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Peer Reviewed
See detailSemantic externalism(s) and cognitive transparency
Leclercq, Bruno ULg; De Brabanter, Philippe

Conference (2017, September 22)

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See detailDéfinition d’un outil d’aide à la décision spatiotemporel structurant et articulant les potentialités de développement agricole : cas du Niger
Andres, Ludovic ULg

Doctoral thesis (2017)

The concern about food insecurity in rural populations needs to be rethought and adapted to the overall living conditions of households by shifting to a concentrated spatial scale and a long-term analysis ... [more ▼]

The concern about food insecurity in rural populations needs to be rethought and adapted to the overall living conditions of households by shifting to a concentrated spatial scale and a long-term analysis. This change will allow identifying territories on a finer scale than the national level in order to allocate development objectives and to link them to areas with high development potential. The finer level of analysis will also allow regrouping the actions carried out on a smaller scale in order to structure all the activities carried out on the targeted area and population. The general comment that the development and emergency aid has been focused in circumscribed areas and that the level of analysis is based on two scales, one "macro" (national, regional, departmental) and the other "micro" (village, community, household, individual and community) reinforces the need to create an intermediate level of analysis. The latter will serve to improve the structure other actions carried out at different levels and the articulation of the activities to be carried out and the targeted population. From a state of the art analysis of subject such as development, targeting, territory, food security, resilience, etc; different finding have led to the definition of a major question and an objective which form the core structure of the present dissertation. The research question is defined as "how to structure the targeting and identification of areas with high potential to articulate all the emergency and development actions carried out on several scales of analysis?”. At the end of these observations, the objective of this research is "the establishment of a tool to support spatial and temporal decision making in structuring the emergency and development actions and targeting of populations subjected to food insecurity ". Three considerations emerge from this objective and research question: spatiotemporal analysis and targeting, development potentials, rural production systems. The various productions are also studied over a long series in order to consider the yield variations over time. Finally, these two analyzes, spatial (systems) and temporal (yields) are crossed in order to demonstrate the contribution of this decision-supporting tool in the articulation and structuring of the other two levels of targeting populations to food insecurity. The decision-supporting tool has been tested on the case study of the Nigerian population. The main outcomes are: the characterization of the opportunities and constraints of the Nigerian rural production systems; the identification of the products to be developed by production system; the identification of the most promising pathways by means of the distribution of the yields by systems. Finally, an essential point must be made about the increase of conservation methods and transformations for increasing the added value obtained by Nigerian households. At the end of this dissertation, the tool demonstrated its importance in structuring and articulating the targeting of food insecurity in the field of emergency aid and development: The territorial zones in the production systems identify the problems to which one or several solutions must be found. Production systems allow a concentration of actions according to the definition of the general and specific objectives of the agricultural development assistance programs. Potential outputs to be developed in production systems allow diversification of agriculture and structuring of development from a national point of view. The actions defined by the Technical and Financial Partners at the level of a village, a community and / or a commune can be more easily integrated into this scale of analysis and can be structured later in national development policies Agricultural policy. The increase in productivity in Niger depends on the development of products within the most favorable zones and not on the whole territory. However, this tool is complementary to the other targeting tools already in place. It should also be complemented by the same type of analysis at the level of West Africa and an analysis of the flows and prices condition to favor the flow of production. [less ▲]

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See detailPerformance-based fire design and the U.S. prescriptive guidelines: A comparative study
Elhami Khorasani, Negar; Fang, Chenyang; Gernay, Thomas ULg

in Proceedings of the 39th IABSE Symposium (2017, September 21)

Current codes and standards for fire design of structures in the United States are mainly based on design at the component level using prescriptive approaches, while performance-based design for fire can ... [more ▼]

Current codes and standards for fire design of structures in the United States are mainly based on design at the component level using prescriptive approaches, while performance-based design for fire can be used to address the needs for designing modern buildings with cost-effective solutions. Previous research shows that, when system-level performance is considered, fire protection on secondary beam elements in composite steel-concrete floor systems is not necessary due to the development of a membrane action in the concrete slab during fire. This study compares the fire design of a 9-story office building using prescriptive and performance-based designs. The safety levels of the two designs are investigated and compared. It is shown that performance-based design can be used to achieve the required level of safety currently enforced in the U.S. prescriptive guidelines, while providing an opportunity for cost reduction in fire protection material. [less ▲]

