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See detailTHERMO-ECONOMIC OPTIMIZATION OF ORGANIC RANKINE CYCLE SYSTEMS FOR WASTE HEAT RECOVERY FROM EXHAUST AND RECIRCULATED GASES OF HEAVY DUTY TRUCKS
Guillaume, Ludovic ULg; Legros, Arnaud; Lemort, Vincent ULg

Conference (2016, September 14)

Waste heat recovery (WHR) ORC is a very promising technology for reducing fuel consumption and consequently the CO2 emissions of future heavy-duty trucks (HDT). Nonetheless, the adoption of this ... [more ▼]

Waste heat recovery (WHR) ORC is a very promising technology for reducing fuel consumption and consequently the CO2 emissions of future heavy-duty trucks (HDT). Nonetheless, the adoption of this technology in the automotive domain requires specific R&D activities going from the system definition to the on-board integration. This study focuses on the preliminary design phase of ORC systems recovering the heat wasted from two of the sources available on a HDT: the exhaust and recirculated gases. From these heat sources and their combinations, 6 possible architectures are identified. On the other hand, 4 volumetric expansion machine technologies are considered (Scroll, Screw, Piston and Vane Expanders). At the end, 24 topologies are modelled considering only the main components (Pump, Heat exchangers, Expansion machines). A three-step optimization method is proposed to identify the most promising system. First, the most suitable design conditions are identified using a simple model of expansion machine. In a second step, the design phase, using more detailed models for the expansion machines, a thermodynamic and economic optimizations are performed. Finally, in a third step, the output power of the latter system models is maximized in off-design conditions. [less ▲]

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See detailDYNAMIC MODELING OF WASTE HEAT RECOVERY ORGANIC RANKINE CYCLE SYSTEMS IN THE AMESIM PLATFROM
Guillaume, Ludovic ULg; Ameel, Bernd; Criens, Chris et al

Conference (2016, September 14)

ORC waste heat recovery is a very promising technology for reducing fuel consumption and consequently the CO2 emissions of future heavy-duty trucks. Because of the transient nature of the heat sources ... [more ▼]

ORC waste heat recovery is a very promising technology for reducing fuel consumption and consequently the CO2 emissions of future heavy-duty trucks. Because of the transient nature of the heat sources encountered on a truck, dynamic simulations are an essential part of the design process of ORC systems for truck applications. Dynamic models are useful for component design, control design and transient evaluation of ORC systems. To ease the burden of building numerous dynamic models of different candidate ORCs while the design process is ongoing, a library of generic dynamic models of ORCs is built in this work. These models work in synergy with a steady-state ORC design tool in which is added a function to automatically populate the parameters of the dynamic models. In this work, the dynamic model library and their parameterization process in LMS AMESim are described. The platform is largely used in automotive industry and offers a variety of libraries: Engine, Control, Two-Phase Flow, etc. Finally, the dynamic models are compared against the steady-state models and experimental data. [less ▲]

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See detailEffects of seed traits variation on seedling performance of the invasive weed, Ambrosia artemisiifolia
Monty, Arnaud ULg; Mahy, Grégory ULg; Ortmans, William ULg

Poster (2016, September 14)

Seedling performance can determine the survival of a juvenile plant and impact adult plant performance. Understanding the factors that may impact seedling performance is thus critical, especially for ... [more ▼]

Seedling performance can determine the survival of a juvenile plant and impact adult plant performance. Understanding the factors that may impact seedling performance is thus critical, especially for annuals, opportunists or invasive plant species. Seedling performance can vary among mothers or populations in response to environmental conditions or under the influence of seed traits. However, very few studies have investigated seed traits variations and their consequences on seedling performance. Specifically, the following questions have been addressed by this work: 1) How the seed traits of the invasive Ambrosia artemisiifolia L. vary among mothers and populations, as well as along the latitude; 2) How do seed traits influence seedling performance; 3) Is the influence on seedlings temperature dependent. With seeds from nine Western Europe ruderal populations, seed traits that can influence seedling development were measured. The seeds were sown into growth chambers with warmer or colder temperature treatments. During seedling growth, performance-related traits were measured. A high variability in seed traits was highlighted. Variation was determined by the mother identity and population, but not latitude. Together, the temperature, population and the identity of the mother had an effect on seedling performance. Seed traits had a relative impact on seedling performance, but this did not appear to be temperature dependent. Seedling performance exhibited a strong plastic response to the temperature, was shaped by the identity of the mother and the population, and was influenced by a number of seed traits. [less ▲]

