology (2017), 315

The oxidative wear behaviour of four different High Speed Steel (HSS) thick coatings (one cast material and three laser clad deposits with varying Mo, V and W contents) was investigated using a pin-on ... [more ▼]

The oxidative wear behaviour of four different High Speed Steel (HSS) thick coatings (one cast material and three laser clad deposits with varying Mo, V and W contents) was investigated using a pin-on-disc tribometer at two different sliding speeds of 10cm/s and 50cm/s. Microstructural characterisation (before and after the wear tests) was carried out by SEM and wear debris was analysed by XRD. For all four materials, the oxide layer was formed of hard and brittle haematite-type α-Fe2O3, prone to break and release debris that acted as a third body, thus increasing sample wear. The laser clad HSS materials exhibited a higher wear resistance than their conventional cast counterpart, thanks to their finer microstructures. In particular, the coarser MC and M2C carbides present in the cast material were sensitive to cracking during the wear tests, releasing debris that contributed to increased third body abrasion together with oxide fragments. A detailed comparison of the wear behaviour of the three laser clad deposits, in correlation with their different microstructures, further demonstrated that harder V-rich MC carbides offered better wear resistance compared to the softer W-rich M2C carbides. The morphology of the carbides also played a role in determining the wear resistance at the higher sliding speed of 50 cm/s. Clover-shaped primary MC carbides resisted wear better than angular ones due to their better geometric anchoring. Similarly, the geometric anchoring of eutectic M2C carbides, forming a quasi-continuous network at the grain boundaries of the matrix, proved beneficial at higher sliding speed. [less ▲]

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See detailExtracting residues from stone tools for optical analysis: towards an experiment-based protocol
Cnuts, Dries ULg; Rots, Veerle ULg

in Archaeological and Anthropological sciences (2017)

The identification of residues is traditionally based on the distinctive morphologies of the residue fragments by means of light microscopy. Most residue fragments are amorphous, in the sense that they ... [more ▼]

The identification of residues is traditionally based on the distinctive morphologies of the residue fragments by means of light microscopy. Most residue fragments are amorphous, in the sense that they lack distinguishing shapes or easily visible structures under reflected light microscopy. Amorphous residues can only be identified by using transmitted light microscopy, which requires the extraction of residues from the tool’s surface. Residues are usually extracted with a pipette or an ultrasonic bath in combination with distilled water. However, a number of researchers avoid residue extraction because it is unclear whether current extraction techniques are representative for the use-related residue that adheres to a flaked stone tool. In this paper, we aim at resolving these methodological uncertainties by critically evaluating current extraction methodologies. Attention is focused on the variation in residue types, their causes of deposition and their adhesion and on the most successful technique for extracting a range of residue types from the stone tool surface. Based on an experimental reference sample in flint, we argue that a stepwise extraction protocol is most successful in providing rep- resentative residue extractions and in preventing damage, destruction or loss of residue. [less ▲]

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See detailLiver microbiome of Peromyscus leucopus, a key reservoir host species for emerging infectious diseases in North America
André, Adrien ULg; Mouton, Alice ULg; millien, virginie et al

in Infection, Genetics and Evolution : Journal of Molecular Epidemiology and Evolutionary Genetics of Infectious Diseases (2017)

Microbiome studies generally focus on the gut microbiome, which is composed of a large proportion of commensal bacteria. Here we propose a first analysis of the liver microbiomeusing next generation ... [more ▼]

Microbiome studies generally focus on the gut microbiome, which is composed of a large proportion of commensal bacteria. Here we propose a first analysis of the liver microbiomeusing next generation sequencing as a tool to detect potentially pathogenic strains. We used Peromyscus leucopus, the main reservoir host species of Lyme disease in eastern North America, as a model and sequenced V5-V6 regions of the 16S gene from 18 populations in southern Quebec (Canada). The Lactobacillus genus was found to dominate the liver microbiome.We also detected a large proportion of individuals infected by Bartonella vinsonii arupensis, a human pathogenic bacteria responsible for endocarditis, aswell as Borrelia burgdorferi, the pathogen responsible for Lyme disease in North America. We then compared the microbiomes among two P. leucopus genetic clusters occurring on either side of the St. Lawrence River, and did not detect any effect of the host genotype on their liver microbiome assemblage. Finally, we report, for the first time, the presence of B. burgdorferi in a smallmammal host fromthe northern side of the St. Lawrence River, in support of models that have predicted the northern spread of Lyme disease in Canada. [less ▲]

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See detailSubstrate Induced Strain Field in FeRh Epilayers Grown on Single Crystal MgO (001) Substrates
Barton, C. W.; Ostler, Thomas ULg; Huskisson, D. et al

in Scientific Reports (2017), 7

Equi-atomic FeRh is highly unusual in that it undergoes a rst order meta-magnetic phase transition from an antiferromagnet to a ferromagnet above room temperature (Tr ≈ 370 K). This behavior opens new ... [more ▼]

Equi-atomic FeRh is highly unusual in that it undergoes a rst order meta-magnetic phase transition from an antiferromagnet to a ferromagnet above room temperature (Tr ≈ 370 K). This behavior opens new possibilities for creating multifunctional magnetic and spintronic devices which can utilise both thermal and applied eld energy to change state and functionalise composites. A key requirement in realising multifunctional devices is the need to understand and control the properties of FeRh in the extreme thin lm limit (tFeRh < 10 nm) where interfaces are crucial. Here we determine the properties of FeRh lms in the thickness range 2.5–10 nm grown directly on MgO substrates. Our magnetometry and structural measurements show that a perpendicular strain eld exists in these thin films which results in an increase in the phase transition temperature as thickness is reduced. Modelling using a spin dynamics approach supports the experimental observations demonstrating the critical role of the atomic layers close to the MgO interface. [less ▲]

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See detailAzacytidine prevents experimental xenogeneic graft-versus-host disease without abrogating graft-versus-leukemia effects
Ehx, Grégory ULg; Fransolet, Gilles ULg; De Leval, Laurence et al

in Oncoimmunology (2017)

The demethylating agent 5-azacytidine (AZA) has proven its efficacy as treatment for myelodysplastic syndrome and acute myeloid leukemia. In addition, AZA can demethylate FOXP3 intron 1 (FOXP3i1) leading ... [more ▼]

The demethylating agent 5-azacytidine (AZA) has proven its efficacy as treatment for myelodysplastic syndrome and acute myeloid leukemia. In addition, AZA can demethylate FOXP3 intron 1 (FOXP3i1) leading to the generation of regulatory T cells (Treg). Here, we investigated the impact of AZA on xenogeneic graft-versus-host disease (xGVHD) and graft-versus-leukemia effects in a humanized murine model of transplantation (human PBMCs-infused NSG mice), and described the impact of the drug on human T cells in vivo. We observed that AZA improved both survival and xGVHD scores. Further, AZA significantly decreased human T-cell proliferation as well as IFN-γ and TNF-α serum levels, and reduced the expression of GRANZYME B and PERFORIN 1 by cytotoxic T cells. In addition, AZA significantly increased Treg frequency through hypomethylation of FOXP3i1 as well as increased Treg proliferation. The later was subsequent to higher STAT5 signaling in Treg from AZA-treated mice, which resulted from higher IL-2 secretion by conventional T cells from AZA-treated mice itself secondary to demethylation of the IL-2 gene promoter by AZA. Importantly, Tregs harvested from AZA-treated mice were suppressive and stable over time since they persisted at high frequency in secondary transplant experiments. Finally, graft-versus-leukemia effects (assessed by growth inhibition of THP-1 cells, transfected to express the luciferase gene) were not abrogated by AZA. In summary, our data demonstrate that AZA prevents xGVHD without abrogating graft-versus-leukemia effects. These findings could serve of basis for further studies of GVHD prevention by AZA in acute myeloid leukemia patients offered an allogeneic transplantation. [less ▲]

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See detailDocking and molecular dynamics simulations of the Fyn-SH3 domain with free and phospholipid bilayer-associated 18.5-kDa myelin basic protein (MBP) – Insights into a non-canonical and fuzzy interaction
Bessonov, Kyrylo ULg; Harauz, George; Vassall, Kenrick

in Proteins (2017)

The molecular details of the association between the human Fyn-SH3 domain, and the fragment of 18.5-kDa myelin basic protein (MBP) spanning residues S38–S107 (denoted as xα2-peptide, murine sequence ... [more ▼]

The molecular details of the association between the human Fyn-SH3 domain, and the fragment of 18.5-kDa myelin basic protein (MBP) spanning residues S38–S107 (denoted as xα2-peptide, murine sequence numbering), were studied in silico via docking and molecular dynamics over 50-ns trajectories. The results show that interaction between the two proteins is energetically favorable and heavily-dependent on the MBP proline-rich region (P93-P98) in both aqueous and membrane environments. In aqueous conditions, the xα2-peptide/Fyn-SH3 complex adopts a “sandwich”-like structure. In the membrane context, the xα2-peptide interacts with the Fyn-SH3 domain via the proline-rich region and the β-sheets of Fyn-SH3, with the latter wrapping around the proline-rich region in a form of a clip. Moreover, the simulations corroborate prior experimental evidence of the importance of upstream segments beyond the canonical SH3-ligand. This study thus provides a more-detailed glimpse into the context-dependent interaction dynamics and importance of the β-sheets in Fyn-SH3 and proline-rich region of MBP. [less ▲]

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See detailRevista "Esfera pública discursiva"
Becerra Mayor, David ULg

in Esfera pública discursiva (2017), 1

Número 1 de la revista de crítica e información literaria realizada por las y los estudiantes de "Stylistique et critique de l’espagnol moderne" del curso 2016-2017, de la Université de Liège.

