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See detailIs Young Adolescents’ Self-Esteem Predicted by Peer Acceptance? A Gender Perspective
Gaudet, Olivier; Vollet, Justin; Véronneau, Marie-Hélène et al

Poster (2017, May)

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See detailDiscovery and characterization of EIIB, a new α-conotoxin from Conus ermineus venom by nAChRs affinity capture monitored by MALDI-TOF/TOF mass spectrometry
Echterbille, Julien; Gilles, Nicolas; Araoz, Romulo et al

in Toxicon (2017), 130

Animal toxins are peptides that often bind with remarkable affinity and selectivity to membrane receptors such as nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs). The latter are, for example, targeted by α ... [more ▼]

Animal toxins are peptides that often bind with remarkable affinity and selectivity to membrane receptors such as nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs). The latter are, for example, targeted by α-conotoxins, a family of peptide toxins produced by venomous cone snails. nAChRs are implicated in numerous physiological processes explaining why the design of new pharmacological tools and the discovery of potential innovative drugs targeting these receptor channels appear so important. This work describes a methodology developed to discover new ligands of nAChRs from complex mixtures of peptides. The methodology was set up by the incubation of Torpedo marmorata electrocyte membranes rich in nAChRs with BSA tryptic digests (>100 peptides) doped by small amounts of known nAChRs ligands (α-conotoxins). Peptides that bind to the receptors were purified and analyzed by MALDI-TOF/TOF mass spectrometry which revealed an enrichment of α-conotoxins in membrane-containing fractions. This result exhibits the binding of α-conotoxins to nAChRs. Negative controls were performed to demonstrate the specificity of the binding. The usefulness and the power of the methodology were also investigated for a discovery issue. The workflow was then applied to the screening of Conus ermineus crude venom, aiming at characterizing new nAChRs ligands from this venom, which has not been extensively investigated to date. The methodology validated our experiments by allowing us to bind two α-conotoxins (α-EI and α-EIIA) which have already been described as nAChRs ligands. Moreover, a new conotoxin, never described to date, was also captured, identified and sequenced from this venom. Classical pharmacology tests by radioligand binding using a synthetic homologue of the toxin confirm the activity of the new peptide, called α-EIIB. The Ki value of this peptide for Torpedo nicotinic receptors was measured at 2.2 ± 0.7 nM. [less ▲]

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See detailEvaluation of the implementation of integrated care for people with chronic conditions
Van Durme, Thérèse; Anthierens, Sibyl; Van Hecke, Ann et al

Conference (2017, May)

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See detailDiversity in sequences, post-translational modifications and expected pharmacological activities of toxins from four Conus species revealed by the combination of cutting-edge proteomics, transcriptomics and bioinformatics
Degueldre, Michel; Verdenaud, Marion; Garikoitz, Legarda et al

in Toxicon (2017), 130

Venomous animals have developed a huge arsenal of reticulated peptides for defense and predation. Based on various scaffolds, they represent a colossal pharmacological diversity, making them top ... [more ▼]

Venomous animals have developed a huge arsenal of reticulated peptides for defense and predation. Based on various scaffolds, they represent a colossal pharmacological diversity, making them top candidates for the development of innovative drugs. Instead of relying on the classical, low-throughput bioassay-guided approach to identify innovative bioactive peptides, this work exploits a recent paradigm to access to venom diversity. This strategy bypasses the classical approach by combining high-throughput transcriptomics, proteomics and bioinformatics cutting-edge technologies to generate reliable peptide sequences. The strategy employed to generate hundreds of reliable sequences from Conus venoms is deeply described. The study led to the discovery of (i) conotoxins that belong to known pharmacological families targeting various GPCRs or ion-gated channels, and (ii) new families of conotoxins, never described to date. It also focusses on the diversity of genes, sequences, folds, and PTM's provided by such species. [less ▲]

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See detailFor a BRICS Agenda for Culture and the Creative Economy
Vlassis, Antonios ULg; Richieri-Hanania, Lilian

in Neuwirth, Rostam; Halis, Denis (Eds.) A BRICS-Lawyers' Guide to Global Cooperation (2017)