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See detailAssessment of vertical contamination of Cd, Pb and Zn in soils around a former ore smelter in Wallonia, Belgium
Liénard, Amandine ULg; Colinet, Gilles ULg

Conference (2016, September 14)

Examples of sites contaminated by atmospheric fallouts are numerous across former industrial areas, among which the valleys of Sambre and Meuse in Wallonia hosted metal ore treatment factories. We have ... [more ▼]

Examples of sites contaminated by atmospheric fallouts are numerous across former industrial areas, among which the valleys of Sambre and Meuse in Wallonia hosted metal ore treatment factories. We have studied the fate of Cd, Pb and Zn in soils affected by atmospheric deposition in the vicinity of old smelters. The importance of vertical redistribution of contaminants in soils is questioned and the aims of this paper are to i) characterize the vertical distribution of TEs and soil properties along diverse soil profiles, ii) evaluate enrichment or impoverishment of TEs along the profiles to discriminate anthropogenic or geogenic origin of contaminations and iii) evaluate whether soil type or land use influenced the mobility of contaminants in the selected profiles. Concentrations of trace elements (Cd, Co, Cr, Cu, Ni, Pb, and Zn) and major elements (Ca, Mg, K, Fe, Al, and Mn) as well as pHKCl and TOC were measured on 22 profiles located in a 3 km radius of a former ore treatment plant in Wallonia (Belgium). Enrichment factor (EF), vertical impoverishment factor (VIF), and availability ratio (AR) were used as diagnostic tools of contamination and migration of Cd, Pb, and Zn in profiles. Data revealed that soil profiles are significantly contaminated. The ranges of enrichment factors for Cd (17-3570), Pb (1-2883), and Zn (2-309) are very broad with the higher EF in the topsoil of profile. VIFs of subhorizons are rarely above 1. In a few remaining cases with VIF > 1, the main factor explaining is soil type (especially, Colluvic Regosols, Luvisols, and, Cambisols with shale load). Cd, Pb and Zn ARs are strongly correlated with TOC and to a lesser extent with pHKCl. Pb and Zn ARs are influenced by soil type and land use only plays on Zn AR. The Cd availability is independent by these two factors. The contents of trace elements measured in soil profiles are very high especially in topsoil. Until now, the Cd, Pb, and Zn vertical distribution shows a low migration from topsoil up to depth. However, we must not minimize the hazard of a future potential transfer. [less ▲]

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See detailRadiosynthesis and preclinical development of [18F]labeled tryptophan for human indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase PET imaging
Henrottin, Jean ULg

Doctoral thesis (2016)

Nowadays, Cancer is probably the global incidence disease which is the most widespread, the most varied, still constantly rising and that can affect all levels and social classes of the population. Its ... [more ▼]

