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See detailOptimization of black soldier fly (Hermetia illucens) artificial reproduction
Hoc, Bertrand ULiege; Noël, Grégoire ULiege; Carpentier, Joachim et al

in PLoS ONE (2019), 14(4), 0216160

The black soldier fly (BSF), Hermetia illucens (L.) (Diptera:Stratiomyidae), is an endemic fly species from the tropical, subtropical and warm temperate zones of America. This saprophagous species relies ... [more ▼]

The black soldier fly (BSF), Hermetia illucens (L.) (Diptera:Stratiomyidae), is an endemic fly species from the tropical, subtropical and warm temperate zones of America. This saprophagous species relies on its environment where it finds the decomposing matter for the larvae to grow. The polyphagous diet and the macronutrient quality (mainly lipids and proteins) of these larvae make them excellent candidates for various applications such as waste and organic material management, incorporation in animal feed or alternative energy source. Although rearing development in temperate regions requires artificial processes to continuously produce high quality eggs and larvae, few studies have been conducted on the mating and oviposition processes governing H. illucens reproduction. Research conducted in semi-artificial rearing conditions showed that the number of mating varied according to the season. It has been speculated that this behavior could be due to differences in the intensity of sunlight caused by the change of seasons. This study aims at evaluating the influence of sex-ratio, density and nychthemeral cycle on H. illucens reproduction. In order to tackle this issue, an artificial set up for oviposition to collect eggs has been developed. This egg collection system aims at centralize oviposition and simplify eggs collection. Two populations with opposite sex-ratio (male-dominant and female-dominant) were selected. Their respective eggs productions have been evaluated for five breeding densities. Eggs weights varied significantly between the densities for each opposite sex-ratio population and female dominant population produced most eggs weight from 6500 individuals /m³. Finally, four nychthemeral cycles (2, 6, 12 and 18h of daily light) were simulated to evaluate the impact of light duration on reproduction. Early oviposition peak and a decrease oviposition period when H. illucens are show when exposed to increasing light duration. These experiments enable improvement of the understanding on artificial reproduction of H. illucens. [less ▲]

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See detailDo topography and fruit presence influence occurrence and intensity of crop-raiding by forest elephants (Loxodonta africana cyclotis)?
Ngama, Steeve ULiege; Bindelle, Jérôme ULiege; Poulsen, John R. et al

in PLoS ONE (2019), 14(3), 16

Crop damage by forest elephants (Loxodonta africana cyclotis) and the resulting human-elephant conflict are issues of great concern for both the conservation of the species and the protection of rural ... [more ▼]

Crop damage by forest elephants (Loxodonta africana cyclotis) and the resulting human-elephant conflict are issues of great concern for both the conservation of the species and the protection of rural livelihoods in Central Africa. Addressing these problems requires identifying the factors that facilitate or impede crop-raiding by forest elephants. Yet to date, the environmental or anthropogenic factors that influence the occurrence and intensity of cropraiding by forest elephants are largely unknown. We used a multivariate approach to investigate conditions under which forest elephants raid some fields and not others in the buffer zone of Monts de Cristal National Park (MCNP), Gabon. We first interviewed 121 farmers from 11 villages situated within 10 km of MCNP regarding the occurrence of elephant cropraiding of their fields. We then collected data on 39 explanatory variables to characterize the agricultural fields. Of these, the most important predictors of elephant raid occurrence of crop damage were presence of fruit trees, elephant deterrents (scarecrows, fire, wire string fences and empty barrels), and field topography. We secondly assessed the effect of stage of crop growth, presence of fruit trees, field topography and presence of elephant deterrents on crop-raiding occurrence and intensity by counting raids and measuring areas of crop damage every week in 17 plantations over 19 weeks in the most elephant-impacted zone of the study area. We found that fruit presence and stage of crop growth led to more intense damage to crops, whereas local deterrents did not inhibit raiding events and crop damage by elephants. We report a tradeoff between non-timber forest products (NTFP) services and crop-raiding by elephants. We show for the first time that steep topography impedes elephant damage to crops with no raids recorded in fields with surrounding slopes greater than 25%. We discuss whether farming on steep fields could be used as a strategy for mitigating crop-raiding to favor human-elephant coexistence and enhance elephant conservation. [less ▲]

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See detailTemperature preference of Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) juveniles induces spontaneous sex reversal
Nivelle, Renaud ULiege; Gennotte, Vincent ULiege; Muller, Marc ULiege et al

in PLoS ONE (2019)

Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) is an African freshwater fish that displays a genetic sex determination system (XX|XY) where high temperatures (above 32°C to 36.5°C) induce masculinization. In Nile ... [more ▼]

Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) is an African freshwater fish that displays a genetic sex determination system (XX|XY) where high temperatures (above 32°C to 36.5°C) induce masculinization. In Nile tilapia, the thermosensitive period was reported from 10 to 30 days post fertilization. In their natural environment, juveniles may encounter high temperatures that are above the optimal temperature for growth (27–30°C). The relevance of the thermal sex reversal mechanism in a natural context remains unclear. The main objective of our study is to determine whether sexually undifferentiated juveniles spontaneously prefer higher, unfavorable temperatures and whether this choice skews the sex ratio toward males. Five full-sib progenies (from 100% XX crosses) were subjected to (1) a horizontal three-compartment thermal step gradient (thermal continuum 28°C– 32°C– 36.5°C) during the thermosensitive period, (2) a control continuum (28°C– 28°C– 28°C) and (3) a thermal control tank (36.5°C). During the first days of the treatment, up to an average of 20% of the population preferred the masculinizing compartment of the thermal continuum (36.5°C) compared to the control continuum. During the second part of the treatment, juveniles preferred the lower, nonmasculinizing 32°C temperature. This short exposure to higher temperatures was sufficient to significantly skew the sex ratio toward males, compared to congeners raised at 28°C (from 5.0 ± 6.7% to 15.6 ± 16.5% of males). The proportion of males was significantly different in the thermal continuum, thermal control tank and control continuum, and it was positively correlated among populations. Our study shows for the first time that Nile tilapia juveniles can choose a masculinizing temperature during a short period of time. This preference is sufficient to induce sex reversal to males within a population. For the first time, behavior is reported as a potential player in the sex determination mechanism of this species. [less ▲]

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See detailA simple method to estimate the number of doses to include in a bank of vaccines. The case of Lumpy Skin Disease in France.
Casal, Jordi; Saegerman, Claude ULiege; Bertagnoli, Stephane et al

in PLoS ONE (2019), 14(1), 0210317

A simple method to estimate the size of the vaccine bank needed to control an epidemic of an exotic infectious disease in case of introduction into a country is presented. The method was applied to the ... [more ▼]

A simple method to estimate the size of the vaccine bank needed to control an epidemic of an exotic infectious disease in case of introduction into a country is presented. The method was applied to the case of a Lumpy Skin disease (LSD) epidemic in France. The size of the stock of vaccines needed was calculated based on a series of simple equations that use some trigonometric functions and take into account the spread of the disease, the time required to obtain good vaccination coverage and the cattle density in the affected region. Assuming a 7-weeks period to vaccinate all the animals and a spread of the disease of 7.3 km/week, the vaccination of 740 716 cattle would be enough to control an epidemic of LSD in France in 90% of the simulations (608 196 cattle would cover 75% of the simulations). The results of this simple method were then validated using a dynamic simulation model, which served as reference for the calculation of the vaccine stock required. The differences between both models in different scenarios, related with the time needed to vaccinate the animals, ranged from 7% to 10.5% more vaccines using the simple method to cover 90% of the simulations, and from 9.0% to 13.8% for 75% of the simulations. The model is easy to use and may be adapted for the control of different diseases in different countries, just by using some simple formulas and few input data. [less ▲]

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See detailQuickscan assesses risk factors of long-term sickness absence: A cross-sectional (factorial) construct validation study.
Goorts, Kaat; Vandenbroeck, Sofie; Vander Elst, Tinne et al

in PLoS ONE (2019), 14(1), 0210359

OBJECTIVES: The number of sick-listed employees has increased dramatically worldwide. Therefore, many countries aim to stimulate early and sustainable return to work opportunities to obtain better health ... [more ▼]

OBJECTIVES: The number of sick-listed employees has increased dramatically worldwide. Therefore, many countries aim to stimulate early and sustainable return to work opportunities to obtain better health outcomes and lower costs for disability pensions. To effectively orientate resources to patients with a high risk of not resuming work spontaneously, it is necessary to screen patients early in their sickness absence process. In this study, we validate "Quickscan", a new instrument to assess return-to-work needs and to predict risks of long-term sick leave. METHODS: As part of the Quickscan validation process, we tested and compared the reliability and construct validity of the questionnaire in two different populations. First, we conducted a cross-sectional study in which the screening instrument was sent to sick-listed individuals in healthcare insurance. In a second cross-sectional study, sick-listed workers who consulted the occupational health physician for return-to-work assessment were asked to fill out the questionnaire. We compared both samples for descriptive statistics: frequencies, means and standard deviations. Reliability of the scales was calculated using Cronbach's alpha. Confirmatory factor analysis was performed to evaluate the construct (factorial) validity of the studied scales using software package AMOS 24. RESULTS: The screening tool was shown to be an instrument with reliable scales (except for the perfectionism and health perception patient scale) in both populations. The construct validity was satisfactory: we found that the hypothesized measurement models with the theoretical factors fitted the data well in both populations. In the first sample, the model improved for scales concerning stressful life events and showed worse fit for person-related factors. Work-related factors and functioning factors both showed similar fit indices across samples. We found small differences in descriptive statistics, which we could explain by the differences in characteristics of both populations. CONCLUSIONS: We can conclude that the instrument has considerable potential to function as a screening tool for disability management and follow-up of sick-leave, provided that some adaptations and validation tests are executed. [less ▲]

