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See detailCo-producing sociotechnical solutions in difficult times: the art of governing nuclear wastes in France
Parotte, Céline ULg; Delvenne, Pierre ULg

Conference (2017, June 29)

Radioactive wastes and their management are posing pressing political and epistemic issues to modern societies such as, for instance, how shall we design sociotechnical solutions to deal with an object ... [more ▼]

Radioactive wastes and their management are posing pressing political and epistemic issues to modern societies such as, for instance, how shall we design sociotechnical solutions to deal with an object with a half-life of more than 100.000 years? This paper’s starting point is the so-called “participatory turn” in the nuclear waste management (NWM) in France, when tensions appeared concerning claims of epistemic authority of national nuclear agencies. In 1990, in the aftermath of violent contestations and citizen mobilization in four Departments, the then Prime Minister of France, Michel Rocard, decided to impose a one-year moratorium on the research conducted by the national nuclear waste management organization (ANDRA). A not so well-known parliamentary technology assessment (PTA) institution, OPECST (the French Office Parlementaire d’Evaluation des Choix Scientifiques et Technologiques), was called to the rescue to clear up a difficult situation and to restore trust between state and scientific agencies and a critical population. We find that OPECST played a surprisingly central role in defining the French NWM program. [less ▲]

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See detailQUALITY IMPROVEMENT OF POTATO STEAMED BREAD USING FOOD HYDROCOLLOIDS
Liu, Xingli ULg

Doctoral thesis (2017)

Nowadays, there is an increasing interest for composite or gluten-free products due to some economic, nutritional reasons or the number of the celiac patient. The estimated prevalence of Celiac disease is ... [more ▼]

Nowadays, there is an increasing interest for composite or gluten-free products due to some economic, nutritional reasons or the number of the celiac patient. The estimated prevalence of Celiac disease is about 1% of the general population, and it affects persons of any age, race, and ethnic group. Steamed bread is a traditional staple food of China, and has been consumed for at least 2000 years, taking up almost 40% of wheat consumption, and the popularity is increasing around the world. However, most traditional wheat steamed bread lack essential nutrients, including lysine, dietary fiber, vitamins, and minerals, etc. Therefore, the use of composite flour for steamed bread making has attracted great attention. Potato (Solanum tuberosum) is one of the most widely planted vegetables worldwide and is the only tuber used as a major food crop. Potato has a balanced amino acid composition, high total vitamin and mineral levels, and also contains phytochemicals such as polyphenols, polyamines, and carotenoids. However, the replacement of wheat flour is a major challenge for food technologist to produce the steamed bread with desirable quality and technological properties because that gluten is important to retain gas to obtain the desired volume and texture in a dough system. It is essential to form a strong protein network required for the desired viscoelasticity, and the easiest way to ensure the viscoelasticity properties is via the use of food hydrocolloids. Therefore, the aim of this work was to study the quality improvement of potato steamed bread using food hydrocolloids. Firstly, the influence of potato flour on dough rheological properties and quality of steamed bread showed that the dough stability and specific volume of steamed bread were significantly decreased with the potato flour proportions increasing. Then we carried out the comparative study of the nutritional quality of steamed and baked breads from four potato cultivars because that the steamed and baked breads were two type of staple food in eastern and western countries, respectively. The results showed that potato flour addition increased the contents of dietary fiber, potassium, vitamin C, and total polyphenol contents and antioxidant activity. Hongmei was the optimum choose of the studied four cultivars, followed by Blue Congo, Shepody, and Atlantic, in terms of nutritional value. For the same cultivar, the nutritional value of steamed bread was higher than that of baked bread. Secondly, the effect of different food hydrocolloids on the dough rheology and steamed bread quality parameters in composite and gluten-free formulations based on potato flour was studied. Compared to control, the food hydrocolloids addition significantly increased tightly bound water population, water absorption, starch gelatinization temperature, dough viscoelasticity, recovery percentage and development height. Little adhesion and aggregation of starch were observed and the density of potato protein bands was decreased when food hydrocolloids were added, suggesting that some aggregation formed between starch-hydrocolloids or proteins-hydrocolloids. Moreover, steamed breads with food hydrocolloids presented higher specific volume, lower hardness, and lower estimated glycemic index. In conclusion, food hydrocolloids showed the potential as a gluten replacement in composite or gluten-free potato steamed bread, particularly HPMC. Thirdly, we optimized the formulations of gluten-free potato steamed bread. The optimal gluten-free steamed bread could be produced by adding 4.84 g/100g pregelatinized potato flour (PGPF), 1.68 g/100g hydroxypropylmethylcellulose (HPMC), 5.87 g/100g egg white protein (EWP) and 69.69 g/100g water based on potato flour, and this optimal bread was compatible with regular wheat bread in key sensory properties. Moreover, the optimized solid phase microextraction parameters (sample weight 2.42 g, extraction time 60 min, and extraction temperature 50°C) were adopted to determine the volatile compounds of gluten-free potato steamed bread. 72 volatile compounds were detected in the dough and crumb. The contents of alcohols, acids and esters increased significantly with the fermentation time increasing, which would improve the aroma of steamed bread. However, further investigations are needed to elucidate the underlying mechanisms of action and the interactions with dough components and making additives. The other studies should be focused on technological approaches to improve steamed bread quality, which involved different flour particles, high pressure technology and application of sourdough. [less ▲]

