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See detailEconomic Statistical Design of the VP( X) ̅ Control Charts for Monitoring a Process under Non-normality
Seif, Asghar; Faraz, Alireza ULg; Saniga, Erwin

in International Journal of Production Research (2014)

Recent studies proved that variable parameters (VP) X ̅ control charts not only detects process mean shifts quicker than the classical X ̅ control chart but also has better economic properties ... [more ▼]

Recent studies proved that variable parameters (VP) X ̅ control charts not only detects process mean shifts quicker than the classical X ̅ control chart but also has better economic properties. Furthermore, like most papers in control chart design, the fundamental assumption is that process data are normally distributed. Nevertheless, process quality variables may not be normal in application. In this paper, we investigate the economic statistical design of the VP X ̅ control chart when the underlying process distribution is non-normal. We illustrate the design procedure and perform a sensitivity analysis on the process and cost parameters based upon the degrees of skewness and kurtosis of the population using an industrial application. [less ▲]

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See detailTRAPPIST monitoring of comet C/2013 A1 (Siding Spring)
Opitom, Cyrielle ULg; Jehin, Emmanuel ULg; Manfroid, Jean ULg et al

in Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society (2014, November 01), 46

C/2013 A1 (Siding Spring) is a long period comet discovered by Robert H McNaught at Siding Spring Observatory in Australia on January 3, 2013 at 7.2 au from the Sun. This comet will make a close encounter ... [more ▼]

C/2013 A1 (Siding Spring) is a long period comet discovered by Robert H McNaught at Siding Spring Observatory in Australia on January 3, 2013 at 7.2 au from the Sun. This comet will make a close encounter with Mars on October 19, 2014. At this occasion the comet will be extensively observed both from Earth and from several orbiters around Mars.On September 20, 2013 when the comet was around 5 au from the Sun, we started a monitoring with the TRAPPIST robotic telescope installed at La Silla observatory [1]. A set of narrowband cometary filters designed by the NASA for the Hale-Bopp Observing Campaign [2] is permanently mounted on the telescope along with classic Johnson-Cousins B, V, Rc, and Ic filters.We observed the comet continuously at least once a week from September 20, 2013 to April 6, 2014 with broad band filters. We then recovered the comet on May 20. At this time we could detect the gas and started the observations with narrow band filters until early November, covering the close approach to Mars and the perihelion passage.We present here our first results about comet Siding Springs. From the images in the broad band filters and in the dust continuum filters we derived A(θ)fρ values [3] and studied the evolution of the comet activity with the heliocentric distance from September 20, 2013 to early November 2014. We could also detect gas since May 20, 2014. We thus derived gas production rates using a Haser model [4]. We present the evolution of gas production rates and gas production rates ratios with the heliocentric distance.Finally, we discuss the dust and gas coma morphology. [less ▲]

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See detailThe TRAPPIST comet survey in 2014
Jehin, Emmanuel ULg; Opitom, Cyrielle ULg; Manfroid, Jean ULg et al

in Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society (2014, November 01), 46

TRAPPIST (TRAnsiting Planets and PlanetesImals Small Telescope) is a 60-cm robotic telescope that has been installed in June 2010 at the ESO La Silla Observatory [1]. Operated from Liège (Belgium) it is ... [more ▼]

TRAPPIST (TRAnsiting Planets and PlanetesImals Small Telescope) is a 60-cm robotic telescope that has been installed in June 2010 at the ESO La Silla Observatory [1]. Operated from Liège (Belgium) it is devoted to the detection and characterisation of exoplanets and to the study of comets and other small bodies in the Solar System. A set of narrowband cometary filters designed by the NASA for the Hale-Bopp Observing Campaign [2] is permanently mounted on the telescope along with classic Johnson-Cousins filters. We describe here the hardware and the goals of the project. For relatively bright comets (V < 12) we measure several times a week the gaseous production rates (using a Haser model) and the spatial distribution of several species among which OH, NH, CN, C2 and C3 as well as ions like CO+. The dust production rates (Afrho) and color of the dust aredetermined through four dust continuum bands from the UV to the red (UC, BC, GC, RC filters). We will present the dust and gas production rates of the brightest comets observed in 2014: C/2012 K1 (PANSTARRS), C/2014 E2 (Jacques), C/2013 A1 (Siding Springs) and C/2013 V5 (Oukaimeden). Each of these comets have been observed at least once a week for several weeks to several months. Light curves with respect to the heliocentric distance will be presented and discussed. [1] Jehin et al., The Messenger, 145, 2-6, 2011.[2] Farnham et al., Icarus, 147, 180-204, 2000. [less ▲]

