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See detailIdentification of bovine and porcine colistin-resistant mcr1-positive Escherichia coli.
Mainil, Jacques ULg; Muylaert, Adeline ULg; Saulmont, Marc et al

Conference (2016, September)

OBJECTIVE Polymyxins, especially colistin, have been used for years in veterinary medicine and were rediscovered a few years ago as last resort antibiotics in human medicine against multi-resistant Gram ... [more ▼]

OBJECTIVE Polymyxins, especially colistin, have been used for years in veterinary medicine and were rediscovered a few years ago as last resort antibiotics in human medicine against multi-resistant Gram negative bacterial pathogens. For years, only chromosome-mediated resistance to colistin was identified as a consequence of mutation(s) in lipid A-encoding genes. Recently, however, a plasmid-located gene (mcr1) was identified in Gram-negative enterobacteria and has since been found by PCR in several, but not all, bovine, human, porcine and poultry colistin-resistant Escherichia coli (Liu YY et al. Lancet Infect Dis, 2016, 16(2), 161-168; Nordmann P and Poirel L. Clin Microbiol Infect, 2016, 22, 398-400 ; Schwarz S and Johnson AP. J Antimicrob Chemother, 2016, in press, doi: 10.1093/jac/dkw274). The purpose of this study was to compare phenotypic and genetic for the detection of resistance to colistin and of the mcr1 gene in a collection of Escherichia coli isolated from different animal species and from humans. METHODS More than 3000 E. coli isolates from cattle, pigs, dogs, cats, horses, rabbits, chickens ducks and humans were tested for resistance to colistin by growing them on agar plates with 1g/ml of colistin. The Minimal Inhibitory Concentrations (MIC) of and the presence of the mcr1 gene in all growing isolates were determined using the E test® and colony hybridization assay with a mcr1 specific gene probe, respectively. The probe-positive isolates were further tested with the mcr1 gene specific PCR. RESULTS A total of 410 E. coli isolated grew on 1g/ml colistin-containing agar plates. The majority of isolates grew well, but several grew sparsely with only few isolated colonies. As determined by the E test®, MIC of 273 isolates (67%) was 1g/ml of colistin and higher; conversely, MIC of 137 isolates (33%) was lower than 1g/ml of colistin. Of those 410 E. coli isolates, 34 from pigs and bovines (9% of isolates growing on colistin-containing agar plates; 25% of isolates with MIC higher than 1g/ml) hybridized with the mcr1 gene-derived probe: 5 from pigs and 11 from bovines gave black spots (including five from the same calf), while 18 from pigs and one from bovine gave grey spots. All but one pig isolate had a MIC between 1.5 and 16 g/ml of colistin. Fifteen “black spot” probe-positive isolates tested positive with the mcr1 gene specific PCR as did 3 porcine “grey spot” probe-positive isolates, while the remaining 16 isolates repeatedly tested negative even after lowering the annealing temperature. CONCLUSION This study confirms that (i) the results of phenotypic assays for the detection of colistin resistance can not be always trusted; (ii) the mcr1 gene is not the only one mechanism of resistance to colistin; (iii) mcr1 variants may exist that can not be detected by the classical PCR. Phenotypic assays like growth on colistin-containing agar plates can still represent a first base screening assay, although the MIC determination using the E test® confirms a >1g/ml MIC for only 2 out of 3 growing isolates. Presence of mcr1 gene and putative variants (like the most recently described mcr2 gene; Xavier BB et al., Eurosurveillance, 21, 7 July 2016) in all probe-positive isolates will be confirmed after Whole Genome Sequencing that will also allow comparing the mcr1-positive plasmids and isolates from pigs and cattle to similar human E. coli isolates. Further studies should also be performed to identify the colistin resistance mechanism in mec-negative isolates. [less ▲]

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See detailQuelles perspectives d'avenir pour le Cifen ?
Simons, Germain ULg

Article for general public (2016)

Dans le cadre de la table ronde portant sur les 20 ans du Cifen (28 août 2015), le président actuel du Centre, G. Simons, a évoqué quelques perspectives pour le centre.