Nowadays, Cancer is probably the global incidence disease which is the most widespread, the most varied, still constantly rising and that can affect all levels and social classes of the population. Its treatment and care of patients suffering from this disease made it undoubtedly a crucial medical and scientific challenge, but also and above all, a major political, economical and social challenge for the coming years. Since its early detection often leads to a positive prognostic for the future of the patient, numerous methods are currently being developed to make easier its screening and improve its treatment. Positron Emission Tomography (PET) is one of the best techniques used to diagnose and bring out the presence of tumor cells, but also to study enzymatic activities within them, allowing therefore the prescription of a more adequate treatment and better tailored to each individual patient. That’s in this spirit that a novel specific radiotracer of the human indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase enzyme (hIDO) has been developed during this PhD thesis. This enzyme, highly expressed in numerous human tumors, is also currently subject to the development of various inhibitors. This report presents the development of N1-(2-[18F]fluoroethyl)-L-tryptophan (1-[18F]FE-L-Trp), a novel PET radiotracer derived from L-tryptophan and bearing a radioactive atom of fluorine-18 ([18F]F). This “story” starts with the synthesis of this compound and its selection as a specific substrate of hIDO among several potential candidates, and continues until its in vivo PET imaging on mice, while including also its enantiomerically pure and automated radiosynthesis, and numerous in vitro enzymatic and cellular assays, demonstrating the properties and the characteristics (specificity and selectivity) of this radiotracer with respect to hIDO. According to this study, in vitro cellular uptake have demonstrated that 1-[18F]FE-L-Trp is a radiotracer of choice to facilitate the development and the preclinical validation of novel potential inhibitors of hIDO (e.g. 1-methyl-L-tryptophan). Additionally, some in vivo PET imaging on mice bearing one tumor in each flank have shown that this radiotracer allows the in vivo detection of tumors expressing this enzyme. Nevertheless, in the conditions tested until now, only very small preferential uptake was observed with this radiotracer, in hIDO expressing tumors as compared to hTDO and control tumors. As a result, this radiotracer cannot be yet considered as a PET contrast agent in this animal model. Therefore, further additional investigation will be required to understand and characterize this animal model, to improve these in vivo results, and finally reach this objective. However, this PhD research constitutes the first step towards the preclinical development of radiopharmaceutical compounds allowing the molecular cancer imaging through the intermediary of hIDO enzyme. [less ▲]

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See detailRéduction des émissions de gaz à effet de serre en exploitation agricole : quelles mesures ?
Heinesch, Bernard ULg

Conference given outside the academic context (2016)

Detailed reference viewed: 17 (2 ULg)
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See detailMix and match: Essays on collective dynamics in nascent social entrepreneurship
Dufays, Frédéric ULg

Doctoral thesis (2016)

Social entrepreneurship is increasingly recognized both in research and practice as a form of entrepreneurship that is inherently hybrid as it combines a social-welfare logic with a commercial logic at ... [more ▼]

Social entrepreneurship is increasingly recognized both in research and practice as a form of entrepreneurship that is inherently hybrid as it combines a social-welfare logic with a commercial logic at its core. Collective dynamics, whether they point at an networked individual or a team, appear particularly salient both in the discourse on social entrepreneurship and in its practice. These would constitute a distinguishing feature of social entrepreneurship, which this dissertation examines through a set of four related research papers. First, social entrepreneurship as generically collective is taken as a starting point to review the literature. In particular, it identifies how the social network concept is used in relation to social entrepreneurship and develops research proposals aiming to explain social entrepreneurship emergence through this lens. Considering the entrepreneurial team as a crystallized social network that allows for bridging distinct logics constitutes one of these proposals, which is further explored in the second paper. Grounded in institutional theory, it develops a processual model describing how hybridity emerges and sustains throughout the entrepreneurial process and suggests that the entrepreneurial team may be a carrier of hybridity. The empirical part of the dissertation examines particular moments of this process. The third paper questions the collective dimension by seeking individuals’ meanings of entrepreneuring in team in the context of social entrepreneurship. Located a bit further in time in the entrepreneurial process, the fourth paper looks at organizational tensions in social entrepreneurial teams and nascent social enterprises and seeks to portray the manifestations of hybridity. Overall, this dissertation contributes to institutional theory by exploring the emergence of hybrid organizations; to team entrepreneurship literature by unravelling its antecedents and by explaining tensions in a context of institutional complexity; and to knowledge on social entrepreneurship by examining its collective dynamics at the early stages of the process. [less ▲]