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See detailMean and variance of Dynamic Functional Connectivity in Parkinson’s Disease
Baquero Duarte, Katherine Andrea ULg; Guldenmund, Pieter; Rouillard, Maud ULg et al

Poster (2017, June 29)

Detailed reference viewed: 12 (3 ULg)
Peer Reviewed
See detail"Exploring Experiences of Inequality in European Urban Centers: Towards an Intersectional and Transnational Approach."
Vivas Romero, Maria ULg; Ramos, Cristina

Conference (2017, June 28)

What strategies do migrants living in European cities use to challenge inequalities in access to healthcare, participation in the labor market and the creation of social support networks? The papers in ... [more ▼]

What strategies do migrants living in European cities use to challenge inequalities in access to healthcare, participation in the labor market and the creation of social support networks? The papers in this panel aim to respond to this question by drawing from transnational and intersectional approaches conceptualizing inequalities as sets of relationships between people and broader structures in which interactions generate better opportunity for some more than for others (Tilly, 2000). Panel participants consider that these interactions and the benefits that can be obtained through migration are affected by various social categories such as gender, class, sexual identity, transnational connections, and citizenship. Intersectional approaches allow to examine how these axes of inequality (Crenshaw, 1989; Anthias, 2001) simultaneously affect migration outcomes and also how they operate differently according to the geographical space in which they develop: origin and host societies as well as transnationally. Nonetheless, the papers presented in this panel will also emphasize migrants’ agency to resist or conform to the inequalities they face. Overall, this panel aims to contribute to the study of migration and inequality at the conceptual and methodological levels. At the theoretical level, the panel will build on new debates on the reproduction of intersectional inequalities in transnational settings (Faist, 2016, Amelina, 2017). At the methodological level, all paper presenters have use multi-sited ethnographic methods (working in cities such as Madrid, London, Milan, Brussels and Frankfurt) and will therefore use the panel as an opportunity to discuss the strengths and weaknesses of such method. [less ▲]

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See detailFrom internal experts to external interlocutors? EU agencies and procedures assessing the equivalence of third country legal rules with EU regulatory standards
Van Cleynenbreugel, Pieter ULg

Scientific conference (2017, June 28)

this paper will offer an overview of procedures allowing EU agencies to determine the equivalence of third country regulatory regimes and conceptualise the accountability challenges they pose. Proceeding ... [more ▼]

this paper will offer an overview of procedures allowing EU agencies to determine the equivalence of third country regulatory regimes and conceptualise the accountability challenges they pose. Proceeding in three parts, the first part will identify and classify the different third country equivalence procedures in place. Analysing the legal basis for agency intervention and the specific powers granted to the respective agencies in that respect, this part will allow to develop a topology of two different equivalence roles conferred on EU agencies. Building upon this descriptive analysis, the second part will identify two accountability challenges associated with each of the identified third country equivalence procedure categories. Seeking to overcome those challenges, the third part of the paper will make four pointed suggestions aimed at recognising explicitly and in a more centralised way the external action powers conferred on EU agencies. Doing so would at the very least allow better to tailor modifications to the external action frameworks against the background of which existing equivalence procedures currently already implicitly operate. [less ▲]

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See detailSpatial diversification of agroecosystems towards biological control of insect pests: A focus on intercropping and wildflower strips
Hatt, Séverin ULg

Doctoral thesis (2017)

Facing the limits of input-intensive agriculture, agroecology aims at thinking ways to design a sustainable agriculture that is economically viable and socially relevant. It notably invites to mobilize ... [more ▼]

