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See detailBacterial community composition in three freshwater reservoirs of di erent alkalinity and trophic status
Llirós, Marc; Inceoglu, Ozgul; Garcia-Armisen, Tamara et al

Poster (2015, August 23)

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See detailAt the heart of your expertise : scientific information and evidence
Vandenput, Sandrina ULg

Scientific conference (2015, August 22)

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See detailOccupational stress among textile workers in the Democratic Republic of Congo
Panda Lukongo, Kitronza ULg; Mairiaux, Philippe ULg

in tropical medicine and health (2015), In Press(In Press),

Abstract. Context: In the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), scientific studies on occupational health are scarce. The present study aims at estimating the level of occupational stress, as well as ... [more ▼]

Abstract. Context: In the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), scientific studies on occupational health are scarce. The present study aims at estimating the level of occupational stress, as well as associated factors, in a textile company. Methods: We performed a cross-sectional survey among textile workers in DRC. Data (N= 192 subjects) were collected through a self-questionnaire validated for the assessment of stress (Karasek and Siegrist’s scale); supplemented by a medical examination. Frequencies and odds ratios (ORs) were estimated for descriptive analyses. Adjusted ORs were calculated through a logistic regression model to investigate associations between socio-demographic and organisational variable and stress. Results: Our study highlighted a high level of stress among individuals: 28% of them were suffering from stress, according to Karasek, and 22%, when applying Siegrist’s model. A 14%-isostrain was calculated when considering all workers. A statistically significant association was observed between stress and age, seniority and perceived no-adaptation to work, considering both approaches. Furthermore, when job strain was determined according to Karasek, it was related to the status of worker, the poor perception of organisation and alcohol consumption, while stress estimated by applying Siegrist’s model showed an association with education level and the occurrence of cardiac symptoms. Conclusion: The present study gives evidence of stress among individuals through both models. Several socio-professional factors are associated with stress, which determines populations at risk. The study revealed that both stress models offer complementary information, thus increasing the probability to model workers’ health more exactly and to make recommendations on prevention and management. [less ▲]

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See detailTwo differentiation trends and parent magmas at Calbuco volcano (CSVZ, Chille)
Montalbano, Salvatrice ULg; Schiano, Pierre; Cluzel, Nicolas et al

Poster (2015, August 19)

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See detailUSING OF AN EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN TO CHARACTERIZE THE CONVECTIVE DRYING BEHAVIOR OF DIFFERENT SLUDGES
Fraikin, Laurent ULg; Salmon, Thierry ULg; Herbreteau, Benjamin et al

in Drying Technology (2015, August 18), 33(11), 1302-1308

Drying appears as a major step prior to valorization of sludge from wastewater treatment plant. This study uses an experimental design on different sludges to highlight the drying behavior according to ... [more ▼]

Drying appears as a major step prior to valorization of sludge from wastewater treatment plant. This study uses an experimental design on different sludges to highlight the drying behavior according to drying conditions, storage and extrusion. This research is performed with industrial view, but on a single cylinder sample, and focuses on five responds: maximum drying flux, time to reach 95% of dry matter, final volume, critical moisture and slowing-down coefficient. [less ▲]

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See detailBiotechnological potential of novel bacterial strains isolated on the brown alga Ascophyllum nodosum
Martin, Marjolaine ULg; Martin, Renée ULg; Barbeyron, Tristan et al

in Journal of Microbial and Biochemical Technology (2015, August 18), 7(4), 179

Bacteria associated with algae are underexplored despite their huge biodiversity and the fact that they differ markedly from those living freely in seawater. These bacterial communities are known to ... [more ▼]