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See detailThe effect of concentrate allocation on traffic and milk production of pasture based cows milked by an automatic milking system
Lessire, Françoise ULg; Froidmont, Eric; Shortall, John et al

in Animal (2017), 11(4), 1-9

Increased economic, societal and environmental challenges facing agriculture are leading to a greater focus on effective way to combine grazing and automatic milking systems (AMS). One of the fundamental ... [more ▼]

Increased economic, societal and environmental challenges facing agriculture are leading to a greater focus on effective way to combine grazing and automatic milking systems (AMS). One of the fundamental aspects of robotic milking is cows’ traffic to the AMS. Numerous studies have identified feed provided, either as fresh grass or concentrate supplement, as the main incentive for cows to return to the robot. The aim of this study was to determine the effect of concentrate allocation on voluntary cow traffic from pasture to the robot during the grazing period, to highlight the interactions between grazed pasture and concentrate allocation in terms of substitution rate and the subsequent effect on average milk yield and composition. Thus, 29 grazing cows, milked by a mobile robot, were monitored for the grazing period (4 months). They were assigned to 2 groups: a low concentrate (LC) group (15 cows) and a high concentrate (HC) group (14 cows) receiving 2 kg and 4 kg concentrate per cow per day respectively. Two allocations per day of fresh pasture were provided at 0700h and 1600h. The cows had to go through the AMS to receive the fresh pasture allocation. The effect of concentrate level on robot visitation was calculated by summing milkings, refusals and failed milkings/cow per day. The impact on average daily milk yield and composition was also determined. The interaction between lactation number and month was used as an indicator of pasture availability. Concentrate allocation increased significantly robot visitations in HC (3.60 ± 0.07 visitations/cow per day in HC - 3.10 ± 0.07 visitations/cow per day in LC; P<0.001) while milkings/cow per day were similar in both groups (LC: 2.37 ± 0.02/day - HC: 2.39 ± 0.02/day; ns). The average daily milk yield over the grazing period was enhanced in HC (22.39 ± 0.22 kg/cow per day in HC- 21.33 ± 0.22 kg/cow per day in LC; P<0.001). However the gain in milk due to higher concentrate supply was limited with regards to the amount of provided concentrates. Milking frequency in HC primiparous compared with LC was increased. In the context of this study, considering high concentrate levels as an incentive for robot visitation might be questioned, as it had no impact on milking frequency and limited impact on average milk yield and composition. By contrast, increased concentrate supply could be targeted specifically to primiparous cows. [less ▲]

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See detailImpact of tillage on greenhouse gas emissions by an agricultural crop and dynamics of N2O fluxes: Insights from automated closed chamber measurements
Lognoul, Margaux ULg; Theodorakopoulos, Nicolas ULg; Hiel, Marie-Pierre ULg et al

in Soil & Tillage Research (2017), 167

Our experiment aimed at studying the impact of long term tillage treatments – reduced tillage (RT) and conventional tillage (CT), on CO2 and N2O emissions by soil and at describing the dynamics of N2O ... [more ▼]

Our experiment aimed at studying the impact of long term tillage treatments – reduced tillage (RT) and conventional tillage (CT), on CO2 and N2O emissions by soil and at describing the dynamics of N2O fluxes. Gas measurements were performed from June to October 2015 in a Belgian maize crop, with homemade automated closed chambers, allowing continuous measurement at a high temporal resolution. After 7 years of treatment, CO2 and N2O average emissions were significantly larger in the RT parcel than in the CT parcel. This observation was attributed to the effect of tillage on the distribution of crop residues within the soil profile, leading to higher soil organic C and total N contents and a greater microbial biomass in the upper layer in RT. A single N2O emission peak triggered by a sudden increase of water- filled pore space (WFPS) was observed in the beginning of the measuring campaign. The absence of large emission afterwards was most likely due to a decreasing availability of N as crop grew. N2O background fluxes showed to be significantly correlated to CO2 fluxes but not to WFPS, while the influence of soil temperature remained unclear. Our results question the suitability of reduced tillage as a “climate-smart” practice and suggest that more experiments be conducted on conservation practices and their potent negative effect on environment. [less ▲]

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See detail"La madone et la putain": Quand les stéréotypes de genres influencent la perception de la légalité des violences sexuelles et le traitement de la réaction sociale à l'égard des femmes
Garcet, Serge ULg

in Revue de la Faculté de Droit de l'Université de Liège (2017), 2017/1

Les illégalités liées au traitement différentiel des genres reposent notamment sur la présence de stéréotypes sexistes. L’article illustre comment les attitudes subjectivement positives à l’égard des ... [more ▼]

Les illégalités liées au traitement différentiel des genres reposent notamment sur la présence de stéréotypes sexistes. L’article illustre comment les attitudes subjectivement positives à l’égard des femmes que l’on peut qualifier de stéréotypes sexistes bienveillants influencent tant positivement que négativement la façon dont les femmes sont perçues par le système judiciaire. L’article souligne également au travers des représentations liées aux violences sexuelles l’impact des stéréotypes sexistes hostiles sur la perception de la légalité, de la légitimité perçue du passage à l’acte et du statut des victimes. [less ▲]

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See detailétude sur l'intolérance à l'incertitude et ses biais cognitifs chez les parents d'un enfant en rémission d'un cancer
Vander Haegen, Marie ULg; Etienne, Anne-Marie ULg; Piette, Caroline

in Revue Médicale de Liège (2017), 72

Résumé : Les études en oncologie pédiatrique décrivent une relativement bonne qualité de vie chez les enfants survivants de cancer. À ce jour, peu d’études se sont intéressées aux parents d’un enfant ... [more ▼]

Résumé : Les études en oncologie pédiatrique décrivent une relativement bonne qualité de vie chez les enfants survivants de cancer. À ce jour, peu d’études se sont intéressées aux parents d’un enfant survivant de cancer. Soixante-et-un parents sont recrutés dans les hôpitaux belges. Trois groupes de parents sont constitués : les parents dont l’enfant est à 4 ans de rémission (groupe 1), à 5 ans de rémission (groupe 2) et à 6 ans de rémission (groupe 3). Des échelles cliniques et une tâche de Stroop émotion sont administrées. Les parents (des 3 groupes) présentent une faible tolérance à l’incertitude, ont des inquiétudes excessives quant à l’évolution de la santé de leur enfant et souffrent de symptômes anxieux. Le Stroop émotion révèle un biais cognitif de l’attention en faveur des stimuli de nature menaçante. L’étude met en exergue l’importance de détecter les parents intolérants à l’incertitude lors du diagnostic d’annonce du cancer et leur suivi psychologique continu une fois les traitements terminés. [less ▲]

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See detailVitamin D supplementation in the prevention and management of major chronic diseases not related to mineral homeostasis in adults: research for evidence and a scientific statement from the European society for clinical and economic aspects of osteoporosis and osteoarthritis (ESCEO)
Cianferotti, Luisella; Bertoldo, Francesco; Bischoff-Ferrari, Heike et al

in Endocrine (2017), 56(2), 245-61

Introduction Optimal vitamin D status promotes skeletal health and is recommended with specific treatment in individuals at high risk for fragility fractures. A growing body of literature has provided ... [more ▼]

Introduction Optimal vitamin D status promotes skeletal health and is recommended with specific treatment in individuals at high risk for fragility fractures. A growing body of literature has provided indirect and some direct evidence for possible extraskeletal vitamin D-related effects. Purpose and Methods Members of the European Society for Clinical and Economic Aspects of Osteoporosis and Osteoarthritis have reviewed the main evidence for possible proven benefits of vitamin D supplementation in adults at risk of or with overt chronic extra-skeletal diseases, providing recommendations and guidelines for future studies in this field. Results and conclusions Robust mechanistic evidence is available from in vitro studies and in vivo animal studies, usually employing cholecalciferol, calcidiol or calcitriol in pharmacologic rather than physiologic doses. Although many cross-sectional and prospective association studies in humans have shown that low 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels (i.e., <50 nmol/L) are consistently associated with chronic diseases, further strengthened by a dose-response relationship, several meta-analyses of clinical trials have shown contradictory results. Overall, large randomized controlled trials with sufficient doses of vitamin D are missing, and available small to moderate-size trials often included people with baseline levels of serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels >50 nmol/L, did not simultaneously assess multiple outcomes, and did not report overall safety (e.g., falls). Thus, no recommendations can be made to date for the use of vitamin D supplementation in general, parental compounds, or non-hypercalcemic vitamin D analogs in the prevention and treatment of extra-skeletal chronic diseases. Moreover, attainment of serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels well above the threshold desired for bone health cannot be recommended based on current evidence, since safety has yet to be confirmed. Finally, the promising findings from mechanistic studies, large cohort studies, and small clinical trials obtained for autoimmune diseases (including type 1 diabetes, multiple sclerosis, and systemic lupus erythematosus), cardiovascular disorders, and overall reduction in mortality require further confirmation. [less ▲]

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See detailAn investigation into the fraction of particle accelerators among colliding-wind binaries. Towards an extension of the catalogue
De Becker, Michaël ULg; Benaglia, Paula; Romero, Gustavo E. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2017), 600

Particle-accelerating colliding-wind binaries (PACWBs) are multiple systems made of early-type stars able to accelerate particles up to relativistic velocities. The relativistic particles can interact ... [more ▼]

Particle-accelerating colliding-wind binaries (PACWBs) are multiple systems made of early-type stars able to accelerate particles up to relativistic velocities. The relativistic particles can interact with different fields (magnetic or radiation) in the colliding-wind region and produce non-thermal emission. In many cases, non-thermal synchrotron radiation might be observable and thus constitute an indicator of the existence of a relativistic particle population in these multiple systems. To date, the catalogue of PACWBs includes about 40 objects spread over many stellar types and evolutionary stages, with no clear trend pointing to privileged subclasses of objects likely to accelerate particles. This paper aims at discussing critically some criteria for selecting new candidates among massive binaries. The subsequent search for non-thermal radiation in these objects is expected to lead to new detections of particle accelerators. On the basis of this discussion, some broad ideas for observation strategies are formulated. At this stage of the investigation of PACWBs, there is no clear reason to consider particle acceleration in massive binaries as an anomaly or even as a rare phenomenon. We therefore consider that several PACWBs will be detected in the forthcoming years, essentially using sensitive radio interferometers which are capable of measuring synchrotron emission from colliding-wind binaries. Prospects for high-energy detections are also briefly addressed. [less ▲]

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See detailSize fractionation as a tool for separating charcoal of different fuel source and recalcitrance in the wildfire ash layer
Mastrolonardo, Giovanni ULg

in Science of the Total Environment (2017), 595

Charcoal is a heterogeneous material exhibiting a diverse range of properties. This variability represents a serious challenge in studies that use the properties of natural charcoal for reconstructing ... [more ▼]

Charcoal is a heterogeneous material exhibiting a diverse range of properties. This variability represents a serious challenge in studies that use the properties of natural charcoal for reconstructing wildfires history in terrestrial ecosystems. In this study, we tested the hypothesis that particle size is a sufficiently robust indicator for separating forest wildfire combustion products into fractions with distinct properties. For this purpose, we examined two different forest environments affected by contrasting wildfires in terms of severity: an eucalypt forest in Australia, which experienced an extremely severe wildfire, and a Mediterranean pine forest in Italy, which burned to moderate severity. We fractionated the ash/charcoal layers collected on the ground into four size fractions (>2, 2–1, 1–0.5, <0.5 mm) and analysed them for mineral ash content, elemental composition, chemical structure (by IR spectroscopy), fuel source and charcoal reflectance (by reflected-light microscopy), and chemical/thermal recalcitrance (by chemical and thermal oxidation). At both sites, the finest fraction (<0.5 mm) had, by far, the greatest mass. The C concentration and C/N ratio decreased with decreasing size fraction, while pH and the mineral ash content followed the opposite trend. The coarser fractions showed higher contribution of amorphous carbon and stronger recalcitrance. We also observed that certain fuel types were preferentially represented by particular size fractions. We conclude that the differences between ash/charcoal size fractions were most likely primarily imposed by fuel source and secondarily by burning conditions. Size fractionation can therefore serve as a valuable tool to characterise the forest wildfire combustion products, as each fraction displays a narrower range of properties than the whole sample. We propose the mineral ash content of the fractions as criterion for selecting the appropriate number of fractions to analyse. [less ▲]

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See detailInterest of creatine supplementation insoccer
Miny, Kevin ULg; Burrowes, J; Jidovtseff, Boris ULg

in Science & Sports (2017), 32(2), 61-72

Objectives This review article aimed to summarize the current state of understanding on creatine supplementation for soccer players. In other words, it investigated the beneficial (and potentially ... [more ▼]