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See detailLe langage et l’homme
Dubuisson, Francois ULg

in Bulletin d'Analyse Phénoménologique [En ligne] (2014), 10(11),

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See detailBuilding galaxies, stars, planets and the ingredients for life between the stars. The science behind the European Ultraviolet-Visible Observatory
Gómez de Castro, Ana I.; Appourchaux, Thierry; Barstow, Martin A. et al

in Astrophysics and Space Science (2014), 354

This contribution gathers the contents of the white paper submitted by the UV community to the Call issued by the European Space Agency in March 2013, for the definition of the L2 and L3 missions in the ... [more ▼]

This contribution gathers the contents of the white paper submitted by the UV community to the Call issued by the European Space Agency in March 2013, for the definition of the L2 and L3 missions in the ESA science program. We outlined the key science that a large UV facility would make possible and the instrumentation to be implemented. The growth of luminous structures and the building blocks of life in the Universe began as primordial gas was processed in stars and mixed at galactic scales. The mechanisms responsible for this development are not well-understood and have changed over the intervening 13 billion years. To follow the evolution of matter over cosmic time, it is necessary to study the strongest (resonance) transitions of the most abundant species in the Universe. Most of them are in the ultraviolet (UV; 950 Å-3000 Å) spectral range that is unobservable from the ground. A versatile space observatory with UV sensitivity a factor of 50-100 greater than existing facilities will revolutionize our understanding of the Universe. Habitable planets grow in protostellar discs under ultraviolet irradiation, a by-product of the star-disk interaction that drives the physical and chemical evolution of discs and young planetary systems. The electronic transitions of the most abundant molecules are pumped by this UV field, providing unique diagnostics of the planet-forming environment that cannot be accessed from the ground. Earth's atmosphere is in constant interaction with the interplanetary medium and the solar UV radiation field. A 50-100 times improvement in sensitivity would enable the observation of the key atmospheric ingredients of Earth-like exoplanets (carbon, oxygen, ozone), provide crucial input for models of biologically active worlds outside the solar system, and provide the phenomenological baseline to understand the Earth atmosphere in context. [less ▲]

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See detailJupiter’s polar auroral dynamics
Grodent, Denis ULg; Bonfond, Bertrand ULg

in AAS/Division for Planetary Sciences Meeting Abstracts (2014, November 01)

The morphology of Jupiter’s ultraviolet aurora is commonly described in terms of components located inside (poleward of) or outside (equatorward of) the main oval emission. These components may also be ... [more ▼]

The morphology of Jupiter’s ultraviolet aurora is commonly described in terms of components located inside (poleward of) or outside (equatorward of) the main oval emission. These components may also be discriminated by their temporal behaviour, where the narrowest parts of the main “oval” remain relatively stable over time periods of several hours, and the satellite footprints show large variability with timescales of minutes. Inside the main emission the so-called polar aurora, presumably corresponding to the polar cap mixing open and closed magnetic field lines, is characterized by rapid motions taking the form of swirls, giving rise to the “swirl region” and by intermittent brightenings in the “active region”. Coarse analysis of these motions suggests that they are too fast to respond to an equatorial magnetospheric forcing. Instead, they appear to be related to processes taking place in or above the ionosphere where distances travelled by plasma waves match those of the subtended auroral emission. Here, we present a preliminary improved analysis of the auroral motion in the polar region based on the application of an iterative “Advection Corrected Correlation Image Velocimetry” (ACCIV) method (Asay-Davis et al., 2009). This method allows one to build velocity fields quantifying local and overall auroral motions which may then be used to constrain their origin. [less ▲]

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See detailSearch for Satellite Effects on Saturn's Auroras in Cassini UVIS Data
Pryor, Wayne R.; Esposito, Larry; Jouchoux, Alain et al

in AAS/Division for Planetary Sciences Meeting Abstracts (2014, November 01)

The Cassini UVIS has been obtaining Saturn auroral images since 2004. We have previously reported instances when the main auroral oval brightened briefly in a quasi-periodic fashion near the sub-Mimas ... [more ▼]