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See detailFirst come first served: “priority effect“ benefits Ambrosia artemisiifolia L. more than other ruderal Asteraceae species
Ortmans, William ULg; Mahy, Grégory ULg; Monty, Arnaud ULg

Poster (2016, September 14)

Ambrosia artemisiifolia L. (common ragweed, Asteraceae) is an invasive weed causing a health crisis in Europe, due to its highly allergenic pollen. In Western Europe the invaded range covers most of ... [more ▼]

Ambrosia artemisiifolia L. (common ragweed, Asteraceae) is an invasive weed causing a health crisis in Europe, due to its highly allergenic pollen. In Western Europe the invaded range covers most of central and southern France, and northern Italy. Northwards beyond the edge of this range, occurrence of casual population have been described for years, but these populations do not appear to become invasive, and the species does not seem to spread. This situation raises the following question: Has the invaded range reached a limit or will the species continue its invasion northwards? To answer this question, we followed two complementary approaches. First we set up an experimental garden in Belgium, 250 km north to the current invaded range, to see if the local climate allows the completion of the species reproduction cycle. Second, we performed an in situ measurement campaign in 12 population located beyond the edge, within the range but near the margin, and in the center of the invaded range. The aim of this campaign was to test whether the species had reduced plant performance towards range margins. The results showed that the species is able to establish populations with high growth rates in Belgium. Furthermore, the species expressed similar performance across the considered areas, even beyond the current invasion front. No evidence of processes constraining the invasion was found, which suggests a great potential for invasion north to the current invaded range. In this uncertain situation, awareness actions should be considered in the northern countries. [less ▲]

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See detailMethods and models for brain connectivity assessment across levels of consciousness
Amico, Enrico ULg

Doctoral thesis (2016)

The human brain is one of the most complex and fascinating systems in nature. In the last decades, two events have boosted the investigation of its functional and structural properties. Firstly, the ... [more ▼]

The human brain is one of the most complex and fascinating systems in nature. In the last decades, two events have boosted the investigation of its functional and structural properties. Firstly, the emergence of novel noninvasive neuroimaging modalities, which helped improving the spatial and temporal resolution of the data collected from in vivo human brains. Secondly, the development of advanced mathematical tools in network science and graph theory, which has recently translated into modeling the human brain as a network, giving rise to the area of research so called Brain Connectivity or Connectomics. In brain network models, nodes correspond to gray-matter regions (based on functional or structural, atlas-based parcellations that constitute a partition), while links or edges correspond either to structural connections as modeled based on white matter fiber-tracts or to the functional coupling between brain regions by computing statistical dependencies between measured brain activity from different nodes. Indeed, the network approach for studying the brain has several advantages: 1) it eases the study of collective behaviors and interactions between regions; 2) allows to map and study quantitative properties of its anatomical pathways; 3) gives measures to quantify integration and segregation of information processes in the brain, and the flow (i.e. the interacting dynamics) between different cortical and sub-cortical regions. The main contribution of my PhD work was indeed to develop and implement new models and methods for brain connectivity assessment in the human brain, having as primary application the analysis of neuroimaging data coming from subjects at different levels of consciousness. I have here applied these methods to investigate changes in levels of consciousness, from normal wakefulness (healthy human brains) or drug-induced unconsciousness (i.e. anesthesia) to pathological (i.e. patients with disorders of consciousness). [less ▲]

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See detailExtremophile plants as source of biopesticides against European damageable plant pathogens
Ben Kaab, Sofiène ULg; Parisi, Olivier ULg; De Clerck, Caroline ULg et al

Poster (2016, September 14)

The use of plant-derived products in postharvest disease management may be a valid alternative to conventional chemical treatments (Pane et al., 2016). Unfavorable environmental conditions (such as salt ... [more ▼]