Objectives This review article aimed to summarize the current state of understanding on creatine supplementation for soccer players. In other words, it investigated the beneficial (and potentially negative) effects of this supplementation on sport-specific skills and performance in soccer players. Furthermore, this article accordingly discussed the safest and most recommended protocols for the consumption of creatine by these athletes. News Studies have shown that creatine supplementation can have positive effects on sprint and vertical jump performances in soccer players. This supplementation may also enhance soccer players’ muscle strength and adaptation to a high-intensity training regimen. Besides, creatine may be able to enhance muscle glycogen (as well as phosphocreatine) storage, reduce oxidative stress, and improve muscular repair and hypertrophy. Interestingly, creatine supplementation does not seem to affect aerobic performance. Prospects and projects Soccer players could take creatine during pre-season training (3 to 5g/day) in order to help them endure a high-intensity training regimen and enhance their muscular strength and adaptation resulting from strength and/or resistance training. A lower dosage (less than 3g/day) might also be sufficient and beneficial during the season in case of fatigue, in order to sustain adequate levels of phosphocreatine and glycogen in the muscles. Occasional intakes (about 3g) before games and/or extenuating practices could also give a physical and mental boost to the players. Conclusion Most of the studies measured the effects of creatine on skills or physical performances in isolation from the true athletic demands of soccer match play. In conclusion, there is still a need for more research in order to determine whether creatine supplementation is ergogenic regarding the (aerobic) capacity to repeat (very) high-intensity actions, more particularly during competitive soccer. [less ▲]

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See detailPrimary hypertrophic osteoarthropathy due to a novel SLCO2A1 mutation masquerading as acromegaly
Mangupli, Ruth; Daly, Adrian ULg; Cuauro, Elvia et al

in Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism Case Reports (2017)

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See detailThe ‘male escape hypothesis’: sex-biased metamorphosis in response to climatic drivers in a facultatively paedomorphic amphibian
Mathiron, Anthony; Lena, Jean-Paul; Baouch, Sarah et al

in Proceedings of the Royal Society B : Biological Sciences (2017), 284(1853), 20170176

Paedomorphosis is a major evolutionary process that bypasses metamorphosis and allows reproduction in larvae. In newts and salamanders, it can be facultative with paedomorphs retaining gills and ... [more ▼]

Paedomorphosis is a major evolutionary process that bypasses metamorphosis and allows reproduction in larvae. In newts and salamanders, it can be facultative with paedomorphs retaining gills and metamorphs dispersing. The evolution of these developmental processes is thought to have been driven by the costs and benefits of inhabiting aquatic versus terrestrial habitats. In this context, we aimed at testing the hypothesis that climatic drivers affect phenotypic transition and the difference across sexes because sex-ratio is biased in natural populations. Through a replicated laboratory experiment, we showed that paedomorphic palmate newts (Lissotriton helveticus) metamorphosed at a higher frequency when water availability decreased and metamorphosed earlier when temperature increased in these conditions. All responses were sex-biased, and males were more prone to change phenotype than females. Our work shows how climatic variables can affect facultative paedomorphosis and support theoretical models predicting life on land instead of in water. Moreover, because males metamorphose and leave water more often and earlier than females, these results, for the first time, give an experimental explanation for the rarity of male paedomorphosis (the ‘male escape hypothesis’) and suggest the importance of sex in the evolution of paedomorphosis versus metamorphosis. [less ▲]

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See detailOut of the ground: two coexisting fossorial toad species differ in their emergence and movement patterns
Székely, Diana ULg; Cogalniceanu, Dan; Székely, Paul et al

in Zoology (2017), 121

Understanding the way species with similar niches can coexist is a challenge in ecology.The niche partitioning hypothesis has received much support, positing that species can exploit available resources ... [more ▼]

Understanding the way species with similar niches can coexist is a challenge in ecology.The niche partitioning hypothesis has received much support, positing that species can exploit available resources in different ways. In the case of secretive species, behavioural mechanisms of partitioning are still poorly understood. This is especially true for fossorial frogs because individuals hide underground by day and are active only during the night. We investigated the nocturnal activity and tested the niche partitioning hypothesis in two syntopic fossorial spadefoot toads (Pelobates fuscus and P. syriacus) by examining interspecific variation in emergence from the soil. We employed a night vision recording system combined with video-tracking analyses in a replicated laboratory setting to quantify individual movement patterns, a procedure that has not been used until now to observe terrestrial amphibians. Most individuals appeared on the surface every night and returned to their original burrow (about 60% of the times), or dug a new one around morning. There was a large temporal overlap between the two species. However, P. syriacus was significantly more active than P. fuscus in terms of total distance covered and time spent moving, while P. fuscus individuals left their underground burrow more frequently than P. syriacus. Consequently, P. fuscus adopted more of a sit-and-wait behaviour compared to P. syriacus, and this could facilitate their coexistence. The use of night video-tracking technologies offered the advantage of individually tracking these secretive organisms during their nocturnal activity period and getting fine-grain data to understand their movement patterns. [less ▲]

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See detailL’ÉCHOGRAPHIE EN SITUATION DE SOIN : STÉTHOSCOPE DU FUTUR POUR LE MÉDECIN GÉNÉRALISTE ?
Henrard, Gilles ULg; Froidcoeur, Xavier ULg; Schoffeniels, Colombe et al

in Revue Médicale de Liège (2017)

Ultrasound is presently emerging not only as a specialist-delegated diagnostic procedure, but also as a tool used by clinicians for guiding decision. If this paradigm shift has taken roots in places like ... [more ▼]

Ultrasound is presently emerging not only as a specialist-delegated diagnostic procedure, but also as a tool used by clinicians for guiding decision. If this paradigm shift has taken roots in places like emergency departments, initiatives are also set up here and there in general practice. The aim of this article is , through a literature review, to identify possible indications of ultrasound performed by the general practitioner and to initiate a discussion about the obstacles and opportunities associated with its introduction in Belgian General Practice settings. [less ▲]

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See detailPlantations et bornage : prérogatives d'un emphytéote
Popa, Ruxandra ULg

in Journal des Juges de Paix = Tijdschrift van de Vrederecters (2017), 3-4(2017),

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See detailRetour sur le délit collectif
Kéfer, Fabienne ULg

in Revue de Jurisprudence de Liège, Mons et Bruxelles (2017), (16), 738-739

La nature réglementaire des infractions de non-paiement de rémunération ne les empêche pas de former un délit collectif

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See detailVille de Liège, reprenez la main ! : politique architecturale de la ville de Liège
De Visscher, Lisa ULg

in A+ : Architecture in Belgium (2017), 265

Liège is more than an imposing train station. Some major urban developments and small interventions at the level of a neighborhood redesign the city. Several important actors intervene in the process of ... [more ▼]

Liège is more than an imposing train station. Some major urban developments and small interventions at the level of a neighborhood redesign the city. Several important actors intervene in the process of mutation in Liege, which is why a thorough architectural policy of the City of Liège must make a difference. [less ▲]

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See detailUsefulness of multi-breed models in genetic evaluation of direct and maternal calving ease in Holstein and Belgian Blue Walloon purebreds and crossbreds
Vanderick, Sylvie ULg; Gillon, Alain; Glorieux, Géry et al

in Livestock Science (2017), 198

The objective of this study was to verify the feasibility of a joint genetic evaluation system for calving ease trait of Belgian Blue (BBB) and Holstein (HOL) Walloon cattle based on data of purebred and ... [more ▼]

The objective of this study was to verify the feasibility of a joint genetic evaluation system for calving ease trait of Belgian Blue (BBB) and Holstein (HOL) Walloon cattle based on data of purebred and crossbred animals. Variance components and derived genetic parameters for purebred BBB and HOL animals were estimated by using single-breed linear animal models. This analysis showed clear genetic differences between breeds. Estimates of direct and maternal heritabilities (± standard error) were 0.34 (±0.02) and 0.09 (±0.01) for BBB, respectively, but only 0.09 (±0.01) and 0.04 (±0.01) for HOL, respectively. Moreover, a significant negative genetic correlation between direct and maternal effects was obtained in both breeds: −0.46 (±0.04) for BBB and −0.29 (±0.11) for HOL. Variance components and derived genetic parameters for purebred BBB and HOL and crossbred BBB ×× HOL cattle were then estimated by using two multi-breed linear animal models: a multi-breed model based on a random regression test-day model (Model MBV), and a multi-breed model based on the random regression multi-breed model (Model MBSM). Both multi-breed models use different functions of breed proportions as random regressions, thereby enabling modelling different additive effects according to animal's breed composition. The main difference between these models is the way in which relationships between breeds are accounted for in the genetic (co)variance structure. Genetic parameters differed between single-breed and multi-breed analysis, but are similar to the literature. For BBB, estimates of direct and maternal heritabilities (±SE) were 0.45 (±0.07) and 0.08 (±0.01) by using Model MBV, and 0.45 (±0.08) and 0.09 (±0.02) for Model MBSM, respectively. For HOL, these estimates were 0.18 (±0.04) and 0.05 (±0.01) using Model MBV, and 0.16 (±0.04) and 0.05 (±0.01) for Model MBSM, respectively. Reliability gains (up to 25%) indicated that the use of crossbred data in the multi-breed models had a positive influence on the estimation of genetic merit of purebred animals. A slight re-ranking of purebred sires and maternal grandsires was observed between single-breed and multi-breed models. Moreover, both multi-breed models can be considered as quasi-equivalent models because they performed almost equally well with respect to MSE and correlations, for purebred and crossbred animals. [less ▲]

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See detailThe Case of the Decaying Cadaver
Stefanuto, Pierre-Hugues ULg; Focant, Jean-François ULg

in The Analytical Scientist (2017), 51

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See detailD’une victime à l’autre: Posture ou (im)posture victimaire?
Garcet, Serge ULg

in Revue de la Faculté de Droit de l'Université de Liège (2017), 2017/1

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See detailZonula occludens-1/NF-κB/CXCL8: a new regulatory axis for tumor angiogenesis.
Lesage, Julien; Suarez-Carmona, Meggy; Neyrinck-Leglantier, Deborah et al

in FASEB Journal (2017), 31(4), 1678-1688

Zonula occludens-1 (ZO-1) is a submembrane scaffolding protein that may display proinvasive functions when it relocates from tight junctions into the cytonuclear compartment. This article examines the ... [more ▼]

Zonula occludens-1 (ZO-1) is a submembrane scaffolding protein that may display proinvasive functions when it relocates from tight junctions into the cytonuclear compartment. This article examines the functional involvement of ZO-1 in CXCL8/IL-8 chemokine expression in lung and breast tumor cells. ZO-1 small interfering RNA and cDNA transfection experiments emphasized regulation of CXCL8/IL-8 expression via a cytonuclear pool of ZO-1. Luciferase reporter assays highlighted a 173-bp region of CXCL8/IL-8 promoter that responded to ZO-1. Moreover, by using mutated promoter constructs, we identified a NF-κB site as critical in this activation. Furthermore, NF-κB pathway signaling analysis revealed both IκBα and p65 phosphorylation in ZO-1-overexpressing cells, and subsequent p65 silencing validated its requirement for CXCL8/IL-8 induction. Investigation of the functional implication of this regulatory axis next showed the proangiogenic activity of ZO-1 in both ex vivo and in vivo angiogenesis assays. Finally, we found that non-small-cell lung carcinoma that presented a cytonuclear ZO-1 pattern was significantly more angiogenic that that without detectable cytonuclear ZO-1 expression. Taken together, our results demonstrate that ZO-1 regulates CXCL8/IL-8 expression via the NF-κB signaling pathway and its p65 subunit, which subsequently modulates the transcription of IL-8. We also provide evidence of a newly identified regulatory pathway that could promote angiogenesis. Thus, our results support the concept that the ZO-1 shuttle from the cell junction to the cytonuclear compartment may affect both the intrinsic invasive properties of tumor cells and the establishment of the protumoral microenvironment. [less ▲]