The Cassini UVIS has been obtaining Saturn auroral images since 2004. We have previously reported instances when the main auroral oval brightened briefly in a quasi-periodic fashion near the sub-Mimas longitude. Here we examine the large set of auroral images obtained from close range and high sub-spacecraft latitudes. We will plot the brightness of the individual auroral measurements as a function of local time, and as a function of the location of Mimas and other moons to test for any correlations. [less ▲]

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See detailResponse of Microchannel Plate (MCP) Detectors to MeV Electrons: Beamline tests in support of Juno, JUICE, and Europa Mission UVS instrument investigations
Retherford, Kurt D.; Davis, Michael W.; Greathouse, Thomas K. et al

in AAS/Division for Planetary Sciences Meeting Abstracts (2014, November 01)

The response of Microchannel Plate (MCP) detectors to far-UV photons is excellent. MCPs provide a photon-counting capability that is especially useful for high-quality stellar and solar occultation ... [more ▼]

The response of Microchannel Plate (MCP) detectors to far-UV photons is excellent. MCPs provide a photon-counting capability that is especially useful for high-quality stellar and solar occultation measurements. However, use of MCPs within the Jovian magnetosphere for UV measurements is hampered by their ~30% detection efficiency to energetic electrons and ~1% efficiency to γ-rays. High-Z shielding stops energetic electrons, but creates numerous secondary particles; γ-rays are the most important of these for MCPs. These detected particles are a noise background to the measured far-UV photon signal, and at particularly intense times their combination can approach detector global count rates of ~500 kHz when operating at nominal HV levels. To address the challenges presented by the intense radiation environment experienced during Europa encounters we performed electron beam radiation testing of the Juno-UVS flight spare cross-delay line (XDL) MCP in June 2012 at MIT’s High Voltage Research Laboratory (HVRL), and again in Nov. 2013 adding an atomic-layer deposition (ALD) coated test-MCP, to measure the detection efficiency and pulse height distribution characteristics for energetic electrons and γ-rays. A key result from this UVS-dedicated SwRI IR&D project is a detailed characterization of our XDL’s response to both particles (electrons and γ-rays) and photons as a function of HV level. These results provide confidence that good science data quality is achievable when operating at Europa closest approach and/or in orbit. Comparisons with in-flight data obtained with New Horizons Pluto-Alice MeV electron response measurements at Jupiter (Steffl et al., JGR, 2012), LRO-LAMP electron and proton event data, and Juno-UVS Earth proton-belt flyby data, and recent bench tests with radioactive sources at Sensor Sciences increase this confidence. We present a description of the test setup, quantitative results, and several lessons learned to help inform future beamline test experiments dedicated to instrument developments for NASA's next large mission to Europa and ESA's JUICE mission to Ganymede. [less ▲]

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See detailTMS can selectively activate and condition two different sets of excitatory synaptic inputs to corticospinal neurons in humans
Sommer, Martin; D'Ostilio, Kevin ULg; Cioccia, Matteo et al

Poster (2014, November)

Background: Current protocols or repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) induce mixed facilitatory and inhibitory effects. More selective, quasi-monophasic high-frequency stimulators now ... [more ▼]

Background: Current protocols or repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) induce mixed facilitatory and inhibitory effects. More selective, quasi-monophasic high-frequency stimulators now become available. We sought to investigate the impact of current direction and pulse width on intermittent theta burst stimulation (iTBS) effects on human motor cortex excitability. Also, we estimated strength-duration time constants from motor threshold and input-output (IO) curves for PA and AP orientations. Methods: We stimulated the dominant hand representation of the motor cortex in 15 healthy subjects, using “unidirectional biphasic” pulses generated by a controllable TMS machine (cTMS-3, Rogue Resolutions Ltd., Cardiff, UK), connected to a standard figure-8 coil. iTBS was applied conventionally, using 20 sequences of 2 seconds iTBS (10 bursts at 5 Hz burst repetition frequency, each burst consisting of 3 pulses of 80 % AMT intensity repeated at 50 Hz frequency). In separate sessions pulses differing in current direction and shape were applied: a) posterio-anterior (PA) current direction in the brain, 75 μs (iTBS_PA75). b) AP current direction, 45 μs (iTBS_AP45). Before and for 30 minutes after iTBS, we monitored the modulation of motor evoked potential (MEP) amplitude from the dominant first dorsal interosseus using conventional, monophasic, suprathreshold pulses generated by a Magstim 2002 stimulator, inducing PA currents in the brain, at 0.2 Hz frequency. In an additional study on ten healthy subjects, we investigated the effect the two coil orientations with three different pulse widths (30, 60 and 120 μs) on the IO curve and the latency of the motor evoked potentials (MEPs). Results: iTBS_AP45 yielded a pronounced and slightly delayed inhibition of MEP amplitude in all but one subjects, it was unrelated to the MEP latency differences. iTBS_PA75 had a variable and inconsistent effect that was in part related to the latency differenceAP-LM , in that long latency differences were correlated with the induction of inhibition rather than facilitation. We found a longer time constant for AP than PA orientation. MEP latencies yielded an interaction between pulse width and orientation, due mainly to longer onset latencies following AP stimuli of short duration. Conclusions: Current direction influences the outcome of iTBS, with a preference for AP currents. PA and AP stimuli activate the axons of neurones with different time constants. Those activated by AP pulses excite corticospinal outputs with a longer latency than those activated by PA pulses. AP pulses of short duration recruit long latency inputs most selectively. [less ▲]