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See detailThe internet as a source of information used by women after childbirth to meet their need for information: A web-based survey.
Slomian, Justine ULg; Bruyère, Olivier ULg; Reginster, Jean-Yves ULg et al

in Midwifery (2017), 48

OBJECTIVE: the aims of this survey were: (a) to evaluate the need of information after childbirth and what questions do 'new' mothers ask themselves; (b) to assess why and how women use the Internet to ... [more ▼]

OBJECTIVE: the aims of this survey were: (a) to evaluate the need of information after childbirth and what questions do 'new' mothers ask themselves; (b) to assess why and how women use the Internet to meet their need of information; (c) to describe how the respondents evaluate the reliability of the information found; (d) to understand how the information found on the Internet affects women's decision-making; and (e) to appreciate how health professionals react to the information found by the women. DESIGN: this study used a large web-based survey that was widely broadcasted on various websites and social networks. SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS: belgian women who had a child under 2 years old and who agreed to participate were included in the study. FINDINGS: 349 questionnaires were valid for analyses. After childbirth, 90.5% of women admitted to using the Internet to seek information about themselves or about their baby, regardless of socioeconomic status or age. There were various reasons for seeking information on the Internet, but the most frequent reason the women expressed was to find information 'on their own' (88.1%). The most searched for topic was breastfeeding. The women believed that the information was quite useful (82.7%) but they assigned an average score of 5.3 out of 10 for the quality of the information they found on the Internet. Approximately 80% of the women felt that the Internet helped them control a decision that they made 'a little', 'often' or 'very often'. Professionals are not always willing to talk about information found on the Internet with mothers. Therefore, many women believed that health professionals should suggest reliable Internet websites for new mothers. CONCLUSIONS: the integration of the Internet and new technologies could be a useful tool during postpartum management. [less ▲]

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See detailIsotopic half-life and enrichment factor in two species of European freshwater fish larvae: an experimental approach
Latli, Adrien; Sturaro, Nicolas ULg; Dujardin, Nelson et al

in Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry (2017), 31(8), 685-692

RATIONALE: Stable isotope ratios of carbon and nitrogen are valuable tools for field ecologists to use to analyse animal diets. However, the application of these tools requires knowledge of the tissue ... [more ▼]

RATIONALE: Stable isotope ratios of carbon and nitrogen are valuable tools for field ecologists to use to analyse animal diets. However, the application of these tools requires knowledge of the tissue enrichment factor (TEF) and half-life (HL). We experimentally compared TEF and HL in two freshwater fish larvae. We hypothesised that chub had a better growth/tissue replacement ratio than roach, due to the use of a food closer to their natural diet. METHODS: We determined the isotopic HL, the TEF and the contribution of growth or metabolic tissue replacement to dynamic isotopic incorporation. After yolk sac resorption, larvae were fed for 5 weeks with prey similar to their natural diet (Artemia nauplii) up to the isotopic equilibrium followed by Chironomid larvae. Stable isotope measurements were carried out using a continuous flow isotope ratio mass spectrometer coupled to an elemental analyser. RESULTS: Changes in isotopic composition strongly followed the predictions of exponential growth and time-dependent models. The isotopic HL varied between 8.2 and 12.6 days and the TEF of nitrogen and carbon ranged from 1.7 to 2.1‰ and from –0.9 to 1.2 ‰, respectively. The incorporation of dietary 13C was due more to the production of new tissue (between 56 and 79%) than to the metabolic process. Chub allocated more energy to growth than roach and the Chironomidae diet contributed more to the consumers’ growth than the Artemia diet. CONCLUSIONS: Metabolic rates seemed lower for chub than for roach, especially when they were fed with Chironomidae. A Chironomidae-based diet would be more profitable to chub, and the high associated growth rate could increase the development of the fish larvae. The HL and TEF were in the range of those reported in the literature. These results will be helpful for field-based studies, because they can help to increase the accuracy of models. [less ▲]

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See detailStreamlining NCA independence in reforming Regulation 1/2003: time to take incongruent accountability realities (more) seriously?
Van Cleynenbreugel, Pieter ULg

Scientific conference (2017, April 28)

This presentation analyses argues that the Commission’s reform suggestions aimed at streamlining NCAs into independent administrative agencies appear to neglect this variety of accountability mechanisms ... [more ▼]