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See detailBaelo Claudia dans l'Antiquité tardive. L'occupation du secteur sud-est du forum entre les IIIe et VIe siècles
Brassous, Laurent; Deru, Xavier ULg; Rodríguez Gutiérrez, Oliva et al

in Melanges de la Casa de Velazquez (2017), 47(1), 167-200

Les recherches archéologiques conduites au sud-est du forum de la ville romaine de Baelo claudia ont permis de mettre au jour au-dessus du secteur monumental, plusieurs phases de transformation, d’abandon ... [more ▼]

Les recherches archéologiques conduites au sud-est du forum de la ville romaine de Baelo claudia ont permis de mettre au jour au-dessus du secteur monumental, plusieurs phases de transformation, d’abandon et de réoccupation entre les IIIe et VIe s. Les structures découvertes ainsi que le nombreux mobilier qui leur était associé (monnaies, céramique, verre, métal, faune, etc.) fournissent un éclairage nouveau sur l’histoire et la nature de l’agglomération dans l’antiquité tardive, qui entre la fin du IVe s. et son abandon définitif au VIe s. ressemble moins à une ville qu’à un gros village. [less ▲]

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See detailOn the identification of paedomorphic and overwintering larval newts based on cloacal shape: review and guidelines
Denoël, Mathieu ULg

in Current Zoology (2017), 63(2), 165-173

Paedomorphosis is an alternative process to metamorphosis in which adults retain larval traits at the adult stage. It is frequent in newts and salamanders, where larvae reach sexual maturity without ... [more ▼]

Paedomorphosis is an alternative process to metamorphosis in which adults retain larval traits at the adult stage. It is frequent in newts and salamanders, where larvae reach sexual maturity without losing their gills. However, in some populations, larvae overwinter in water, while remaining immature. These alternative ontogenetic processes are of particular interest in various research fields, but have different causes and consequences, as only paedomorphosis allows metamorphosis to be bypassed before maturity. It is thus relevant to efficiently identify paedomorphs versus overwintering larvae. In this context, the aim of this paper was threefold: firstly, to perform a meta-analysis of the identification procedures carried out in the literature; secondly, to determine the effectiveness of body size to make inferences about adulthood by surveying natural newt populations of Lissotriton helveticus and Ichthyosaura alpestris, and thirdly, to propose easy guidelines for an accurate distinction between large larvae and paedomorphs based on an external sexual trait, which is essential for reproduction — the cloaca. More than half of the studies in the literature do not mention the diagnostic criteria used for determining adulthood. The criteria mentioned were the presence of mature gonads (10%), eggs laid (4%), courtship behaviour (10%), and external morphological sexual traits (39%) including the cloaca (24%). Body-size thresholds should not be used as a proxy for paedomorphosis, because overwintering larvae can reach a larger size than paedomorphs within the same populations. In contrast, diagnosis based on cloacal external morphology is recommended, as it can be processed by the rapid visual assessment of all caught specimens, thus providing straightforward data at the individual level for both sexes. [less ▲]

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See detailUne mata-analyse des degrés de certitude exprimés en mots
Leclercq, Dieudonné ULg

in Evaluer : Journal International de Recherche en Education et Formation (2017), 2(3), 69-105

Asking to students to add a confidence degree to each of their responses to a test is rather rare, and the large majority of those who practice that use verbal scales such as “weakly sure”, “sure” ... [more ▼]

Asking to students to add a confidence degree to each of their responses to a test is rather rare, and the large majority of those who practice that use verbal scales such as “weakly sure”, “sure”, “strongly sure”, etc. instead of probabilities or percentages of chances. My hypothesis is that consists in introducing, from the beginning, an enormous random error of measurement since there exist large differences in the interpretation (the translation) into percentages of the word used in verbal scales. I demonstrated this in two experiences (Leclercq, 2016), one in context and one context free. A strong convergence appear in the results of the two experiences in terms of communicational fog produced by words in place of percentages (from 0% to 100%). Variation Ranges (VR) of translations of words into percentages have a modal value of 40% and standard deviations (SD) from 10% to 15%. Therefore my hypothesis is confirmed by these two experiences, but what does the specialized literature say? In a first part of the present article I have browsed many reviews and books with the purpose to find data that contribute to fight (and kill ?) this habit of using words instead of percentages to express confidence degrees. Therefore I have named my method a “mata” analysis (matar meaning “to kill” in Spanish), that is distinct from meta-analysis, as will be shown. In the second part of the article, I underline data that help approach what could be the optimal number of numerical degrees (and their exact values) not only in terms of students’ preferences, but mainly in terms of the reliability (measured but the repeatability criterion, i.e; stability in a short period of time) of the declared confidence. [less ▲]

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See detailLes retardateurs de flamme bromés : impact sur l'environnement et la santé des individus exposés
Dufour, Patrice ULg; Charlier, Corinne ULg

in Annales de Biologie Clinique (2017), 75(2), 146-157

Depuis l’antiquité, l’homme utilise des moyens chimiques pour protéger ses biens des incendies. Efficaces et faciles d’emploi, les retardateurs de flamme bromés sont utilisés depuis plusieurs décennies de ... [more ▼]

Depuis l’antiquité, l’homme utilise des moyens chimiques pour protéger ses biens des incendies. Efficaces et faciles d’emploi, les retardateurs de flamme bromés sont utilisés depuis plusieurs décennies de façon massive dans l’industrie du plastique. À l’instar d’autres composés organohalogénés, les retardateurs de flamme bromés sont très persistants dans l’environnement et capables de s’accumuler le long de la chaîne alimentaire. De nombreux auteurs ont mis en évidence leur présence dans notre environnement, chez différentes espèces animales mais également dans le sérum humain. Plus inquiétant encore, l’homme est exposé à ces polluants dès la grossesse et par la suite via le lait maternel. Cette exposition pourrait avoir des conséquences sur notre santé. De nombreuses études in vitro, in vivo ou épidémiologiques ont mis en lumière une influence néfaste des retardateurs de flamme bromés sur notre système endocrinien, principalement au niveau de la fonction thyroïdienne mais également de la reproduction, du neurodéveloppement chez l’enfant et du métabolisme avec un risque accru de développer un diabète. Si une certaine prise de conscience a déjà eu lieu au niveau des autorités et de certaines grandes entreprises, de nouvelles études sont nécessaires pour confirmer les tendances déjà dégagées, élucider les mécanismes sous-jacents et déterminer s’il existe des synergies avec d’autres polluants tels que par exemple les PCB. [less ▲]

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See detailEtude comparative des profils de dissolution in vitro de quinine sulfate générique et princeps en utilisant la Chromatographie Liquide Haute Performance
Mbinze Kindenge, Jérémie ULg; Diallo, Tediane; Yemoa, Loconon ULg et al

in Médecine d'Afrique Noire (2017), 64

Introduction : La quinine est une molécule préconisée pour le traitement du paludisme dans les régions où les souches de P. falciparum sont polyrésistantes. Face à l’importante utilisation de ses ... [more ▼]

Introduction : La quinine est une molécule préconisée pour le traitement du paludisme dans les régions où les souches de P. falciparum sont polyrésistantes. Face à l’importante utilisation de ses médicaments génériques d’une part, et au fléau des médicaments de qualité inférieure d’autre part, il devient plus que nécessaire d’appuyer les données des tests physico-chimiques par celles de dissolution in vitro dont l’évaluation et la comparaison des cinétiques permettra de prédire le comportement in vivo du principe actif et par conséquent l’efficacité du médicament générique. L’objectif de la présente étude est de réaliser une étude comparative de la cinétique de dissolution d’un princeps et d’un générique à base de quinine comprimé 300 mg commercialisés à Kinshasa. Matériels et méthodes : L’étude a été réalisée en utilisant trois milieux de pH différents (1,2 - 4,5 - 6,8) tels que recommandés par l’Agence Européenne de Médicament et en se servant d’un appareil de dissolution, tandis que l’équipement de chromatographie liquide à haute performance couplée à un détecteur à barrette de diodes a été utilisé pour la quantification. La méthode statistique fit factor a été appliquée pour comparer les résultats de dosage de la quinine dans les trois milieux tout en ayant évalué le biais à différents temps de dissolution. Résultats : Les différents échantillons de médicaments générique et princeps ont été conformes quant à l’identification et au dosage de la quinine, par contre leurs cinétiques de dissolution étaient non similaires. Discussion : Ceci pourrait avoir une influence sur l’efficacité du produit générique et la sécurité des consommateurs, dénotant l’importance d’examiner les profils de dissolution des génériques avant toute autorisation de mise sur le marché plus particulièrement dans les pays en voie de développement. [less ▲]

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See detailMicrofossils from the late Mesoproterozoic – early Neoproterozoic Atar/El Mreïti Group, Taoudeni Basin, Mauritania, northwestern Africa
Beghin, Jérémie ULg; Storme, Jean-Yves; Blanpied, Christian et al

in Precambrian Research (2017), 291

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See detailDFT investigation of the reaction mechanism for the guanidine catalyzed ring-opening of cyclic carbonates by aromatic and alkyl-amines
Alves, Margot ULg; Méreau, Raphaël; Grignard, Bruno ULg et al

in RSC Advances (2017), 7(31), 18993-19001

The guanidine catalysed aminolysis of propylene carbonate has been investigated using the density functional theory (DFT) and highlights that different reaction pathways are involved depending on the ... [more ▼]

The guanidine catalysed aminolysis of propylene carbonate has been investigated using the density functional theory (DFT) and highlights that different reaction pathways are involved depending on the aromatic or aliphatic nature of the amine. The structural ability of 1,5,7-triazabicyclo[4.4.0]dec-5-ene (TBD) to simultaneously give and receive protons was demonstrated by a detailed mechanistic investigation. The bifunctional activity (base/H-bond donor) of TBD significantly reduces the Gibbs energy of the reaction and allows understanding its higher efficiency compared to its methyl counterpart (MTBD). [less ▲]

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See detailBlood Biomarkers in Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis.
GUIOT, Julien ULg; Moermans, Catherine; Henket, Monique et al

in Lung (2017)

PURPOSE: Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is a progressive and lethal lung disease of unknown origin whose incidence has been increasing over the latest decade partly as a consequence of population ... [more ▼]

PURPOSE: Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is a progressive and lethal lung disease of unknown origin whose incidence has been increasing over the latest decade partly as a consequence of population ageing. New anti-fibrotic therapy including pirfenidone and nintedanib have now proven efficacy in slowing down the disease. Nevertheless, diagnosis and follow-up of IPF remain challenging. METHODS: This review examines the recent literature on potentially useful blood molecular and cellular biomarkers in IPF. Most of the proposed biomarkers belong to chemokines (IL-8, CCL18), proteases (MMP-1 and MMP-7), and growth factors (IGBPs) families. Circulating T cells and fibrocytes have also gained recent interest in that respect. Up to now, though several interesting candidates are profiling there has not been a single biomarker, which proved to be specific of the disease and predictive of the evolution (decline of pulmonary function test values, risk of acute exacerbation or mortality). CONCLUSION: Large scale multicentric studies are eagerly needed to confirm the utility of these biomarkers. [less ▲]