Bacteria associated with algae are underexplored despite their huge biodiversity and the fact that they differ markedly from those living freely in seawater. These bacterial communities are known to represent great potential for the production of diverse bioactive compounds, such as specific glycoside hydrolases, as they interact in multiple complex ways with their host. Furthermore, enzymes from marine bacteria have original properties, like cold-adapted, halotolerant and highly stable, which are constantly searched out by bio-industries. The aim of our study was to identify bacteria, associated with the brown alga Ascophyllum nodosum, showing diverse polysaccharolytic activities. To isolate cultivable microorganisms, algal thalli of Ascophyllum nodosum were swabbed with sterile cotton tips and marine agar plates were inoculated. Three-hundred isolated bacteria were screened for agarase, kappa- and iota-carrageenase, and sulfatase activities on specific marine media. Thirty-two bacteria with polysaccharolytic activities were isolated and a part of their 16S rDNA (8F-1492R) were amplified and sequenced. Twenty-seven were classified as Flavobacteriia and five as Gammaproteobacteria. Putative new strains and species of Zobellia, Maribacter, Cellulophaga, Shewanella, Glaciecola, Pseudoalteromonas and Colwellia were identified by phylogenetic analysis. All those genera are well-known to colonize algal surface but only some of them are famous to degrade algal polysaccharides (Zobellia, Maribacter, Cellulophaga, and Pseudoalteromonas). However, all those novel bacterial strains/species showed multiple and diverse enzymatic activities (agarase, iota-and kappa-carrageenase, cellulase, beta-glucosidase, sulfatase and/or amylase activities). Genomics libraries with their DNA were constructed in Escherichia coli and Bacillus subtilis and are screened to identify the genes coding for the observed enzymatic activities. Those novel glycoside hydrolases from unknown marine bacteria should have original and innovative properties with great biotechnological potential. [less ▲]

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See detailPast and future distributions of Southeast Asian murine rodents: the influence of climate changes
Latinne, Alice ULg; Meynard, Christine; Morand, Serge et al

Conference (2015, August 18)

Our study, involving species distribution modelling techniques, aimed at assessing the influence of past and future climatic fluctuations on Southeast Asian small mammal distributions using two forest ... [more ▼]

Our study, involving species distribution modelling techniques, aimed at assessing the influence of past and future climatic fluctuations on Southeast Asian small mammal distributions using two forest-dwelling (Leopoldamys herberti and Leopoldamys sabanus) and one karst endemic (Leopoldamys neilli) rodent species as models. Our model predictions contradict the well-established hypothesis that Southeast Asian forest-dwelling species were confined to small refugia during the LGM. Moreover, these results suggest that the distribution of several East and Southeast Asian taxa were in their refugial state during Pleistocene interglacial periods rather than during glacial periods. This could be because of vegetation changes that may have occurred at that time as a result of the increased seasonality observed during the LIG. The two future climate change scenarios used in this study predicted that large climatically suitable areas would still be available in the future for the three species. [less ▲]

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See detailAGING MECHANISMS IN AMORPHOUS PHASE CHANGE MATERIALS
Raty, Jean-Yves ULg

Conference (2015, August 18)

Aging phenomena are common to all amorphous structures, but of special importance in phase change materials (PCM) since it impedes the realization of multi-level memories. Different interpretations have ... [more ▼]

Aging phenomena are common to all amorphous structures, but of special importance in phase change materials (PCM) since it impedes the realization of multi-level memories. Different interpretations have been proposed, but we focus here on the structural relaxation of amorphous GeTe, chosen because it is the simplest system that is representative of the wider class of GST alloys, lying along the GeTe-Sb2Te3 composition line of the GeSbTe phase diagram. The direct melt-and-quench DFT based Molecular Dynamics approach leads to models with a few hundred atoms, and, hence a small number of atomic environments. Here we sample a large number of local atomic environments, and bonding schemes, by chemically substituting different alloys to favor different local atomic structures. This enables spanning a larger fraction of the configuration space relevant to aging. GST alloys are known to display complex bonding that does not follow the chemist’s “octet-rule”. This lead to many controversies, especially concerning the local structure around Ge atoms. We overcome this problem by using state of the art non local DFT-MD, including the so-called van der Waals corrections. This leads to more clearly defined environments that are thoroughly analyzed. We can then identify their fingerprints in the available structural experimental data and assess their stability to find the driving forces leading to the structural relaxation. The calculated electronic properties nicely match the most recent photothermal deflection spectroscopy experiments. Our results support a model of the amorphous phase and its time evolution that involves an evolution of the local (chemical) order towards that of the crystal (by getting rid of homopolar bonds), and an evolution of its electronic properties that drift away from those of the crystal, driven by an increase of the Peierls-like distortion of the local environments in the amorphous [1]. [1] J.Y Raty, W. Zhang, J. Luckas, C. Chen, R. Mazzarello, C. Bichara and M. Wuttig, Nature Comm. To appear. [less ▲]

