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See detailPreparation of polyaniline-modified local clay and study of its sorption capacity
Benhebal, Hadj; Chaid, Messaoud; Léonard, Angélique ULg et al

in Journal of Nanostructure in Chemistry (2014), 4(98), 6

Clay minerals are frequently used in adsorption processes with aqueous solution; it was found that the adsorption properties of clays change when the samples are modified. In this context, polyaniline ... [more ▼]

Clay minerals are frequently used in adsorption processes with aqueous solution; it was found that the adsorption properties of clays change when the samples are modified. In this context, polyaniline-modified clay nanocomposite (at 10 %) was prepared by in situ polymerization processes. The structural and morphological characteristics of the synthesized material are systematically examined by X-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy, thermo-gravimetry, differential scanning calorimetry and infrared spectroscopy techniques. The adsorption property of the modified clay was evaluated for the removal of a reactive dye (methylene blue) from aqueous solution at room temperature (25 C) via batch adsorption. [less ▲]

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See detailRéaction immédiate à l'alcool
LIBON, Florence ULg; DEZFOULIAN, Bita ULg; NIKKELS, Arjen ULg

Poster (2014, April 17)

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See detailApplication of isotopic tracers as a tool for understanding hydrodynamic behavior of the highly exploited Diass aquifer system (Senegal)
Madioune, Diakher Hélène; Faye, Serigne; Orban, Philippe ULg et al

in Journal of Hydrology (2014), 511

The Diass horst aquifer system located 50 km east of Dakar (Senegal) is exploited in two main aquifers covered by a sandy superficial aquifer: the confined/unconfined Palaeocene karstic limestone and the ... [more ▼]

The Diass horst aquifer system located 50 km east of Dakar (Senegal) is exploited in two main aquifers covered by a sandy superficial aquifer: the confined/unconfined Palaeocene karstic limestone and the confined Maastrichtian sandstone aquifer underneath. This system has experienced intensive groundwater abstraction during the last 50 years to supply increasing water demand, agricultural and industrial needs. The high abstraction rate from 1989 to 2009 (about 109,000 m3/d) has caused a continuous groundwater level decline (up to 30 m), a modification of the groundwater flow and salinization in parts of the aquifers. The objective of the study is to improve our understanding of the system functioning with regards to high pumping, identify the geochemical reactions that take place in the system, infer origin and timing of recharge by using mainly stable (δ18O, δ2H, 13C) and radioactive (3H and 14C) isotopes. Water types defined in the Piper diagram vary in order of abundance from Ca–HCO3 (65%), Ca/Na–Cl (20%), Na–HCO3 (3%) and Na–Cl (12%). Values of δ18O and δ2H for the superficial aquifer range between −5.8 and −4.2‰ and between −42 and −31‰, respectively. For the Palaeocene aquifer they range from −5.8 to −5.0‰ and from −38 to −31‰, respectively; values in the Maastrichtian aquifer are between −5.9 and −4.3‰ for δ18O and −38 to −26‰ for δ2H. Plotted against the conventional δ18O vs δ2H diagram, data from the upper aquifer exhibit a dispersed distribution with respect to isotopic fractionation while those of the Palaeocene and Maastrichtian aquifers are aligned parallel and slightly below/or on the Global Meteoric Water Line (GMWL) evidencing ancient waters which had evaporated during infiltration. The low tritium (generally <0.7 TU) and 14C (0.7–57.2 pmc) contents indicate predominance of older water being recharged during the Pleistocene and Holocene periods. However, few boreholes which exhibit high tritium (1.2–4.3 TU) and 14C (65.7–70.8 pmc) values indicate some mixture with recent water likely through faulting and vertical drainage from the upper to deeper aquifers as well as lateral flow along flow paths to the piezometric depressions created by pumping. [less ▲]

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See detailA multiple-level study of metal tolerance in Salix fragilis and Salix aurita clones
Evlard, Aricia ULg; Sergeant, Kjell; Printz, Bruno et al

in Journal of Proteomics (2014), 101C

The response of two willow clones (Salix fragilis (Sf) and S. aurita (Sa)) to the presence of metals (Zn, Cu, Cd, Ni) was studied. Rooted cuttings were planted in control and contaminated soil. After 100 ... [more ▼]