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See detailEstetrol attenuates neonatal hypoxic–ischemic brain injury
Tskitishvili, Ekaterine ULg; Nisolle, Michelle ULg; Munaut, Carine ULg et al

in Experimental Neurology (2014), 261

Estetrol (E4) is a recently described natural estrogen with four hydroxyl-groups that is synthesized exclusively during pregnancy by the human fetal liver. It has important antioxidative activity. The aim ... [more ▼]

Estetrol (E4) is a recently described natural estrogen with four hydroxyl-groups that is synthesized exclusively during pregnancy by the human fetal liver. It has important antioxidative activity. The aim of the present study was to define the importance of E4 in the attenuation of neonatal hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy. Antioxidative effect of 650μM, 3.25mM and 6.5mM E4 on primary hippocampal cell cultures was studied before/after H202-induced oxidative stress. To examine oxidative stress and cell viability, lactate dehydrogenase activity and cell proliferation colorimetric assays were performed. To study the neuroprotective and therapeutic effects of E4 in vivo neonatal hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy model of 7-day-old newborn rat pups was used. The neuroprotective and therapeutic effects of estetrol before/after hypoxic-ischemic insult was studied in 1mg/kg/day, 5mg/kg/day, 10mg/kg/day, 50mg/kg/day E4 pretreated/treated groups and compared with the sham and the vehicle treated groups. The body temperature of the rat pups was examined along with their body and brain weights. Brains were studied at the level of the hippocampus and cortex. Intact cell counting and expressions of microtubule-associated protein-2, doublecortin and vascular-endothelial growth factor were evaluated by histo- and immunohistochemistry. ELISAs were performed on blood samples to detect concentrations of S100B and glial fibrillary acidic protein as brain damage markers. This work reveals for the first time that E4 significantly decreases LDH activity and enhances cell proliferation in primary hippocampal neuronal cell cultures in vitro, and decreases the early gray matter loss and promotes neuro- and angiogenesis in vivo. [less ▲]

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See detailImpact of the dialysis membrane on the Vitamin D metabolims markers
CAVALIER, Etienne ULg; DUBOIS, Bernard ULg; Urena, Pablo et al

Poster (2014, November)

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See detailA BCool magnetic snapshot survey of solar-type stars
Marsden, S.C.; Petit, P.; Jeffers, S.V. et al

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (2014), 444

We present the results of a major high-resolution spectropolarimetric BCool project magnetic survey of 170 solar-type stars. Surface magnetic fields were detected on 67 stars, with 21 classified as mature ... [more ▼]

We present the results of a major high-resolution spectropolarimetric BCool project magnetic survey of 170 solar-type stars. Surface magnetic fields were detected on 67 stars, with 21 classified as mature solar-type stars, a result that increases by a factor of 4 the number of mature solar-type stars on which magnetic fields have been observed. In addition, a magnetic field was detected for 3 out of 18 of the subgiant stars surveyed. For the population of K-dwarfs, the mean value of |Bl| (|Bl|mean) was also found to be higher (5.7 G) than |Bl|mean measured for the G-dwarfs (3.2 G) and the F-dwarfs (3.3 G). For the sample as a whole, |Bl|mean increases with rotation rate and decreases with age, and the upper envelope for |Bl| correlates well with the observed chromospheric emission. Stars with a chromospheric S-index greater than about 0.2 show a high magnetic field detection rate and so offer optimal targets for future studies. This survey constitutes the most extensive spectropolarimetric survey of cool stars undertaken to date, and suggests that it is feasible to pursue magnetic mapping of a wide range of moderately active solar-type stars to improve our understanding of their surface fields and dynamos. [less ▲]

