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See detailProtein-polysaccharide complexes for improved protein delivery within CaCO3 microparticles
Ramalapa, Bathabile ULg; Crasson, Oscar ULg; Vandevenne, Marylène ULg et al

Conference (2017, July 17)

Introduction: The controlled delivery of proteins within calcium carbonate (CaCO3) particles is currently widely investigated due to accessibility, low cost, safety, pH-sensitive properties, high surface ... [more ▼]

Introduction: The controlled delivery of proteins within calcium carbonate (CaCO3) particles is currently widely investigated due to accessibility, low cost, safety, pH-sensitive properties, high surface area and high porosity. The success of these carriers has been driven by the ionic interactions between proteins and particles making the encapsulation of proteins highly dependent on the pH of reaction solutions and the isoelectric point of the protein. This poses a great limitation on the successful loading of proteins into microparticles. In this study we explored the use of polysaccharide-protein complexes to enhance the encapsulation of otherwise poorly encapsulated proteins in CaCO3 microparticles. Methods: A chitin binding domain (ChBD) was inserted on the protein β-lactamase to form a chimeric protein. A protein-polysaccharide complex was formed between the protein and hyaluronic acid (HA) owing to the intrinsic affinity of the ChBD to HA. The chimeric protein was then loaded into CaCO3 microparticles using super critical CO2 technology aided by the templating effect of HA on CaCO3. The microparticles were characterised for size, surface charge, polymorphism and protein loading. Bioactivity and stability of the encapsulated β-lactamase was characterised by kinetic reaction with nitrocefin. A thrombin cleavage site was inserted onto the gene sequence of the protein to achieve release of the protein from the microparticles by proteases mediation using thrombin. Results: Vaterite CaCO3 microparticles of sizes ranging between 6 and 8 µm were produced. The presence of the ChBD on the β-lactamase increased the encapsulation of the protein by 6 fold when complexed with HA. Thrombin mediated release increased the release of the protein from the microparticles within 36 hours from <25% to 87%. The protein-polysaccharide complex demonstrated success in encapsulation of the protein while retaining up to 81% activity of the protein and allowing controlled release by proteases. Conclusion: Protein-polysaccharide complexation demonstrates an excellent approach for the delivery of sensitive biomacromolecules which can otherwise be complicated due to electrostatic hindrances. Future prospects include using the methods we have developed for encapsulation of therapeutic proteins and using calcium carbonate as a carrier and scaffold for example in bone regeneration. [less ▲]

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See detailInhibiteurs de la pompe à protons et risque d'insuffisance rénale
PAQUOT, Francois ULg; Krzesinski, Jean-Marie ULg

in Revue Médicale Suisse (2017)

Regarded as safe and effective for management of upper peptic ulcer disease due to gastric acid secretion, the proton pump inhibitors are among the most commonly prescribed drugs. Their use, however, is ... [more ▼]

Regarded as safe and effective for management of upper peptic ulcer disease due to gastric acid secretion, the proton pump inhibitors are among the most commonly prescribed drugs. Their use, however, is not without concerns. Acute kidney injury, mainly due to acute interstitial nephritis, could happen 1.5 to 2 times more frequently when using these drugs. Moreover, a risk for chronic kidney disease has also be noted with proton pump inhibitor use (1.15 to 1.8 increased risk), although biases may exist due to confounding factors related to the observational nature of the studies. So, caution is required before available results from good prospective randomized studies are available. Renal function should be checked when using these medications and timely cessation should be advised when there is no more clear indication for use. [less ▲]

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See detailMesenchymal Stromal Cells Accelerate Epithelial Tight Junction Assembly via the AMP-Activated Protein Kinase Pathway, Independently of Liver Kinase B1
Rowart, Pascal ULg; ERPICUM, Pauline ULg; KRZESINSKI, Jean-Marie ULg et al

in Stem Cells International (2017)