The response of two willow clones (Salix fragilis (Sf) and S. aurita (Sa)) to the presence of metals (Zn, Cu, Cd, Ni) was studied. Rooted cuttings were planted in control and contaminated soil. After 100 days, different parameters (biomass, chlorophyll fluorescence (Fv/Fm), pigment and sugar concentrations, electrolyte leakage and proteome-level changes) were analyzed. The growth of Sa was not influenced by metals whereas Sf produced significantly less biomass when exposed to the pollutants. Furthermore, although Sa did not show a growth reduction in the presence of metals, the overall view of the physiological results among others the changes in the accumulation of sugars and pigments indicated that metals had a more severe impact on this clone. The response at the proteome level confirmed these observations. The growth reduction and the proteomic changes in Sf indicate that this clone adjusts its metabolism to maintain cellular homeostasis. Sa on the contrary maintains growth but the physiological and proteomics data suggests that this can only be done at the cost of cellular deregulation. Therefore high biomass is not linked with a good tolerance strategy. In a long-term study the survival of Sa might be compromised making it a poorer candidate for phytoremediation efforts. [less ▲]

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See detailStudy of an undershoot in chlorophyll fluorescence signal after a saturating pulse in PAM measurements
Fratamico, Anthony ULg; Cardol, Pierre ULg; Tocquin, Pierre ULg et al

Conference (2014, April 14)

In 1989, Larcher and Neuner have reported the observation of a sudden reversible drop in modulated chlorophyll fluorescence measurements (PAM) immediately after a saturating pulse, and called it “low ... [more ▼]

In 1989, Larcher and Neuner have reported the observation of a sudden reversible drop in modulated chlorophyll fluorescence measurements (PAM) immediately after a saturating pulse, and called it “low-wave”. 25 years later, whereas some papers reported this phenomenon as a trivial detail, scarcely two works have investigated the origin of this particular signal, in which a link with a low CO2 availability seems clear. Our work on Haematococcus pluvialis, a freshwater green microalga, provides a new point of view on this fluorescence undershoot, caused by a rapidly established non-photochemical quenching. We have demonstrated that in the light-adapted state, a low-wave after a saturating flash can be considered as a consequence of an induction process engaged in response to the brief light increase under low CO2 conditions. The non-photochemical quenching during low-waves was found to be dependent on electron transport to oxygen during the preceding flash. Moreover, in conditions in which low-waves were observed in the light-adapted state, the fluorescence induction kinetics in the first minute of lighting after dark-adaptation presented also a reversible strong drop. Nevertheless, at the stationary state, oxygen production and photochemical yield of photosystem II were not affected. Providing a better understanding of the processes underlying low-waves, our work also draws attention on the effect of CO2 concentration on the onset of photosynthesis. [less ▲]

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See detailPhylogenetic study of Aedes albopictus and Aedes koreicus (Diptera, Culicidae) origin, two invasive mosquito species in Belgium
Raharimalala, Fara Nantenaina ULg; Boukraa, Slimane ULg; Bawin, Thomas ULg et al

Poster (2014, April 10)

The main ways of the introduction of invasive mosquito species in Europe were greatly facilitated by the importation of used tires and plants from the South of China (Dracaena sanderiana, called "Lucky ... [more ▼]

The main ways of the introduction of invasive mosquito species in Europe were greatly facilitated by the importation of used tires and plants from the South of China (Dracaena sanderiana, called "Lucky bamboo"), which are a very good breeding sites of these mosquitoes (www.eidatlantique.eu). For Belgium, several species of exotic mosquitoes have already been listed such as Ochlerotatus japonicus japonicus, Aedes albopictus and A. koreicus. We have captured one male of A. albopictus in Belgium in July 2013 (Boukraa et al, 2013), and teams from other entomologist have been able to find several individuals in the months that have followed our discovery (personal communication). However, his presence was reported first in 2000 (Schaffner et al. 2004) but until 2012, no individuals have been found (Versteirt et al., 2013). We also could find larvae of A. koreicus in abundance. These discovery suggest that these two invasive species are being established in Belgium. Methods: Adult mosquitoes were collected by CO2-baited traps Mosquito Magnet Liberty Plus (MMLP) and immature stages by the dipping method from 8 sites of Belgium. Each individual was then determined morphologically. For A. albopictus and A. koreicus, reconfirmation by molecular method was performed with COI and ND5 mitochondrial primers and sequences were then aligned with those of mosquitoes available in databases by using BioEdit and Multialn softwares. The two gene sequences were concatenated to improve the reliability of the phylogenetic analysis and were carried out by using the Seaview software based on maximum likelihood (ML) methods. Trees were then constructed with the general time reversible (GTR) model, and branch supports were estimated by bootstrapping with 1000 replicates. Result: The aim of this work will focus on the study of the probable origin of these two species of Aedes, which are for the moment safe yet, but that might become dangerous in the event of massive outbreak. The knowledge of the probably origin of the two invasive mosquitoes allow take more protection against their way to enter in the country. [less ▲]

