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See detailTransnational Health Insurance Schemes: A New Avenue for Congolese Immigrants in Belgium to Care for Their Relatives’ Health from Abroad?
Lafleur, Jean-Michel ULg; Lizin, Olivier

Scientific conference (2014, September 19)

What can immigrants do for non-migrant relatives in their home country who need healthcare they cannot afford? To answer this question, we first examine four existing methods that can be found in the ... [more ▼]

What can immigrants do for non-migrant relatives in their home country who need healthcare they cannot afford? To answer this question, we first examine four existing methods that can be found in the existing literature: mobility, remittances, workers’ health insurance and diasporic health insurance. In the second part of the paper, we discuss an innovative strategy called “transnational health insurance” (THI). These insurance schemes are set up by immigrants in cooperation with a multitude of actors including health insurance companies in destination countries and healthcare providers in countries origin. THIs offer health coverage to non-migrant relatives in the home country based on a premium paid directly by immigrants to the insurance company in their country of residence. Analyzing the creation and implementation of Belgian-Congolese THIs, we discuss the strengths and weaknesses of these schemes in responding to the needs of both immigrants and their non-migrant relatives. The article concludes with a discussion on the specificities of THIs as hybrid forms of remittances. [less ▲]

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See detailDes activités pour les patients souffrant de la maladie d'Alzheimer? Oui! Mais pas n'importe lesquelles!
Adam, Stéphane ULg

Conference given outside the academic context (2014)

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See detailSpatiotemporal evolution of the distribution of trace elements in the sediments of the English Channel
Richir, Jonathan ULg; Pini, Jennifer; White, Shannon et al

Scientific conference (2014, September 18)

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See detailHuman cortical excitability depends on time spent awake and circadian phase
Ly, Julien ULg; Chellappa, Sarah Laxhmi ULg; Gaggioni, Giulia ULg et al

Conference (2014, September 17)

At any point in time, human performance results from the interaction of two main factors: a circadian signal varying with the time of the day and the sleep need accrued throughout the preceding waking ... [more ▼]

At any point in time, human performance results from the interaction of two main factors: a circadian signal varying with the time of the day and the sleep need accrued throughout the preceding waking period. But what’s happen at the cortical cerebral level? We used a novel technique coupling transcranial magnetic stimulation with electroencephalography (TMS/EEG) to assess the influence of time spent awake and circadian phasis on human cortical excitability. Twenty-two healthy young men underwent 8 TMS/EEG sessions during a 28 hour sleep deprivation protocole. We found that cortical excitability depends on both time spent awake and circadian phasis. [less ▲]

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See detailEn attendant la Suédoise : quelques réflexions politologiques sur les accords de majorité de 2014
Grandjean, Geoffrey ULg

Conference given outside the academic context (2014)

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See detailLes effets de la retraite sur la mémoire
Adam, Stéphane ULg

Conference (2014, September 16)

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See detailSFX Knowledge Base Advisory Board (KBAB): goals and achievements after one year
Renaville, François ULg; Needleman, Mark

Conference (2014, September 16)

Founded in 2013 as a result of discussions at the 2012 Zurich Conference, the goal of the SFX Knowledge Base Advisory Board (KBAB) is to promote first class quality of the data stored in the SFX Knowledge ... [more ▼]

Founded in 2013 as a result of discussions at the 2012 Zurich Conference, the goal of the SFX Knowledge Base Advisory Board (KBAB) is to promote first class quality of the data stored in the SFX Knowledge Base by reviewing the quality assurance policies and processes together with Ex Libris. During its first year, the group identified several issues in order to improve the CKB quality. They shared them with Ex Libris which agreed to work on or to take a look at some. This session will explain how KBAB has been working, and present some of the issues and the improvements brought by Ex Libris. [less ▲]

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See detailScriptorium, a retro-cataloguing tool to easily and quickly encode older book items
Renaville, François ULg; Danhieux, Sylvain ULg

Conference (2014, September 16)

The University of Liège Library's books collection is composed of some 2,000,000 print volumes, of which only 60% are catalogued. Most of the uncatalogued books have been published before 1970 and ... [more ▼]