The use of plant-derived products in postharvest disease management may be a valid alternative to conventional chemical treatments (Pane et al., 2016). Unfavorable environmental conditions (such as salt and drought) increase production and accumulation of reactive oxygen species (ROS). Consequently, extremophile plants have developed adaptive responses including the synthesis of specific bioactive molecules used for medical and nutritional purposes (Ksouri et al., 2012). In that context, the main objective of the present study was the identification of effective plant extracts and essential oils from extremophile plants against the most important plant pathogens in Europe (in term of loss, treatment necessity and/or cost). The study began with the selection of four endemic medicinal species suspected to be antimicrobial due to their wealth of phenolic and terpene compounds, such as flavonoids, phenolic acids, and coumarins (Ksouri et al., 2012). Each of the aerial plant materials was grounded and macerated with solvent (methanol or chloroform) for 24 h. The solvent was then eliminated along rotavapor. The yield of plant extract varied between 1.56 and 6.7%. Kinetics of growth of the 3 pathogens cultivable in liquid medium was determined before testing the impact of plant extracts and essential oils. Methanolic and chloroform plant extracts (EM1, EM2, EC1 and EC2) and essential oils (EO1, EO2) were compared for their antifungal potential. The chemical composition of the essential oils obtained by hydrodistillation from the aerial parts was analyzed by GC/MS. Yield of essential oil varied between 0.7 and 1.2%. Therefore, antifungal activity of plant extracts and essential oils was evaluated using ELISA microplates with a blocked randomized design, as described previously (Parisi et al., 2013). The results obtained showed that EM2 at 7 mg/ml has a very high fungistatic activity against Fusarium culmorum, F. oxysporum and Penicillium italicum. It was characterized with a high amount of polyphenols, flavonoids and condensed tannins. Statistical analysis showed that the efficiency of methanol extracts significantly differed from those of the chloroform extracts. In addition, essential oils significantly reduced spores germination in a dose-dependent manner. Their fungistatic activity reached 100% at 6000 ppm. In conclusion, this work allowed us to open new perspectives on the application of extremophile plant extracts as novel biocontrol strategy against plant pathogens. [less ▲]

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See detailMonitoring water and pollutant leaching at an industrial site using geophysics and a vadose zone monitoring system.
Fernandez de Vera, Natalia ULg

Doctoral thesis (2016)

The development of protection and remediation plans for contaminated soil and groundwater require a detailed understanding of water flow dynamics and contaminant distribution in the subsurface. However ... [more ▼]

The development of protection and remediation plans for contaminated soil and groundwater require a detailed understanding of water flow dynamics and contaminant distribution in the subsurface. However, the retrieval of such information across the vadose zone is challenging, as most field technologies have limited accessibility beyond the first meters of subsoil and industrial environments pose additional technical difficulties for installation. The research presented here aims to provide effective in situ characterization tools that are capable of providing information about water flow dynamics, contaminant distribution and chemistry across the vadose zone of industrial contaminated sites. The Vadose Zone Monitoring System (VMS) was selected in conjunction with geophysical methods (Electrical Resistivity Tomography), given their adaptability for installation in polluted industrial sites. The VMS allows retrieval of in situ continuous hydraulic and chemical information of infiltrated water at different depths of the vadose zone through customized sensors installed in a slanted borehole. The spatial resolution of the subsurface is improved with geophysical methods, which are used to characterize structural heterogeneities in the subsurface and the spatial distribution of solutes therein. The setup containing both the VMS and a geophysical system was installed at a former industrial contaminated site in the west of Belgium. Soil and groundwater at the study site are contaminated with heavy metals, Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAH) and inorganic contaminants, among others. Upon installation, the site was monitored under natural recharge conditions. Results from water content sensors installed in the VMS reveal quick rises in water content as a response to rainfall events to depths reaching 3.65m. From such water fluctuations, macropore, micropore, matrix and preferential flow mechanisms are identified. At greater depths, slower flow dynamics and matrix mechanisms are dominant. Results from sampled waters across the vadose zone reveal the existence of two predominant chemical facies at different depths, which are related with water infiltration flow mechanisms. Ni is identified as the main contaminant that is leaching across the vadose zone. Subsequent to such initial monitoring period, a saline tracer test was infiltrated on site and monitored via surface, cross-borehole ERT methods and the VMS to simulate the transport of a contaminant across the vadose zone. Results from a short term monitoring period (5 days) reveal the formation of a plume in the first meter of the subsurface. Slow vertical flow through matrix is found to be dominant. Measurements carried out 105 days after tracer infiltration vertical transport of the tracer towards depths that reached 4m. Results obtained from the VMS indicate that the tracer has reached such depths through the activation of matrix and fracture flow mechanisms following frequent rainfall episodes. The implementation of the setup has provided detailed information about water flow dynamics and chemistry across the vadose zone, as well as the spatial characterization of structures and tracer distribution in the subsurface. From such outcome, it can be concluded that this setup could be used to improve site conceptual models which are essential for developing risk assessments and remediation plans. [less ▲]