Facing the limits of input-intensive agriculture, agroecology aims at thinking ways to design a sustainable agriculture that is economically viable and socially relevant. It notably invites to mobilize ecological processes within agroecosystems in order to enhance the delivery of ecosystem services towards reducing the use of external inputs – among others insecticides. For enhancing biological control of insect pests, a strategy is to spatially diversify agroecosystems at the field scale. Whereas increasing plant diversity could directly negatively affect pest development on the one hand (i.e. bottom-up effect), providing flowering features could allow the enhancement of natural enemies and their direct effect on pest populations on the other hand (i.e. top-down effect). The present thesis focused on intercropping (i.e. the cultivation of at least two crop species simultaneously in a same field) as a way to diversify crop habitat, and the sowing of wildflower strips as a non-crop feature. A systematic analysis of the literature revealed that, in most of studies, wheat (Triticum aestivum L.)-based intercropping allows a reduction of insect pests on crops, without necessarily favouring their natural enemies, compared to pure-stands. Besides, the provision of flowering resources, by for instance sowing wildflower strips, can attract and support flower visiting predators and parasitoids. Hence, in a first set of field experiments, combining the two tactics of increasing crop diversity and providing flowering resources was tested. First in China, wheat crop was associated with oilseed rape (Brassica napus L.), but it neither allowed reducing aphid (Hemiptera: Aphididae) abundance nor enhancing their natural enemies compared to pure stands. Instead, aphid density – independently from the treatments – affected natural enemy abundance, and interspecific relations between aphids and their natural enemies were observed. Second in Belgium, wildflower strips were sown within a wheat field, which led to a reduction of aphid density in wheat plots in between flowering features and an increase of aphidophagous hoverflies (Diptera: Syrphidae) compared to pure-stand wheat. Nevertheless, the presence of flowering strips did not affect the other natural enemies, i.e. lacewings (Neuroptera: Chrysopidae), ladybeetles (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) and parasitoid wasps (Hymenoptera: Braconidae). Therefore, a second set of field experiments focussed on ways to compose mixtures of wild flowers attractive to a diversity of natural enemies. Flower functional traits were considered due to their effect on insect behaviour. First, the hypothesis that mixtures with high functional diversity attract and support a high abundance and diversity of aphid flower visiting predators was tested. This hypothesis was not verified. Instead, the high density in the plots of some flower species (especially the Asteraceae Leucanthemum vulgare Lam.) known to be attractive to flower visitors was supposed to have overwhelmed the effect of functional diversity. Second, a methodology was developed to identify which flower traits significantly affect natural enemy abundance – in this experiment parasitoids of oilseed rape beetle pests (i.e. Meligethes spp. [Coleoptera: Nitidulidae] and Ceutorhynchus spp. [Coleoptera: Curculionidae]) – in flower mixtures. Among seven traits, visual traits (i.e. colour, ultra-violet reflectance) and the one related to food availability (i.e. corolla morphology) were found to significantly affect parasitoid abundance. These results highlight that (i) increasing plant diversity at the field scale can – but not systematically – favour a reduction of insect pests, (ii) including flowering features can enhance some – but not all – of their natural enemies, and (iii) in order to compose flower mixes attractive to natural enemies, specific flower traits – rather than functional diversity at the mixture level – can be considered. These results are discussed in a broader perspective. Indeed, strategies to spatially diversify crop and non-crop habitats in agroecosystems are various, as well as the ways to compose, manage and design such habitats. Also, processes at larger scales than the field may be determinant. Moreover, insects are not the only pests, and pests are not the only biotic or abiotic elements that need to be regulated in agroecosystems. Controlling multiple pests simultaneously but also enhancing the provision of multiple regulating services represent challenges for future research in agriculture. [less ▲]

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See detailGENETIC DIVERSITY AND FACULTATIVE SYMBIONTS INFECTION PATTERNS OF TWO RHOPALOSIPHUM APHIDS
Guo, Jianqing ULg

Doctoral thesis (2017)

Aphids, during the long-term evolution, kept their genetic traits for continuation of the species while some variations caused by selection, migration, mutation, and genetic drift occurred meanwhile to ... [more ▼]