This presentation analyses argues that the Commission’s reform suggestions aimed at streamlining NCAs into independent administrative agencies appear to neglect this variety of accountability mechanisms underlying current NCA institutional organisation and functioning. Given that those mechanisms each harbour incongruent expectations regarding the organisation and functioning of independent NCAs, failure to acknowledge such incongruence may in practice lead to less effective competition law enforcement. Its purpose is therefore to uncover the different NCA independence perspectives underlying those accountability mechanisms and to look for legally sound ways to make them converge when designing or upgrading NCA independence in the context of the Regulation 1/2003 reform. [less ▲]

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See detailPhotosensitive polydimethylsiloxane networks for adjustable-patterned films
Jellali, Rachid; Alexandre, Michaël; Jérôme, Christine ULg

in Polymer Chemistry (2017), 8(16), 2499-2508

Polydimethylsiloxanes (PDMSs) bearing photoreactive coumarin groups have been synthesized by amida- tion of a coumarin acid chloride derivative with various amine-functionalized PDMSs. Upon exposure to UV ... [more ▼]

Polydimethylsiloxanes (PDMSs) bearing photoreactive coumarin groups have been synthesized by amida- tion of a coumarin acid chloride derivative with various amine-functionalized PDMSs. Upon exposure to UV light having a wavelength of above 300 nm, multifunctional coumarin-PDMSs are transformed into covalent networks via [2 + 2] photocycloaddition of two coumarin moieties forming a cyclobutane ring. Taking advantage of the possible localized irradiation through a photomask, a novel concept to generate patterned PDMS films with various surface topologies was demonstrated. This concept is based on the combination of a low molar mass difunctional PDMS with a multifunctional PDMS of a high molar mass forming a photoreversible network allowing osmotic diffusion of a linear PDMS-coumarin of low mole- cular weight in a loosely crosslinked network. Advantageously, illumination by a light source at 254 nm induces the photocleavage of the cyclobutane cross-links offering some photo-induced reversibility to the PDMS network. These novel photo-responsive networks are interesting for several applications, in photo-adaptable biomedical implants (particularly photo-adjustable intra-ocular lenses), photo-tuneable patterned microsystems (e.g. for microfluidics) and photo-switchable controlled release systems. [less ▲]

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See detailThe Prediction-Focused Approach: An opportunity for hydrogeophysical data integration and interpretation
Hermans, Thomas ULg; Nguyen, Frédéric ULg; Klepikova, Maria et al

Conference (2017, April 28)

Hydrogeophysics is an interdisciplinary field of sciences aiming at a better understanding of subsurface hydrological processes. If geophysical surveys have been successfully used to qualitatively ... [more ▼]

Hydrogeophysics is an interdisciplinary field of sciences aiming at a better understanding of subsurface hydrological processes. If geophysical surveys have been successfully used to qualitatively characterize the subsurface, two important challenges remain for a better quantification of hydrological processes: (1) the inversion of geophysical data and (2) their integration in hydrological subsurface models. The classical inversion approach using regularization suffers from spatially and temporally varying resolution and yields geologically unrealistic solutions without uncertainty quantification, making their utilization for hydrogeological calibration less consistent. More advanced techniques such as coupled inversion allow for a direct use of geophysical data for conditioning groundwater and solute transport model calibration. However, the technique is difficult to apply in complex cases and remains computationally demanding to estimate uncertainty. In a recent study, we investigate a prediction-focused approach (PFA) to directly estimate subsurface physical properties from geophysical data, circumventing the need for classic inversions. In PFA, we seek a direct relationship between the data and the subsurface variables we want to predict (the forecast). This relationship is obtained through a prior set of subsurface models for which both data and forecast are computed. A direct relationship can often be derived through dimension reduction techniques. PFA offers a framework for both hydrogeophysical “inversion” and hydrogeophysical data integration. For hydrogeophysical “inversion”, the considered forecast variable is the subsurface variable, such as the salinity. An ensemble of possible solutions is generated, allowing uncertainty quantification. For hydrogeophysical data integration, the forecast variable becomes the prediction we want to make with our subsurface models, such as the concentration of contaminant in a drinking water production well. Geophysical and hydrological data are combined to derive a direct relationship between data and forecast. We illustrate the process for the design of an aquifer thermal energy storage (ATES) system. An ATES system can theoretically recover in winter the heat stored in the aquifer during summer. In practice, the energy efficiency is often lower than expected due to spatial heterogeneity of hydraulic properties combined to a non-favorable hydrogeological gradient. A proper design of ATES systems should consider the uncertainty of the prediction related to those parameters. With a global sensitivity analysis, we identify sensitive parameters for heat storage prediction and validate the use of a short term heat tracing experiment monitored with geophysics to generate informative data. First, we illustrate how PFA can be used to successfully derive the distribution of temperature in the aquifer from ERT during the heat tracing experiment. Then, we successfully integrate the geophysical data to predict medium-term heat storage in the aquifer using PFA. The result is a full quantification of the posterior distribution of the prediction conditioned to observed data in a relatively limited time budget. [less ▲]

