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See detailImplication de la clusterine dans la survie des cellules prostatiques lors de l'apoptose
Ammar, Hayet ULg

Doctoral thesis (2014)

Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in men. Although androgen ablation remains the most effective management option, most patients with advanced disease progress to castration ... [more ▼]

Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in men. Although androgen ablation remains the most effective management option, most patients with advanced disease progress to castration resistant prostate cancer (CRPC), within two years of treatment. This results, in part, from the increase in the anti-apoptotic molecules expression following androgen withdrawal. Among the proteins involved in this phenomenon, clusterin, also known as testosterone repressed message-2 (TRPM- 2), which exists in two forms: a pro-apoptotic nuclear form (nClU) and a secreted survival factor (sClU). In our study we investigated the role of the secreted form of clusterin in preventing cells from TNFα-induced apoptosis. For this, we first generated a sCLU inducible stable prostatic cancer MLL rat cell line by using the Tet-On gene expression system. With this model we revealed a new mechanism by which sCLU promotes survival in androgenindependent prostate cancer cells, implicating its receptor megalin and the Akt survival pathway. By applying a comparative proteomic analysis in the androgen-independent epithelial cell line MLLTet-sClu induced to overexpress sClu or non induced control-cells, we identified five proteins known to play a role in cancer. These proteins candidates are heat shock proteins Hsp90 and Hsp70, osteopontin (bone sialoprotein, OPN), proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) and ADP-ribosylation factor 1 (Arf1). Altogether, our data provide new mechanistic insight in sCLU dependent activation of the major survival pathway upregulated in refractory prostate cancer. The identification of the new sCLU protein targets open new avenues for more research to elucidate the significance of clusterin in prostate cancer progression and resistance to therapy. [less ▲]

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See detailL'utilisation de la spectrométrie (NIR) et l’imagerie hyperspectrale (NIR-HIS) proche infrarouge pour étudier la composition chimique et botanique de des fourrages
Dale, Laura-Monica ULg

Doctoral thesis (2014)

Forage quality or nutritive value is related to chemical composition, which can be determinated by laboratory methods. The NIR technique in comparison with classical methods is non-destructive, non ... [more ▼]

Forage quality or nutritive value is related to chemical composition, which can be determinated by laboratory methods. The NIR technique in comparison with classical methods is non-destructive, non-polluting, fast and relatively inexpensive per analysis. Investigations on nutritional quality of Carpathians Apuseni Mountains (Romania) grasslands are rarely performed with NIR technique. Therefore, the objective of the thesis was to develop non-destructive methods for evaluating the quality of feed originating from the Gârda area of the Carpathians Apuseni Mountains (Romania) potentially and to similar grassland arround the world. The first task was to study the potential of NIR spectroscopy for building a spectral database for forage quality based on a large collection of semi-natural grassland samples, using a ‘local’ calibration model built by the Walloon Agricultural Research Centre (CRA-W), in Belgium, to determine various parameters (e.g., protein, dry matter, ash, fibre, fat, aNDFom, ADF, lignin, digestibility, crude energy) from samples collected worldwide, outside Romania. The second task was to develop calibration models for an NIR-HSI system, which involved larger spectral data registration as an image. Until now, analyses to determine plant species were based on botanical composition evaluation, including visual observation, which is a subjective method involving identifying plants directly in the field. Distinguishing samples of pure grassland species can be time consuming, and it was therefore decided to build a spectral database of pure samples and then discriminate these samples into binary and ternary artificial sample mixtures. The main objective of these tasks was to identify the botanical families to which the samples belonged (Poaceae, Fabaceae and Other Botanical Families [OBF]). The focus was not on quantity monitoring, but rather on determining forage quality from stationary experiments in the grasslands. To conclude, this research has shown that it is possible to develop calibration models not only for quality assessment, but also for sample discrimination in dry powder samples. It was intended, that the mathematical models constructed and the database obtained, would be used for future research. [less ▲]