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See detailSame-sex parenting is legal in Belgium but some heterosexuals support it and others don't: why?
Scali, Thérèse ULg; D'Amore, Salvatore ULg; Green, Robert-Jay

Poster (2014, April 10)

Gays and Lesbians represent between 7 and 10% of the Belgian population, this means 1 million of citizens. Notwithstanding the large number of civil rights granted to homosexuals and the anti ... [more ▼]

Gays and Lesbians represent between 7 and 10% of the Belgian population, this means 1 million of citizens. Notwithstanding the large number of civil rights granted to homosexuals and the anti-discrimination laws, the issue of social acceptance of same-sex couples and families remains. However, the attitude of the population (support vs. rejection and discrimination) and the marginalization of a minority influence not only their quality of life but also their couple and parenting skills and the development of their children (Armesto, 2002; Goldberg, 2010). Results show that attitudes towards same-sex parenting can be explained by four categories of arguments: arguments regarding children well-beeing, religious and political arguments, contact and experiential arguments and traditional arguments. [less ▲]

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See detailCapire gli attegiamenti nei confronti degli omogenitori in Belgio
Scali, Thérèse ULg

Scientific conference (2014, April 10)

La situazione sociale per i genitori gay e lesbiche in Belgio. I predittori degli atteggiamenti positivi e negativi verso l’omogenitorialità. Le famiglie Rainbow in Belgio: cosa permette la legge? Miti e ... [more ▼]

La situazione sociale per i genitori gay e lesbiche in Belgio. I predittori degli atteggiamenti positivi e negativi verso l’omogenitorialità. Le famiglie Rainbow in Belgio: cosa permette la legge? Miti e stereotipi sulle famiglie omogenitoriali. Perché alcuni Belgi non sostengono gli omogenitori? Il ruolo del « benessere » del bambino. Cosa si può fare? [less ▲]

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See detailChimie Intégrative dédiée aux morphosynthèses de matériaux composites multi-échelles et étude de leurs applications en photoluminescence, photocatalyse et photovoltaïque
Kinadjian, Natacha ULg

Doctoral thesis (2014)

The shaping of functional materials and the control of their texture at all length scales are sine qua non conditions for the improvement of current systems. This PhD project consists in creating complex ... [more ▼]

The shaping of functional materials and the control of their texture at all length scales are sine qua non conditions for the improvement of current systems. This PhD project consists in creating complex solid architectures using interdisciplinary methods such as sol-gel chemistry or complex fluids physics. Therefore, it is possible to synthesize Titanium Dioxide macroscopic fibers or films which possess a hierarchical porosity. This organization allows the optimization of the matter transport (liquid/gaz) for air depollution application (photocatalysis) or dye-sensitized solar cells. In another project, we were able to control the alignment of zinc oxide nanorods within a macroscopic fiber. This alignment provides to the fiber an anisotropic photoluminescence behavior which can be useful for switching devices application. Finally, we synthesized anisotropic particles and nano-sheets of polypyrrole (conducting polymer) in order to obtain smooth thin films presenting interesting electrical properties. The objective was to use them as electrolyte and/or electrode in dye-sensitized solar cells. [less ▲]

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See detailProbing the conformational changes during desolvation of ions using orthogonal mobility methods (CE-IMS)
Far, Johann ULg; Kune, Christopher ULg; Delvaux, Cédric ULg et al

Poster (2014, April 08)

The transfer of ions from the solution to the gas phase is a critical step to produce « native species ». Coming from a highly solvating medium, ionic species will tend to find a new equilibrium ... [more ▼]

The transfer of ions from the solution to the gas phase is a critical step to produce « native species ». Coming from a highly solvating medium, ionic species will tend to find a new equilibrium conformation in the gas phase. The pathway to reach the thermodynamically stable conformation involves crossing potential barriers of different heights. When these barriers are too high compared to the internal energy of the ions, it will result in “partial memories” (as structural preservation) of the conformation in solution. In order to evaluate the effect of the solvent evaporation and of the various collision processes encountered by the ions in the mass spectrometer. The strategy consists in comparing in a single experiment the shape of the ions in solution and in the gas phase. Data are obtained by coupling capillary electrophoresis with Ion Mobility Mass Spectrometry. Drift times in solution and in the gas phase are directly compared. Deviations from their correlation points out changes in folding upon desolvatation. Preliminary results show that among peptides issued from tryptic digest of BSA some of them clearly change their conformation during desolvatation. This work intends to evaluate the extent of conformational “memory” of the ions of different nature for best experimental condition allowing “native mass spectrometry”. [less ▲]