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See detailStudy of the evolution of the osteoarthritis pathology and the mechanical properties of cartilage in a spontaneous osteoarthritis model in the Dunkin-Hartley guinea pigs.
Legrand, Catherine ULg; Centonze, Prescilia ULg; Comblain, Fanny ULg et al

Poster (2017, April 27)

In animal models, the severity of cartilage damage is assessed by histological scores evaluating the structure, the proteoglycan content, the integrity of the tidemark, the cellularity, and osteophytes ... [more ▼]

In animal models, the severity of cartilage damage is assessed by histological scores evaluating the structure, the proteoglycan content, the integrity of the tidemark, the cellularity, and osteophytes. In parallel to these histological analyzes, we studied the mechanical properties of cartilage at different stages of disease progression in the Dunkin-Hartley guinea pigs. We also correlated the severity of histological lesions with the mechanical properties of cartilage. [less ▲]

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See detailClimate change and insect pests: Impact on carbon dioxide increase on aphid behavior and semiochemistry
Boullis, Antoine ULg

Doctoral thesis (2017)

There is no longer any doubt on the incidence of rising carbon dioxide (CO2) concentration on global change. Climate modifications are responsible of perturbations in interactions between living organisms ... [more ▼]

There is no longer any doubt on the incidence of rising carbon dioxide (CO2) concentration on global change. Climate modifications are responsible of perturbations in interactions between living organisms. This research topic is in the light of scientists since several decades and is considered to be of major interest in the understanding of future ecosystems’ functioning. In this prospect, interactions between insect herbivores and their natural enemies have received little attention under a climate change scope, while they are of paramount importance in the proper equilibrium of agro-ecosystems. As the efficacy of natural enemies is governed largely by behavioral mechanisms, changes in the predators’ behaviors but also in those related to prey defenses can change the dynamics of insect populations. As aphids are considered as one of the main crop pests in temperate regions, relative literature on impact of increases in atmospheric CO2 concentrations on aphid population dynamic now exists. However, few publications about their chemical ecology are reported. Aphids are using many chemical signals to communicate with each other or in their interactions with higher trophic levels. Here, I tempted to identify the impact of an increase in atmospheric CO2 concentration on the interactions between aphids and their natural enemies mediated by semiochemicals. Aspects of phytovirus transmission by aphids were also covered. After being involved in three literature reviews, I was interested in the aphid alarm signaling which strongly supports aphid-predators interactions. In the pea aphid Acyrthosiphon pisum (Harris), this signaling is mediated by a pheromone, namely the (E)-β-farnesene. For my experiments, I took into consideration the importance of all the steps that this molecule has to pass by, from its production into the emitter individual to the induced behavioral response of the receivers. The results obtained during these experiments highlighted an imbalance in aphid chemical communication for populations grown under elevated CO2 conditions, by modifications in several steps of the signal (decrease in pheromone production, emission and associated behavior). The results obtained here were supported by previous studies indicating that increases in CO2 concentration reduce the aphid escape behavior, which makes them potentially more susceptible to predation. We know that many plant pathogens are dependent on aphid dispersal to spread, so it is of major importance to predict how these insect vectors could be affected by forecasted climate. I thus carried my interest on the ability of aphids to transmit phytoviruses under changing atmosphere. Using another aphid model, the green peach aphid Myzus persicae (Sulzer), we have not observed any modifications in terms of virus and aphid spread in laboratory trials when tested under either actual or forecasted CO2 concentration. However, the viral transmission efficiency via aphids is increased under CO2-enriched atmosphere. Finally, the host searching behavior of an aphid predator was studied. The efficiency of natural enemies of insect pests is mainly driven by their ability to find food sources or oviposition sites in their environment. The conducted study highlighted the preference of the hoverfly Episyrphus balteatus De Geer towards aphid colonies grown under actual CO2 levels, suggesting modifications in chemical cues guiding hoverflies to a suitable oviposition site, due to increase of CO2. The results and knowledge obtained during these studies will add novel information on how a major component of climate change may impact tritrophic interactions and thus the efficiency of natural enemies of insect herbivores in biological control scope. [less ▲]