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See detailA vision-based autonomous inter-row weeder
Krishna Moorthy Parvathi, Sruthi Moorthy ULg; Detry, Renaud ULg; Boigelot, Bernard ULg et al

Conference (2014, March 05)

Autonomous robotic weed destruction plays a significant role in crop production as it automates one of the few unmechanized and drudging tasks of agriculture i.e. manual weed destruction. Robotic ... [more ▼]

Autonomous robotic weed destruction plays a significant role in crop production as it automates one of the few unmechanized and drudging tasks of agriculture i.e. manual weed destruction. Robotic technology also contributes to long-term sustainability with both economic and environmental benefits, by minimising the current dependency on chemicals. The aim of this study is to design a small low-cost versatile robot allowing the destruction of weeds that lie between the crop rows by navigating in the field autonomously and using a minimum of a priori information of the field. For the robot to navigate autonomously, necessary and sufficient information can be supplied by a machine vision system. One important issue with the application of machine vision is to develop a system that recognises the crop rows accurately and robustly which is tolerant to problems such as crops at varying growth stages, poor illumination conditions, missing crops, high weed pressure, etc. Aiming at accurate and robust real-time guidance of autonomous robot through the field, the plethora of image processing algorithms like Ostu’s threshold method and hough transform will be explored for two main processes namely the image segmentation and crop row detection respectively. In order to overcome the issue of large variabilities encountered in agriculture such as varying weather conditions, intelligent stochastic data fusion and machine learning algorithms will be used to combine data from heterogeneous sensors. Besides crop row detection, other major challenges foreseen are: mapping the unknown geometry of the field, high-level planning of efficient and complete coverage of the field, controlling the low-level op- erations of the robot, and ensuring security. Specialised sensors such as GPS will be considered to generate the map of the field enabling Simultaneous Localisation And Mapping (SLAM) in real time on a mobile platform. The generated map will be exploited along with the sensorial in- formation from crop row detection to efficiently plan and execute the guidance of the robot au- tonomously in the field, thereby enabling weed elimination. [less ▲]

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See detailChemical Hydrolysis of Fagus sylvatica Wood: Dilute Acid vs. Alkaline Treatment
Miazek, Krystian ULg; Goffin, Dorothée ULg; Richel, Aurore ULg

Poster (2014, March 05)

Lignocellulosic biomass, found in a large variety of plants such as coniferous trees (Softwood), broad leaved trees (Hardwood), grasses and agricultural or food residues, is the most abundant source of ... [more ▼]

Lignocellulosic biomass, found in a large variety of plants such as coniferous trees (Softwood), broad leaved trees (Hardwood), grasses and agricultural or food residues, is the most abundant source of molecules required for production of biofuels and high value - added products. Lignocellulose is composed of three polymers: cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin. Cellulose is a non-branched polymer consisting of glucoses (hexoses). Hemicellulose is a complex carbohydrate containing pentoses (mainly xyloses in the case of Hardwood, grasses and agricultural wastes) or hexoses (usually mannoses in the case of Softwood) as the main sugars. Lignin is a biopolymer with aromatic alcohols as basic monomeric units. Cellulose chains are arranged in bundles and interlinked with hemicellulose. Lignin is cross-linked with hemicellulose and occupies space between cellulose bundles. Due to complex polymeric structure, lignocellulosic materials are resistant to hydrolysis. A number of treatment methods (mechanical, chemical, biochemical) is implemented to successfully hydrolyse lignocellulose. Amongst chemical methods harnessed to break lignocellulose structure, dilute acid and alkaline treatments are commonly mentioned, as the most efficient ones. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of dilute acid and alkaline treatment on hydrolysis rate of polymeric components in Fagus sylvatica wood. Fagus sylvatica also known as common beech is a broad leaved, deciduous tree that belongs to the family of Fagaceae, widely spread in Europe. Beech wood was determined to contain 48 % glucose, 18 % xylose and 20 % Klason lignin in its dry material. Results of this study showed that 1 h hydrolysis at 100 °C with the use of 3 % H2SO4 resulted in 71 % removal of xylose and 4 % removal of glucose with Klason lignin remained intact. Additionally, the presence of sugar degradation products: 2 - furfural and hydroxymethylfurfural was detected in dilute acid hydrolysate. Release of 2 - furfural and hydroxymethylfurfural from beech wood was determined as 0.03 % and 0.1 %, respectively. On the other hand, 1 h hydrolysis at 100 °C with the use of 7 % NaOH caused 59 % xylose removal and 11 % removal of Klason lignin with no effect on glucose. Dilute acid hydrolysis proved to be more efficient in removing xylose, but alkaline hydrolysis additionally showed to remove Klason lignin. [less ▲]