Aphids, during the long-term evolution, kept their genetic traits for continuation of the species while some variations caused by selection, migration, mutation, and genetic drift occurred meanwhile to adapt to novel environments. The differentiation takes place not only among species but could also be observed within species that finally contributes to the population genetic diversity. However, the migrant behavior of aphid can enhances the gene flow among populations, as a result, decreasing the genetic variation. Additionally, insect such as aphids usually hold the mutualistic relationships with endosymbionts which may affect the adaptive characteristics of the host aphid. Both Corn leaf aphid Rhopalosiphum maidis (F.) (Hemiptera: Aphididae) and Bird cherry-oat aphid Rhopalosiphum padi (L.) (Hemiptera: Aphididae) are worldwidely severe pests that attack cereal crops such as maize, barley, wheat, sorghum and oats. They suck the phloem and can transmit viruses including Maize dwarf mosaic virus (MDMV) and Barley yellow dwarf virus (BYDV), the main virus of maize and barley, which may result in serious damage for the yield and quality of the host plant. Moreover, one aphid species usually exerts genetic differentiation among populations which is related to factors such as geographic conditions, host plants and life history. Hence, it is necessary to have a clear understanding of the genetic structure and variation among geographic populations to further explore the historical expanding routes and occurrence of these pests and design efficient control strategies. Targeting the genetic divergence among populations of two Rhopalosiphum aphids, 32 populations of R. padi and 38 populations of R. maidis were collected on maize from most regions of China as well as some countries in Europe. The sequencing results of two mitochondrial (COI and COII) and one nuclear (EF-1α) genes indicated that a high level of gene flow existed among the populations of R. maidis in terms of geographic locations, proving the migratory capacity of this aphid. With regard to R. padi, high genetic diversity were found between the populations from China and Europe based on combined COI-COII, however, the genetic diversification among Chinese populations and European populations were low, which illustrated that the length of geographic distance may play an important role in genetic diversity. The infection patterns of seven facultative symbionts (Serratia symbiotica, Hamiltonella defensa, Regiella insecticola, Rickettsia, Spiroplasma, Wolbachia and Arsenophonus) in R. padi and R. maidis were investigated as well. Both aphids were found to have wide symbiotic associations with variant symbionts. Unlike Acyrthosiphum pisim (H.) which is frequently infected with S. symbiotica, R. insecticola, Rickettsia and Spiroplasma were dominant facultative symbionts in these two Rhopalosiphum aphids. The results also indicated that the geographic conditions such as latitude of collecting locations may have an effect on the distribution of facultative symbionts, implying the adaptive function of the facultative symbionts to various environmental conditions on their host aphids. Considering the population diversity within species, we also tested the survival and reproduction rates of two R. maidis populations (i.e. Beijing and Mangshi) on barley and maize of small (10 cm) and high (50 cm) size. Direct observation method was used and none of the populations could survive on maize of small size whereas they were capable to develop on maize of high size, but with much lower growing speeds compared with barley on which both populations showed the best performances. In addition, Beijing population was found to perform significantly better than Mangshi population which may be related to the infection of facultative symbionts. We hypothesize that the lethality on small maize may result from the secondary metabolites synthesized to be more abundant in young maize seedlings. [less ▲]

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See detailDevelopment and applications of CRISPR-Cas9 and RNAi for rice and wheat agronomic traits improvement
Sun, Yongwei ULg

Doctoral thesis (2017)

Genome editing technologies enable precise modifications of DNA sequences in vivo and offer a great promise for harnessing plant genes in crop improvement. The precise manipulation of plant genomes relies ... [more ▼]

Genome editing technologies enable precise modifications of DNA sequences in vivo and offer a great promise for harnessing plant genes in crop improvement. The precise manipulation of plant genomes relies on the induction of DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) by sequence-specific nucleases (SSNs) to initiate DNA repair reactions that are based on either non-homologous end joining (NHEJ) or homology-directed repair (HDR). NHEJ can result in frame-shift mutations that often create genetic knockouts. These knockout lines are useful for functional and reverse genetic studies but also have applications in agriculture. HDR has a variety of applications as it can be used for gene replacement, gene stacking, and for creating various fusion proteins. An overview of development and applications of precise GT in plants using SSNs systems is presented in Chapter I. Cereals high in amylose content (AC) and resistant starch (RS) offer potential health benefits. Starch branching enzyme (SBE) plays a major role in determining the fine structure and physical properties of starch. Here, we use CRISPR/Cas9 technology to generate targeted mutagenesis in SBEI and SBEIIb in rice. The frequencies of obtained homozygous or bi-allelic mutant lines with indels in SBEI and SBEIIb in T0 generation were from 26.7 to 40%. SbeII mutants showed higher proportion of long chains presented in debranched amylopectin, significantly increased AC and RS content to as higher as 25.0% and 9.8%, respectively. The details of results are presented in Chapter IV Complete knockouts and loss-of-function mutations are very valuable in defining gene functions, their applications in crop improvement are somewhat limited because many agriculturally important traits are conferred by point mutations or a change of gene expression levels. Development of a technology that enables gene replacement rather than gene inactivation will greatly facilitate plant breading. In this study, we report an efficient method to introduce multiple discrete point mutations in the rice ALS gene using CRISPR/Cas9-mediated homologous recombination. We not only generated homozygous herbicide resistance rice plants in one generation, but also demonstrated that the presented strategy is feasible and effective in precise gene replacement by using CRISPR/Cas9 system to facilitate crop genetic improvement. The details of results are presented in Chapter V Aphids are major agricultural pests which cause significant yield losses of wheat each year in China. Present attempts to improve the aphid resistance of wheat through conventional breeding in China are being confronted by slow progress due to lack of aphid resistant wheat germplasm, the complexity of plant-aphid interactions and the rapid development of resistant pest biotypes. An overview of the engineering of plants for aphid resistance is presented in chapter II. We identify a gene (23028) related to aphid ingestion and digestion from the aphid, S. avenae. Aphids fed on plant material expressing double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) specific to 23028 and C002 show a decline in growth, reproduction and survival rates. The details of results presented in the chapter VI. [less ▲]