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See detailPredicting the dynamic impact behaviour of spray droplets on flat 1 plant surfaces
Delele, Mulugeta Admasu; Nuyttens, David; Douga, Ashenafitilahun T. et al

in Soft Matter (2016), 12 (34)(7), 195-211

The dynamic impact behaviour of water droplets on plant surfaces was investigated based on a multiphase computational fluid dynamics (CFD) model. The study was conducted using the Volume Of Fluid (VOF ... [more ▼]

The dynamic impact behaviour of water droplets on plant surfaces was investigated based on a multiphase computational fluid dynamics (CFD) model. The study was conducted using the Volume Of Fluid (VOF) approach. The static contact angle of water droplets on leaf surfaces of different plants (apple, pear, leek and cabbage) was measured and found to vary between 54.9 and 138.2°. Impact experiments were conducted by monitoring the flow and impact characteristics of water droplets on leaves in still air with a high speed camera. Droplets were generated by an agricultural flat fan spray nozzle moving across the leaf at constant speed. The nozzle produced droplets with diameters ranging from 20.6 up to 550.8 μm, and droplet velocity values near the impact between 0.03 and 13.2 m s(-1). The CFD model was capable of predicting the observed dynamic impact behaviour of droplets on the plant surfaces. The fate of the droplets after the impact process for adhesion, bouncing or splashing was accurately predicted for Weber numbers (We) in the range of 0.007 to 1096 and droplet Reynolds numbers (Re) between 5 to 8000. The process was highly dependent on the surface and droplet flow characteristics during the impact. Combinations of We, Re and Ohnesorge (Oh) numbers defined the droplet maximum spread factor, the number of secondary droplets generated as a result of the splashing process and the transition between the different impact outcomes. These criteria can then be used in field scale spray deposition and drift models to better understand agricultural spray operations. [less ▲]

See detailWhat’s with the hyphens? A social studies perspective on science-technology-society
Van Oudheusden, Michiel ULg

Scientific conference (2016, September 13)

This presentation highlights the roles social scientists (notably in the field of science and technology studies) can/should play in nuclear research and development. Three cases are briefly described and ... [more ▼]

This presentation highlights the roles social scientists (notably in the field of science and technology studies) can/should play in nuclear research and development. Three cases are briefly described and assessed: citizen science after Fukushima, incident reporting at the Belgian Nuclear Research Centre SCK-CEN, and the "microbiologization" of radioactive waste management. [less ▲]

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See detailOrganocatalytic ring-opening polymerization towards polyphosphoesters
Clément, Benoit; Vanslambrouck, Stépanie; Carion, Stéphan ULg et al

Conference (2016, September 13)

Hydrolytically degradable and biocompatible aliphatic polyesters are widely applied for biomedical applications as implants, scaffolds for tissue engineering and, finally, as nanocarriers for drug ... [more ▼]