The University of Liège Library's books collection is composed of some 2,000,000 print volumes, of which only 60% are catalogued. Most of the uncatalogued books have been published before 1970 and cataloguing these according usual standards and norms would certainly take decades. To decrease the cost of treatments and increase the number of catalogued volumes, the Library developed a light PHP/MySQL application, Scriptorium, that enables non-catalogers (mostly students) to quickly encode the books (ca 3 min. per item) by providing the most essential information. References are then daily exported in MarcXML to the ILS. Scriptorium has been developed to permit to easily create new independent instances for different parallel retro-cataloguing projects and also to be used by other libraries. [less ▲]

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See detailMémoire épisodique et vieillissement normal : L'effet de la manipulation de la facilité de traitement perceptif en reconnaissance
Bastin, Christine ULg; Willems, Sylvie ULg

Poster (2014, September 16)

Etant donné que le vieillissement normal s’accompagne d’un déclin de la recollection tandis que la familiarité reste préservée, les tâches mnésiques facilitant l’utilisation de la familiarité ... [more ▼]

Etant donné que le vieillissement normal s’accompagne d’un déclin de la recollection tandis que la familiarité reste préservée, les tâches mnésiques facilitant l’utilisation de la familiarité permettraient de réduire les différences liées à l’âge en mémoire épisodique. Cette étude a évalué deux questions : 1) L’utilisation de la familiarité en reconnaissance peut-elle être favorisée en augmentant la différence de facilité de traitement perceptif (fluence) entre les items étudiés et les nouveaux items ? ; 2) Cette manipulation permet-elle de réduire l’effet de l’âge ? Deux tâches de reconnaissance ont été proposées à 24 participants jeunes et 24 participants âgés. Dans une tâche « sans recouvrement », les mots cibles et les mots nouveaux ne possédaient aucune lettre commune. L’exposition préalable aux mots cibles induisait donc une fluence sur les mots, mais également sur les lettres de sorte que la différence de fluence devenait un indice saillant et fiable pour distinguer cibles et distracteurs. Dans une tâche « avec recouvrement », les mots cibles et les mots nouveaux contenaient des lettres communes. Les résultats ont répliqué l’effet de l’âge sur la recollection (réponses Remember), avec préservation de la familiarité (réponses Know). Par ailleurs, nous observons 1) une amélioration de la discrimination dans la tâche « sans recouvrement », avec un plus grand nombre de reconnaissances correctes et moins de fausses reconnaissances (les deux basés sur la familiarité). De plus, 2) les différences liées à l’âge dans la capacité à discriminer cibles et distracteurs (reconnaissances correctes - fausses reconnaissances) étaient significativement réduites dans la tâche sans recouvrement par rapport à la tâche avec recouvrement. Ces données suggèrent que minimiser la similarité perceptive entre les mots cibles et les mots distracteurs, et donc augmenter la fluence, permet de réduire les différences liées à l’âge en reconnaissance en facilitant l’utilisation de la familiarité. [less ▲]

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See detailDevelopping a physically based groundwater vulnerability concept in a DPSIR framework
Beaujean, Jean ULg; Brouyère, Serge ULg; Lemieux, Jean-Michel et al

Conference (2014, September 15)

A general physically based method is presented to assess vulnerability of groundwater to external pressures with respect to quality and/or quantity issues. In the vulnerability assessments, many ... [more ▼]