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See detailStrategies of host defense and viral counter defense: analysis of Fusarium graminearium responses to FgHV1 infection
Wang, Shuangchao ULg

Doctoral thesis (2017)

Viruses that selectively infect fungi are named fungal viruses or mycoviruses. Fungal viruses exist in all major groups of fungi and are important in both fundamental research and biological control of ... [more ▼]

Viruses that selectively infect fungi are named fungal viruses or mycoviruses. Fungal viruses exist in all major groups of fungi and are important in both fundamental research and biological control of plant pathogens. Fusarium graminearum hypovirus 1 (FgHV1) was the first virus isolated from F. graminearum belonging to the hypoviridae family. FgHV1 was supposed to encode two open reading frames, which had high sequence identities with Cryphonectria hypovirus 1 and 2 (CHV1 and CHV2). F. graminearum strain infected with FgHV1 showed lower growth rate and reduced conidia production, but with no pathogenicity change. To elucidate the host defense and viral counter defense mechanism, we analyzed the F. graminearum stress responses to FgHV1 infection from several aspects. In the first part, we preliminarily elucidated the RNA silencing mechanism of the F. graminearum/hypovirus system from a small RNA (sRNA) perspective. The length distributions of F. graminearum sRNA were altered by FgHV1 infection, especially 24-nt sRNA. Extensive FgHV1-derived sRNAs were detected, yielding the first high resolution map of sRNA from mycoviruses. In particular, the RNA silencing-related genes FgDicer1 and FgRdRp5 were predicted targets of FgHV1- and FgHV2-derived siRNAs, possibly revealing a novel anti-RNA silencing strategy employed by mycoviruses. In the second part, we performed genome-wide expression analysis to reveal stress-related genes with expression changes in response to FgHV1 infection. A total of 248 differentially expressed genes were identified. Cellular redox regulation related genes were the most affected categories in F. graminearum challenged with FgHV1. Then we verified that FgHV1 encoded protein 20 (p20) could induce the H2O2 accumulation and hypersensitive response in Nicotiana benthamiana leaves. In the last part, our experiments confirmed that p20 functioned as a RNA silencing suppressor (RSS) with the agroinfiltration-mediated technique, making p20 the third RSS identified in mycoviruses. By incorporating single strand sRNA, p20 could suppress host RNA silencing. Globally, the defense responses of F. graminearum to FgHV1 infection were studied all-around and in-depth. On the other hand, FgHV1 developed counter defense strategies to protect from invasion resistance. [less ▲]

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Peer Reviewed
See detailLa comparaison en Belgique
Delville, Michel ULg

Conference (2017, June 22)

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Peer Reviewed
See detailUHPLC-ESI-MS/MS quantitation of natural estrogens in aqueous matrices as pyridine-3-sulfonyl derivatives
Glineur, Alex ULg; Ronkart, Sébastien; Nott, Kathérine et al

Conference (2017, June 22)

Natural estrogens (estrone: E1, 17-β-estradiol : E2, estriol : E3) and synthetic estrogen (17-α-ethinylestradiol: EE2) are powerful endocrine disruptors. They may have deleterious effects on aquatic ... [more ▼]