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See detailSeeing Central African forests through their largest trees
Bastin, Jean-François ULg; Barbier, Nicolas; Réjou-Méchain, Maxime et al

in Scientific Reports (2015)

Large tropical trees and a few dominant species were recently identified as the main structuring elements of tropical forests. However, such result did not translate yet into quantitative approaches which ... [more ▼]

Large tropical trees and a few dominant species were recently identified as the main structuring elements of tropical forests. However, such result did not translate yet into quantitative approaches which are essential to understand, predict and monitor forest functions and composition over large, often poorly accessible territories. Here we show that the above-ground biomass (AGB) of the whole forest can be predicted from a few large trees and that the relationship is proved strikingly stable in 175 1-ha plots investigated across 8 sites spanning Central Africa. We designed a generic model predicting AGB with an error of 14% when based on only 5% of the stems, which points to universality in forest structural properties. For the first time in Africa, we identified some dominant species that disproportionally contribute to forest AGB with 1.5% of recorded species accounting for over 50% of the stock of AGB. Consequently, focusing on large trees and dominant species provides precise information on the whole forest stand. This offers new perspectives for understanding the functioning of tropical forests and opens new doors for the development of innovative monitoring strategies. [less ▲]

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See detailAtmospheric metal pollution over the last 250 years inferred from speleothem geochemistry
Allan, Mohammed ULg; Fagel, Nathalie ULg; verheyden, sophie

Conference (2015, August 17)

Lead concentrations and isotope ratios from two speleothems from the Han-sur-Lesse cave in southern Belgium were measured in order to study the ability of speleothems to act as archives of atmospheric ... [more ▼]

Lead concentrations and isotope ratios from two speleothems from the Han-sur-Lesse cave in southern Belgium were measured in order to study the ability of speleothems to act as archives of atmospheric pollution. To address this aim we analyzed trace elemental Al and Pb compositions by LA-ICP-MS and ICP-MS as well as Pb isotopes by MC-ICP-MS. The results help to identify three Pb-enriched intervals: from 1880 to 1905 AD, from 1945 to 1965 AD, and from 1975 to 1990 AD. The speleothem record is consistent with the evolution of atmospheric pollution in Belgium. Lead isotope ratios confirm that coal and gasoline combustion, combined with regional metallurgical activities, were the predominant Pb pollution sources in the stalagmites during the last 250 years. This research underscores the importance of speleothems as a valuable tool for the discrimination between anthropogenic and natural lead contributions in the environment and consequently for quantifying the anthropogenic contribution or determining natural background values in continental settings. [less ▲]

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See detailDesign of hybrid nanovehicles for remotely triggered drug release: an overview
Liu, Ji; Detrembleur, Christophe ULg; Mornet, Stéphane et al

in Journal of Materials Chemistry B (2015), 3(30), 6117-6147

n the past few decades, various nanovehicles have been developed as drug delivery systems, in which inorganic and organic components are integrated within a nano-object. Upon the application of remote ... [more ▼]

n the past few decades, various nanovehicles have been developed as drug delivery systems, in which inorganic and organic components are integrated within a nano-object. Upon the application of remote stimuli, e.g. alternating magnetic field, near infrared or ultrasound radiations, the release of guest molecules can be triggered in a quite controlled manner. Herein, we review different hybrid nanostructures which have already been reported for the remotely triggered release, such as those based on (1) host–guest conjugates, (2) core–corona nanoparticles, (3) polymer nanogels, (4) polymer micelles, (5) liposomes, (6) mesoporous silica particles and (7) hollow nanoparticles. Moreover, we also summarize six underlying mechanisms that govern such a kind of remotely triggered release behaviours: (1) enhanced diffusion and/or permeation, (2) thermo- or photo-labile bond cleavage, (3) fusion of phase-changed materials, (4) photo-induced isomerisation, (5) thermo-induced swelling/de-swelling of thermo-responsive polymers, and (6) destruction of the nanostructures. The ways in which different components are incorporated into an integrated hybrid nanostructure and how they contribute to the remotely triggered release behaviours are detailed. [less ▲]