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See detailBott type periodicity for the higher octonions
Kreusch, Marie ULg

E-print/Working paper (2014)

We study the series of complex nonassociative algebras $\bbO_n$ and real nonassociative algebras $\bbO_{p,q}$ introduced in~\cite{MGO2011}. These algebras generalize the classical algebras of octonions ... [more ▼]

We study the series of complex nonassociative algebras $\bbO_n$ and real nonassociative algebras $\bbO_{p,q}$ introduced in~\cite{MGO2011}. These algebras generalize the classical algebras of octonions and Clifford algebras. The algebras $\bbO_{n}$ and $\bbO_{p,q}$ with $p+q=n$ have a natural $\Z_2^n$-grading, and they are characterized by cubic forms over the field $\Z_2$. We establish a periodicity for the algebras~$\bbO_{n}$ and $\bbO_{p,q}$ similar to that of the Clifford algebras $\mathrm{Cl}_{n}$ and~$\mathrm{Cl}_{p,q}$. [less ▲]

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See detailVadose zone studies at an industrial contaminated site: the vadose zone monitoring system and cross-hole geophysics
Fernandez de Vera, Natalia ULg; Pena Hernandez, Juan Angel; Beaujean, Jean ULg et al

Scientific conference (2014, March 05)

Oral presentation of the PhD project at the ENVITAM PhD day in Louvain-la-Neuve

Detailed reference viewed: 14 (3 ULg)
See detailStudying power relations and problematizing 'politics' in China
Florence, Eric ULg

Scientific conference (2014, March 05)

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See detailWildflower strips: a help for crop protection ?
Hatt, Séverin ULg; Uyttenbroeck, Roel ULg; Bodson, Bernard ULg et al

Poster (2014, March 05)

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See detailWildflower strips: a help for crop protection ?
Hatt, Séverin ULg; Uyttenbroeck, Roel ULg; Bodson, Bernard ULg et al

Conference (2014, March 05)

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See detailSome Interesting Sources of Plant Seed Oil
Paul, Aman ULg; Danthine, Sabine ULg; Blecker, Christophe ULg et al

Poster (2014, March 05)

There is a growing realization worldwide that biodiversity is fundamental to agricultural production and food security, as well as a valuable ingredient of environmental conservation. Flowering strips ... [more ▼]