Natural estrogens (estrone: E1, 17-β-estradiol : E2, estriol : E3) and synthetic estrogen (17-α-ethinylestradiol: EE2) are powerful endocrine disruptors. They may have deleterious effects on aquatic wildlife and also humans even at extremely low concentrations. For this reason, these molecules have been included in a watch list from the European Commission regarding emerging aquatic pollutants. The maximum detection limits are set at 0.035 and 0.40 ng/L for EE2 and E1, E2 respectively. Reaching such low levels of concentration of estrogenic compounds is a challenge, even using state-of-the-art analytical methods. In this study, we developed a UHPLC-ESI-MS/MS method allowing the quantification of E1, E2, E3 and EE2 residues in aqueous matrices. Studies commonly used ESI in negative mode albeit the poor ionization efficiency of native estrogenic compounds in this mode. In this study, the molecules were derivatised using a sulfonyl chloride reagent (pyridine-3-sulfonyl, P-3-S). The resulting response in the positive mode was significantly enhanced. Similarly to other dansyl derivatives, the product ion spectra of the P-3-S derivatives indicate ions originating from the derivatization reagent moiety. Moreover, several other ions were included in the product ion spectra of the P-3-S derivatives. Their specificity was assessed by a qualitative approach implying the analysis of different types of water samples (groundwater, surface water). Some product ions were found to be noticeably better for quantification and confirmation of the analytes. The developed analytical method was validated according to the NF T90-210 norm which is suitable to assess the performances of a method in the water quality field. The limits of quantification were 0.04, 0.05, 0.10 and 0.02 ng/L in groundwater and 0.89, 0.79,4.42 and 0.29 ng/L in surface water for E1, E2, E3 and EE2 respectively. [less ▲]

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See detailImprovement of the ChIP-seq technique for histone posttranslational modifications through enhanced laboratory protocols and data processing methods
Laczik, Miklos ULg

Doctoral thesis (2017)

Massively parallel sequencing has rapidly become the dominant technique in various omics studies as it provides an unequalled amount of high quality quantitative data for a reasonable cost that is ... [more ▼]

Massively parallel sequencing has rapidly become the dominant technique in various omics studies as it provides an unequalled amount of high quality quantitative data for a reasonable cost that is decreasing ever since the first next generation sequencers appeared. Subsequently, chromatin immunoprecipitation coupled with massively parallel sequencing (ChIP-seq) is the prevailing method of choice for investigating protein–DNA interactions in a genome-wide manner. Bioinformatics tools are also evolving quickly to meet the increasing demands of processing huge amounts of ChIP-seq data and to open the way for novel techniques and insights. However areas still exist that could benefit from improved wet-lab and dry-lab methods. One such area is data visualisation and interpretation; another is the ChIP-seq study of histone posttranslational modifications, especially the research of inactive histone marks which tend to produce diffuse broad enrichments instead of point-source peaks. Achieving proper enrichment and unbiased analysis in such histone mark studies proves to be a great challenge. In this doctoral thesis we show how we addressed these issues on both the level of bioinformatics and the level of sample processing methods. We present our innovative analysis tools we developed to this end, among others a highly customisable, feature rich viewer for next generation sequencing data visualisation, and an analysis pipeline specifically aimed to handle broad enrichments from ChIP-seq studies of (inactive) histone marks. We propose specific software and specific peak calling settings to detect a range of histone modifications accurately, and we describe the way to determine the optimal settings. Along the pipeline we also present a protocol designed to enhance enrichments and facilitate peak detection in broad peak studies typical of inactive histone marks. We demonstrate how this method affects various enrichment types and propose potential applications that could benefit from it. Furthermore we show diverse achievements with the analysis pipeline, including the interpretation of the aforementioned wet-lab method, and the development of an automated ChIP-seq protocol optimised for low cell numbers. [less ▲]

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See detailField border flowering strips as a source of valuable compounds
Paul, Aman ULg

Doctoral thesis (2017)

Intensification of agricultural practices has caused irreversible damage to environment during the last few years. Several consumers are now deviating towards healthier diets produced from eco-friendly ... [more ▼]