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See detailAll Poly(ionic liquid)-based block copolymers by sequential controlled radical copolymerization of vinylimidazolium monomers
Cordella, Daniela ULg; Kermagoret, Anthony; Debuigne, Antoine ULg et al

in Macromolecules (2015), 48(15), 5230-5243

The organometallic-mediated radical polymerization (OMRP) of N-vinyl-3-alkylimidazolium-type monomers, featuring the bis(trifluoromethylsulfonyl)imide counteranion (Tf2N–), in the presence of Co(acac)2 as ... [more ▼]

The organometallic-mediated radical polymerization (OMRP) of N-vinyl-3-alkylimidazolium-type monomers, featuring the bis(trifluoromethylsulfonyl)imide counteranion (Tf2N–), in the presence of Co(acac)2 as controlling agent, is reported. Polymerizations of monomers with methyl, ethyl, and butyl substituents are fast, reaching high monomer conversion in ethyl acetate as solvent at 30 °C, and afford structurally well-defined hydrophobic poly(ionic liquid)s (PILs) of N-vinyl type. Block copolymer synthesis is also achieved by sequential OMRP of N-vinyl-3-alkylimidazolium salts carrying different alkyl chains and different counteranions (Tf2N– or Br–). These block copolymerizations are carried out at 30 °C, either under homogeneous solution in methanol or in a biphasic medium consisting of a mixture of ethyl acetate and water. Unprecedented PIL-b-PIL block copolymers are thus prepared under these conditions. However, anion exchange occurs at the early stage of the growth of the second block. Finally, diblock copolymers generated in the biphasic medium can be readily coupled by addition of isoprene, forming all PIL-based and symmetrical ABA-type triblock copolymers in a one-pot process. Such a direct block copolymerization method, involving vinylimidazolium monomers bearing different alkyl chains, thus opens new opportunities in the precision synthesis of all PIL-based block copolymers of tunable properties. [less ▲]

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See detailInterlaboratory study to evaluate the robustness of capillary electrophoresis-mass spectrometry for peptide mapping
Wenz, Christian; Barbas, Coral; Lopez-Gonzalvez, Angeles et al

in Journal of Separation Science (2015)

A collaborative study on the robustness and portability of a capillary electrophoresis-mass spectrometry method for peptide mapping was performed by an international team, consisting of 13 independent ... [more ▼]

A collaborative study on the robustness and portability of a capillary electrophoresis-mass spectrometry method for peptide mapping was performed by an international team, consisting of 13 independent laboratories from academia and industry. All participants used the same batch of samples, reagents and coated capillaries to run their assays, whereas they utilized the capillary electrophoresis-mass spectrometry equipment available in their laboratories. The equipment used varied in model, type and instrument manufacturer. Furthermore, different types of sheath-flow capillary electrophoresis–mass spectrometry interfaces were used. Migration time, peak height and peak area of ten representative target peptides of trypsin-digested bovine serum albumin were determined by every laboratory on two consecutive days. The data were critically evaluated to identify outliers and final values for means, repeatability (precision within a laboratory) and reproducibility (precision between laboratories) were established. For relative migration time the repeatability was between 0.05 and 0.18% RSD and the reproducibility between 0.14 and 1.3% RSD. For relative peak area repeatability and reproducibility values obtained were 3–12 and 9–29% RSD, respectively. These results demonstrate that capillary electrophoresis-mass spectrometry is robust enough to allow a method transfer across multiple laboratories and should promote a more widespread use of peptide mapping and other capillary electrophoresis-mass spectrometry applications in biopharmaceutical analysis and related fields. [less ▲]

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See detailThe evolution of metal hyperaccumulation in Arabidopsis halleri
Hanikenne, Marc ULg

Scientific conference (2015, August 07)