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See detailNonlinear vibration analysis of the SmallSat spacecraft: From identification to design
Detroux, Thibaut ULg; Noël, Jean-Philippe ULg; Masset, Luc ULg et al

Conference (2016, September)

The objective of the present contribution is to introduce nonlinear experimental and numerical tools and methods applicable to real-life structures. The study is illustrated using the SmallSat spacecraft ... [more ▼]

The objective of the present contribution is to introduce nonlinear experimental and numerical tools and methods applicable to real-life structures. The study is illustrated using the SmallSat spacecraft developed by Airbus Defence and Space, which possesses several localized nonlinearities. The computation of nonlinear normal modes and bifurcations reveals that the satellite possesses complex dynamics including modal interactions, quasiperiodic oscillations and isolated resonances. [less ▲]

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See detailEntre traditions et innovations. La tête végétalisée dans les décors romains: origine, diffusion et signification d'un thème ornemental
Derwael, Stéphanie ULg

Doctoral thesis (2016)

La tête végétalisée est un témoin privilégié de la culture visuelle des Romains. Innovation de l’époque tardo-républicaine et proto-impériale, elle n’en demeure pas moins l’héritière du traitement formel ... [more ▼]

La tête végétalisée est un témoin privilégié de la culture visuelle des Romains. Innovation de l’époque tardo-républicaine et proto-impériale, elle n’en demeure pas moins l’héritière du traitement formel de figures telles que la Rankenfrau et le Rankengott et d’un symbolisme végétal séculaire. Elle évoque une nature naissante ou renaissante qui ne possède pas encore les frontières du cosmos ordonné, et fonctionne comme une épithète iconographique permettant de mettre en évidence un aspect particulier d’un personnage, tel le dieu Oceanus. L’étude des spécificités culturelles et des traditions iconographiques des différentes régions de l’Empire romain, couplée à la mise en série et à l’analyse contextualisée des documents, permet de mettre en évidence les formes de diffusion, de réception et d’appropriation de ce thème ornemental, de sa naissance à son assimilation par le monde chrétien. A côté de tendances relativement homogènes communes à l’Empire, se dessinent quelques courants particuliers, comme l’enrichissement nord-africain de la forme océanique, le renouveau oriental de la bordure à rinceau peuplé héritée de la tradition picturalisante hellénistique, ou « l’humanisation du végétal » gallo-germanique. Entre traditions et innovations, la tête végétalisée du monde romain développe des spécificités iconographiques pérennes qui lui confèrent une signification inhérente à toute forme d’hybridité végétale, tout en permettant à différentes visions du monde de s’exprimer en elle sans se dissoudre. [less ▲]

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See detailLe décret décumul et le Parlement wallon
Grandjean, Geoffrey ULg; Janssens, Frédéric

in Administration Publique: Revue du Droit Public et des Sciences Administratives (2016), 2

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See detailLARCH: A package for estimating multinomial, nested, and cross-nested logit models that account for semi-aggregate data
Newman, Jeffrey; Lurkin, Virginie ULg; Garrow, Laurie

E-print/Working paper (2016)

We present a summary of important computational issues and opportunities that arise from the use of semi-aggregate data (where the explanatory data for choice scenarios are not necessarily unique for each ... [more ▼]

We present a summary of important computational issues and opportunities that arise from the use of semi-aggregate data (where the explanatory data for choice scenarios are not necessarily unique for each decision-maker) in discrete choice models. This data feature is commonly encountered with large transactional databases that have limited consumer information, such as itinerary choice modeling. We developed a software package called Larch, written in Python and C++, to take advantage of this kind of data to greatly speed the estimation of discrete choice model parameters. Benchmarking experiments against Stata (a commonly used commercial package) and Biogeme (a commonly used freeware package) based on an industry dataset for airline itinerary choice modeling applications shows that the size of the input estimation files are 50 to 100 times larger in Stata and Biogeme, respectively. Estimation times are also much faster in Larch; e.g., for a small itinerary choice problem, a multinomial logit model estimated in Larch converged in less than one second whereas the same model took almost 15 seconds in Stata and more than three minutes in Biogeme. For more complex discrete choice models, such as the ordered generalized extreme value model, estimation times were two seconds in Larch and four to five days in Biogeme. [less ▲]