Background. Mesenchymal stromal cells (MSC) are fibroblast-like multipotent cells capable of tissue-repair properties. Given the essentiality of tight junctions (TJ) in epithelial integrity, we ... [more ▼]

Background. Mesenchymal stromal cells (MSC) are fibroblast-like multipotent cells capable of tissue-repair properties. Given the essentiality of tight junctions (TJ) in epithelial integrity, we hypothesized that MSC modulate TJ formation, via the AMP-activated kinase (AMPK) pathway. Liver kinase-β1 (LKB1) and Ca2+-calmodulin-dependent protein kinase kinase (CaMKK) represent the main kinases that activate AMPK. Methods. The in vitro Ca2+ switch from 5 μM to 1.8 mM was performed using epithelial Madin-Darby canine kidney (MDCK) cells cultured alone or cocultured with rat bone marrow-derived MSC or preexposed to MSC-conditioned medium. TJ assembly was measured by assessing ZO-1 relocation to cell-cell contacts. Experiments were conducted using MDCK stably expressing short-hairpin-RNA (shRNA) against LKB1 or luciferase (LUC, as controls). Compound STO-609 (50 μM) was used as CaMKK inhibitor. Results. Following Ca2+ switch, ZO-1 relocation and phosphorylation/activation of AMPK were significantly higher in MDCK/MSC compared to MDCK. No difference in AMPK phosphorylation was observed between LKB1-shRNA and Luc-shRNA MDCK following Ca2+ switch. Conversely, incubation with STO-609 prior to Ca2+ switch prevented AMPK phosphorylation and ZO-1 relocation. MSC-conditioned medium slightly but significantly increased AMPK activation and accelerated TJ-associated distribution of ZO-1 post Ca2+ switch in comparison to regular medium. Conclusions. MSC modulate the assembly of epithelial TJ, via the CaMKK/AMPK pathway independently of LKB1. [less ▲]

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See detailActive Healthy Kids Belgium 2016 Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth
Seghers, Jan; Wijtzes, Anne I; De Ridder, Karin A.A. et al

Scientific conference (2017, July 06)

The 2016 Belgium Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth is the first systematic evaluation of physical activity (PA) behaviors, related health behaviors, health outcomes, and influences ... [more ▼]

The 2016 Belgium Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth is the first systematic evaluation of physical activity (PA) behaviors, related health behaviors, health outcomes, and influences thereon, using the Active Healthy Kids Canada grading framework. A research working group consisting of PA experts from both Flanders and Wallonia collaborated to determine the indicators to be graded, data sources to be used, and factors to be taken into account during the grading process. Grades were finalized after consensus was reached among the research working group and 2 stakeholder groups consisting of academic and policy experts in the fields of PA, sedentary behavior, and dietary behavior. Eleven indicators were selected and assigned the following grades: Overall PA (F+), Organized Sport Participation (C-), Active Play (C+), Active Transportation (C-), Sedentary Behaviors (D-), School (B-), Government Strategies and Investment (C+), and Weight Status (D). Incomplete grades were assigned to Family and Peers, Community and the Built Environment, and Dietary Behaviors due to a lack of nationally representative data. In conclusion, despite moderately positive social and environmental influences, PA levels of Belgian children and youth are low while levels of sedentary behaviors are high. [less ▲]

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See detailSimultaneous Determination of Free Amino Acid Content in Different Teas using Supercritical Fluid Chromatography Coupled with Single Quadrupole Mass Spectrometry
Huang, Yang ULg; Fillet, Marianne ULg; Crommen, Jacques ULg et al

Poster (2017, July 02)

Tea (Camellia sinensis L.) is a complex mixture containing a wide range of biological activities and has been used as widely consumed beverages and natural medicine for over thousand years [1-2]. In this ... [more ▼]