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See detailLipin-1 regulates cancer cell phenotype and is a potential target to amplify the effect of metabolic inhibitors
Brohée, Laura ULg

Doctoral thesis (2017)

An increased lipogenesis was reported in various cancers and its inhibition represses proliferation and induces apoptosis of cancer cells while barely affecting most normal cells. The family of lipins ... [more ▼]

An increased lipogenesis was reported in various cancers and its inhibition represses proliferation and induces apoptosis of cancer cells while barely affecting most normal cells. The family of lipins encompasses three members: lipin-1, -2 and -3. All exhibit dual functions as enzymes, catalyzing the de-phosphorylation of phosphatidic acid to diacylglycerol, and as co-transcriptional regulators. Thus, they are able to regulate lipid homeostasis at several nodal points. However, no studies addressed the involvement of these proteins in cancer progression neither in vitro nor in vivo. During this PhD work, we first investigated the importance of lipin-1 on prostate cancer cell phenotype. We showed that lipin-1 expression is increased in various cancer cell types both in vitro and in vivo in human prostate tumor samples. The specific inhibition of lipin-1 in prostate and breast cancer cells demonstrated its critical importance for cell proliferation and migration through deregulation of several intracellular signaling pathways. This study demonstrated for the first time that the targeting of lipin-1 is a potential new anti-cancer strategy that could be used alone or in combination with drugs like rapamycin. During the course of these investigations, we also observed a compensatory regulation between lipin-1 and lipin-2 preventing the complete inhibition of lipins enzymatic activity when using a siRNA approach. Therefore, we focused our interest on inhibiting all lipins through treatment with a pharmacological inhibitor, propranolol. This drug also induced a blockade of the late phases of autophagy, likely because the inhibition of all lipins decreases diacylglycerol synthesis, which is required for the maturation of autolysosomes. Autophagy is a pro-survival mechanism induced by several stresses or by anticancer agents. In the case of the glycolysis inhibitor 2DG, the induction of autophagy limits its anticancer effects in monotherapy. In the light of their individual specific effects on cancer cells, we hypothesized that the combination of propranolol and 2DG might exert a more than additive toxic effect on cancer cells. In this second study, we report that combined treatment is effective on preventing prostate cancer cell proliferation, inducing cell apoptosis, altering the function of several organelles as mitochondria, endoplasmic reticulum and Golgi apparatus in vitro but also in suppressing tumor growth in vivo. Altogether, our data suggest that lipins are key players involved in cancer progression. Targeting lipins, alone or in combination with other treatments, could open new avenues in anticancer therapy. [less ▲]

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See detailPhenotyping hygienic behavior and studying diversity in honey bees (Apis mellifera L.): methodological issues and solutions
Leclercq, Gil ULg

Doctoral thesis (2017)

Honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) are a crucial resource for world agriculture. The global stock of honey bees has increased over the last five decades. In contrast, honey bees have been declining in several ... [more ▼]

Honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) are a crucial resource for world agriculture. The global stock of honey bees has increased over the last five decades. In contrast, honey bees have been declining in several regions, especially in the northern hemisphere. Among the factors responsible for these regional declines, the parasitic mite Varroa destructor plays a central role and is considered as one of the main threats for apiculture. A sustainable solution to the problems caused by V. destructor is to breed Varroa-resistant honey bees. In this context, in Belgium, a research project was developed with the aim of studying the diversity of honey bees in Wallonia, and selecting, within this “local” diversity, Varroa-resistant honey bees. This project required methods to accurately phenotype Varroa-resistance traits, and methods to study the diversity of honey bee populations. In this thesis, we decided to work on these methods, which are a prerequisite for such research project. Two independent objectives were developed: (1) solving the controversy and methodological issues regarding the quantification of hygienic behavior in honey bee colonies, and (2) designing a new method to study the diversity of honey bee admixed populations covering a large-scale area, using pool-based sequencing data. The hygienic behavior of worker bees contributes to the social immunity of honey bee colonies. The manifestation of this behavior consists in detecting and removing unhealthy or dead brood. In this thesis, we reviewed the drawbacks, the benefits, and the methods to test for hygienic behavior, in honey bee colonies. We concluded that, while hygienic behavior was efficient against some brood diseases, it was difficult to draw any definitive conclusion on the efficiency of this behavior against V. destructor. Hygienic behavior likely contributes to Varroa-resistance, but the controversy is fueled by the use of inappropriate bioassays to quantify the hygienic removal of Varroa-infested brood. In our experiments, we showed that a commonly used bioassay, the freeze-killed brood removal bioassay, was unreliable to approximate the benefits arising from the hygienic removal of Varroa-infested brood. As an introduction to the second part of the thesis, we reviewed how human has contributed to reshape the diversity of honey bee populations worldwide, except in Africa. Human management was shown to increase the proportion of admixed populations, sometimes to the detriment of subspecies populations (such as in Belgium). Then, we presented a new approach to study the admixture of hybrid honey bee populations. It was based on a reduced representation of the genome (through genotyping-by-sequencing). In this approach, we enabled the use of pool-based sequencing data by simulating an individual genotype for each pool, sampled from a hybrid colony. Finally, some conclusions and discussion were brought on a few perspectives and research avenues about (1) the phenotyping of hygienic behavior towards Varroa-infested brood, and (2) the study of admixture in honey bee populations. [less ▲]

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Peer Reviewed
See detailLa communication scientifique directe vers un public élargi. L’actualité sociale traitée par des chercheurs dans les carnets de recherche Hypothèses
Mayeur, Ingrid ULg

in Revue Française des Sciences de l'Information et de la Communication (2017), 11

This contribution aims to examine a social mediation allowed by the open access, which is imparting knowledge in Social Sciences and Humanities (thereafter SSH) through a broader public. I will consider ... [more ▼]

This contribution aims to examine a social mediation allowed by the open access, which is imparting knowledge in Social Sciences and Humanities (thereafter SSH) through a broader public. I will consider the platform OpenEdition (and specifically Hypothèses that concerns academic blogging) as a ground of investigation. The matter will be a specific way to impart knowledge, which is the treatment of the actuality by researchers through their reading grids in SSH. In the corpus analysis, I will stress the appropriation modes of the device by the researchers that comment the actuality, the expected audience and practices that the texts suggest, and the discursive processes that are used. I also will question how “direct” such scientific communication is on an academic blog published on a platform in open access. [less ▲]

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See detailStochastic multiscale modeling of MEMS stiction failure
Hoang Truong, Vinh ULg

Doctoral thesis (2017)

In the context of microelectromechanical systems, due to their reduced size, the surface phenomena, e.g. adhesion contact, play an important role in the reliability of the devices. Indeed, the adhesive ... [more ▼]

In the context of microelectromechanical systems, due to their reduced size, the surface phenomena, e.g. adhesion contact, play an important role in the reliability of the devices. Indeed, the adhesive forces, e.g. capillary and van der Waal forces, can lead to the stiction failure for which the two contacting surfaces can accidentally be stuck together permanently. This is a common failure of MEMS. Because of the comparability between the roughness of the contacting surfaces and the ranges of adhesive stress, the interaction area can be much smaller than the apparent one. Since the contact zone is reduced and becomes comparable with the characteristic length scale of the surface roughness, the behaviors of micro structures subjected to adhesion suffer from a scatter, i.e. while some devices are unstuck, the others with an identical design are stuck. The objective of this work is to predict in a probabilistic way the adhesion behaviors of MEMS by accounting for the randomness of the contacting surfaces. The straightforward solution toward this end consists in constructing a numerical model, e.g. using finite element method, and in performing a Monte-Carlo simulation (MCS) directly on that model. Because the problem spans multiple scales, including the nanometers range of adhesive stress and the micrometers length scale of MEMS, that method demands a huge computational cost and becomes unpractical. In this work, a stochastic model-based multiscale method is developed to fulfill the predefined objective while remaining efficient in terms of computational cost. In this model, MCS is also per- formed, however, in a scale-by-scale way. With this method, the model is executed with acceptable computational cost. To verify the proposed model, a comparison in terms of the numerical predictions obtained from two approaches, direct MCS and stochastic model-based method, is performed. Furthermore, the model is applied to simulate the stiction tests reported in the literature, and also on the experimental surfaces fabri- cated by our partner at IMT-Bucharest lab 1 (without stiction test). By comparing the numerical predictions with the experimental results, the model is then validated. The model is used to broaden our knowledge in stiction phenomenon by considering the effects of the following aspects on the adhesion energies: the roughness of surfaces, the non-Gaussianity in the probability distribution of surface heights, and the humidity of the environment conditions. Furthermore, the comparison between different sources of uncertainty, e.g. due to the surfaces roughness and in the geometry dimensions of the devices, is performed. [less ▲]