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See detailPrecision synthesis of poly(ionic liqui)s in aqueous media by cobalt-mediated radical polymerization
Cordella, Daniela ULg

Doctoral thesis (2016)

Poly(ionic liquid)s (PILs) are a subclass of polyelectrolytes that gained an enabling role in many fields of polymer chemistry and material science. PILs combine the unique properties of ionic liquids ... [more ▼]

Poly(ionic liquid)s (PILs) are a subclass of polyelectrolytes that gained an enabling role in many fields of polymer chemistry and material science. PILs combine the unique properties of ionic liquids with the flexibility and properties of macromolecules, and provide novel attractive functions. Recently, the precision design of novel PILs by controlled/living polymerization (CLP) techniques was intensively searched for developing emerging applications, such as those based on the self-assembly of block copolymers (BCPs). Indeed, combining the physicochemical properties of PILs with the self-assembly of BCPs is a route to easily produce innovative functional nanostructures that have a huge potential for many applications, e.g. for electrochemical devices, gas membranes, nanostructures materials, etc. Among the panel of poly(ionic liquid)-based block copolymers (PIL BCPs) that is available, vinyl imidazolium-based derivatives are highly attractive due their high charge density, the possibility to easily tune their properties by the nature of the alkyl chain, etc. However, when this PhD thesis started, their synthesis by direct polymerization of N-vinyl imidazolium-type monomers was challenging for most of the CLP techniques. Only few examples of vinyl imidazolium-based PIL BCPs were accessible by Reversible Addition Fragmentation Transfer (RAFT) polymerization or Cobalt-Mediated Radical Polymerization (CMRP), and in organic media exclusively. The aim of this PhD thesis was to develop a controlled radical polymerization technique for N-vinyl imidazolium-type monomers in water that would facilitate the precision synthesis of PIL BCPs in this green solvent under non-demanding experimental conditions. Due to its compatibility to water and to its high versatility, the CMRP process was used for that purpose. The synthetic challenges that we address in this thesis are (1) to perform the CMRP of N-vinyl imidazolium type monomers in water, (2) to prepare hydrosoluble but also amphiphilic all PIL BCPs in this green solvent, and (3) to simplify the process to facilitate its scaling-up. The potential of the innovative PILs developed during this thesis was then explored for applications in energy (as solid electrolytes for battery applications) and environment (as antibacterial coatings/materials). [less ▲]

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See detailPrévalence de l’hypovitaminose D chez la femme enceinte : quelle est la situation en région liégeoise ?
VRANKEN, Laura ULg

Master of advanced studies dissertation (2016)

Vitamin D deficiency is a worldwide health problem, also during pregnancy, especially in women with limited access to sunlight due to minimal outdoor activity or heavy use of sunscreen, cultural practices ... [more ▼]

Vitamin D deficiency is a worldwide health problem, also during pregnancy, especially in women with limited access to sunlight due to minimal outdoor activity or heavy use of sunscreen, cultural practices or traditional clothing, and among women with dark skin pigmentation and poor dietary habits. Inadequate maternal vitamin D status in pregnancy is associated with poor fetal growth, impaired bone development and rickets in infants after birth. Furthermore, higher rates of preeclampsia and gestational diabetes are associated with low maternal vitamin D status during pregnancy. Toxicity of vitamin D is rare. Most countries recommend vitamin D supplementation during pregnancy but guidelines are controversial and inadequate compared to real mother’s and child’s needs. Wath’s the best strategy to follow and supplement mother during pregnancy? [less ▲]

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See detailHow do we understand Smart City? An Evolutionary Perspective
Crutzen, Nathalie ULg; Kummitha, Rama

Conference (2016, August 25)

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See detailNormative data on teachers’ voice use in real-life situations
Schiller, Isabel ULg; Morsomme, Dominique ULg; Alcoulombre, Anaëlle et al

Conference (2016, August 25)

Background As part of their working routine, teachers use their voice for extended periods of time. To compensate for adverse acoustic conditions and background noise, they are also required to speak at ... [more ▼]