Intensification of agricultural practices has caused irreversible damage to environment during the last few years. Several consumers are now deviating towards healthier diets produced from eco-friendly and sustainable agricultural systems. In this regard, the possibilities of utilizing edible biomass originating from sustainable agricultural practices have gained recent attention. The underutilized edible plants, especially their seeds could be one of the interesting alternates, as some of these seeds are not only nutritious, but could also be produced using sustainable practices. Similarly, edible insects represent another category of biomass which are rich in nutrients and could be produced sustainably. The seeds from underutilized edible plants and the edible insects could be simultaneously harvested using a sustainable agricultural system involving field border flowering strips. Field border flowering strip is a part of agricultural landscape that is reserved for herbaceous vegetation. These strips are popularly grown throughout the world to enhance biodiversity. The main objective of this thesis is to utilize seeds from some of the plants grown as field border flowering strips and insects that find refuge in these plants for the provision of food and health promoting substances. From the literature reviewed in chapter two, it was observed that: (1). Most plants that are grown in field border flowering strips are edible, and their aerial parts have been extensively analyzed for chemical composition. However, there is a scarcity of literature evaluating chemical composition/food utilization of the seeds from plants that are grown as field border flowering strips. So, the primary objective of this thesis is to investigate the nutritional and health promoting potential of the seeds from some plants that are grown in these strips. (2). A number of grasshopper species find refuge in field border flowering strips. Several grasshopper species are considered edible throughout the world and they are interesting source of nutrients. So the secondary objective of this thesis is to screen some edible grasshopper species that are present in field border flowering strips, analyze their nutritional value, and investigate possibilities to establish their commercial rearing for ensuring year-long availability of edible biomass. The research strategy adopted to achieve the objectives of this thesis is mentioned in chapter three. This chapter includes details about the selection of raw materials (both plant seeds and insects), and subsequent analysis. Chapter four contains the detail about the materials and methods used for analysis during this study. Chapter five includes details about the investigations on edible insects. Chorthippus parallelus Zetterstedt species grasshoppers were shortlisted for detailed investigation due to their high densities in field border flowering strips. This insect species was analyzed for proximate composition, amino acid profile, fatty acid profile and mineral profile. Moreover the toxicity of these insects was also evaluated using two different models. Results indicated that these insects could be consumed as an alternate source of proteins (69%) and omega-3 fatty acid rich lipids (10%). Rearing trials done during this study indicates that commercial rearing could be developed to produce sufficient and safe biomass for human consumption. The selection of seeds from three plant species (Achillea millefolium L., Anthriscus sylvestris (L). Hoffm. and Prunella vulgaris L.), for detailed analysis on the basis of lipid content and fatty acid profile has been mentioned in chapter six. Chapter seven, eight and nine include the details about the composition and anti-oxidant activity of A. millefolium, A. sylvestris and P. vulgaris seeds, respectively. Proximate composition, lipid profile, amino acid profile, mineral profile, lignocellulosic profile, phenolic profile and phytate content of the three plant seeds were investigated during this study. Two new phenolic acids were discovered originating from P. vulgaris seeds. These compounds were named amolsamic acid A and amolsamic acid B. Discovery of these compounds was the true highlight of this thesis. All the three plant seeds were found to contain substantial level of total phenolics (0.8-2.6%) and interesting phenolic profiles (dominated by chlorogenic acid, rosmarinic acids and related compounds). Keeping this in mind, the detailed anti-oxidant activity (including anti-radical scavenging, horseradish peroxidase response modulation, cellular anti-oxidant, myeloperoxidase response modulation and anti-lipid peroxidation activity) of their respective seed extracts was also analyzed. Results obtained during this study indicate that A. millefolium, A. sylvestris and P. vulgaris seeds not only contain interesting level of nutrients, but their extracts also exhibit significant anti-radical scavenging, horseradish peroxidase response modulation, cellular anti-oxidant (IC50 values order: P. vulgaris>A. sylvestris>A. millefolium) and myeloperoxidase response modulation activity (IC50 values order: A. sylvestris>A. millefolium>P. vulgaris for both direct and SIEFED assay). The main conclusions (chapter ten) of this PhD dissertation are: (1). C. parallelus insects could be viewed as an alternative source of nutrients to diversify human diets. The preliminary rearing studies done during this study indicate that commercial rearing could be developed for generation of substantial (and safe) biomass to support human consumption. (2). A. millefolium, A. sylvestris and P. vulgaris seeds could be included in food formulations (or consumed as whole) as a source of proteins, lipids, minerals and phenolics. P. vulgaris seeds could also be used for the extraction of two new phenolic constituents (amolsamic acid A and amolsamic acid B). The first investigations involving A. millefolium, A. sylvestris and P. vulgaris seeds realized during this study, indicate that seed extract (or whole seeds) from all three plants could possibly be consumed for the prevention of neutrophil and myeloperoxidase mediated damage in human body. [less ▲]

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See detailSeasonal Transport in Mars’ Mesosphere revealed by Nitric Oxide Nightglow
Stiepen, Arnaud ULg

Conference (2017, June 21)