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Peer Reviewed
See detailDenitrification, anaerobic ammonium oxidation, and dissimilatory nitrate reduction to ammonium in an East African Great Lake (Lake Kivu)
Roland, Fleur ULg; Darchambeau, François; Borges, Alberto ULg et al

in Limnology and Oceanography (2017)

We investigated anaerobic nitrogen (N) cycling in the water column of Lake Kivu, a deep meromictic tropical lake in East Africa. Data were collected at one station in the Northern Basin and one in the ... [more ▼]

We investigated anaerobic nitrogen (N) cycling in the water column of Lake Kivu, a deep meromictic tropical lake in East Africa. Data were collected at one station in the Northern Basin and one in the Southern Basin, during two sampling campaigns (June 2011—dry season, and February 2012—rainy season). Short-term incubations of sulfide-free water with 15N-labeled substrates revealed high potential denitrification and dissimilatory nitrate reduction to ammonium (DNRA) rates (up to 350 and 36 nmol N produced L−1 h−1, respectively), while anaerobic ammonium oxidation (anammox) was lower (up to 3.3 nmol N produced L−1 h−1). However, anammox rates were 15 nmol N produced L−1 h−1 when 15 NH4+ was added at depths where NH4+ concentrations were very low (< 1 μmol L−1). With the addition of 5 μmol L−1 of 15 NO3− and 10 μmol L−1 of H2S, denitrification and anammox were stimulated in the Northern Basin, while the increase of DNRA rates was less notable. In the Southern Basin, the addition of H2S decreased denitrification rates, probably because of competition with DNRA, which increased, while no effect was observed on anammox. This study puts into evidence the co-occurrence of denitrification, anammox and DNRA, for the first time in a great tropical lake, and underlines the spatial heterogeneity of these processes. Contrary to numerous reports in literature, we show that anammox can significantly occur in presence of H2S, suggesting that the contribution of anammox in the N cycle may be underestimated. [less ▲]

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See detailClostridium difficile in beef cattle farms, farmers and their environment: assessing the spread of the bacterium
Rodriguez Diaz, Cristina ULg

in Veterinary Microbiology (2017)

n recent years, several studies have described the presence of Clostridium difficile in healthy and diarrhoeic farm and domestic animals. In pigs and cattle, the isolation of some PCR-ribotypes associated ... [more ▼]

n recent years, several studies have described the presence of Clostridium difficile in healthy and diarrhoeic farm and domestic animals. In pigs and cattle, the isolation of some PCR-ribotypes associated with human infection, especially PCR-ribotypes 014 and 078, has led us to hypothesize about the zoonotic transmission of C. difficile infections. If these animals are reservoirs of C. difficile, farmers in close contact with their animals are particularly at risk of acquiring and spreading the bacterium. This study investigates the presence of C. difficile in closely associated populations, beef cattle and farmers, as well as in the animal feed, manure and dust in five different farms in Belgium. C. difficile was isolated from calves and cattle with a prevalence varying between 5.5% and 11.3%. Furthermore, all of the isolates were toxigenic. An important age and breed effect was observed in the colonization of C. difficile. For age, there was a higher probability of colonization in calves of less than 6 months in age than in cattle over 11 months of age. For the type of breed a higher prevalence of the bacterium was detected in the Limousin breed than in the Belgian Bleu breed. By contrast, none of the human and animal feed samples tested positive for C. difficile. The results obtained indicate a persistent animal reservoir of C. difficile, but an indirect dissemination to humans, probably via the environment. [less ▲]

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See detailIntroduction
Grodent, Denis ULg

Learning material (2017)

Introduction

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See detailAtmospheric structure
Grodent, Denis ULg

Learning material (2017)

Atmospheric structure