Background As part of their working routine, teachers use their voice for extended periods of time. To compensate for adverse acoustic conditions and background noise, they are also required to speak at high intensities. Since teaching is acknowledged to be vocally demanding, several studies have investigated teachers’ vocal load, that is, the stress inflicted on the larynx during vocalization, which is thought to be influenced by duration, intensity and frequency of phonation. A promising method for analyzing teachers’ phonatory behavior in real-life situations is the use of a portable voice dosimeter that objectively documents vocal parameters. Depending on several factors, those parameters may vary within the teaching profession (Masuda et al., 1993; Morrow and Connor, 2011; Remacle, Morsomme, and Finck, 2014). With the aim of quantifying their vocal parameters and identifying the most at-risk teaching conditions, we have established a large database of French-speaking teachers. Based on this database, this study analyzed vocal loading differences with regard to gender, teaching level, and environment (professional versus extra-professional). Methods Seventy-six French-speaking teachers (15 males and 61 females) were monitored during one workweek using the Ambulatory Phonation Monitor voice dosimeter (KayPENTAX). The subjects included 21 kindergarten, 20 primary and 35 secondary school teachers. All male subjects were in the latter group. The vocal parameters analyzed were phonation time, intensity and fundamental frequency (F0). Results The statistical analysis revealed that, irrespective of gender, phonation time, F0 and intensity level were significantly higher in the professional environment than the extra-professional environment (p<.01). Among female subjects, the F0 of kindergarten teachers was significantly higher than that of primary school teachers, which in turn was higher than that of secondary school teachers (p<.01). The phonation time and intensity were also higher in female kindergarten teachers than other female teachers, but this difference did not reach significance. As expected, regarding gender differences, we found that female secondary school teachers spoke with significantly higher F0 than their male colleagues (p<.001). In the extra-professional setting, they also spoke with a significantly higher intensity (p<.05), but no such effect was found in the professional environment. Conclusion Overall, our subjects showed an increase in vocal loading parameters when they were at work compared to their free time. This confirms the results of earlier studies and demonstrates that teaching is an occupation with remarkably high vocal demands. The analysis of mean frequency showed that lower school levels were associated with higher-pitched voice. It can be assumed that kindergarten teachers adapt to the higher F0 of their young pupils and that their effort to maintain the pupils’ attention results in greater frequency variations. References Masuda, T., Ikeda, Y., Manako, H., & Komiyama, S. (1993). Analysis of vocal abuse: Fluctuations in phonation time and intensity in 4 groups of speakers. Acta Oto-Laryngologica, 113(3), 547–552. Morrow, S. L., & Connor, N. P. (2011). Comparison of voice-use profiles between elementary classroom and music teachers. Journal of Voice, 25(3), 367–372. Remacle, A., Morsomme, D., & Finck, C. (2014). Comparison of vocal loading parameters in kindergarten and elementary school teachers. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 57(2), 406–415. [less ▲]

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See detailDetermining new threshold temperatures for cooling and heating degree day index of different climatic zones of Iran
Roshan, Gh.R.; Ghanghermeh, A.A.; Attia, Shady ULg

in Renewable Energy : An International Journal (2016), 101(2017), 156-167

Iran is a country with a variety of different climates. Determining the threshold temperatures suitable for providing thermal and climatic comfort is necessary and vital to its population well-being. This ... [more ▼]

Iran is a country with a variety of different climates. Determining the threshold temperatures suitable for providing thermal and climatic comfort is necessary and vital to its population well-being. This research presents new threshold temperatures in order to calculate the degree day index required for heating and cooling by taking advantage of the 12 stations that are representative of the diversity of Iran's climate. Using Olgyay diagram, different bioclimatic ranges of 12 weather stations and their frequencies were compiled, processes and analysed. Mean daily data of temperature and relative humidity were used for the period of 1950e2010. Based on the frequencies of temperature readings falling in Olgyay's diagram comfort zone, representive temperature thresholds were selected based on 40 to 60 percentiles or (P20), 25e75% percentile (P50) and the threshold of 10e90% percentile. The findings of this study shows that Mashhad with 29.6% and Anzali with 2.33% of frequencies, have experienced the maximum and minimum days of comfort. After analyzing various percentiles to determine the threshold temperatures, it was observed that there is a little difference among the stations for determining the minimum threshold for the comfort. Differences are more obvious in the maximum thresholds. In total, minimum base temperatures (HDD) belonged to Ardabil stations that were 20.50, 20.90 and 20 deg C for P20, P50 and P80 respectively. The maximum temperature for calculating CDD with values of (P20 ¼ 25 C; P50 ¼ 26.25 C; P80 ¼ 27.50 C) is dedicated to Zabol station. The findings present more reasonable thermal comfort thresholds that can be used by architects, engineers and policy makers to achieve, in turn, more energy efficient homes and high quality indoor and outdoor living environments. [less ▲]