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See detailRecent changes in north-west Greenland climate documented by NEEM shallow ice core data and simulations, and implications for past-temperature reconstructions
Masson-Delmotte, V.; Steen-Larsen, H.; Ortega, P. et al

in Cryosphere (The) (2015), 9

Combined records of snow accumulation rate, δ18O and deuterium excess were produced from several shallow ice cores and snow pits at NEEM (North Greenland Eemian Ice Drilling), covering the period from ... [more ▼]

Combined records of snow accumulation rate, δ18O and deuterium excess were produced from several shallow ice cores and snow pits at NEEM (North Greenland Eemian Ice Drilling), covering the period from 1724 to 2007. They are used to investigate recent climate variability and characterise the isotope–temperature relationship. We find that NEEM records are only weakly affected by inter-annual changes in the North Atlantic Oscillation. Decadal δ18O and accumulation variability is related to North Atlantic sea surface temperature and is enhanced at the beginning of the 19th century. No long-term trend is observed in the accumulation record. By contrast, NEEM δ18O shows multidecadal increasing trends in the late 19th century and since the 1980s. The strongest annual positive δ18O values are recorded at NEEM in 1928 and 2010, while maximum accumulation occurs in 1933. The last decade is the most enriched in δ18O (warmest), while the 11-year periods with the strongest depletion (coldest) are depicted at NEEM in 1815–1825 and 1836–1846, which are also the driest 11-year periods. The NEEM accumulation and δ18O records are strongly correlated with outputs from atmospheric models, nudged to atmospheric reanalyses. Best performance is observed for ERA reanalyses. Gridded temperature reconstructions, instrumental data and model outputs at NEEM are used to estimate the multidecadal accumulation–temperature and δ18O–temperature relationships for the strong warming period in 1979–2007. The accumulation sensitivity to temperature is estimated at 11 ± 2 % °C−1 and the δ18O–temperature slope at 1.1 ± 0.2 ‰ °C−1, about twice as large as previously used to estimate last interglacial temperature change from the bottom part of the NEEM deep ice core. [less ▲]

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See detailDepression in Women and in Men: Differences on Behavioral Avoidance and on Behavioral Activation
Wagener, Aurélie ULg; Baeyens, Céline; Blairy, Sylvie ULg

Poster (2015, August 06)

Depression is a well-known disorder characterized by e.g. sadness, loss of interest and pleasure, feelings of guilt or worthlessness. Depression is also characterized by a decrease of the level of ... [more ▼]

Depression is a well-known disorder characterized by e.g. sadness, loss of interest and pleasure, feelings of guilt or worthlessness. Depression is also characterized by a decrease of the level of engagement in activities also conceptualized as behavioral avoidance. Indeed, depressed patients less and less engage themselves in pleasurable activities (e.g. they spend more and more time in their bed, see their friends more rarely). Reciprocally, this decrease of the level of engagement in activities reinforces and maintains depressive symptoms. This relationship between depression and a low level of engagement in activities is well-established in the scientific literature but no study has, until now, discussed the reasons of this decrease of engagement in activities. According to theoretical models of depression (Beck, 2008; Lewinsohn, 1985; Watkins, 2009), five sets of psychological processes (PP) are involved in depressive symptomatology: negative repetitive thoughts, maladaptive emotion regulation strategies, low environmental rewards, negative self-image and inhibition. We hypothesize that these PP could be considered as explaining factors of the behavioral avoidance. Furthermore, we hypothesize that other PP could be considered as explaining factors of the behavioral activation (adaptive emotion regulation strategies, high environmental rewards, positive self-image, approach and high self-clarity). Then, our aim is to assess the links between behavioral avoidance as well as activation and the PP mentioned above. In order to reach this objective, we developed a model of these links based on the psychological model of mental ill-health of Kinderman (2005, 2013). According to this model, biological, social and circumstantial factors lead to mental disorders through their conjoint effects on psychological processes. Furthermore, because depression is different in women and in men, we assessed the adequacy of our model according to the sex. Clinical and community adults completed an online survey assessing the psychological processes mentioned above, avoidance and activation. Since several questionnaires were used to assess each PP, factorial scores were computed for each one. Preliminary analyses (confirmatory factor analyses) were realized with a sample of 393 women and 139 men. The results revealed differences between men and women. For women, on the one hand, low levels of environmental rewards, maladaptive emotion regulation strategies and negative repetitive thoughts are linked to behavioral avoidance, and on the other hand, high levels of environmental rewards and positive self-image are linked to behavioral activation. For men, on the one hand, negative self-image, maladaptive emotion regulation strategies and low environmental rewards are linked to behavioral avoidance, and, on the other hand, high levels of environmental rewards and positive self-image are linked to behavioral activation. The final results will be presented during the convention, as data-collection is on-going and will end in May 2015. Clinical implications of these results will also be discussed such as the relevance of working on the levels of environmental rewards. [less ▲]