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See detailIsotopic tracing of sediment components that are assimilated by epibiontic juveniles of Holothuria scabra (Holothuroidea)
Plotieau, Thomas; Lepoint, Gilles ULg; Lavitra, Thiery et al

in Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom (2014), 94(7), 1485-1490

Despite H. scabra’s wide distribution and status as one of the best candidates for sustaining the development of tropical sea cucumber aquaculture, very few data are available regarding the organic ... [more ▼]

Despite H. scabra’s wide distribution and status as one of the best candidates for sustaining the development of tropical sea cucumber aquaculture, very few data are available regarding the organic fraction it assimilates in practice. In this study we report experimental results where H. scabra’s diet was supplemented with various 15N-labelled organic fractions of sediment. We used juveniles weighing between 38- 88 mg at the beginning of the experiment (ca. 2 cm long and 30 days old). Their growth was measured over a four week period and their 15N composition recorded. The results showed that H. scabra juveniles assimilated all added organic components from both dissolved and particulate fractions of the sediment. Bacteria seem to be an important food source for juveniles, even more so than microphytobenthos (diatoms). [less ▲]

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See detailLe matérialisme est-il mort ? petite critique de l'idéalisme critique
Frère, Bruno ULg

in Frère, Bruno (Ed.) Le tournant de la théorie critique (2014)

This article is concerned with the lack of effectiveness of contemporary critical theories in explaining the conditions for social change. These theories, I would argue, continue to rely on a narrow ... [more ▼]

This article is concerned with the lack of effectiveness of contemporary critical theories in explaining the conditions for social change. These theories, I would argue, continue to rely on a narrow construction of social actors. Indeed from Lukács to Bourdieu or even Habermas, many significant intellectual developments have taken place which continue to be based on one key assumption: that individuals (workers, social actors, etc.) unconsciously reproduce the social structures of capitalism whilst being alienated by them. They accept the conditions enforced on them and no longer seek to rebel against a system which impoverishes not only their work and culture, but also their soul and their creativity. What is more: they ensure the reproduction of the system by seeking to engage in mass consumption at any cost, or by glorifying the dominant values. In this paper I would like to show that today, no new critical perspective has emerged out of this negative representation of the world. Indeed, critical works present ‘man’ living here and now as nothing more than a deeply bastardized being, corrupted, denatured, soiled by a civilizing process. What we have is in effect a social actor who, in Rousseau’s philosophical tradition, has been perverted by a civilizing process informed by modernity or capitalism. This view of social actors rests on a form of disgust towards the world. [less ▲]

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See detailCompte rendu de "Où est passé la critique sociale", P. Corcuff, La découverte, 2013
Frère, Bruno ULg

in SociologieS (2014)

L’ouvrage dont Philippe Corcuff nous suggère ici un grand résumé est stimulant à plus d’un titre. Comme à son habitude l’auteur fait montre d’une étonnante faculté à circuler entre les différents espaces ... [more ▼]