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See detailEtude des rôles du produit d'expression du gène M138L du virus Myxoma dans la pathogénie de la myxomatose
Boutard, Bérengère ULg

Doctoral thesis (2016)

Myxoma virus belongs to the Poxviridae family and induces a severe and often lethal disease called myxomatosis in the European rabbit (Bertagnoli & Marchandeau, 2015). Numerous genes of the virus encode ... [more ▼]

Myxoma virus belongs to the Poxviridae family and induces a severe and often lethal disease called myxomatosis in the European rabbit (Bertagnoli & Marchandeau, 2015). Numerous genes of the virus encode for proteins with immunomodulatory functions (Spiesschaert et al., 2011; Zuniga, 2002). Among them, it has been demonstrated that the virus encodes for an α-2,3-sialyltransferase (Jackson et al., 1999; Markine-Goriaynoff et al., 2004b) that catalyzes the transfer of sialic acid to the N and O-glycans of glycoproteins and glycolipids (Varki & Schauer, 2009). Glycans, and especially sialic acids, are known to play significant roles in interactions and recognition between cells and between cells and viruses (Cohen & Varki, 2010; Raman et al., 2005; Vigerust & Shepherd, 2007). The aim of this thesis was to better understand the roles played by the viral α-2,3-sialyltransferase in the pathogenesis of myxomatosis. Using the Lausanne strain as parental strain, we have constructed strains deficient for the M138L gene encoding the α-2,3-sialyltransferase, and a revertant strain. Although no difference could be detected between the strains in vitro, the M138L knockout strains were highly attenuated in vivo. Especially, we observed more neutrophils at the beginning of infection and then an important mononuclear cells infiltrate in the dermis of the primary sites of infection for rabbits infected with the M138L knockout strains. We then wanted to determine which viral and / or cellular proteins were affected by the viral α-2,3-sialyltransferase, to check if their modification could explain the phenotype that we observed. We showed that the viral M-T7 protein was sialylated by the viral enzyme. M-T7 is a homologue of the interferon-γ receptor (Mossman et al., 1995) which is also able to bind and inhibit several chemokines, to block the chemokine gradient formation and to inhibit the inflammatory cells attraction towards the site of infection (Alcami, 2003; Lalani et al., 1997). However, we could not detect any effect of sialylation on the secretion or the activity of the M-T7 proteins purified from the four strains, either in vitro or in vivo. Altogether , these results show that the viral α-2,3-sialyltransferase is a virulence factor of the virus that could act directly or indirectly on several immunomodulatory viral proteins, and so on the immune cells attraction and adaptive immunity development. [less ▲]

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See detailMESURES INCITATIVES A LA PRODUCTION COTONNIERE ET PERSPECTIVES DE LA PRIVATISATION DES FILIALES CMDT AU MALI
Koné, Bouréma ULg

Doctoral thesis (2016)

Cotton is the first export crop in Mali with 84,370 billion Fcfa in 2010 (INSTAT, 2010), but the production of this crop has huge problems due to external factors (prices of inputs and seed cotton) and ... [more ▼]