Hydrolytically degradable and biocompatible aliphatic polyesters are widely applied for biomedical applications as implants, scaffolds for tissue engineering and, finally, as nanocarriers for drug delivery. Aliphatic phophoesters, known since the pioneering work of S. Penczek in the 70’s, exhibit the same properties of hydrolytic degradability and biocompatibility and are thus more and more studied for biomedical applications as well. In the field of materials, anti-fire properties opens up new perspectives. The difference between polyesters and polyphosphoesters in terms of synthesis and properties will be highlighted. Polyphosphosphoesters are synthesized by step-growth and chain growth polymerization. When these polyphosphoesters are synthesized by ring-opening polymerization of cyclic phosphoesters, organocatalysts turned out to be very efficient compared to coodination processes. The last part of the talk will deal with te implementation of ROP of cyclic phosphates towards a series of amphiphilic PEO-block-polyphosphate copolymers of tailored hydrophobicity depending on the length of the lateral alkyl group. These polymers are able to self assemble into nanoparticles by direct dissolution in water, thus in the absernce of any organic solvent. The so-obtained micelles were studied by a set of techniques (Pyrene Fluorescence, Dynamic Light Scattering, Tensiometry). Finally, the influence of the hydrophobicity of the polyphosphate block of the micelle on the encapsulation and the release of a model drug was investigated. [less ▲]

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See detailIs Ambrosia artemisiifolia L. able to expand its invaded range northward in Western Europe?
Ortmans, William ULg; Mahy, Grégory ULg; Monty, Arnaud ULg

Conference (2016, September 13)

Ambrosia artemisiifolia L. (common ragweed, Asteraceae) is an invasive weed causing a health crisis in Europe, due to its highly allergenic pollen. In Western Europe the invaded range covers most of ... [more ▼]

Ambrosia artemisiifolia L. (common ragweed, Asteraceae) is an invasive weed causing a health crisis in Europe, due to its highly allergenic pollen. In Western Europe the invaded range covers most of central and southern France, and northern Italy. Northwards beyond the edge of this range, occurrence of casual population have been described for years, but these populations do not appear to become invasive, and the species does not seem to spread. This situation raises the following question: Has the invaded range reached a limit or will the species continue its invasion northwards? To answer this question, we followed two complementary approaches. First we set up an experimental garden in Belgium, 250 km north to the current invaded range, to see if the local climate allows the completion of the species reproduction cycle. Second, we performed an in situ measurement campaign in 12 population located beyond the edge, within the range but near the margin, and in the center of the invaded range. The aim of this campaign was to test whether the species had reduced plant performance towards range margins. The results showed that the species is able to establish populations with high growth rates in Belgium. Furthermore, the species expressed similar performance across the considered areas, even beyond the current invasion front. No evidence of processes constraining the invasion was found, which suggests a great potential for invasion north to the current invaded range. In this uncertain situation, awareness actions should be considered in the northern countries. [less ▲]

Detailed reference viewed: 32 (10 ULg)
See detailInvestigating the effect of plant-derived amendments on PAHs degradation in brownfield contaminated soils
Davin, Marie ULg; Starren, Amandine ULg; Colinet, Gilles ULg et al

Conference (2016, September 13)

Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are a class of persistant organic compounds of major concern that tend to accumulate in the environment, damaging ecosystems and health. Brownfields represent an ... [more ▼]

Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are a class of persistant organic compounds of major concern that tend to accumulate in the environment, damaging ecosystems and health. Brownfields represent an important tank for PAHs that require remediation. As an alternative to environmentally aggressive, expensive and often disruptive soil remediation strategies, experiences have been carried on to understand and develop techniques based on bioremediation and phytoremediation. PAHs degradation experiments were conducted in microcosms (laboratory scale) in order to determine whether several plant-derived amendments could enhance bioremediation. Briefly, samples of aged contaminated soils were treated with different concentrations of Medicago sativa or Trifolium pratense root exudates or dried roots, commercial saponin, a natural surfactant found in some plant roots such as some Fabaceae, and some samples were left unamended as controls. Soil samples were incubated for two and four weeks at controlled temperature (28°C). Carbon dioxide emission was monitored throughout the whole incubation. At the end of each experiment, dehydrogenase activity was measured as an indicator of microbiological activity and residual PAHs were determined using High-Performance Liquid Chromatography with Fluorimetric Detection (HPLC-FLD). In total, eleven amendment modalities and two incubation periods were tested and repeated four times. Preliminary experiments show promising results as amended samples seem to show different respiration activities. Ongoing studies will allow discussion as to whether or not PAHs degradation is influenced by the different modalities and if there are any differences according to the nature and concentration of the amendment. [less ▲]