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See detailCaractérisation et élaboration d'un outil de surveillance des cuvettes oasiennes et de leurs alentours par télédétection et système d'information
Karimou Barké, Mahamadou Salifou ULg

Doctoral thesis (2017)

Situées en zone semi-aride, les cuvettes oasiennes du centre-est du Niger sont des agro-écosystèmes à hautes potentialités. C’est seulement à l’intérieur de ces dernières que l’agriculture est possible ... [more ▼]

Situées en zone semi-aride, les cuvettes oasiennes du centre-est du Niger sont des agro-écosystèmes à hautes potentialités. C’est seulement à l’intérieur de ces dernières que l’agriculture est possible durant toute l’année. Ces cuvettes oasiennes ont connu de nombreux investissements de la part de plusieurs ONGs et projets au cours des dernières années. Cependant, elles sont souvent peu connues par ces acteurs du développement du fait de leur grand nombre et de leur extrême diversité. Cette thèse cherche à réduire cette méconnaissance à travers les activités suivantes: • évaluer les performances de trois méthodes de classification d’images appliquées à la détection de ces cuvettes oasiennes dans le Département de Gouré. Ces méthodes sont l’analyse pixellaire, l’analyse texturale et l’analyse par objet. Elles sont appliquées à des images SPOT 5-THX de 2.5 m de résolution ; • caractériser la forme des cuvettes oasiennes avec deux indices morphologiques (l’indice de compacité de Gravelius et l’indice fractale de leurs contours) ainsi que leurs orientations en utilisant les secteurs de la rose de vent comme repères ; • évaluer les contraintes et potentialités liées aux unités de paysage des cuvettes et de leurs alentours pour l’ensemble des cuvettes oasiennes à partir des extensions de ces unités de paysage, élaborer des indicateurs spatiaux de caractérisation des cuvettes ; • analyser la dynamique de l’occupation des sols de cuvettes oasiennes et de leurs alentours en utilisant les images Landsat 5-TM de 1984, les images SPOT 3 de 1996 et les images SPOT 5-THX de 2013. • proposer un outil de monitoring et une esquisse de système expert orienté à partir des données récoltées par ce biais sur l’ensemble des cuvettes de la zone d’étude. L’évaluation des résultats montre que l’approche par objet (précision globale égale à 97.12%, coefficient Kappa égal à 0.97) est plus performante que celles utilisant la texture (précision globale égale à 89.61%, coefficient Kappa égal à 0,90) et l’analyse par pixel (précision globale égale à 80.58 %, coefficient Kappa égal à 0.80). Une première information originale, à savoir le nombre, la position et la surface de l’ensemble des cuvettes sur la zone d’étude est fournie. Le nombre total de cuvettes oasiennes dans le Département de Gouré est ainsi estimé à 10717. Cet inventaire de ces lieux stocks de ressources est une première étape obligatoire pour leur caractérisation morphologique et pour l’évaluation de leurs potentialités agricoles. L’indice de forme de Gravelius met en évidence une certaine diversité de leurs contours : des cuvettes circulaires (9%), ovales (47%), amiboïdes (11%), étirées (18%) et très étirées ou étirées-amiboïdes (16%). La dimension fractale permet de distinguer trois classes de cuvette selon le degré de lissage de ces contours : très lissées (39%), lissées (50%) et moyennement lissées (10%). Le lissage est interprété ici comme un indicateur d’éolisation des pourtours des cuvettes. Enfin la détermination de l’orientation des grands axes des cuvettes a permis d’identifier quatre secteurs majeurs : E-W (23%), N-S (21%), NE-SW (22%) et SE-NW (34%). Ces analyses morphologiques et d’orientation appliquées pour la première fois à l’ensemble des cuvettes oasiennes du Département de Gouré offrent des éléments permettant de comprendre les processus d’ensablement des cuvettes oasiennes dans cette zone. L’analyse des indicateurs des potentialités naturelles à la mise en valeur agricole montre que les cuvettes oasiennes sont des espaces multi-usages, avec des aptitudes en arboriculture, maraîchage, en natron et en foresterie selon les unités géomorphologiques. Le pourcentage des surfaces cultivables est faible pour 45.8% des cuvettes et fort à très fort pour seulement 3.9 %. Celui des surfaces boisées est très fort sur 61.6 % des cuvettes soit 51.4 % en superficie. Les cuvettes possédant un sol nu à natron et/ou une nappe d’eau affleurante représentent 17.6 % des cuvettes. Quant aux indicateurs de risque de dégradation, ils montrent que 3.3 % et 0.5 % des cuvettes ont respectivement une menace d’ensablement fort et très fort à moyen terme. Alors qu’à terme immédiat, c’est respectivement 3% et 0.8 % des cuvettes dont la menace d’ensablement est fort et très fort. Concernant l’évolution récente de ces milieux, les superficies des cuvettes oasiennes ont régressé de 46783 ha en 1984, à 40831 ha en 1996 et 34553 ha en 2013. Inversement, leur nombre a augmenté de 1984 (8911) à 2013 (10717). Ceci s’explique certes pour partie par les résolutions différentes des images satellitaires utilisées, mais surtout par la fragmentation de certaines cuvettes du fait de leur dégradation et la création de nouvelles cuvettes par l’érosion éolienne. Cette dynamique est accentuée par celle de l’occupation humaine des paysages. Les abords des cuvettes et des vallées sèches constitués souvent d’édifices dunaires sont de plus en plus occupés par les cultures pluviales qui les exposent davantage à l’érosion. En 1984, les édifices dunaires et vallées sèches à culture pluviale représentent 295697 ha alors, qu’en 1996 et 2013, elles occupent respectivement 368153 ha et 423876 ha. Les systèmes d’information à référence spatiale esquissés permettent d’observer et de suivre la totalité des cuvettes oasiennes. Ce système, conçu en utilisant le langage UML, a permis non seulement d’établir des relations entre les indicateurs de potentiel valorisable et de dégradation mais aussi des informations supplémentaires récoltées sur le terrain (village, marché, zone de fixation biologique et mécanique des dunes). Ils offrent un accès aisé à ces indicateurs grâce à une interface informatique. À travers des requêtes sur cette base de données, les cuvettes à menace très forte nécessitant une intervention urgente pour leur conservation ont été mises en évidence ainsi que les variables explicatives du niveau d’exploitation des cuvettes. [less ▲]