A general physically based method is presented to assess vulnerability of groundwater to external pressures with respect to quality and/or quantity issues. In the vulnerability assessments, many scientific authors agree nowadays that ‘physically based’ methods must be preferred to traditional approaches based on empirical overlay and index methods where physical attributes are often mixed with implicitly embedded conventional priorities. Results from one or another of these last methods can consequently be very dissimilar for a given case study and decision makers are losing confidence in these tools. A methodology is proposed to reframe the groundwater vulnerability assessment in a Pressure-State-Impact causal chain that is familiar to decision makers. The DPSIR framework, for describing interactions between society and the environment, defines a chain of Drivers that exert Pressures on the State of a given resource, such as water, which then generates an Impact that will require an appropriate Response (Kristensen, 2004). The concept of groundwater vulnerability assessment considered here is based on the calculation of sensitivity coefficients for a user-defined groundwater state for which several physically-based indicators are proposed. These sensitivity coefficients reflect the easiness with which the groundwater state transmits pressures into impacts. They are grouped into a vulnerability matrix of pressures and impacts that quantify vulnerability for every combination of causal links identified in the DPSIR chain. For that reason, the sensitivity coefficients are converted to vulnerability, using the concept of ‘falling below a given threshold’, which is commonly used in socioeconomic sciences (Luers et al. 2003). Outside the careful selection of the sensitivity analysis method that can significantly influence the computational effort (Beaujean et al., 2013), emphasis will be given to the illustration of the general methodology on a simple case (of an alluvial aquifer with concerns related to water supply) demonstrating the potential use of this general and physically based vulnerability assessment method. While the methodology is general, the choice of causal chains has to be made prior to the calculation. The vulnerability is also related to a damaged state and is related to the ‘distance’ between the current state and a given threshold. This choice is arbitrary such that the vulnerability is sensitive to the choice of the threshold. The framework is general and, when applied to water, can include states that are not limited to quality such as, for example, water quantity and availability. [less ▲]

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See detailEtude de la fibrose pulmonaire idiopathique canine: analyse du transcriptome, investigation des voies du TGF beta 1 et recherche de biomarqueurs
Krafft, Emilie ULg

Doctoral thesis (2014)

Canine idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (cIPF) is a fibrotic disease of the pulmonary parenchyma, mainly seen in the West Highland white terrier. It is characterized by exercise intolerance and cough with a ... [more ▼]