Tea (Camellia sinensis L.) is a complex mixture containing a wide range of biological activities and has been used as widely consumed beverages and natural medicine for over thousand years [1-2]. In this study, a novel method for high-performance liquid chromatography with mass spectrometry (SFC-MS) has been developed to simultaneously determine the contents of 11 free amino acids in different types of teas (pu-erh tea, green tea, black tea and oolong tea). The separation conditions for the selected amino acids were carefully optimized such as the column type, temperature and backpressure, the type of additive. The best compromise for tested analytes in terms of chromatographic performance was obtained when water (5%) and trifluoroacetate acid (0.4%) were added to the supercritical carbon dioxide/methanol mobile phase. Finally, the developed SFC-MS method was successfully applied to the analysis of the 11 amino acids present in the teas and fully validated as well. The results indicated a good linearity (r ≥0.995), precision (RSD≤ 2.99%), stability (RSD≤ 2.88%) and accuracy (91.95%~107.99%). The limits of detection ranged from 1.42 to 14.69 ng/mL, respectively, while the limits of quantification were between 4.53 and 47.0 ng/mL. The content of the amino acids in six different tea samples were also determined and presented some difference basing on the fermentation processes. The proposed SFC-MS method showed a great potential in further investigations to differentiate tea varieties [less ▲]

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See detailM Dwarf Exoplanet Surface Density Distribution: A Log-Normal Fit from 0.07-400 AU
Meyer, Michael R.; Amara, Adam; Reggiani, Maddalena ULg et al

in Astronomy and Astrophysics Letters (2017), 1707

We fit a log-normal function to the M dwarf orbital surface density distribution of gas giant planets, over the mass range 1-10 times that of Jupiter, from 0.07-400 AU. We use a Markov Chain Monte Carlo ... [more ▼]

We fit a log-normal function to the M dwarf orbital surface density distribution of gas giant planets, over the mass range 1-10 times that of Jupiter, from 0.07-400 AU. We use a Markov Chain Monte Carlo approach to explore the likelihoods of various parameter values consistent with point estimates of the data given our assumed functional form. This fit is consistent with radial velocity, microlensing, and direct imaging observations, is well-motivated from theoretical and phenomenological viewpoints, and makes predictions of future surveys. We present probability distributions for each parameter as well as a Maximum Likelihood Estimate solution. We suggest this function makes more physical sense than other widely used functions, and explore the implications of our results on the design of future exoplanet surveys. [less ▲]

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See detailRepresentations about physical activity among firefighters. A study in Wallonie
Dubru, Gilles ULg; Gribomont, Antoine; Cloes, Marc ULg

Poster (2017, July)

Introduction To be a firefighter is a dangerous job. Many authors have found anxiety, stress, depression, sleep disorders, absenteeism and other deviant behaviors in this type of high-risk occupation ... [more ▼]