We analyze the ultraviolet nightglow in the atmosphere of Mars through Nitric Oxide (NO) δ and γ bands emissions. On the dayside thermosphere of Mars, solar extreme ultraviolet radiation partly ... [more ▼]

We analyze the ultraviolet nightglow in the atmosphere of Mars through Nitric Oxide (NO) δ and γ bands emissions. On the dayside thermosphere of Mars, solar extreme ultraviolet radiation partly dissociates CO2 and N2 molecules. O(3P) and N(4S) atoms are carried by the day-to-night hemispheric transport. They preferentially descend in the nightside mesosphere in the winter hemisphere, where they can radiatively recombine to form NO(C2Π). The excited molecules promptly relax by emitting photons in the UV δ bands and in the γ bands through cascades via the A2Σ, v’ = 0 state. These emissions are thus indicators of the N and O atom fluxes transported from the dayside to Mars’ nightside and the winter descending circulation pattern from the nightside thermosphere to the mesosphere (e.g. Bertaux et al., 2005 ; Bougher et al., 1990 ; Cox et al., 2008 ; Gagné et al., 2013 ; Gérard et al., 2008 ; Stiepen et al., 2015, 2017). Observations of these emissions have been accumulated on a large dataset of nightside disk images and vertical profiles obtained at the limb by the Imaging Ultraviolet Spectrograph (IUVS, McClintock et al., 2015) instrument when the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN (MAVEN) spacecraft is at its apoapsis and its periapsis phases along its orbit, respectively. We present discussion on the variability in the brightness and altitude and of the emission with season, geographical position and local time and possible interpretation for local and global changes in the mesosphere dynamics. IUVS images and limb scans reveal unexpected complex structure of the emission. The brightest emission is observed close to the winter pole. The emission is also surprisingly more intense in some longitude, revealing possible impact of tides and waves in Mars’ nightside mesosphere. Observations also reveal spots and streaks, indicating irregularities in the wind circulation pattern. The disk images and limb profiles are compared to the LMD-MGCM model (Gonzàlez-Galindo et al., 2009 ; Lopez-Valverde et al., 2011) to focus on the seasonal, local time and geographical influences on the NO Nightglow emission. We will also provide a statistical study of the regions of enhanced brightness (i.e. splotches and streaks) and discuss possible interpretation from the comparison to the GCM. [less ▲]

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See detailDiametral dimension(s) and prominent bounded sets
Demeulenaere, Loïc ULg

Conference (2017, June 20)

The classical diametral dimension (Bessaga, Mityagin, Pelczynski, Rolewicz), denoted by "Delta", is a topological invariant which can be used to characterize Schwartz and nuclear locally convex spaces ... [more ▼]

The classical diametral dimension (Bessaga, Mityagin, Pelczynski, Rolewicz), denoted by "Delta", is a topological invariant which can be used to characterize Schwartz and nuclear locally convex spaces. Mityagin also introduced a variant of this diametral dimension, denoted by "Delta_b", using bounded sets in its definition, contrary to "Delta". In this talk, we present some conditions assuring the equality of these two diametral dimensions for Fréchet spaces. Among these conditions, there is the notion of existence of prominent bounded sets, due to Terzioglu. In fact, it appears that the existence of prominent sets is implied by the property "Omega Bar" of Vogt and Wagner. Finally, we describe a construction which gives Schwartz and nuclear non-Fréchet spaces E verifying "Delta_b(E) = \Delta(E)". [less ▲]

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See detailLe pouvoir politique des juges
Grandjean, Geoffrey ULg

Conference given outside the academic context (2017)

Notre société est marquée par un phénomène de judiciarisation qui voit une emprise croissante des juges dans les systèmes politiques et sociaux. Certains représentants n'hésitent d'ailleurs plus à ... [more ▼]

Notre société est marquée par un phénomène de judiciarisation qui voit une emprise croissante des juges dans les systèmes politiques et sociaux. Certains représentants n'hésitent d'ailleurs plus à fustiger le « gouvernement des juges ». Quels pouvoirs les juges exercent-ils dans nos systèmes démocratiques ? Pour répondre à cette question, il est proposé de présenter les trois grandes fonctions politiques des juges : 1) la production de normes, 2) l'arbitrage de valeurs morales et 3) la stabilisation du système politique. Ces trois fonctions sont autant de déclinaisons du pouvoir politique des juges qui concrétisent un nouvel équilibre entre les pouvoirs. De nombreuses décisions de jurisprudence illustrent le propos. [less ▲]

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