Cotton is the first export crop in Mali with 84,370 billion Fcfa in 2010 (INSTAT, 2010), but the production of this crop has huge problems due to external factors (prices of inputs and seed cotton) and internal (within payment to producers, internal debts of cooperatives). To boost cotton production during the years 2010/11 and 2011/12, the government had maintained the level of fertilizer subsidy at 50% of normal price on the market. In addition to this level of subsidy, the incentive price of 255Fcfa / kg was fixed to the producer and the National Union of Cotton Producers Cooperative Societies (NU-CPCS) facilitated the clearance of the internal debts of cooperatives. Despite the fall in world prices after 2011/12, the price of cotton seed remains little changed. The price stayed at 255 CFA francs / kg in 2012/13 and got back to 250 CFA francs / kg in 2013/14. The objective of this work is to analyze the effects of incentives factors cotton production with a view to the privatization of CMDT subsidiaries Surveys were conducted with a sample of 240 farms selected from the four zones of the CMDT zones based on two villages subsidiary during the years of 2008/09, 2010/11 and 2011/12. The results showed a positive trend in production (mainly due to an increase in the area) and in the income of cotton producers with a higher reimbursement rate of input credits under cultivation. The analysis of the Domestic Resource Cost (DRC) the Nominal protection coefficients (NPC) and the Effective (CPE) showed an improvement in thèse variables in 2011/12 with the incentive policy. An analysis of the determinants of the supply of cotton showed that only two variables were significant: the price cottonseed and payment period. The incentive factors are influenced by fiber market in 2011/12 which took a downward trend from the campaign. This incentive policy being favored by the market of fiber which is very unstable, it would be necessary to create conditions in which the producer can benefit from the price obtained on the quality of fiber to maintain the incentive policy for producers. For the privatization of Cotton Company, an upgrade of this company is necessary with the support of the Malian state. But this upgrade should not affect too much the selling price of sale of cotton that can bring new companies in a situation of too long term recovery of capital invested (long period of investment recovery). The privatization scheme as presented makes major companies more competitive. In order to reduce the operating costs a form of collaborative relationships among delivery companies would be required. Keywords: fertilizer subsidy, incentive price, cotton sector in Mali, privatization subsidiary, competitiveness. [less ▲]

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See detailOverhanging Constraints in Addivitive Manufacturing Using Two Different Tools
Bauduin, Simon ULg; Collet, Maxime ULg; Duysinx, Pierre ULg

Poster (2016, August 23)

Topology optimization is widely used as a design tool for advanced application in mechanical, aerospace and automotive industries. This technique offers an optimal distribution of a predetermined amount ... [more ▼]

Topology optimization is widely used as a design tool for advanced application in mechanical, aerospace and automotive industries. This technique offers an optimal distribution of a predetermined amount of material in a given design space. In the last years, a lot of efforts has been invested into the development of high performance methods such as homogenization, SIMP or BESO. However as the state of the art in manufacturing experiences evolution, a coupling between topology optimization and additive manufacturing is needed. Additive manufacturing has numerous advantages that fits the characteristics of topology optimized designs. It can manufacture highly complex design without high cost increase and furthermore continuous density material of the SIMP method could be manufactured by lattice structures. With all the opportunities given by the additive manufacturing the urge to bind the last one to topology optimization is heavily required. Specific constraints related to manufacturing issues have to be taken into account such as the need of supports structures to ensure a good heat evacuation during the manufacturing process, as well as to hold up overhanging section. Some researches have been done to try to include this constraint in the optimization problem such as Leary and al or Andrew T. Gaynor. However this work focuses on 2 different methods (projection scheme and mechanical approach) to tackle the overhanging problem and compare them . [less ▲]

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See detailGraphene-multiferroic interfaces for spintronics applications
Zanolli, Zeila ULg

in Scientific Reports (2016)

Graphene and magnetoelectric multiferroics are promising materials for spintronic devices with high performance and low energy consumption. A very long spin di usion length and high carrier mobility make ... [more ▼]

Graphene and magnetoelectric multiferroics are promising materials for spintronic devices with high performance and low energy consumption. A very long spin di usion length and high carrier mobility make graphene attractive for spintronics. The coupling between ferroelectricity and magnetism, which characterises magnetoelectrics, opens the way towards unique device architectures. In this work, we combine the features of both materials by investigating the interface between graphene and BaMnO3, a magnetoelectric multiferroic. We show that electron charge is transferred across the interface and magnetization is induced in the graphene sheet due to the strong interaction between C and Mn. Depending on the relative orientation of graphene and BaMnO3, a quasi-half-metal or a magnetic semiconductor can be obtained. A remarkably large proximity induced spin splitting of the Dirac cones (~300 meV) is achieved. We also show how doping with acceptors can make the high-mobility region of the electronic bands experimentally accessible. This suggests a series of possible applications in spintronics (e.g. spin filters, spin injectors) for hybrid organic-multiferroic materials and reveals hybrid organic-multiferroics as a new class of materials that may exhibit exotic phenomena such as the quantum anomalous Hall effect and a Rashba spin-orbit induced topological gap. [less ▲]