Canine idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (cIPF) is a fibrotic disease of the pulmonary parenchyma, mainly seen in the West Highland white terrier. It is characterized by exercise intolerance and cough with a progressive deterioration until death from respiratory insufficiency. Clinical, tomodensitometric and histological characteristics of cIPF have been described recently. However, this disease remains largely unknown and the clinicians are dealing with two major challenges: confirmation of the diagnosis, which requires many complementary exams, and absence of effective treatment. Identification of a targeted therapy is difficult without having a good understanding of the mechanisms leading to pulmonary parenchyma fibrosis. A similar disease, the idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is recognized in humans and cIPF might be interesting as a spontaneous model. This project in dogs was undertaken to answer, at least partly, to these challenges. The aims were to elucidate some mechanisms involved in cIPF pathogenesis and to identify biomarkers that could be used in the diagnosis process. The hypotheses were first that analysis of the transcriptome through microarray experiment would identify altered biological functions in cIPF, highlight specific molecules with an altered expression and identify potential biomarkers. Another hypothesis was the transforming growth factor beta 1 (TGFB1) pathways, considered central in the pathogenesis of IPF, would also be modified in cIPF. Finally, ET1, a known biomarker in human IPF, might also be an interesting biomarker in dogs. Gene expression analysis through microarray analysis, combined with the use of IPA, a data analysis program, identified altered biological functions in cIPF: cellular growth and proliferation, developmental processes, cellular movement, cell to cell signaling and interaction and antigen presentation. Some genes highlighted in the microarray experiment were then analyzed individually. Quantitative RT-PCR analysis confirmed an upregulation of the expression of CCL2, CCL7, CXCL14, IL8 and FAP (fibroblast activation protein) as well as a downregulation of the expression of PLUNC (palate, lung and nasal epithelium associated). We then complete the gene expression analysis with a search for potential biomarkers. Thirty-four potential biomarkers were identified with 32 biomarkers potentially measurable in blood (including CCL2, serum amyloid 1, IL8) and 2 biomarkers measurable only in the bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) (PLUNC and mesothelin). This approach was validated by measurement in serum of one of this biomarker: CCL2. CCL2 serum concentration was higher in affected WHWT compared to healthy WHWT and also higher in dogs with cIPF compared to dogs with chronic bronchitis (CB) or eosinophilic bronchopneumopathy (EBP). Based on serum CCL2 determination, cIPF was diagnosed with a sensibility of 92% and a specificity of 80%. We then studied TGFB1 and part of its storage, activation and signaling pathways. TGFB1 gene expression was not significantly different in the pulmonary parenchyma between affected and control dogs. However, in affected dogs, increased TGFB1 protein levels were seen by immunohistochemistry in fibrotic areas. High expression of bothTGFB1 type I receptor and phosphorylated Smad2/3, markers of an active intracellular TGFB1 signal, were seen in epithelial cells. No difference in expression for the storage proteins LTBP1 and LTBP2 was seen while expression of LTBP4 was significantly decreased in dogs with cIPF. Concerning the proteins involved in TGFB1 activation, gene expression was decreased for integrin subunit β8, increased for thrombospondin-1 and not modified for integrin subunit β6. Expression of Smad 7, involved in intracellular TGFB1 signal inhibition, was not modified. No difference for TGFB1 serum concentration was seen between WHWT with cIPF and healthy WHWT. A multivariate analysis performed on healthy dogs showed no age effect but a significant breed effect with higher levels in predisposed breeds. We evaluated part of the serotonin pathway, as one of its receptor (5HTR2B) was highlighted during the gene expression analysis. Serotonin has also been involved in the pathogenesis of human IPF and described to be of potential use as a biomarker in degenerative mitral valve disease in dogs. Expression of 2 serotonin receptors (5HTR2A and 5HTR2B), evaluated by quantitative RT-PCR in pulmonary tissue, was not different between dogs with cIPF and control dogs while expression of the serotonin transporter (5HTT) was significantly lower in affected dogs. No difference in serotonin serum level was seen between affected and healthy WHWT or between dogs with cIPF, CB or EBP. ET1 was evaluated as a biomarker in serum and BALF. ET1 serum concentration was not different between healthy WHWT and Beagles. Covariance analysis did not reveal any significant age effect. Serum levels were significantly higher in dogs with cIPF compared to dogs with CB or EBP. ROC curve analysis was then used to evaluate its diagnostic performances. The area under the curve was 0,818 with a sensitivity of 91.7% and a specificity of 87.5%. ET1 was also measured in the BALF in a small number of dogs. Its concentration was measurable in all dogs with cIPF while it was below the detection limit in all other dogs tested (healthy and with CB). Even though cIPF and human IPF are not completely identical from clinical, tomodensitometric or histological points of view, these results show that both canine and human diseases share molecular pathways, supporting the idea that cIPF might have an interest as spontaneous model. This work allowed a better understanding of cIPF pathogenesis. Gene expression analysis in the pulmonary parenchyma of affected dogs first identified several altered biological functions that should be analyzed in details in further studies. A more targeted analysis of some genes confirmed an upregulated expression of CCL2, CCL7, CXCL14, IL8 and FAP. Such a positive regulation of the expression of various inflammatory cytokines tends to suggest that inflammation might have a role in cIPF pathogenesis. Some of these cytokines also have profibrotic properties. PLUNC was one of the top down-regulated genes. Roles of the protein are still largely unknown; it might have a role in the inflammatory response and in the innate immunity. Developmental pathways were also altered in cIPF and quantitative RT-PCR confirmed an upregulation of FAP, a protein normally expressed in areas of tissue remodeling during fetal development and also positively regulated in human IPF. This study has shown that there is an active TGFB1 signal in the lungs of dogs with cIPF, especially at the level of the pathological epithelium. TGFB1 storage and activation pathways also seemed to be altered. Elevated TGFB1 circulating levels were found in predisposed breeds, which might explain at least partly their susceptibility for cIPF. Because of these results and its well-known profibrotic properties, we can suggest that TGFB1 is probably involved in cIPF pathogenesis and that modulation of its storage, activation or intracellular signaling might offer potential therapeutic targets. Our preliminary results are not in favor of a significant modification of the serotonin pathways in cIPF, although a decreased expression of 5HTT was seen in affected dogs and might have an impact on the amount of serotonin present locally. However, other studies are needed to conclude. Finally, several potential biomarkers have been identified and some of them were evaluated in details. While serum measurements performed for TGFB1 and serotonin indicated that these molecules have no interest as diagnostic biomarkers, ET1 and CCL2 were identified as interesting candidates with good diagnostic performances. However these results need to be confirmed in an independent validation cohort and the interest of combining both biomarkers should be evaluated. [less ▲]