L’ouvrage dont Philippe Corcuff nous suggère ici un grand résumé est stimulant à plus d’un titre. Comme à son habitude l’auteur fait montre d’une étonnante faculté à circuler entre les différents espaces de réflexion de l’agir humain, balayant tour à tour le champ de la sociologie, de la philosophie, du cinéma, de la littérature, de l’engagement social et politique ou de la culture populaire. Passant de Michel Jonaz à Foucault, de Weber à Al Pacino, de Marcos à Magris, Corcuff jongle assez magistralement avec des univers distincts que nos habitudes intellectuelles aiment séparer tantôt par souci prétendu de « scientificité » tantôt parce que, bon gré mal gré, nos esprits de chercheurs en sciences humaines ont été configurés de telle sorte que les passerelles entre divers champs de réflexions possibles (artistiques, politiques, sociologiques, etc.) ne se construisent même plus. Je voudrais donc ouvrir la discussion autour de Où est passé la critique sociale ? en saluant l’audace des ponts entrepris par Philippe Corcuff. Que l’on accepte de le suivre sur chacun d’entre eux ou pas n’enlève rien à la qualité de cette tentative intellectuellement risquée (tant les espaces parcourus sont vastes) à l’heure où la doxa académique, comme dirait Bourdieu, voudrait que nous nous enfermions tous exclusivement dans l’ultra-spécialisation scientifique de micro-catégories du savoir rassemblées dans une case de la sous-spécialité de la discipline que nous avons choisi. Cela afin de parvenir à pointer du doigt un détail qui sera jugé suffisamment original par les rares pairs aussi spécialisés que nous pour décrocher le graal d’une publication dans une sacro-sainte revue rankée. Ainsi, Corcuff semble nous dire : je ne suis pas spécialiste des gender studies mais j’ose évoquer le féminisme. Je ne suis pas spécialiste de la Grèce Antique mais j’ose citer Aristote. On se moque du contenu des textes de tel chanteur populaire, mais j’ose indiquer en quoi il recèle, au même titre que le féminisme ou Aristote, des ressources pour construire une sociologie ou, plus simplement, une esquisse de pensée analytique. Corcuff démontre qu’il est possible de rompre les barrières, de fréquenter des terres improbables pour faire naître le plaisir de la réflexion. Et c’est très heureux. Cette appréciation globale posée, je voudrais à présent entrer dans le vif du sujet et structurer mon commentaire en deux temps. Le premier voudrait insister sur les deux principales qualités des deux textes. De par la variété des paradigmes sociologiques, philosophiques, anthropologiques ou historiques convoqués, Où est passée la critique sociale ? et son résumé dévoilent un intérêt pédagogique singulier pour tout qui désire fréquenter ces disciplines. D’autre part, l’un des trois axes de l’ouvrage repérés par Corcuff dans son grand résumé mérite pour sa part clairement l’intérêt des spécialistes contemporains de la critique sociale. Le second temps de mon commentaire traitera alors de l’écueil que je pense cette fois déceler dans le résumé et l’ouvrage. Cet écueil illustre d’ailleurs une légère insatisfaction ressentie à l’égard de plusieurs ouvrages de l’auteur, insatisfaction précisément due à la frustration de ne pas voir l’originalité de sa démarche être conduite à son terme. Pour le dire rapidement, je chercherai à indiquer que, d’une certaine manière, la tentative de Corcuff a le défaut de ses qualités : il en fait trop et trop peu à la fois. Tout se passe comme si l’ouvrage – et le résumé – n’étaient qu’un succession de notes éparses qui se succèdent au sujet d’un très grand nombre d’auteurs, cités parfois lapidairement, souvent très rapidement, sur un concept ou l’autre, jamais développé de façon systématique, en arguant qu’au bout du compte, la démarche se justifie par la légitimité du bricolage en sociologie. A ce titre, l’ouvrage peut parfois apparaître redondant. Il semble en effet ressasser tout du long la même idée (intéressante au demeurant) d’une sociologie comme boîte à outil, assumant son incomplétude et ses insuffisances, en la déclinant il est vrai sous plusieurs angles. Ceci sans jamais véritablement entrer dans le vif du sujet et entreprendre soit l’approfondissement théorique de son intuition fondamentale soit son application empirique dans une enquête approfondie. [less ▲]

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See detailComparison of the Decomposition VOC Profile during Winter and Summer in a Moist, Mid-latitude (Cfb) Climate
Forbes, Shari L.; Perrault, Katelynn A.; Stefanuto, Pierre-Hugues ULg et al

in PLoS ONE (2014), 9(e113681), 1-11

The investigation of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) associated with decomposition is an emerging field in forensic taphonomy due to their importance in locating human remains using biological detectors ... [more ▼]

The investigation of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) associated with decomposition is an emerging field in forensic taphonomy due to their importance in locating human remains using biological detectors such as insects and canines. A consistent decomposition VOC profile has not yet been elucidated due to the intrinsic impact of the environment on the decomposition process in different climatic zones. The study of decomposition VOCs has typically occurred during the warmer months to enable chemical profiling of all decomposition stages. The present study investigated the decomposition VOC profile in air during both warmer and cooler months in a moist, mid-latitude (Cfb) climate as decomposition occurs year-round in this environment. Pig carcasses (Sus scrofa domesticus L.) were placed on a soil surface to decompose naturally and their VOC profile was monitored during the winter and summer months. Corresponding control sites were also monitored to determine the natural VOC profile of the surrounding soil and vegetation. VOC samples were collected onto sorbent tubes and analyzed using comprehensive two-dimensional gas chromatography – time-of-flight mass spectrometry (GC6GC-TOFMS). The summer months were characterized by higher temperatures and solar radiation, greater rainfall accumulation, and comparable humidity when compared to the winter months. The rate of decomposition was faster and the number and abundance of VOCs was proportionally higher in summer. However, a similar trend was observed in winter and summer demonstrating a rapid increase in VOC abundance during active decay with a second increase in abundance occurring later in the decomposition process. Sulfur-containing compounds, alcohols and ketones represented the most abundant classes of compounds in both seasons, although almost all 10 compound classes identified contributed to discriminating the stages of decomposition throughout both seasons. The advantages of GC6GC-TOFMS were demonstrated for detecting and identifying trace levels of VOCs, particularly ethers, which are rarely reported as decomposition VOCs. [less ▲]