There is a growing realization worldwide that biodiversity is fundamental to agricultural production and food security, as well as a valuable ingredient of environmental conservation. Flowering strips around the border of the crops serves as an important function to improve the biodiversity, besides this they play a major role in the ruminant nutrition and serve as a source of numerous beneficial compounds. It is well known that seeds store their food reserves for next generation mainly in the form of lipids; some of the seeds from these flowering strips could be an interesting source of lipids. These seed oils could play important role in food, pharmaceutical, cosmetics and other industries. The extraction of seed oil from four such plant species in Belgium namely Oregano (Origanum vulgare), Yellow Bedstraw (Galium verum), Common Self-heal (Prunella vulgaris) & Purple loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria) was carried out. Extraction was done by a cold extraction technique using chloroform/methanol in 2:1 ratio as solvent. Amount of oil extracted from Oregano, Yellow Bedstraw, Common Self-heal and Purple loosestrife was 22.58±0.03 %, 3.28±0.01 %, 14.84±0.12 % & 20.32±0.15 %. The fatty acid profiles of these four species were determined by gas chromatography (using methyl esters of their fatty acids); Oleic acid and Linoleic acid were found in all the four species, Gamma-linolenic acid was found in Purple loosestrife & Alpha-linolenic acid was found in Oregano and Common Self-heal plant species. Thermal behaviour of these four plant seed oils were analyzed using Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC), while some other physicochemical properties of the seed oils were also analyzed. These plant seed oils can be of great commercial importance. [less ▲]

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See detailDevelopment of a quantitative approach using surface-enhanced Raman chemical imaging: First step for the determination of an impurity in a pharmaceutical model
De Bleye, Charlotte ULg; Sacre, Pierre-Yves ULg; Dumont, Elodie ULg et al

in Journal of Pharmaceutical & Biomedical Analysis (2014), 90

This publication reports, for the first time, the development of a quantitative approach using surface-enhanced Raman chemical imaging (SER-CI). A pharmaceutical model presented as tablets based on ... [more ▼]

This publication reports, for the first time, the development of a quantitative approach using surface-enhanced Raman chemical imaging (SER-CI). A pharmaceutical model presented as tablets based on paracetamol, which is the most sold drug around the world, was used to develop this approach. 4-Aminophenol is the main impurity of paracetamol and is actively researched in pharmaceutical formulations because of its toxicity. As its concentration is generally very low (<0.1%, w/w), conventional Raman chemical imaging cannot be used. In this context, a SER-CI method was developed to quantify 4-aminophenol assessing a limit of quantification below its limit of specification of 1000 ppm. Citrate-reduced silver nanoparticles were used as SERS substrate and these nanoparticles were functionalized using 1-butanethiol. Different ways to cover the tablets surface by butanethiol-functionalized silver nanoparticles were tested and a homogeneity study of the silver nanoparticles covering was realized. This homogeneity study was performed in order to choose the best way to cover the surface of tablets by silver colloid. Afterwards, the optimization of the SER-CI approach was necessary and different spectral intensity normalizations were tested. Finally, a quantitative approach using SER-CI was developed enabling to quantify 4-aminophenol from 0.025% to 0.2% in paracetamol tablets. This quantitative approach was tested on two different series of tablets using different batches of silver nanoparticles. [less ▲]

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See detailUsing active and passive acoustics to assess O2 production of a Posidonia oceanica meadow
Felisberto, P; Zabel, F; Rodriguez, O et al

Poster (2014, March 04)

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See detailAn efficient standard error formula for the weighted likelihood estimator of ability
Magis, David ULg

Scientific conference (2014, March 04)

The weighted likelihood estimator (WLE; Warm, 1989) has become a very popular ability estimator in item response theory. It was developed to basically cancel the estimation bias of the maximum likelihood ... [more ▼]

The weighted likelihood estimator (WLE; Warm, 1989) has become a very popular ability estimator in item response theory. It was developed to basically cancel the estimation bias of the maximum likelihood estimator (MLE) with short tests. However, some uncertainty remains about its standard error formula. Warm (1989) established the asymptotic equivalence of the standard errors of both MLE and WLE, but there exists actually various practical formulas for the latter (Magis & Raîche, 2012; Nydick, 2013; Partchev, 2012; Warm, 2007), leading obviously to confusion. The purpose of this talk is to briefly sketch a general approach to derive a first-order approximation of the standard error of the WLE. Based on asymptotic adjustments of the law of large numbers and central limit theorem, a simple formula is derived. The efficiency of the latter is compared to aforementioned formulas by means of a simulation study under Rasch modeling. Preliminary results indicate that the derived formula has lower bias and RMSE than any other competing formula, especially with short tests. All formulas behave similarly with longer tests, as expected. [less ▲]