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See detailInvestigating apical adverse effects of four endocrine active substances in the freshwater gastropod Lymnaea stagnalis
Giusti, Arnaud ULg; Lagadic, Laurent; Barsi, Alpar et al

in Science of the Total Environment (2014), 493

The hermaphroditic gastropod Lymnaea stagnalis is proposed as a candidate species for the development of OECD guidelines for testing of the reprotoxicity of chemicals, including endocrine active ... [more ▼]

The hermaphroditic gastropod Lymnaea stagnalis is proposed as a candidate species for the development of OECD guidelines for testing of the reprotoxicity of chemicals, including endocrine active substances (EASs). Up to now, only a few putative EASs have been tested for their reproductive toxicity in this species. In this study, we investigate the effects of four EASs with different affinities to the vertebrate estrogen and androgen receptors (chlordecone as an estrogen; cyproterone acetate, fenitrothion and vinclozolin as anti-androgens) on the reproduction of L. stagnalis in a 21-day semi-static test. Testosterone and 17α-ethinylestradiol (EE2) were used as the reference compounds. The tested EASs had no significant effect on growth and survival at the tested concentration ranges (ng to μg/L). Classical reproduction endpoints (i.e., oviposition and fecundity) were not responsive to the tested chemicals, except for chlordecone and 17α-ethinylestradiol, which hampered reproduction from 19.6 μg/L and 17.6 μg/L, respectively. The frequency of polyembryonic eggs, used as an additional endpoint, demonstrated the effects of all compounds except EE2. The molecular pathways, which are involved in such reproduction impairments, remain unknown. Our results suggest that egg quality is a more sensitive endpoint as compared to other reproductive endpoints commonly assessed in mollusk toxicity tests. [less ▲]

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See detailLes Mooc : étude énonciative d’une pédagogie multimodale
Dondero, Maria Giulia ULg; Eléni, Mouratidou

in Leclercq, Pierre (Ed.) Communication multimodale et collaboration instrumentée. Regards croisés sur Énonciations, Représentations, Modalités (2014, September 15)

Cette contribution interroge les pratiques de pédagogie multimodale instrumentée des Massive Open Online Courses au travers d’une étude énonciative. Partant du principe que la communication multimodale ... [more ▼]

Cette contribution interroge les pratiques de pédagogie multimodale instrumentée des Massive Open Online Courses au travers d’une étude énonciative. Partant du principe que la communication multimodale instrumentée utilise différentes médiations sémiotiques (vidéo, peinture, dessin à la main, graphique, schéma, sonorité, musique etc.) nous nous proposons d’observer et d’analyser ces types de modalités communicationnelles telles que mises en place par les mooc. Ce, dans l’objectif de saisir la variété des pratiques multimodales auxquelles recourent les Massive Open Online Courses. Nous tentons également de souligner ce qui définit la spécificité de ces pratiques et la manière dont l’étude sémiotique des stratégies énonciatives peut-elle contribuer aux questionnements actuels en sciences de la communication. Nous répondons à ces questions à travers l’analyse de deux mooc issus de deux plateformes différentes : The Future of Storytelling de la plateforme Iversity et Scientific Humanities de la plateforme France Université Numérique. [less ▲]

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See detailAppropriation et gestion d’une activité collaborative distante. Le cas d’un atelier pédagogique de la conception architecturale
Dondero, Maria Giulia ULg; Shirkhodaei, Shima ULg

in Leclercq, Pierre (Ed.) Communication multimodale et collaboration instrumentée. Regards croisés sur Énonciations, Représentations, Modalités (2014, September 15)

Cette étude porte sur l’utilisation du dispositif SDC (Studio Digital Collaboratif) dans un projet collaboratif pédagogique de conception architecturale. Dans une perspective sémiotique, nous étudions le ... [more ▼]