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See detailPraxis, besoins et impératifs affectifs : Réflexions sur la normativité de la conscience émue.
Recchia, Fabio ULg

Conference (2017, April 26)

L'objectif de cette communication consiste à dégager les caractéristiques normatives de la conscience émue. Nous mobiliserons pour ce faire la thématique des "impératifs affectifs", qui est abondamment ... [more ▼]

L'objectif de cette communication consiste à dégager les caractéristiques normatives de la conscience émue. Nous mobiliserons pour ce faire la thématique des "impératifs affectifs", qui est abondamment discutée par Sartre dans "Les Racines de l'éthique". Sur cette base, nous développerons une réflexion en trois temps. 1° Nous situerons tout d'abord les "Racines de l'éthique" dans la continuité des réflexions de "l'Esquisse d'une théorie des émotions". 2° Nous montrerons ensuite que l'analyse des impératifs affectifs enveloppe une critique du positivisme, qui est une approche massivement adoptée par nombre de philosophie des émotions. 3° Enfin, nous approfondirons la description sartrienne des impératifs affectifs à partir de "L'Émile" de Jean-Jacques Rousseau. L'association de l'un et l'autre texte nous permettra en effet de commenter la "seconde forme d'émotion" qui est très allusivement décrite par les dernières pages de l'Esquisse d'une théorie des émotions. Plus largement, ce détour par la philosophie politique des modernes permettra d'établir un dialogue entre la phénoménologie sartrienne de l'affectivité et l'approche de la normativité qui est proposée par la philosophie française des sciences sociales. [less ▲]

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