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See detailHistoire des musiques africaines-américaines; partim LE BLUES après 1945
Sacré, Robert ULg

Conference given outside the academic context (2014)

Après 1945: multiplication des petites compagnies de disques indépendantes- Electrification des instruments ; migrations noires Sud-Nord; maintien des styles ruraux (en léthargie) - développement des ... [more ▼]

Après 1945: multiplication des petites compagnies de disques indépendantes- Electrification des instruments ; migrations noires Sud-Nord; maintien des styles ruraux (en léthargie) - développement des styles urbains (Memphis, Chicago, Houston, New Orleans,...Louisiane, Californie,...) Désaffection des noirs US pour le blues; blues revival en Europe; le blues aujourd'hui [less ▲]

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See detailSmall impact of surrounding oceanic conditions on 2007–2012 Greenland Ice Sheet surface mass balance
Noel, Brice; Fettweis, Xavier ULg; van de Berg, W.J. et al

in Cryosphere Discussions (The) (2014), 8

During recent summers (2007–2012), several surface melt records were broken over the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS). The extreme summer melt resulted in part from a persistent negative phase of the North ... [more ▼]

During recent summers (2007–2012), several surface melt records were broken over the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS). The extreme summer melt resulted in part from a persistent negative phase of the North-Atlantic Oscillation (NAO), favouring warmer than normal conditions over the GrIS. In addition, it has been suggested that significant anomalies in sea ice cover (SIC) and sea surface temperature (SST) may partially explain recent anomalous GrIS surface melt. To assess the impact of 2007–2012 SIC and SST anomalies on GrIS surface mass balance (SMB), a set of sensitivity experiments was carried out with the regional climate model MAR. These simulations suggest that changes in SST and SIC in the seas surrounding Greenland do not significantly impact GrIS SMB, due to the katabatic winds blocking effect. These winds are strong enough to prevent oceanic near-surface air, influenced by SIC and SST variability, from penetrating far inland. Therefore, the ice sheet SMB response is restricted to coastal regions, where katabatic winds are weaker. However, anomalies in SIC and SST could have indirectly affected the surface melt by changing the general circulation in the North Atlantic region, favouring more frequent warm air advection to the GrIS. [less ▲]

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See detailHow do we perceive vocal pitch accuracy during singing?
Larrouy, Pauline ULg; Pfordresher, Peter Q

Conference (2014, March 03)

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See detailHubble Space Telescope Near-IR Transmission Spectroscopy of the Super-Earth HD 97658b
Knutson, Heather A.; Dragomir, Diana; Kreidberg, Laura et al

E-print/Working paper (2014)

Recent results from the Kepler mission indicate that super-Earths (planets with masses between 1-10 times that of the Earth) are the most common kind of planet around nearby Sun-like stars. These planets ... [more ▼]

Recent results from the Kepler mission indicate that super-Earths (planets with masses between 1-10 times that of the Earth) are the most common kind of planet around nearby Sun-like stars. These planets have no direct solar system analogue, and are currently one of the least well-understood classes of extrasolar planets. Many super-Earths have average densities that are consistent with a broad range of bulk compositions, including both water-dominated worlds and rocky planets covered by a thick hydrogen and helium atmosphere. Measurements of the transmission spectra of these planets offer the opportunity to resolve this degeneracy by directly constraining the scale heights and corresponding mean molecular weights of their atmospheres. We present Hubble Space Telescope near-infrared spectroscopy of two transits of the newly discovered transiting super-Earth HD 97658b. We use the Wide Field Camera 3's scanning mode to measure the wavelength-dependent transit depth in thirty individual bandpasses. Our averaged differential transmission spectrum has a median 1 sigma uncertainty of 19 ppm in individual bins, making this the most precise observation of an exoplanetary transmission spectrum obtained with WFC3 to date. Our data are inconsistent with a cloud-free solar metallicity atmosphere at the 17 sigma level. They are a good match for flat models corresponding to either a metal-rich atmosphere or a solar metallicity atmosphere with a cloud or haze layer located at pressures of a mbar or higher. [less ▲]