Introduction To be a firefighter is a dangerous job. Many authors have found anxiety, stress, depression, sleep disorders, absenteeism and other deviant behaviors in this type of high-risk occupation (Fullerton, Ursano & Wang, 2004 ; Carey, Al-Zaiti, Dean, Sessanna & Finnell, 2011 ; Elliot & Kuehl, 2007). Adopting an active lifestyle is therefore very important in reducing these health risks and thus maximizing the chances of staying healthy. It is for this reason that physical activity has an essential role for these people. According to this determining the place occupied by physical activity within the regional Walloon fire servicesseemed relevant. The first step should be to analyse the firefighters’ representations and lifestyle. Methods An online questionnaire (SurveyMonkey) was developed. It proposed a majority of closed-ended questions facing on age (38 ± 10.4 years), BMI (26.1 ± 3.7), gender (96.7% of men), rank, status (38.3% professional), PA representations and practices, well-being and self-esteem, job satisfaction, … We contacted one of the main firefighters association (FRCSPB) to reach a significant number of topics. 443 questionnaires were collected during a five weeks period. 394 were usable. 376 responses were needed to achieve a 95% confidence level with a 5% confidence interval based on all Belgian Firefighter. Results and discussion Results showed that firefighter showed positive representations about PA and were aware of the benefits of a regular practice on their health. Good stress management and cardiovascular endurance qualities were considerate as important in this profession. Nevertheless, subjects deplored a lack of maintenance of these qualities. The mean BMI of the subjects was above 26, indicating a slight overweight. Sedentary lifestyle, poor infrastructure, injuries due to lack of fitness allow us to suspect an insufficient training. Other factors were pointed out by the subjects (stress, absenteeism, deviant behavior…). Firefighters were generally satisfied with their job and considered that they have an acceptable quality of life. However lack of time, financial and human resources must not be a barrier to the practice of essential PA for those people who are directly related with danger. References Carey, M. G., Al-Zaiti, S. S., Dean, G. E., Sessanna, L., & Finnell, D. S. (2011). Sleep problems, depression, substance use, social bonding, and quality of live in professional firefighters. The international journal of occupational and environmental medicine, 53(8), 928-933. Doi: 10.1097/JOM.0b013e318225898f. Elliot, D. L., & Kuehl, K.S. (2007). The effects of sleep deprivation on firefighters and EMS responders: final report. International Association of fire Chiefs. Fullerton, C. S., Ursano, R.J.,& Wang, L. (2004). Acute stress disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder, and depression in disaster or rescue workers. The American Journal of Psychiatry, 161(8), 1370-76. [less ▲]

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See detailElfriede Jelinek : l'abîme sous nos pieds
Neelsen, Sarah ULg

Article for general public (2017)

Entretien avec Christian Longchamp sur l’œuvre d'Elfriede Jelinek à l'occasion de la première de l'opéra contemporain "Kein Licht" (mise en scène Nicolas Stehmann , musique Philippe Manoury) à l'Opéra ... [more ▼]

Entretien avec Christian Longchamp sur l’œuvre d'Elfriede Jelinek à l'occasion de la première de l'opéra contemporain "Kein Licht" (mise en scène Nicolas Stehmann , musique Philippe Manoury) à l'Opéra national du Rhin. [less ▲]

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See detailCymastrobus irvingii gen. et sp. nov., a new isotalean cone from the Late Devonian locality of Barraba, NSW Australia
Evreïnoff, M.; Meyer-Berthaud, B.; Decombeix, A.-L. et al

Conference (2017, July)

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See detailCassava Mosaic and Brown Streak Diseases: Current Perspectives and Beyond
Rey, M.E.C.; Vanderschuren, Hervé ULg

in Annual Review of Virology (2017), 4

Cassava is the fourth largest source of calories in the world but is subject to economically important yield losses due to viral diseases, including cassava brown streak disease and cassava mosaic disease ... [more ▼]

Cassava is the fourth largest source of calories in the world but is subject to economically important yield losses due to viral diseases, including cassava brown streak disease and cassava mosaic disease. Cassava mosaic disease occurs in sub-Saharan Africa and the Asian subcontinent and is associated with nine begomovirus species, whereas cassava brown streak disease has to date been reported only in sub-Saharan Africa and is caused by two distinct ipomovirus species. We present an overview of key milestones and their significance in the understanding and characterization of these two major diseases as well as their associated viruses and whitefly vector. New biotechnologies offer a wide range of opportunities to reduce virus-associated yield losses in cassava for farmers and can additionally enable the exploitation of this valuable crop for industrial purposes. This review explores established and new technologies for genetic manipulation to achieve desired traits such as virus resistance. [less ▲]

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See detailPrehospital identification of trauma patients requiring transfusion: results of a retrospective study evaluating the use of the trauma induced coagulopathy clinical score (TICCS) in 33,385 patients from the TraumaRegister DGU®
TONGLET, Martin ULg; Lefering, Rolf; Minon, Jean Marc et al

in Acta Chirurgica Belgica (2017)

Background: Identifying trauma patients that need emergent blood product transfusion is crucial. The Trauma Induced Coagulopathy Clinical Score (TICCS) is an easy-to-measure score developed to meet this ... [more ▼]