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See detailBenchmarking carbon fluxes of the ISIMIP2a biome models
Chang, Jinfeng; Ciais, Philippe; Wang, Xuhui et al

in Environmental Research Letters (2017), 12

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See detailFrom Loose to Boxed Fragments and Back Again. Seriality and Archive in Chris Ware's ‘Building Stories’
Crucifix, Benoît ULg

in Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics (2017)

This article focuses on the dynamics of seriality, archive and collection in Chris Ware's graphic novel “Building Stories”. It argues that the dispersed serialization of “Building Stories” is key to ... [more ▼]

This article focuses on the dynamics of seriality, archive and collection in Chris Ware's graphic novel “Building Stories”. It argues that the dispersed serialization of “Building Stories” is key to understand its box-of- comics format as well as its fragmented narrative structure. In a self-reflexive homage to the material history of comics, Ware's graphic novel indeed appears as an archive of its own serialization, foregrounding a process of collecting/dispersing fragments. [less ▲]

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See detailPotential uses of pumped urban groundwater. A case study in Sant Adrià del Besòs (Spain)
Jurado Elices, Anna ULg; Vázquez-Suñé; Pujades, Estanislao ULg

in Hydrogeology Journal (2017)

Urban groundwater has been over-exploited during the past, mainly for industrial uses, and it now tends to be reduced or abandoned due to pollution and/or changes in land use. The use and the subsequent ... [more ▼]

Urban groundwater has been over-exploited during the past, mainly for industrial uses, and it now tends to be reduced or abandoned due to pollution and/or changes in land use. The use and the subsequent disuse of groundwater resulted in rising water tables that damage underground structures (e.g., building basements and underground car parks and tunnels), leading to additional pumping in urban areas. This is the case of the underground parking lot of Sant Adrià del Besòs (NE Spain), where large amounts of urban groundwater are pumped to avoid seepage problems. The question that arises here is if this pumped groundwater can be used for other purposes (e.g., drinking water and urban irrigation) instead of wasting this valuable resource. To answer this question, it is necessary to quantify the groundwater recharge and to assess the evolution of ground-water quality in order to properly identify its potential uses. The limiting factor to define the uses of this resource is the groundwater quality because ammonium and some metals (iron and manganese) are present at high concentrations. Hence, further treatment would be needed to meet drinking water requirements. The pumped groundwater could also be used for supplying the ecological river flow and/or for mitigating seawater intrusion problems. Currently, only a small amount of this urban groundwater is used for cleaning public areas and watering public gardens. This situation highlighted the urgent need to manage this resource in a responsible and more efficient manner, especially in moments of high water demand such as drought periods. [less ▲]

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See detailLight, dark and the powerd that be: a hydroelectric project in Butembo
Geenen, Kristien ULg

in Canadian Journal of African Studies (2017), 51(1), 43-54

Despite its major importance in international trade, the city of Butembo in the North Kivu province of the Democratic Republic of Congo is deprived of such basic urban infrastructure as electricity ... [more ▼]

Despite its major importance in international trade, the city of Butembo in the North Kivu province of the Democratic Republic of Congo is deprived of such basic urban infrastructure as electricity. Private and public actors have attempted to bring power to the city, but their efforts have remained fruitless. Analysis of these failed projects to electrify the city offers a glimpse of local power relations. Why, rather than cooperating, do various local power holders counteract each other? Will gaining credit for bringing electric power to the city in turn yield political power over its future? With a special focus on a hydroelectric dam that was built but never functioned, this article sheds light on the way in which the citizens of Butembo relate to different bodies of authority. I argue that the hydroelectric dam gradually became a tool in a larger political strategy [less ▲]

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See detailIron minerals within specific microfossil morphospecies of the 1.88Ga Gunflint Formation
Lepot, kevin; Addad, Ahmed; Knoll, Andrew H et al

in Nature Communications (2017), DOI: 10.1038/ncomms14890

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See detailOrganocatalytic coupling of CO2 with a propargylic alcohol: a comprehensive study of the reaction mechanism combining in- situ ATR-IR spectroscopy and DFT calculations
Boyaval, Amélie ULg; Méreau, Raphaël; Grignard, Bruno ULg et al

in ChemSusChem (2017), 10(6), 1241-1248

The metal-free coupling of propargylic alcohols with carbon dioxide catalysed by guanidine derivatives was investigated in detail through the combination of online kinetic studies by in-situ ATR-IR ... [more ▼]

The metal-free coupling of propargylic alcohols with carbon dioxide catalysed by guanidine derivatives was investigated in detail through the combination of online kinetic studies by in-situ ATR-IR spectroscopy and DFT calculations. Bicyclic guanidines, namely TBD and MTBD, are effective catalysts for the conversion of 2-methyl-3-butyn-2-ol to α-methylene cyclic carbonate and oxoalkyl acyclic carbonate under mild reaction conditions. The lower selectivity of TBD in comparison with MTBD towards the formation of α-methylene cyclic carbonate was elucidated from DFT calculations and is related to the bifunctional activity (base/H-bond donor) of TBD decreasing the Gibbs free energy of the reaction path for the formation of the acyclic carbonate. Introduction [less ▲]

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See detailOrganocatalytic coupling of CO2 with oxetane
Alves, Margot ULg; Grignard, Bruno ULg; Boyaval, Amélie ULg et al

in ChemSusChem (2017), 10(6), 1128-1138

The organocatalytic coupling of CO2 with oxetanes is investigated under solvent-free conditions. The influence of the main reaction parameters (type of organocatalytic system, pressure and temperature) on ... [more ▼]

The organocatalytic coupling of CO2 with oxetanes is investigated under solvent-free conditions. The influence of the main reaction parameters (type of organocatalytic system, pressure and temperature) on the yield, the product formed and the selectivity of the reaction are discussed. An onium salt combined with a fluorinated alcohol promotes the efficient and selective organocatalytic synthesis of α,ω-hydroxyl oligocarbonates by coupling CO2 with oxetanes at 130 °C and at a CO2 pressure as low as 2 MPa. NMR characterizations were correlated with MALDI-ToF analyses for elucidating the structure of the oligomers. Online FTIR studies under pressure, NMR titrations and DFT calculations allowed an in-depth understanding of the reaction mechanism. Finally, CO2- based poly(carbonate-co-urethane)s were synthesized by step- growth polymerization of hydroxyl telechelic oligocarbonates with MDI. The organocatalytic system described in this paper constitutes an innovative sustainable route to the selective preparation of hydroxyl telechelic carbonates, of high interest for many applications, notably for the polyurethane business, especially for coatings or foams. [less ▲]

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See detailTranscriptome analysis of pancreatic cells across distant species highlights novel important regulator genes.
tarifeno-Saldiva, estefania; Lavergne, Arnaud ULg; Bernard, Alice et al

in BMC Biology (2017), 15

Background Defining the transcriptome and the genetic pathways of pancreatic cells is of great interest for elucidating the molecular attributes of pancreas disorders such as diabetes and cancer. As the ... [more ▼]

Background Defining the transcriptome and the genetic pathways of pancreatic cells is of great interest for elucidating the molecular attributes of pancreas disorders such as diabetes and cancer. As the function of the different pancreatic cell types has been maintained during vertebrate evolution, the comparison of their transcriptomes across distant vertebrate species is a mean to pinpoint genes under strong evolutionary constrains due to their crucial function and which have preserved their selective expression in these pancreatic cell types. Results In this study, RNA-sequencing was performed on pancreatic alpha-, beta- and delta endocrine cells as well as the acinar and ductal exocrine cells isolated from adult zebrafish transgenic lines. Comparison of these transcriptomes identified many novel markers including transcription factors and signaling pathways components specific for each cell type. By performing interspecies comparisons, we identified hundreds of genes with conserved enriched expression in endocrine and exocrine cells among human, mouse and zebrafish. This list includes many genes known as crucial for pancreatic cell formation or function, but also pinpoints many factors whose pancreatic function is still unknown. A large set of endocrine-enriched genes can already be detected at early developmental stages as revealed by the transcriptomic profiling of embryonic endocrine cells, indicating a potential role in cell differentiation. The actual involvement of conserved endocrine genes in pancreatic cell differentiation was demonstrated in zebrafish for myt1b, whose invalidation leads to a reduction of alpha-cells, and for cdx4, selectively expressed in endocrine delta-cells and crucial for their specification. Intriguingly, comparison of the endocrine alpha- and beta-cell subtypes from human, mouse and zebrafish reveals a much lower conservation of the transcriptomic signatures for these two endocrine cell subtypes compared to the signatures of pan-endocrine and exocrine cells. These data suggest that the identity of the alpha- and beta-cells relies on a few key factors, corroborating numerous examples of inter-conversion between these two endocrine cell subtypes. Conclusion. This study highlights both evolutionary conserved and species-specific features that will help to unveil universal and fundamental regulatory pathways as well as pathways specific to human and laboratory animal models such as mouse and zebrafish. [less ▲]

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See detailSimultaneous synthesis and chemical functionalization of emulsion-templated porous polymers using nitroxide-terminated macromolecular surfactants
Mathieu, Kevin ULg; De Winter, Julien; Jérôme, Christine ULg et al

in Polymer Chemistry (2017), 8(11), 1850-1861

The design of functional 3D macroporous monoliths has become a necessity for a wide range of applications. Traditional post-modification strategies of porous materials are efficient but often consist in ... [more ▼]

The design of functional 3D macroporous monoliths has become a necessity for a wide range of applications. Traditional post-modification strategies of porous materials are efficient but often consist in tedious multi-steps processes. This work describes a straightforward macromolecular surfactant-assisted method for producing chemically functionalized macroporous polyHIPEs with interconnected structures. Accordingly, high internal phase emulsion-templated polymerizations were implemented in the presence of SG1-terminated amphiphilic copolymers prepared by nitroxide- mediated radical polymerization (NMP). The latter served as both stabilizers and functionalizing agents upon thermal activation of its terminal alkoxyamine and covalent anchoring of the released radical copolymer onto the walls of the scaffold. The effect of the polymerization temperature on the functionalization and openness of the final porous materials was explored. As a result, a range of open-cell styrene and acrylate-based polyHIPEs chemically grafted with PEO were obtained. Moreover, polyHIPEs were also decorated with alkyne-bearing PEO and subsequently modified via CuAAc click chemistry in order to demonstrate the potential of this macromolecular surfactants-assisted functionalization method. [less ▲]

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See detailUltimate strength of cylindrical shells with cutouts
Eui Lee, Sang; Sahin; Rigo, Philippe ULg et al

in Ships and Offshore Structures (2017)

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See detailKNN-MDR: a learning approach for improving interactions mapping performances in genome wide association studies
Abo Al Chamlat, Sinan ULg; Farnir, Frédéric ULg

in BMC Bioinformatics (2017), 18

Background Finding epistatic interactions in large association studies like genome-wide association studies (GWAS) with the nowadays-available large volume of genomic data is a challenging and largely ... [more ▼]