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See detailAlternatives to traditional valorisation ways for brewer’s spent grains
Villani, Nicolas ULg; Aguedo, Mario ULg; Richel, Aurore ULg

Poster (2015, August 05)

Brewer’s Spent Grains (BSG) are a highly available and cheap food supply chain waste (FSCW) that is mainly used in low-valued feed applications. This residue represents around 85 % of the total amount of ... [more ▼]

Brewer’s Spent Grains (BSG) are a highly available and cheap food supply chain waste (FSCW) that is mainly used in low-valued feed applications. This residue represents around 85 % of the total amount of waste produced by breweries with an annual tonnage of 3.4 million tons (on a dry basis) in the European Union. Based on its composition, BSG could be valorised in a wide variety of value-added products. For example, cellulose and remaining starch could easily be turned into ethanol or used as solid state fermentation media or as platform molecules for further chemical synthesis. These alternative valorisation ways could lead to an important economic relief through the whole brewery industry. Herein is described a multistep fractionation of BSG into cellulosic pulp, free sugars, proteins, germs and lignin using an Organosolv acidic pretreatment. This extraction procedure has been optimised in order to allow the most efficient and complete valorisation of BSG. [less ▲]

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See detailJouer avec les mots, pourquoi et comment ?
Rigo, Michel ULg

Scientific conference (2015, August 04)

A l'instar de Raymond Queneau et ses cent mille milliards de poèmes, cet exposé a pour but de compter et de construire des mots aux propriétés parfois surprenantes. Les premiers résultats en combinatoire ... [more ▼]

A l'instar de Raymond Queneau et ses cent mille milliards de poèmes, cet exposé a pour but de compter et de construire des mots aux propriétés parfois surprenantes. Les premiers résultats en combinatoire des mots remontent au début du siècle précédent, avec les travaux du mathématicien norvégien Axel Thue. Cette branche des mathématiques étudie la structure et les arrangements apparaissant au sein de suites finies, ou infinies, de symboles appartenant à un ensemble fini. Donnons un exemple rudimentaire. Un carré est la juxtaposition de deux répétitions d'un mot, ainsi "coco" ou "bonbon" sont des carrés. On dira alors qu'un mot comme "taratata" contient un carré. Il est aisé de vérifier que, si on dispose uniquement de deux symboles "a" et "b", alors tout mot de longueur au moins 4 contient un des carrés "aa", "bb", "abab" ou encore "baba". On dira donc que, sur deux symboles, les carrés sont inévitables. Cette observation pose des questions intéressantes et simples à formuler : Avec trois symboles, peut-on construire un mot arbitrairement long ne contenant pas de carré ? Si on se limite à deux symboles, peut-on construire un mot arbitrairement long sans cube, i.e., évitant la juxtaposition de trois répétitions d'un même mot ? En fonction de la taille de l'alphabet, quels motifs doivent nécessairement apparaître et quels sont ceux qui sont évitables ? Que se passe-t-il si on autorise certaines permutations ? etc. Dans cet exposé, on passera en revue quelques constructions simples de mots finis ou infinis : mot de Thue-Morse, mot de Fibonacci, mots Sturmiens. Nous montrerons aussi que les applications sont nombreuses : arithmétique, transcendance en théorie des nombres, informatique mathématique et théorie des automates, pavages du plan, dynamique symbolique et codage de rotations, infographie, géométrie discrète et représentation de segment de droites à l'écran, bio-informatique, ... [less ▲]

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