Cette étude porte sur l’utilisation du dispositif SDC (Studio Digital Collaboratif) dans un projet collaboratif pédagogique de conception architecturale. Dans une perspective sémiotique, nous étudions le fonctionnement de la communication médiatisée dans les ateliers de formation par projet. Dans ces ateliers, les encadrants suivent l’avancement du projet de la conception architecturale des étudiants à travers les séances hebdomadaires de correction des documents. Ainsi, nous nous focalisons sur le rôle de l’opérateur — ici une des équipes collaboratrices — en adoptant le point de vue de la sémiotique des pratiques (J. Fontanille, Pratiques sémiotiques, Paris, PUF, 2008). Une perturbation dans l’activité collaborative des étudiants pendant l’atelier est au centre de notre propos et nous permettra de problématiser la question de l’appropriation, de la désappropriation et de la réappropriation de la pratique distante et simultanée. Cette perturbation nous permettra également de valoriser le rôle de l’opérateur dans la gestion d’une activité collaborative outillée en cours d’accomplissement. [less ▲]

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See detailIntegrated modelling and uncertainty analysis for assessment of climate change effects on groundwater resource
Goderniaux, Pascal; Wildemeersch, Samuel ULg; Dassargues, Alain ULg

Conference (2014, September 15)

Climate change will bring new pressure on surface and groundwater resources (e.g. Allen et al., 2004; Goderniaux et al., 2009; Van Roosmalen et al., 2009) in many parts of the world. Additional work is ... [more ▼]

Climate change will bring new pressure on surface and groundwater resources (e.g. Allen et al., 2004; Goderniaux et al., 2009; Van Roosmalen et al., 2009) in many parts of the world. Additional work is required to help water managers to plan for future changes. For example, most of studies provide projections for a stationary climate representative of the end of the century, although information is demanded for the near-future. A sophisticated transient weather generator (WG) in combination with an integrated surface-subsurface hydrological model (HydroGeoSphere) are used for producing a stochastic generation of large numbers of equiprobable climatic time series, representing transient climate change, and assess impacts on groundwater resources in a probabilistic way. This new methodology is applied for the unconfined chalky aquifer of Hesbaye (Geer basin in Belgium). The following uncertainty sources are studied : (1) the uncertainty linked to the calibration of the hydrological model, using 'UCODE_2005' (Poeter et al., 2005); (2) the uncertainty linked to the global and regional climatic models (GCMs and RCMs), by using a multi-model ensemble; (3) the uncertainty linked to the natural variability of the weather, by using stochastic climate change scenarios. 30 equiprobable climate change scenarios from 2010 to 2085 have been generated for each of 6 different RCMs. Results show that although the 95% confidence intervals calculated around projected groundwater levels remain large, the climate change signal becomes stronger than that of natural climate variability by 2085. Additionally, the WG ability to simulate transient climate change enabled the assessment of the likely timescale and associated uncertainty of a specific impact. This methodology constitutes a real improvement in the field of groundwater projections under climate change conditions as it enables water managers to analyse risks and take decisions with full knowledge of projected impact and their degree of confidence. [less ▲]

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See detailInteractions discursives et graphiques en conception architecturale à distance
Joachim, Guillaume ULg

in Leclercq, Pierre (Ed.) Communication multimodale et collaboration instrumentée. Regards croisés sur Énonciations, Représentations, Modalités (2014, September 15)

Cet article présente une analyse qualitative de la conception architecturale à distance outillée par un dispositif de communication multimodale synchrone. À partir d’une transcription et d’un codage de ... [more ▼]

Cet article présente une analyse qualitative de la conception architecturale à distance outillée par un dispositif de communication multimodale synchrone. À partir d’une transcription et d’un codage de vidéos d’architectes qui collaborent en dessinant et discourant simultanément, nous étudions comment ces professionnels utilisent différentes ressources graphiques et verbales pour élaborer collectivement des connaissances. [less ▲]

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See detailSleep homeostasis and the circadian timing system set the dynamics and excitability of neuronal ensembles
Vandewalle, Gilles ULg

in Journal of Sleep Research (2014, September 14), Suppl

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See detailBiologie de la reproduction et analyse du déterminisme et de la différenciation du sexe à des stades précoces chez le tilapia du Nil, Oreochromis niloticus
Gennotte, Vincent ULg

Doctoral thesis (2014)