Background: Identifying trauma patients that need emergent blood product transfusion is crucial. The Trauma Induced Coagulopathy Clinical Score (TICCS) is an easy-to-measure score developed to meet this medical need. We hypothesized that TICCS would assist in identifying patients that need a transfusion in a large cohort of severe trauma patients from the TraumaRegister DGUVR (TR-DGU). Materials and methods: A total of 33,385 severe trauma patients were extracted from the TR-DGU for retrospective analysis. The TICCS was adapted for the registry structure. Blood transfusion was defined as the use of at least one unit of red blood cells (RBC) during acute hospital treatment. Results: With an area under the receiving operating curve (AUC) of 0.700 (95% CI: 0.691–0.709), the TICCS appeared to be moderately discriminant for determining the need for RBC transfusion in the trauma population of the TR-DGU. A TICCS cut-off value of 12 yielded the best trade-off between true positives and false positives. The corresponding positive predictive value and negative predictive values were 48.4% and 89.1%, respectively. Conclusion: This retrospective study confirms that the TICCS is a useful and simple score for discriminating between trauma patients with and without the need for emergent blood product transfusion. [less ▲]

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See detailDEVELOPMENT AND VALIDATION OF A FAST SFC METHOD FOR THE ANALYSIS OF FLAVONOIDS IN PLANT EXTRACTS
Huang, Yang ULg; Jiang, Zhengjin; Fillet, Marianne ULg et al

Poster (2017, June 18)

Flavonoids from plants always show a wide range of biological activities [1-2]. In the present study, a rapid and highly efficient supercritical fluid chromatography (SFC) method was developed for the ... [more ▼]

Flavonoids from plants always show a wide range of biological activities [1-2]. In the present study, a rapid and highly efficient supercritical fluid chromatography (SFC) method was developed for the separation of 12 flavonoids. After careful optimization, the 12 flavonoids were baseline separated on a ZORBAX RX-SIL column using gradient elution. A 0.1% phosphoric acid solution in methanol was found to be the most suitable polar mobile phase component for the separation of flavonoids. From the viewpoint of retention and resolution, a backpressure of 200 bar and a temperature of 40 °C were shown to give the best results. Compared with a previously developed reverse phase liquid chromatography method, the SFC method could provide flavonoid separations that were about three times faster, while maintaining good peak shape and comparable peak efficiency. This SFC method was validated and applied to the analysis of five flavonoids (kaempferol, luteolin, quercetin, luteoloside, buddleoside) present in Chrysanthemum morifolium Ramat. from different cultivars (Chuju, Gongju, Hangju, Boju). The results indicated a good repeatability and sensitivity for the quantification of the five analytes with RSDs for overall precision lower than 3%. The limits of detection ranged from 0.73 to 2.34 μg/mL, while the limits of quantification were between 2.19 and 5.86 μg/mL. The method showed that SFC could be employed as a useful tool for the quality assessment of Traditional Chinese medicines (TCMs) containing flavonoids as active components. [less ▲]

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See detailVitamin B1 diversity and characterization of biosynthesis genes in cassava
Mangel, N.; Fudge, J.; Fitzpatrick, T.B. et al

in Journal of Experimental Botany (2017), 68(13), 3351-3363

Vitamin B1, which consists of the vitamers thiamin and its phosphorylated derivatives, is an essential micronutrient for all living organisms because it is required as a metabolic cofactor in several ... [more ▼]