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See detailLe jeu vidéo amateur : un angle mort des game studies ?
Hurel, Pierre-Yves ULg

Scientific conference (2014, April 07)

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See detailCARACTERISATION MINERALOGIQUE, GEOCHIMIQUE ET GEOTECHNIQUE DES MATIERES PREMIERES UTILISEES DANS LE SITE POTIER D’AGAFAY (MARRAKECH, MAROC).
El Boudour El Idrissi, Hicham ULg; Daoudi, Lahcen; El Ouahabi, Meriam ULg et al

Conference (2014, April 04)

Le site potier d’Agafay est localisé à 20 km au Sud-Ouest de la ville de Marrakech. Le site comporte environ 240 artisans répartis sur 90 ateliers. Les principales pièces produites sont les gasriyas (i.e ... [more ▼]

Le site potier d’Agafay est localisé à 20 km au Sud-Ouest de la ville de Marrakech. Le site comporte environ 240 artisans répartis sur 90 ateliers. Les principales pièces produites sont les gasriyas (i.e., plats traditionnels de couscous et de modelage de pâtes de pains) et les briques traditionnelles. Les matières premières utilisées, brutes ou en mélange, sont issues des terres agricoles locales (Ag1 et Ag5) pour les gasriyas et des dépôts actuels de l’oued N’Fis (Ag7) pour les briques. Les défauts rencontrés dans la production diffèrent selon le type de produit confectionné et selon le type de matière première utilisée. La qualité des produits confectionnés à partir de Ag1 et Ag5 est altérée par la présence de grains de chaux qui gonflent après refroidissement des tessons cuits ; ce qui engendre des décollements dans les tessons et nuit à la qualité du produit final. Par ailleurs, les briques confectionnées à partir de Ag7 se caractérisent par une très grande variation de couleur, ce qui est du à une mauvaise cuisson et à une distribution non homogène de la chaleur à l’intérieur des fours traditionnels utilisés ; certaines briques sont totalement fondues. De plus les briques présentent généralement des torsions qui peuvent débuter après le cycle de séchage, mais qui s’amplifient après la cuisson. Notre étude vise à une caractérisation scientifique des différentes phases de fabrication afin de remédier à ces problèmes. Les résultats des analyses montrent que la composition chimique de l’ensemble des matières utilisée est surtout silico-alumineuse (55 à 61 % de SiO2 ; 16 à 20% d’Al2O3), la teneur en Fe2O3 se situe entre 6 et 8 %, celle de CaO ne dépasse pas 6% pour les pâtes des gasriyas et atteint 10 % pour les pâtes des briques. La teneur en carbonates varie de 5 à 14 %, alors que celle de la matière organique est comprise entre 5 et 7,5 %. L’indice de plasticité oscille entre 16 et 17,5. Pour des teneurs en eau proches de la limite de plasticité le degré de retrait au séchage des gasriyas est de l’ordre de 5 %, il est plus élevé pour les briques (8%) ce qui nécessite une plus grande maitrise du processus de séchage pour éviter que les pièces ne se tordent. La granulométrie des pâtes utilisées pour les gasriyas a montré une teneur moyenne de 50 % pour les argiles, 32 % pour les limons et 18 % pour les sables. Les briques comportent une proportion à peu prés équivalente des trois classes granulométriques. La minéralogie de l’ensemble des pâtes est formée de quartz (< 27%), plagioclase (13%), calcite (7 à 9%), dolomite (5%) et argile (50% pour Ag1 et Ag5, 34% pour Ag7). Le feldspath potassique est présent uniquement dans l’échantillon Ag7. Concernant la fraction argileuse, l’illite est dominante pour l’ensemble des pâtes ; elle est associée à des interstratifiés irréguliers 14c-14s (environ 13 %) pour la pâte des briques et à des smectites (environ 11 %) pour la pâte des gasriyas (Ag5). La mesure de la vitesse sonique a montré que les pièces formées par pression aboutissent à une porosité moindre que celle des pièces produites par boudinage. La densité des pièces produites reste semblable pour les cuissons à 950°C et 1050°C. Le plus bas degré de porosité ainsi que les plus grandes valeurs de résistance mécanique à la compression ont été enregistrés sur les pièces cuites à 1050 °C. Les contraintes maximales atteintes se situent entre 51 et 59 MPa pour les gasriyas et 24,5 MPa pour les briques. Quant à la résistance mécanique à la flexion, elle varie entre 17,4 et 20,3 N/mm² pour les gasriyas et 9,4 N/mm² pour les briques. L’analyse DRX des pièces cuites à 1050 °C a montré la disparition totale des carbonates et des argiles à cette température, accompagnée de l’apparition de la géhelénite, cristobalite, anorthoclase, diopside, spinelle et hématite. A l’issue de cette étude, nous recommandons un tamisage humide à 1 mm pour réduire l’effet des grains de chaux, un cycle de séchage plus adéquat, une cuisson par palier jusqu’à 1050°C et l’utilisation de fours qui garantissent une meilleure distribution de la chaleur. [less ▲]