Background Finding epistatic interactions in large association studies like genome-wide association studies (GWAS) with the nowadays-available large volume of genomic data is a challenging and largely unsolved issue. Few previous studies could handle genome-wide data due to the intractable difficulties met in searching a combinatorial explosive search space and statistically evaluating epistatic interactions given a limited number of samples. Our work is a contribution to this field. We propose a novel approach combining K-Nearest Neighbors (KNN) and Multi Dimensional Reduction (MDR) methods for detecting gene-gene interactions as a possible alternative to existing algorithms, e especially in situations where the number of involved determinants is high. After describing the approach, a comparison of our method (KNN-MDR) to a set of the other most performing methods (i.e., MDR, BOOST, BHIT, MegaSNPHunter and AntEpiSeeker) is carried on to detect interactions using simulated data as well as real genome-wide data. Results Experimental results on both simulated data and real genome-wide data show that KNN-MDR has interesting properties in terms of accuracy and power, and that, in many cases, it significantly outperforms its recent competitors. Conclusions The presented methodology (KNN-MDR) is valuable in the context of loci and interactions mapping and can be seen as an interesting addition to the arsenal used in complex traits analyses. [less ▲]

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See detailInfluence of granular fraction and origin of recycled concrete aggregates on their properties
Zhao, Zengfeng ULg; Courard, Luc ULg; Michel, Frédéric ULg et al

in European Journal of Environmental and Civil Engineering (2017)

Large quantities of construction and demolition wastes are produced each year. In order to make good use of recycled concrete aggregates (RCA) in concrete, it is very important to study the influence of ... [more ▼]

Large quantities of construction and demolition wastes are produced each year. In order to make good use of recycled concrete aggregates (RCA) in concrete, it is very important to study the influence of the granular fraction and the origin of RCA on their properties. In this study, RCA from industrial produced blocks (RCA_Blocks) and slabs (RCA_Slabs) were crushed and then separated into four granular fractions (0/2, 2/6.3, 6.3/14, 14/20 mm). Each granular fraction of RCA was physically characterised. Real RCA from recycling plant were also used for comparison. The results showed that recycled sands offered significantly higher cement paste content (higher bound water content) than coarse recycled aggregates. The fine RCA had therefore a higher water absorption coefficient compared to coarser fractions of RCA. The water absorption of finer fraction of RCA could be extrapolated precisely from the relationship between water absorption and cement paste content (or bound water content) of three coarse fractions of RCA. The values of hardened cement paste content obtained for the RCA_Blocks were lower than those measured on the RCA_Slabs, which was due to a smaller amount of initial cement paste content in blocks. The results showed that RCA_Slabs were more angular than RCA_Blocks. [less ▲]

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See detailRNAi inhibition of feruloyl CoA 6'-hydroxylase reduces scopoletin biosynthesis and post-harvest physiological deterioration in cassava (Manihot esculenta Crantz) storage roots.
Liu, Shi; Zainuddin, Ima M.; Vanderschuren, Hervé ULg et al

in Plant Molecular Biology (2017)

Cassava (Manihot esculenta Crantz) is a major world crop, whose storage roots provide food for over 800 million throughout the humid tropics. Despite many advantages as a crop, the development of cassava ... [more ▼]

Cassava (Manihot esculenta Crantz) is a major world crop, whose storage roots provide food for over 800 million throughout the humid tropics. Despite many advantages as a crop, the development of cassava is seriously constrained by the rapid post-harvest physiological deterioration (PPD) of its roots that occurs within 24-72 h of harvest, rendering the roots unpalatable and unmarketable. PPD limits cassava's marketing possibilities in countries that are undergoing increased development and urbanisation due to growing distances between farms and consumers. The inevitable wounding of the roots caused by harvesting triggers an oxidative burst that spreads throughout the cassava root, together with the accumulation of secondary metabolites including phenolic compounds, of which the coumarin scopoletin (7-hydroxy-6-methoxy-2H-1-benzopyran-2-one) is the most abundant. Scopoletin oxidation yields a blue-black colour, which suggests its involvement in the discoloration observed during PPD. Feruloyl CoA 6'-hydroxylase is a controlling enzyme in the biosynthesis of scopoletin. The cassava genome contains a seven membered family of feruloyl CoA 6'-hydroxylase genes, four of which are expressed in the storage root and, of these, three were capable of functionally complementing Arabidopsis T-DNA insertion mutants in this gene. A RNA interference construct, designed to a highly conserved region of these genes, was used to transform cassava, where it significantly reduced feruloyl CoA 6'-hydroxylase gene expression, scopoletin accumulation and PPD symptom development. Collectively, our results provide evidence that scopoletin plays a major functional role in the development of PPD symptoms, rather than merely paralleling symptom development in the cassava storage root. [less ▲]

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See detailStatistics of localized phase slips in tunable width planar point contacts
Baumans, Xavier ULg

in Scientific Reports (2017), 7

The main dissipation mechanism in superconducting nanowires arises from phase slips. Thus far, most of the studies focus on long nanowires where coexisting events appear randomly along the nanowire. In ... [more ▼]

The main dissipation mechanism in superconducting nanowires arises from phase slips. Thus far, most of the studies focus on long nanowires where coexisting events appear randomly along the nanowire. In the present work we investigate highly confined phase slips at the contact point of two superconducting leads. Profiting from the high current crowding at this spot, we are able to shrink in-situ the nanoconstriction. This procedure allows us to investigate, in the very same sample, thermally activated phase slips and the probability density function of the switching current I sw needed to trigger an avalanche of events. Furthermore, for an applied current larger than I sw , we unveil the existence of two distinct thermal regimes. One corresponding to efficient heat removal where the constriction and bath temperatures remain close to each other, and another one in which the constriction temperature can be substantially larger than the bath temperature leading to the formation of a hot spot. Considering that the switching current distribution depends on the exact thermal properties of the sample, the identification of different thermal regimes is of utmost importance for properly interpreting the dissipation mechanisms in narrow point contacts. [less ▲]

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See detailModelling of organic Rankine cycle power systems in off-design conditions: an experimentally-validated comparative study
Dickes, Rémi ULg; Dumont, Olivier ULg; Daccord, Rémi et al

in Energy (2017), 123

Because of environmental issues and the depletion of fossil fuels, the world energy sector is undergoing many changes toward increased sustainability. Among the many fields of research and development ... [more ▼]

Because of environmental issues and the depletion of fossil fuels, the world energy sector is undergoing many changes toward increased sustainability. Among the many fields of research and development, power generation from low-grade heat sources is gaining interest and the organic Rankine cycle (ORC) is seen as one of the most promising technologies for such applications. In this paper, it is proposed to perform an experimentally-validated comparison of different modelling methods for the off-design simulation of ORC-based power systems. To this end, three types of modelling paradigms (namely a constant-efficiency method, a polynomial-based method and a semi-empirical method) are compared both in terms of their fitting and extrapolation capabilities. Post-processed measurements gathered on two experimental ORC facilities are used as reference for the models calibration and evaluation. The study is first applied at a component level (i.e. each component is analysed individually) and then extended to the characterization of the entire organic Rankine cycle power systems. Benefits and limi- tations of each modelling method are discussed. The results show that semi-empirical models are the most reliable for simulating the off-design working conditions of ORC systems, while constant-efficiency and polynomial-based models are both demonstrating lack of accuracy and/or robustness. [less ▲]

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See detailUnderground pumped storage hydropower plants using open pit mines: How do groundwater exchanges influence the efficiency?
Pujades, Estanislao ULg; Orban, Philippe ULg; Bodeux, Sarah ULg et al

in Applied Energy (2017), 190

Underground Pumped Storage Hydropower (UPSH) is a potential alternative to manage electricity production in flat regions. UPSH plants will interact with the surrounding porous medium through exchanges of ... [more ▼]

Underground Pumped Storage Hydropower (UPSH) is a potential alternative to manage electricity production in flat regions. UPSH plants will interact with the surrounding porous medium through exchanges of groundwater. These exchanges may impact the surrounding aquifers, but they may also influence the efficiency of the pumps and turbines because affecting the head difference between the reservoirs. Despite the relevance for an accurate efficiency assessment, the influence of the groundwater exchanges has not been previously addressed. A numerical study of a synthetic case is presented to highlight the importance of considering the groundwater exchanges with the surrounding porous medium. The general methodology is designed in order to be further applied in the decision making of future UPSH plants introducing each case specific complexity. The underground reservoir of a hypothetical UPSH plant, which consists in an open pit mine, is considered and modelled together with the surrounding porous medium. Several scenarios with different characteristics are simulated and their results are compared in terms of (1) head difference between the upper and lower reservoirs and (2) efficiency by considering the theoretical performance curves of a pump and a turbine. The results show that the efficiency is improved when the groundwater exchanges increase. Thus, the highest efficiencies will be reached when (1) the underground reservoir is located in a transmissive porous medium and (2) the walls of the open pit mine do not constrain the groundwater exchanges (they are not waterproofed). However, a compromise must be found because the characteristics that increase the efficiency also increase the environmental impacts. Meaningful and reliable results are computed in relation to the characteristics of the intermittent and expected stops of UPSH plants. The frequency of pumping and injection must be considered to properly configure the pumps and turbines of future UPSH plants. If not, pumps and turbines could operate far from their best efficiency conditions. [less ▲]

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See detailMacroH2A histone variants maintain nuclear organization and heterochromatin architecture.
Douet, Julien; Corujo, David; Malinverni, Roberto et al

in Journal of Cell Science (2017)

Genetic loss-of-function studies in development, cancer and somatic cell reprogramming have suggested that the group of macroH2A histone variants might function through stabilizing the differentiated ... [more ▼]

Genetic loss-of-function studies in development, cancer and somatic cell reprogramming have suggested that the group of macroH2A histone variants might function through stabilizing the differentiated state by a yet unknown mechanism. Here, we present results demonstrating that macroH2A variants have a major function in maintaining nuclear organization and heterochromatin architecture. Specifically, we find that a substantial amount of macroH2A is associated with heterochromatic repeat sequences. We further identify macroH2A on sites of interstitial heterochromatin decorated by H3K9me3. Loss of macroH2A leads to major defects in nuclear organization including reduced nuclear circularity, disruption of nucleoli and a global loss of dense heterochromatin. Domains formed by repeat sequences when depleted of macroH2A are disorganized, expanded and fragmented and mildly re-expressed. On the molecular level we find that macroH2A is required for the interaction of repeat sequences with the nucleostructural protein Lamin B1. Taken together our results argue that a major function of macroH2A histone variants is to link nucleosome composition to higher order chromatin architecture. [less ▲]

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See detailBehavior of digital sequences through exotic numeration systems
Leroy, Julien ULg; Rigo, Michel ULg; Stipulanti, Manon ULg

in Electronic Journal of Combinatorics (2017), 24(1), 14436

Many digital functions studied in the literature, e.g., the summatory function of the base-k sum-of-digits function, have a behavior showing some periodic fluctuation. Such functions are usually studied ... [more ▼]

Many digital functions studied in the literature, e.g., the summatory function of the base-k sum-of-digits function, have a behavior showing some periodic fluctuation. Such functions are usually studied using techniques from analytic number theory or linear algebra. In this paper we develop a method based on exotic numeration systems and we apply it on two examples motivated by the study of generalized Pascal triangles and binomial coefficients of words. [less ▲]