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See detailRaised interferon beta, type 3 interferon and interferon stimulated genes - evidence of innate immune activation in neutrophilic asthma.
da Silva, J.; Hilzendeger, Clarissa ULg; Moermans, Catherine et al

in Clinical & Experimental Allergy : Journal of the British Society for Allergy & Clinical Immunology (2016)

BACKGROUND: Interferons play an important role in innate immunity. Previous studies report deficiency in virus-induction of interferon (IFN)-alpha, -beta and -lambda in bronchial epithelial and bronchial ... [more ▼]

BACKGROUND: Interferons play an important role in innate immunity. Previous studies report deficiency in virus-induction of interferon (IFN)-alpha, -beta and -lambda in bronchial epithelial and bronchial lavage cells in atopic asthmatics. It is now recognized that asthma is a heterogeneous disease comprising different inflammatory phenotypes, some of which may involve innate immune activation in the absence of overt infection. OBJECTIVE: The aim of the study was investigate if the severity of asthma or a specific cellular sputum pattern may be linked to evidence of innate immune activation. METHODS: Here we investigate the expression of IFN-beta, IFN-lambda1 (IL-29), IFN-lambda2/3 (IL-28A/B) and the interferon-stimulated genes (ISGs) myxovirus resistance 1 (Mx1), oligoadenylate synthetase (OAS) and viperin in unstimulated sputum cells in 57 asthmatics (including 16 mild, 19 moderate and 22 severe asthma patients) and compared them with 19 healthy subjects. RESULTS: We observed increased expression of IFN-beta, IFN-lambda1/IL-29, OAS and viperin in asthmatic compared to healthy subjects while IL-28 was not expressed in any group. The overexpression was restricted to neutrophilic asthmatics (sputum neutrophils >/= 76%) while eosinophilic asthmatics (sputum eosinophils >/= 3%) did not differ from healthy subjects or even showed a lower expression of Mx1. No difference in interferon or ISG expression was seen according to clinical asthma severity. CONCLUSION AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE: Neutrophilic, but not eosinophilic, asthmatics display overexpression of IFN-beta, IFN-lambda1/IL-29 and ISGs in their sputum cells that may reflect ongoing innate immune activation. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved. [less ▲]

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See detailDirect measurement of evapotranspiration from a forest using a superconducting gravimeter
Van Camp, Michel; de Viron, Olivier; Pajot-Métivier, Gwendoline et al

in Geophysical Research Letters (2016), 43

Evapotranspiration (ET) controls the flux between the land surface and the atmosphere. Assessing the ET ecosystems remains a key challenge in hydrology. We have found that the ET water mass loss can be ... [more ▼]

Evapotranspiration (ET) controls the flux between the land surface and the atmosphere. Assessing the ET ecosystems remains a key challenge in hydrology. We have found that the ET water mass loss can be directly inferred from continuous gravity measurements: as water evaporates and transpires from terrestrial ecosystems, the mass distribution of water decreases, changing the gravity field. Using continuous superconducting gravity measurements, we were able to identify daily gravity changes at the level of, or smaller than, 10-9 nms-2 (or 10-10 g) per day. This corresponds to 1.7mmof water over an area of 50 ha. The strength of this method is its ability to enable a direct, traceable and continuous monitoring of actual ET for years at the mesoscale with a high accuracy. [less ▲]

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