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See detailThe yellow hypergiant HR 5171 A: Resolving a massive interacting binary in the common envelope phase
Chesneau, O.; Meilland, A.; Chapellier, E. et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics (2014), 563

Context. Only a few stars are caught in the very brief and often crucial stages when they quickly traverse the Hertzsprung-Russell diagram, and none has yet been spatially resolved in the mass transfer ... [more ▼]

Context. Only a few stars are caught in the very brief and often crucial stages when they quickly traverse the Hertzsprung-Russell diagram, and none has yet been spatially resolved in the mass transfer phase. Aims: We initiated long-term optical interferometry monitoring of the diameters of massive and unstable yellow hypergiants (YHG) with the goal of detecting both the long-term evolution of their radius and shorter term formation of a possible pseudo-photosphere related to proposed large mass-loss events. Methods: We observed HR 5171 A with AMBER/VLTI. We also examined archival photometric data in the visual and near-IR spanning more than 60 years, as well as sparse spectroscopic data. Results: HR 5171 Aexhibits a complex appearance. Our AMBER data reveal a surprisingly large star for a YHG R∗ = 1315 ± 260R⊙ (or ~6.1 AU) at the distance of 3.6 ± 0.5 kpc. The source is surrounded by an extended nebulosity, and these data also show a large level of asymmetry in the brightness distribution of the system, which we attribute to a newly discovered companion star located in front of the primary star. The companion's signature is also detected in the visual photometry, which indicates an orbital period of Porb = 1304 ± 6 d. Modeling the light curve with the NIGHTFALL program provides clear evidence that the system is a contact or possibly over-contact eclipsing binary. A total current system mass of 39^+40_-22 M⊙ and a high mass ratio q ≥ 10 is inferred for the system. Conclusions: The low-mass companion of HR 5171 is very close to the primary star that is embedded within its dense wind. Tight constraints on the inclination and vsini of the primary are lacking, which prevents us from determining its influence precisely on the mass-loss phenomenon, but the system is probably experiencing a wind Roche-Lobe overflow. Depending on the amount of angular momentum that can be transferred to the stellar envelope, HR 5171 A may become a fast-rotating B[e]/luminous blue variable/Wolf-Rayet star. In any case, HR 5171 A highlights the possible importance of binaries for interpreting the unstable YHGs and for massive star evolution in general. [less ▲]

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See detailImpacts of earthworms on soil components and dynamics. A review
Lemtiri, Aboulkacem ULg; Colinet, Gilles ULg; Alabi, Taofic ULg et al

in Biotechnologie, Agronomie, Société et Environnement = Biotechnology, Agronomy, Society and Environment [=BASE] (2014), 18

Earthworm populations are important decomposers contributing to aggregate formation and nutrient cycling processes involving nitrogen cycles, phosphorus and carbon. They are known to influence soil ... [more ▼]

Earthworm populations are important decomposers contributing to aggregate formation and nutrient cycling processes involving nitrogen cycles, phosphorus and carbon. They are known to influence soil fertility by participating to important processes in soil such as soil structure regulation and organic matter dynamics. Earthworms also modify the microbial communities through digestion, stimulation and dispersion in casts. Consequently, changes in the activities of earthworm communities, as a result of soil management practices, can also be used as indicators of soil fertility and quality. It is therefore important to understand how earthworm communities affect soil dynamics. This review adresses the current state of knowledge on earthworm’s impacts on soil structure and soil organic matter (carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus) dynamics, with special emphasis on the effects of land management practices on earthworm communities. [less ▲]

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