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See detailStrategic Points in Aquaponics
Junge, Ranka; König, Bettina; Villarroel, Morris et al

in Water (2017), 9(182),

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See detailStructure of Herbig AeBe disks at the milliarcsecond scale. A statistical survey in the H band using PIONIER-VLTI
Lazareff, B.; Berger, J.-P.; Kluska, J. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2017), 599

Context. It is now generally accepted that the near-infrared excess of Herbig AeBe stars originates in the dust of a circumstellar disk. Aims. The aims of this article are to infer the radial and vertical ... [more ▼]

Context. It is now generally accepted that the near-infrared excess of Herbig AeBe stars originates in the dust of a circumstellar disk. Aims. The aims of this article are to infer the radial and vertical structure of these disks at scales of order one au, and the properties of the dust grains. Methods. The program objects (51 in total) were observed with the H-band (1.6micron) PIONIER/VLTI interferometer. The largest baselines allowed us to resolve (at least partially) structures of a few tenths of an au at typical distances of a few hundred parsecs. Dedicated UBVRIJHK photometric measurements were also obtained. Spectral and 2D geometrical parameters are extracted via fits of a few simple models: ellipsoids and broadened rings with azimuthal modulation. Model bias is mitigated by parallel fits of physical disk models. Sample statistics were evaluated against similar statistics for the physical disk models to infer properties of the sample objects as a group. Results. We find that dust at the inner rim of the disk has a sublimation temperature Tsub~1800K. A ring morphology is confirmed for approximately half the resolved objects; these rings are wide delta_r>=0.5. A wide ring favors a rim that, on the star-facing side, looks more like a knife edge than a doughnut. The data are also compatible with a the combination of a narrow ring and an inner disk of unspecified nature inside the dust sublimation radius. The disk inner part has a thickness z/r~0.2, flaring to z/r~0.5 in the outer part. We confirm the known luminosity-radius relation; a simple physical model is consistent with both the mean luminosity-radius relation and the ring relative width; however, a significant spread around the mean relation is present. In some of the objects we find a halo component, fully resolved at the shortest interferometer spacing, that is related to the HAeBe class. [less ▲]

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See detailLacustrine clay mineral assemblages as a proxy for land-use and climate changes over the last 4 kyr: The Amik Lake case study, Southern Turkey
El Ouahabi, Meriam ULg; Hubert, Aurelia ULg; Fagel, Nathalie ULg

in Quaternary International (2017), 1/15

Lake sediments are sensitive to landscape changes and most of these changes seem to be modulated by land-use (anthropogenic factors) coupled to palaeoenvironmental/palaeoclimatic changes. In its detrital ... [more ▼]

Lake sediments are sensitive to landscape changes and most of these changes seem to be modulated by land-use (anthropogenic factors) coupled to palaeoenvironmental/palaeoclimatic changes. In its detrital fraction, the lacustrine sediments record the history of soil erosion within its catchment via the inputs of clays and others detrital products. Within a Mediterranean context, the study investigates the upper sediments infilling the central part of the Amik basin in southern Turkey. This tectonic basin was occupied and exploited by modern human at least since 6000-7000 BC. We focus on the clay mineralogy (x-ray diffraction on oriented aggregates) and magnetic susceptibility measurements (Bartington) of the sedimentary record in the area over the last 4000 years, to assess environmental changes in relation with the different land uses and/or weathering during the successive Bronze, Iron, Roman, Islamic/Ottoman and Modern civilizations. The clay fraction of Amik Lake sediments comprises smectite, kaolinite, illite, chlorite and chlorite/smectite mixed layers that are the inherited clay phases. A relative change in abundance and crystallinity and chemistry of illite attests that environmental conditions evolved in the Amik Plain from the Bronze to Modern Age in relation with climates and/or land-use changes. The history of the Amik Lake reveals different soil erosion episode. The most intense erosion phase occurred during the Bronze/Iron Ages as indicated by the clay and magnetic susceptibility proxies. The Roman period was an exceptional period with soil erosion products arriving from the watershed, probably due the water channelization. A reduction of soil erosion occurred during the post Roman period until nowadays. Significant pedogenesis transformations are evidenced, especially during the Islamic/Ottoman periods suggesting intense chemical weathering conditions related to climate change. [less ▲]

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See detailPhotosynthetic trichomes contain a specific Rubisco with a modified pH9 dependent activity
Laterre, Raphaëlle; Pottier, Mathieu; Remacle, Claire ULg et al

in Plant Physiology (2017)

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See detailH0LiCOW - V. New COSMOGRAIL time delays of HE 0435-1223: H0 to 3.8 per cent precision from strong lensing in a flat ΛCDM model
Bonvin, V.; Courbin, F.; Suyu, S. H. et al

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (2017), 465

We present a new measurement of the Hubble Constant H[SUB]0[/SUB] and other cosmological parameters based on the joint analysis of three multiply imaged quasar systems with measured gravitational time ... [more ▼]

We present a new measurement of the Hubble Constant H[SUB]0[/SUB] and other cosmological parameters based on the joint analysis of three multiply imaged quasar systems with measured gravitational time delays. First, we measure the time delay of HE 0435-1223 from 13-yr light curves obtained as part of the COSMOGRAIL project. Companion papers detail the modelling of the main deflectors and line-of-sight effects, and how these data are combined to determine the time-delay distance of HE 0435-1223. Crucially, the measurements are carried out blindly with respect to cosmological parameters in order to avoid confirmation bias. We then combine the time-delay distance of HE 0435-1223 with previous measurements from systems B1608+656 and RXJ1131-1231 to create a Time Delay Strong Lensing probe (TDSL). In flat Λ cold dark matter (ΛCDM) with free matter and energy density, we find H[SUB]0[/SUB] =71.9^{+2.4}_{-3.0} {km s^{-1} Mpc^{-1}} and Ω _{Λ }=0.62^{+0.24}_{-0.35}. This measurement is completely independent of, and in agreement with, the local distance ladder measurements of H[SUB]0[/SUB]. We explore more general cosmological models combining TDSL with other probes, illustrating its power to break degeneracies inherent to other methods. The joint constraints from TDSL and Planck are H[SUB]0[/SUB] = 69.2_{-2.2}^{+1.4} {km s^{-1} Mpc^{-1}}, Ω _{Λ }=0.70_{-0.01}^{+0.01} and Ω _k=0.003_{-0.006}^{+0.004} in open ΛCDM and H[SUB]0[/SUB] =79.0_{-4.2}^{+4.4} {km s^{-1} Mpc^{-1}}, Ω _de=0.77_{-0.03}^{+0.02} and w=-1.38_{-0.16}^{+0.14} in flat wCDM. In combination with Planck and baryon acoustic oscillation data, when relaxing the constraints on the numbers of relativistic species we find N[SUB]eff[/SUB] = 3.34_{-0.21}^{+0.21} in N[SUB]eff[/SUB]ΛCDM and when relaxing the total mass of neutrinos we find Σm[SUB]ν[/SUB] ≤ 0.182 eV in m[SUB]ν[/SUB]ΛCDM. Finally, in an open wCDM in combination with Planck and cosmic microwave background lensing, we find H[SUB]0[/SUB] =77.9_{-4.2}^{+5.0} {km s^{-1} Mpc^{-1}}, Ω _de=0.77_{-0.03}^{+0.03}, Ω _k=-0.003_{-0.004}^{+0.004} and w=-1.37_{-0.23}^{+0.18}. [less ▲]

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See detailH0LiCOW. VI. Testing the fidelity of lensed quasar host galaxy reconstruction
Ding, Xuheng; Liao, Kai; Treu, Tommaso et al

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (2017), 465

The empirical correlation between the mass of a supermassive black hole (M_BH) and its host galaxy properties is widely considered to be an evidence of their co-evolution. A powerful way to test the co ... [more ▼]

The empirical correlation between the mass of a supermassive black hole (M_BH) and its host galaxy properties is widely considered to be an evidence of their co-evolution. A powerful way to test the co-evolution scenario and learn about the feedback processes linking galaxies and nuclear activity is to measure these correlations as a function of redshift. Unfortunately, currently M_BH can only be estimated in active galaxies at cosmological distances. At these distances, bright active galactic nuclei (AGNs) can outshine the host galaxy, making it extremely difficult to measure the host's luminosity. Strongly lensed AGNs provide in principle a great opportunity to improve the sensitivity and accuracy of the host galaxy luminosity measurements as the host galaxy is magnified and more easily separated from the point source, provided the lens model is sufficiently accurate. In order to measure the M_BH-L correlation with strong lensing, it is necessary to ensure that the lens modelling is accurate, and that the host galaxy luminosity can be recovered to at least a precision and accuracy better than that of the typical M_BH measurement. We carry out extensive and realistic simulations of deep Hubble Space Telescope observations of lensed AGNs obtained by our collaboration. We show that the host galaxy luminosity can be recovered with better accuracy and precision than the typical uncertainty in M_BH(˜0.5 dex) for hosts as faint as 2-4 mag dimmer than the AGN itself. Our simulations will be used to estimate bias and uncertainties in the actual measurements to be presented in a future paper. [less ▲]

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See detailLinking Forest Cover to Water Quality: A Multivariate Analysis of Large Monitoring Datasets
Brogna, Delphine; Michez, Adrien ULg; Jacobs, Sander et al

in Water (2017), 9(3), 176

Forested catchments are generally assumed to provide higher quality water. However, this hypothesis must be validated in various contexts as interactions between multiple land use and land cover (LULC ... [more ▼]

Forested catchments are generally assumed to provide higher quality water. However, this hypothesis must be validated in various contexts as interactions between multiple land use and land cover (LULC) types, ecological variables and water quality variables render this relationship highly complex. This paper applies a straightforward multivariate approach on a typical large monitoring dataset of a highly managed and densely populated area (Wallonia, Belgium; 10-year dataset), quantifying forest cover effects on nine physico-chemical water quality variables. Results show that forest cover explains about one third of the variability of water quality and is positively correlated with higher quality water. When controlling for spatial autocorrelation, forest cover still explains 9% of water quality. Unlike needle-leaved forest cover, broad-leaved forest cover presents an independent effect from ecological variables and explains independently 4.8% of water quality variability while it shares 5.8% with cropland cover. This study demonstrates clear independent effects of forest cover on water quality, and presents a method to tease out independent LULC effects from typical large multivariate monitoring datasets. Further research on explanatory variables, spatial distribution effects and water quality datasets could lead to effective strategies to mitigate pollution and reach legal targets. [less ▲]

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See detailBioavailability enhancement of itraconazole-based solid dispersions produced by hot melt extrusion in the framework of the Three Rs rule
Thiry, Justine ULg; Kok, Miranda ULg; Collard, Laurence ULg et al

in European Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences (2017), 99

Solid dispersion formulations made of itraconazole (ITZ) and Soluplus® (polyethylene glycol, polyvinyl acetate and polyvinylcaprolactame-based graft copolymer abbreviated SOL) were produced using hot melt ... [more ▼]