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See detailAnalysing spatiotemporal changes in sediment contamination
Richir, Jonathan ULg; Pini, Jennifer; White, Shannon et al

Poster (2014, November)

Coastal environments are subjected to anthropogenic threats, of which pollution by trace elements (TEs). They remain chemicals of concern because of their toxicity, their ability to be concentrated in ... [more ▼]

Coastal environments are subjected to anthropogenic threats, of which pollution by trace elements (TEs). They remain chemicals of concern because of their toxicity, their ability to be concentrated in biota and their persistence in sediment. Aware of these threats, monitoring agencies perform large environmental surveys. However, the databases generated often remain underexploited, even though they represent an important source of information for scientists. As a case study, we focused on the highly industrialized and developed coastal area of the Solent, south coast of the UK, which is also a European Marine site with protected habitats and species. To date, no scientific-based spatiotemporal trend has been published regarding its pollution in TEs. But mining of existing databases requested from the Environmental Agency and the Marine Environment Monitoring and Assessment National database showed that sediment from 32 sites were/are indeed monitored for that purpose, covering a 22 years period (1992-2013). Temporal trend analysis showed that sediment contamination significantly decreased during that time interval (45 % decrease in median). However, all TEs still show concentrations above Sediment Quality Guidelines. Important spatial variability is also present, presumably linked to the distribution of pollutant anthropogenic sources. Taken together, these data have been used to provide stakeholders with relevant scientific based tools, i.e. GIS maps of the contamination in TEs in the Solent. This regional-level assessment enables local stakeholders to create bridges between environmental scientists and local authorities and valorizes the existing databases, for future governance at the regional and national scales. [less ▲]

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See detailMapping French terms in a Belgian guideline on heart failure to international classifications and nomenclatures: the devil is in the detail.
Jamoulle, Marc ULg; Cardillo, Elena; Roumier, Joseph et al

in Informatics in Primary Care (2014), 4

Introduction: With growing sophistication of eHealth platforms, the ability increases to share medical information across patients, health care providers, institutions and across borders. This implies ... [more ▼]

Introduction: With growing sophistication of eHealth platforms, the ability increases to share medical information across patients, health care providers, institutions and across borders. This implies more stringent demands on the quality of data-entry at the point-of-care. Non-native English speaking general practitioners experience difficulties in interacting with international classification systems and nomenclatures to facilitate the secondary use of their data and to ensure semantic interoperability. Aim: To identify words and phrases pertaining to the heart failure domain and to explore the difficulties in mapping to corresponding concepts in ICPC-2, ICD-10, SNOMED-CT, and UMLS. Methods: The medical concepts in a Belgian guideline for General Practitioners (GPs) in its French version were extracted manually and coded first in ICPC-2, then ICD-10 by a physician, an expert in classification systems. In addition, mappings were sought with SNOMED-CT and UMLS concepts, using the UMLS SNOMED-CT browser. Results: We retained 143 words and phrases, of which 128 referred to a single concept (1-to-1 mapping), while 15 referred to 2 or more concepts (1-to-n mapping to ICPC rubrics or to the other nomenclatures). In the guideline, words or phrases were often too general for adequate correspondence. Marked discrepancy between semantic tags and types was found. Conclusion: This study illustrates the variability of the various international classifications and nomenclatures, the need for structured guidelines with more attention to precise wording, and the need for classification expertise embedded in sophisticated terminological resources. End-users need support to perform their clinical work in their own language, while still assuring standardized and semantic interoperable medical registration. Collaboration between computational linguists, knowledge engineers, health informaticians and domain experts is needed. [less ▲]

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