La reproduction des poissons téléostéens se caractérise par une diversité des types de sexualité (gonochorisme vs hermaphrodisme) et des systèmes de déterminisme du sexe (génétique et/ou environnemental ... [more ▼]

La reproduction des poissons téléostéens se caractérise par une diversité des types de sexualité (gonochorisme vs hermaphrodisme) et des systèmes de déterminisme du sexe (génétique et/ou environnemental), ainsi que par une plasticité du contrôle génétique et endocrinien de la différenciation sexuelle incomparables parmi les autres vertébrés. Le tilapia du Nil (Oreochromis niloticus) est un cichlidé gonochorique possédant un système chromosomique de déterminisme sexuel à homogamétie femelle XX/XY, complété par un déterminisme environnemental, les hautes températures pouvant modifier le développement phénotypique du sexe. L’intérêt porté à cette espèce en aquaculture à conduit au développement de différentes techniques de contrôle du sexe (par traitement hormonal) permettant la production de poissons présentant différentes combinaisons de phénotype/génotype sexuels (mâles XX, XY, YY, femelles XX, XY et YY). Ces derniers constituent des outils majeurs de l’étude du déterminisme et de la différenciation du sexe et soulèvent de nombreuses questions concernant les interactions génotype/phénotype sexuels chez cette espèce. Au regard de ces considérations, nous nous sommes fixés 2 objectifs principaux : 1. Déterminer l’influence du génotype sexuel sur certains aspects liés à la biologie reproductive chez le tilapia du Nil tels que la qualité du sperme, les taux de stéroïdes sexuels (testostérone, T ; 17β-œstradiol, E2 ; 11-cétotestostérone, 11KT) et les comportements agressifs. Le génotype sexuel ne semble pas avoir d’influence sur la qualité gamétique des mâles, puisqu’aucune différence n’est observée entre les individus XX, XY et YY, alors que paradoxalement, les taux de 11KT sont plus élevés chez les mâles XX. De la même manière, les femelles présentent des taux croissants d’E2 chez les individus XX, XY et YY. Ces différences de taux de stéroïdes sexuels pourraient être liées aux taux d’agressivité (évalué par la quantification de huit comportements agonistiques dans des confrontations mâle-femelle) plus élevés des mâles XX et des femelles XY et YY et engendrer des perturbations des comportements reproducteurs. Des recherches complémentaires sont nécessaires d’une part, pour évaluer l’effet du génotype sur la qualité des gamètes des femelles et d’autre part, pour déterminer si les modifications phénotypiques observées sont liées à l’expression du génotype sexuel ou à des perturbations engendrées par les traitements hormonaux d’inversion sexuelle administrés durant la période de différenciation des gonades. 2. Explorer les mécanismes du déterminisme et de la différenciation à des stades précoces du développement. Grâce à la mise au point d’une technique d’inversion sexuelle ciblant les périodes embryonnaire et larvaire (avant 10 jpf) par des expositions courtes (4h) d’embryons âgés d’un jpf à des androgènes (11KT, 17α-méthyltestostérone), un inhibiteur de l’aromatase (Fadrozole) ou un œstrogène (17α-éthynylœstradiol), nous avons confirmé l’existence d’une période sensible de la différenciation sexuelle avant le développement des gonades. Les voies de différenciation phénotypique semblent être différentes en fonction du génotype, puisque la masculinisation des embryons XX est moins efficace (max 10%) que la féminisation d’embryons XY (max 91%). De la même manière, un probable effet chromosomique rend inefficace la féminisation d’embryons YY. La féminisation des individus XY est concomitante avec une augmentation des taux de T et d’E2 et d’expression de l’aromatase cérébrale à 4 jpf qui pourrait indiquer un rôle précoce du cerveau dans la différenciation sexuelle. Dans l’ensemble, nos résultats nous permettent de suggérer, d’une part, que les premiers événements moléculaires de la différenciation sexuelle du tilapia sont initiés avant la formation des gonades, et d’autre part, que chez les individus sexuellement inversés, des différences sexuelles peuvent apparaître dans le cerveau avant ou en même temps que le développement des gonades et induire des modifications comportementales à l’âge adulte. La question du rôle possible du cerveau dans la différenciation des gonades reste ouverte. [less ▲]

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