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See detailPoint de vue sur les difficultés de l'électroneuromyogramme en pathologie du pied
WANG, François-Charles ULg

in BOUYSSET, Maurice; DELMI, Marino; MORVAN, Gérard (Eds.) Le Pied et la Cheville : de la clinique aux examens complémentaires (2014)

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See detailNest grouping patterns of bonobos (Pan paniscus) in relation to fruit availability in a forest-savannah mosaic
Serckx, Adeline ULg; Huynen, Marie-Claude ULg; Bastin, Jean-François ULg et al

in PLoS ONE (2014)

A topic of major interest in socio-ecology is the comparison of chimpanzees and bonobos’ grouping patterns. Numerous studies have highlighted the impact of social and environmental factors on the ... [more ▼]

A topic of major interest in socio-ecology is the comparison of chimpanzees and bonobos’ grouping patterns. Numerous studies have highlighted the impact of social and environmental factors on the different evolution in group cohesion seen in these sister species. We are still lacking, however, key information about bonobo social traits across their habitat range, in order to make accurate inter-species comparisons. In this study we investigated bonobo social cohesiveness at nesting sites depending on fruit availability in the forest-savannah mosaic of western Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), a bonobo habitat which has received little attention from researchers and is characterized by high food resource variation within years. We collected data on two bonobo communities. Nest counts at nesting sites were used as a proxy for night grouping patterns and were analysed with regard to fruit availability. We also modelled bonobo population density at the site in order to investigate yearly variation. We found that one community density varied across the three years of surveys, suggesting that this bonobo community has significant variability in use of its home range. This finding highlights the importance of forest connectivity, a likely prerequisite for the ability of bonobos to adapt their ranging patterns to fruit availability changes. We found no influence of overall fruit availability on bonobo cohesiveness. Only fruit availability at the nesting sites showed a positive influence, indicating that bonobos favour food ‘hot spots’ as sleeping sites. Our findings have confirmed the results obtained from previous studies carried out in the dense tropical forests of DRC. Nevertheless, in order to clarify the impact of environmental variability on bonobo social cohesiveness, we will need to make direct observations of the apes in the forest-savannah mosaic as well as make comparisons across the entirety of the bonobos’ range using systematic methodology. [less ▲]

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See detailBayesian inference of a dynamic vegetation model for grassland
Minet, Julien ULg; Laloy, Eric; Tychon, Bernard ULg et al

Conference (2014, April 02)

As a part of the MACSUR task L2.4, we probabilistically calibrated the CARAIB dynamic vegetation model by Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) simulation with the DREAMZS sampler.. CARAIB is a mechanistic ... [more ▼]

As a part of the MACSUR task L2.4, we probabilistically calibrated the CARAIB dynamic vegetation model by Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) simulation with the DREAMZS sampler.. CARAIB is a mechanistic model that calculates the carbon assimilation of the vegetation as a function of the soil and climatic conditions, and can thus be used for simulating grassland production under cutting or grazing management. Bayesian model inversion was performed at 4 grassland sites across Europe: Oensingen, CH; Grillenburg, DE; Laqueuille, FR and Monte-Bodone, IT. Four daily measured variables from these sites: the Gross Primary Productivity (GPP), Net Ecosystem Exchange (NEE), Evapotranspiration (ET) and Soil Water Content (SWC) were used to sample 10 parameters related to rooting depth, stomatal conductance, specific leaf area, carbon-nitrogen ratio and water stresses. The maximized likelihood function therefore involved four objectives, whereas the applied Bayesian framework allowed for assessing the so called parameter posterior probability density function (pdf), which quantifies model parameter uncertainty caused by measurement and model errors. Sampling trials were performed using merged data from all sites (all-sites-sampling) and for each site (site-specific sampling) separately. The derived posterior parameter pdfs from the all-sites sampling and site-specific sampling runs showed differences in relation with the specificities of each site. Analysis of these distributions also revealed model sensitivity to parameters conditioned on the measured data, as well as parameter correlations. [less ▲]

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