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See detailSO(10) models with flavour symmetries: Classification and examples
Ivanov, Igor ULg; Lavoura, Luis

in Journal of Physics : G Nuclear & Particle Physics (2016), 43(10), 105005

Renormalizable SO(10) grand unified theory (GUT) models equipped with flavour symmetries are a popular framework for addressing the flavour puzzle. Usually, the flavour symmetry group has been an ad hoc ... [more ▼]

Renormalizable SO(10) grand unified theory (GUT) models equipped with flavour symmetries are a popular framework for addressing the flavour puzzle. Usually, the flavour symmetry group has been an ad hoc choice, and no general arguments limiting this choice were known. In this paper, we establish the full list of flavour symmetry groups which may be enforced, without producing any further accidental symmetry, on the Yukawa-coupling matrices of an SO(10) GUT with arbitrary numbers of scalar multiplets in the ${\bf{10}}$, $\bar{{\bf{126}}}$, and ${\bf{120}}$ representations of SO(10). For each of the possible discrete non-Abelian symmetry groups, we present examples of minimal models which do not run into obvious contradiction with the phenomenological fermion masses and mixings. [less ▲]

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See detailThe influence of background noise on vocal loading parameters in music theory teachers
Schiller, Isabel ULg; Morsomme, Dominique ULg; Sfez, Lou et al

Poster (2016, August 23)

Background: Music theory teachers, who teach rhythm, singing and other music-related skills and topics, depend greatly on a well-functioning voice. Unlike other schoolteachers, who primarily use their ... [more ▼]

Background: Music theory teachers, who teach rhythm, singing and other music-related skills and topics, depend greatly on a well-functioning voice. Unlike other schoolteachers, who primarily use their voice as a pedagogic tool, music theory teachers also use it as an instrument. Furthermore, they often engage in vocally demanding free-time activities requiring a singing voice. To date, few studies have specifically looked at the voice use of music theory teachers. This study aims (1) to measure the background noise level and the amount of vocal loading affecting this specific population, and (2) to describe the influence of background noise on vocal loading parameters. Methods: Thirteen French-speaking music theory teachers (9 females and 4 males) working in a music school were monitored for one workweek, using the VoxLog voice dosimeter (Sonvox). To investigate the professional and extra-professional environments, all subjects wore the dosimeter from early morning until the end of the day. The parameters analysed were background noise level, duration of phonation, sound pressure level (SPL) and fundamental frequency (F0) of voice. Results: Overall, the mean background noise level was 75.2 dB (SD=5.4). We measured higher background noise level at work (mean=78.2 dB, SD=5.8) than in the extra-professional environment (mean=72.2 dB, SD=5.2). As expected, a rise in background noise was accompanied by a significant rise in voice SPL in both males and females (r=.61, p<.001). A significant correlation between background noise and F0 was found in females (r=.41, p=.002), but not in males (r=.39, p=.055). Furthermore, our data exhibit a significant correlation between background noise and duration of phonation (r=.05, p<.001). Conclusion: Our data suggest, that in class, music theory teachers must cope with background noise levels that dramatically exceed the limit of 35 dB recommended by the WHO (Inserm, 2006). High background noise levels lead to an increase in voice SPL, a phenomenon known as the Lombard effect (Inserm, 2006). In female subjects, we also observed a rise in F0 further to high background noise. Like Ternström, Södersten, and Bohman’s (2002) study, our data indicate that high background noise levels increase the duration of phonation. In a noisy environment, subjects seem to prolong the voiced segments of speech to make themselves understood. In other words, high background noise levels result in higher vocal loading. In the long run, this may increase the risk of voice disorders such as hyperfunctional dysphonia or vocal fold pathologies consecutive to repeated microtrauma in music theory teachers. [less ▲]

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