Solid dispersion formulations made of itraconazole (ITZ) and Soluplus® (polyethylene glycol, polyvinyl acetate and polyvinylcaprolactame-based graft copolymer abbreviated SOL) were produced using hot melt extrusion. Since ITZ possesses a water solubility of less than 1 ng/mL, the aim of this work was to enhance the aqueous solubility of ITZ, and thereby improve its bioavailability. The three formulations consisted of a simple SOL/ITZ amorphous solid dispersion (ASD), an optimized SOL/ITZ/AcDiSol® (super-disintegrant) ASD and an equimolar inclusion complex of ITZ in hydroxypropyl-β-cyclodextrin (substitution degree = 0.63, CD) with SOL. The three formulations were compared in vitro and in vivo to the marketed product Sporanox®. The in vitro enhancement of dissolution rate was evaluated using a biphasic dissolution test. In vitro dissolution results showed that all three formulations had a higher percentage of ITZ released than Sporanox® with the following ranking: SOL/ITZ/CD > SOL/ITZ/AcDiSol® > SOL/ITZ > Sporanox®. The bioavailability of these four formulations was evaluated in rats. The bioanalytical method was optimized so that only 10 μL of blood was withdrawn from the rats using specific volumetric absorptive microsampling devices. This enabled to keep the same rats during the whole study, which was in accordance with the Three Rs rules (reduction, refinement and replacement). Furthermore, this technique allowed the suppression of inter-individual variability. Higher Cmax and AUC were obtained after the administration of all three formulations compared to the levels after the use of Sporanox® as follows: SOL/ITZ/AcDiSol® > SOL/ITZ/CD > SOL/ITZ > Sporanox®. The inversion in the ranking between SOL/ITZ/CD and SOL/ITZ/AcDiSol® made impossible the establishment of an in vitro–vivo correlation. Indeed, very different release rates were obtained in vitro and in vivo for the two optimized formulations. These results suggest that ITZ would be protected inside the core of the SOL micelles even during the absorption step at the intestine, while some agents present in the intestinal fluids could displace ITZ from the hydrophobic cavity of CD by competition. [less ▲]

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See detailWASP-South transiting exoplanets: WASP-130b, WASP-131b, WASP-132b, WASP-139b, WASP-140b, WASP-141b & WASP-142b
Hellier, Coel; Anderson, D. R.; Collier Cameron, A. et al

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (2017), 465

We describe seven new exoplanets transiting stars of V = 10.1 to 12.4. WASP-130b is a "warm Jupiter" having an orbital period of 11.6 d, the longest yet found by WASP. It transits a V = 11.1, G6 star with ... [more ▼]

We describe seven new exoplanets transiting stars of V = 10.1 to 12.4. WASP-130b is a "warm Jupiter" having an orbital period of 11.6 d, the longest yet found by WASP. It transits a V = 11.1, G6 star with [Fe/H] = +0.26. Warm Jupiters tend to have smaller radii than hot Jupiters, and WASP-130b is in line with this trend (1.23 Mjup; 0.89 Rjup). WASP-131b is a bloated Saturn-mass planet (0.27 Mjup; 1.22 Rjup). Its large scale height coupled with the V = 10.1 brightness of its host star make the planet a good target for atmospheric characterisation. WASP-132b is among the least irradiated and coolest of WASP planets, being in a 7.1-d orbit around a K4 star. It has a low mass and a modest radius (0.41 Mjup; 0.87 Rjup). The V = 12.4, [Fe/H] = +0.22 star shows a possible rotational modulation at 33 d. WASP-139b is the lowest-mass planet yet found by WASP, at 0.12 Mjup and 0.80 Rjup. It is a "super-Neptune" akin to HATS-7b and HATS-8b. It orbits a V = 12.4, [Fe/H] = +0.20, K0 star. The star appears to be anomalously dense, akin to HAT-P-11. WASP-140b is a 2.4-Mjup planet in a 2.2-d orbit that is both eccentric (e = 0.047) and with a grazing transit (b = 0.93) The timescale for tidal circularisation is likely to be the lowest of all known eccentric hot Jupiters. The planet's radius is large (1.4 Rjup), but uncertain owing to the grazing transit. The host star is a V = 11.1, [Fe/H] = +0.12, K0 dwarf showing a prominent 10.4-d rotational modulation. The dynamics of this system are worthy of further investigation. WASP-141b is a typical hot Jupiter, being a 2.7 Mjup, 1.2 Rjup planet in a 3.3-d orbit around a V = 12.4, [Fe/H] = +0.29, F9 star. WASP-142b is a typical bloated hot Jupiter (0.84 Mjup, 1.53 Rjup) in a 2.1-d orbit around a V = 12.3, [Fe/H] = +0.26, F8 star. [less ▲]

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See detailLes peuplements à bouleau en forêt wallonne: reflet de la sylviculture du 20ème siècle
Dubois, Héloïse ULg; Latte, Nicolas ULg; Claessens, Hugues ULg

in FORÊT.NATURE (2017), 142

Le bouleau est présent sous des formes diverses dans nos forêts. La place qu’il occupe en forêt wallonne est souvent le reflet d’une méconnaissance et du peu d’estime que lui portaient les sylviculteurs ... [more ▼]

Le bouleau est présent sous des formes diverses dans nos forêts. La place qu’il occupe en forêt wallonne est souvent le reflet d’une méconnaissance et du peu d’estime que lui portaient les sylviculteurs. Par une typologie des peuplements, l’article fait le tri parmi les contextes où se trouve le bouleau et discute de leurs potentialités sylvicoles dans un contexte changeant qui pourrait faire la part belle à cette essence vigoureuse et aux atouts variés. [less ▲]

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See detailPouvoir politique et audace des juges
Grandjean, Geoffrey ULg

in Revue de la Faculté de Droit de l'Université de Liège (2017), (1), 231-237

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See detailMagnetic reconnection during steady magnetospheric convection and other magnetospheric modes
Hubert, Benoît ULg; Gérard, Jean-Claude ULg; Milan, Steve E. et al

in Annales Geophysicae (2017), 35

We use remote sensing of the proton aurora with the IMAGE-FUV SI12 (Imager for Magnetopause to Aurora Global Exploration-Far Ultraviolet-Spectrographic Imaging at 121.8 nm) instrument and radar ... [more ▼]

We use remote sensing of the proton aurora with the IMAGE-FUV SI12 (Imager for Magnetopause to Aurora Global Exploration-Far Ultraviolet-Spectrographic Imaging at 121.8 nm) instrument and radar measurements of the ionospheric convection from the SuperDARN (Super Dual Aurora Radar Network) facility to estimate the open magnetic flux in the Earth's magnetosphere and the reconnection rates at the dayside magnetopause and in the magnetotail during intervals of steady magnetospheric convection (SMC). We find that SMC intervals occur with relatively high open magnetic flux (average ˜ 0.745 GWb, standard deviation ˜ 0.16 GWb), which is often found to be nearly steady, when the magnetic flux opening and closure rates approximately balance around 55 kV on average, with a standard deviation of 21 kV. We find that the residence timescale of open magnetic flux, defined as the ratio between the open magnetospheric flux and the flux closure rate, is roughly 4 h during SMCs. Interestingly, this number is approximately what can be deduced from the discussion of the length of the tail published by Dungey (1965), assuming a solar wind speed of ˜ 450 km s[SUP]-1[/SUP]. We also infer an enhanced convection velocity in the tail, driving open magnetic flux to the nightside reconnection site. We compare our results with previously published studies in order to identify different magnetospheric modes. These are ordered by increasing open magnetic flux and reconnection rate as quiet conditions, SMCs, substorms (with an important overlap between these last two) and sawtooth intervals. [less ▲]

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See detailBioreducible cross-linked core polymer micelles enhance in vitro activity of methotrexate in breast cancer cells
Gulfam, Muhammad ULg; Matini, Teresa; Monteiro, Patrícia F et al

in Biomaterials Science (2017), 5(3), 532-550

Polymer micelles have emerged as promising carriers for controlled release applications, however, several limitations of micelle-based drug delivery have also been reported. To address these issues, we ... [more ▼]

Polymer micelles have emerged as promising carriers for controlled release applications, however, several limitations of micelle-based drug delivery have also been reported. To address these issues, we have synthesized a functional biodegradable and cytocompatible block copolymer based on methoxypoly (ethyleneglycol)-b-poly(ε-caprolactone-co-α-azido-ε-caprolactone) (mPEG-b-poly(εCL-co-αN3εCL)) as a precursor of reduction sensitive core-crosslinked micelles. The synthesized polymer was formulated as micelles using a dialysis method and loaded with the anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer drug metho- trexate (MTX). The micellar cores were subsequently crosslinked at their pendent azides by a redox- responsive bis(alkyne). The size distributions and morphology of the polymer micelles were assessed using dynamic light scattering (DLS) and transmission electron microscopy, and drug release assays were performed under simplified (serum free) physiological and reductive conditions. Cellular uptake studies in human breast cancer cells were performed using Oregon-green loaded core-crosslinked micelles. The MTX-loaded core-crosslinked micelles were assessed for their effects on metabolic activity in human breast cancer (MCF-7) cells by evaluating the reduction of the dye MTT 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5- diphenyltetrazolium bromide. The apoptosis inducing potential of MTX-loaded core-crosslinked micelles was analysed using Hoechst/propidium iodide (PI) and annexin-V/PI assays. The data from these experi- ments indicated that drug release from these cross-linked micelles can be controlled and that the redox- responsive micelles are more effective carriers for MTX than non-crosslinked analogues and the free drug in the cell-lines tested. [less ▲]

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See detailTwo massive rocky planets transiting a K-dwarf 6.5 parsecs away
Gillon, Michaël ULg; Demory, Brice-Olivier; Van Grootel, Valérie ULg et al

in Nature Astronomy (2017), 1

HD 219134 is a K-dwarf star at a distance of 6.5 parsecs around which several low-mass planets were recently discovered[SUP]1,2[/SUP]. The Spitzer Space Telescope detected a transit of the innermost of ... [more ▼]

HD 219134 is a K-dwarf star at a distance of 6.5 parsecs around which several low-mass planets were recently discovered[SUP]1,2[/SUP]. The Spitzer Space Telescope detected a transit of the innermost of these planets, HD 219134 b, whose mass and radius (4.5 M[SUB]⊕[/SUB] and 1.6 R[SUB]⊕[/SUB] respectively) are consistent with a rocky composition[SUP]1[/SUP]. Here, we report new high-precision time-series photometry of the star acquired with Spitzer revealing that the second innermost planet of the system, HD 219134c, is also transiting. A global analysis of the Spitzer transit light curves and the most up-to-date HARPS-N velocity data set yields mass and radius estimations of 4.74 ± 0.19 M[SUB]⊕[/SUB] and 1.602 ± 0.055 R[SUB]⊕[/SUB] for HD 219134 b, and of 4.36 ± 0.22 M[SUB]⊕[/SUB] and 1.511 ± 0.047 R[SUB]⊕[/SUB] for HD 219134 c. These values suggest rocky compositions for both planets. Thanks to the proximity and the small size of their host star (0.778 ± 0.005 R[SUB]⊙[/SUB])[SUP]3[/SUP], these two transiting exoplanets — the nearest to the Earth yet found — are well suited for a detailed characterization (for example, precision of a few per cent on mass and radius, and constraints on the atmospheric properties) that could give important constraints on the nature and formation mechanism of the ubiquitous short-period planets of a few Earth masses. [less ▲]

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