Vitamin B1, which consists of the vitamers thiamin and its phosphorylated derivatives, is an essential micronutrient for all living organisms because it is required as a metabolic cofactor in several enzymatic reactions. Genetic diversity of vitamin B1 biosynthesis and accumulation has not been investigated in major crop species other than rice and potato. We analyzed cassava germplasm for accumulation of B1 vitamers. Vitamin B1 content in leaves and roots of 41 cassava accessions showed significant variation between accessions. HPLC analyses of B1 vitamers revealed distinct profiles in cassava leaves and storage roots, with nearly equal relative levels of thiamin pyrophosphate and thiamin monophosphate in leaves, but mostly thiamin pyrophosphate in storage roots. Unusually, the cassava genome has two genes encoding the 4-amino-2-methyl-5-hydroxymethylpyrimidine phosphate synthase, THIC (MeTHIC1 and MeTHIC2), both of which carry a riboswitch in the 3'-UTR, as well as the adenylated thiazole synthase, THI1 (MeTHI1a and MeTHI1b). The THIC and THI1 genes are expressed at very low levels in storage roots compared with the accumulation of vitamin B1, indicating only limited biosynthesis de novo therein. In leaves, vitamin B1 content is negatively correlated with THIC and THI1 expression levels, suggesting post-transcriptional regulation of THIC by the riboswitch present in the 3'-UTR of the THIC mRNA and regulation of THI1 by promoter activity or alternative post-transcriptional mechanisms. [less ▲]

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See detailResting state connectivity between default mode network and insula encodes acute migraine headache
Coppola, Gianluca; Di Renzo, Antonio; Tinelli, Emanuele et al

in Cephalalgia : An International Journal of Headache (2017), 0(0), 1-9

Background: Previous functional MRI studies have revealed that ongoing clinical pain in different chronic pain syndromes is directly correlated to the connectivity strength of the resting default mode ... [more ▼]

Background: Previous functional MRI studies have revealed that ongoing clinical pain in different chronic pain syndromes is directly correlated to the connectivity strength of the resting default mode network (DMN) with the insula. Here, we investigated seed-based resting state DMN-insula connectivity during acute migraine headaches. Methods: Thirteen migraine without aura patients (MI) underwent 3 T MRI scans during the initial six hours of a spontaneous migraine attack, and were compared to a group of 19 healthy volunteers (HV). We evaluated headache intensity with a visual analogue scale and collected seed-based MRI resting state data in the four core regions of the DMN: Medial prefrontal cortex (MPFC), posterior cingulate cortex (PCC), and left and right inferior parietal lobules (IPLs), as well as in bilateral insula. Results: Compared to HV, MI patients showed stronger functional connectivity between MPFC and PCC, and between MPFC and bilateral insula. During migraine attacks, the strength of MPFC-to-insula connectivity was negatively correlated with pain intensity. Conclusion:We show that greater subjective intensity of pain during a migraine attack is associated with proportionally weaker DMN-insula connectivity. This is at variance with other chronic extra-cephalic pain disorders where the opposite was found, and may thus be a hallmark of acute migraine head pain. [less ▲]

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See detailRobot control based on human motion analysis with IMU measurements
Pellois, Robin ULg; Joris, Laura ULg; Bruls, Olivier ULg

Scientific conference (2017, June 06)

The measurement of the operator motions can lead to innovation in the field of human-robot collaboration. Motion capture data can be used for robot programming by demonstration as well as controlling and ... [more ▼]

The measurement of the operator motions can lead to innovation in the field of human-robot collaboration. Motion capture data can be used for robot programming by demonstration as well as controlling and adapting robot trajectories. To measure motion, IMUs represent an interesting alternative compared to other sensing technologies such as vision. In order to illustrate this strategy, a demonstrator has been created to command a robot by human motion. Two IMU sensor modules are set on the human arm and forearm. The orientation of the module with respect to the inertial frame is computed by the fusion of accelerometer, magnetometer and gyroscope data. This information coupled with a simple human arm kinematic model is used to compute the wrist trajectory. The accuracy of this measurement has to be quantified. For that purpose, the estimated trajectory based on the IMU measurement is compared to the trajectory measured using a reference 3D optoelectronic motion analysis system (Codamotion, Charnwood Dynamics Ltd) available in the Laboratory of Human Motion Analysis of the University of Li`ege. [less ▲]