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See detailUAS imagery reveals new survey opportunities for counting hippos
Linchant, Julie ULiege; Lhoest, Simon ULiege; Quevauvillers, Samuel ULiege et al

in PLoS ONE (2018), 13(11), 0206413

Introduction The common hippopotamus Hippopotamus amphibius L. is a vulnerable species that requires efficient methods to monitor its populations for conservation purposes. Rapid evolution of civil drones ... [more ▼]

Introduction The common hippopotamus Hippopotamus amphibius L. is a vulnerable species that requires efficient methods to monitor its populations for conservation purposes. Rapid evolution of civil drones provides new opportunities but survey protocols still need development. This study aims to determine the optimal flight parameters for accurate population estimates. A second objective is to evaluate the effects of three environmental factors: wind speed, sun reflection and cloud cover. Method We estimated the population of two main hippo schools (Dungu and Wilibadi II) located in Garamba National Park in Democratic republic of Congo. Eight observers reviewed 252 photos taken over the Dungu school, representing a total of 2016 experimental units. A detection rate and a level of certainty were associated with each experimental unit, and five parameters were related to each count: flight height, three environmental parameters (sun reflection on water surface, cloud cover, and wind speed), and observers’ experience. Results Flight height reduced the observers’ confidence in their detection ability, rather than the detection itself. For accurate counts of large groups an average height of 150 m was shown to be a good compromise between animal detection without zooming in and the area covered in one frame. Wind speed had little influence on the counts, but it affected the performance of the UAS. Sun reflection reduced the detection rate of hippos and increased level of certainty, while cloud cover reduced detection rates slightly. Therefore, we recommend flying when the sun is still low on the horizon and when there is little cloud, or when cloud cover is light and even. This last point reinforces our recommendation for flights early in the day. The counts also showed large differences between groups of inexperienced and experienced observers. Experienced observers achieved better detection rates and were generally more confident in their detection. Experienced observers detected 86.5% of the hippos on average (confidence interval = ±0.76%). When applied to data from the second site, the detection was 84.3% (confidence interval = ±1.84%). Two correction factors were then calculated, as the inverse of the detection rate, based on the estimated number of hippos present during one flight (Factor 1) or in the general population respectively (Factor 2). Factor 2 especially was consistent with previous studies using traditional aerial counts (1.22 vs 1.25). Factor 2 was found to be appropriate for use by experienced observers. These results confirm the use of correction factor 2 for hippo surveys, regardless of the study site, as it accounts for hippo behavior. Optimum counting and cost efficiency were achieved with two trained observers counting 7 pictures. Conclusion This study is a promising approach for routine surveys of the hippopotamus which is a species usually ignored in wildlife counts. Drone technology is expected to improve rapidly; therefore UAS could become a very useful and affordable survey tool for other species requiring specific monitoring. [less ▲]

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See detailPharmacokinetics of intramuscular alfaxalone and its echocardiographic, cardiopulmonary and sedative effects in healthy dogs.
Cruz-Benedetti, Inga-Catalina; Bublot, I; Ribas, T et al

in PLoS ONE (2018), 13(9), 0204553

The pharmacokinetics and the effects of a single intramuscular (IM) dose of alfaxalone on sedation and cardiopulmonary and echocardiographic variables was studied in dogs. Twelve healthy adult Beagles (3 ... [more ▼]

The pharmacokinetics and the effects of a single intramuscular (IM) dose of alfaxalone on sedation and cardiopulmonary and echocardiographic variables was studied in dogs. Twelve healthy adult Beagles (3 females, 9 males) were used in this prospective controlled cross-over trial. Echocardiography was performed with and without 4 mg kg-1 alfaxalone IM with a week wash-out interval. Sedation (19-point scale; 0 = no sedation), cardiopulmonary parameters, blood gas analysis and plasma concentration of alfaxalone were assessed every 5 minutes following the injection (T0). The influence of the alfaxalone plasma concentration and time on physiological variables was tested using a linear model whereas echocardiographic measurements were compared between conscious and alfaxalone-administered dogs using paired t-tests. Compared to baseline, alfaxalone administration was followed by an increase in heart rate (HR) from T5 to T30 and a decrease in mean arterial pressure (MAP) at T10, T25 and T30, in stroke volume (SV; 15 ± 5 to 11 ± 3 ml; P<0.0001), and end-diastolic volume (EDV; 24.7 ± 5.7 to 19.4 ± 4.9 ml). Cardiac output (CO) and blood gas analysis did not change significantly throughout. Mean plasma half-life was 29 ± 8 minutes, volume of distribution was 1.94 ± 0.63 L kg-1, and plasma clearance was 47.7 ± 14.1 ml kg-1 minute-1. Moderate to deep sedation was observed from T5 to T35. Ten dogs showed paddling, trembling, nystagmus and strong reaction to sound during the procedure. Although there were no significant changes in CO and oxygenation, the impact of HR, MAP, SV, EDV alterations requires further investigations in dogs with cardiac disease. [less ▲]

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See detailAir movement sound production by alewife, white sucker, and four salmonid fishes suggests the phenomenon is widespread among freshwater fishes
Rountree, Rodney; Juanes, Francis; Bolgan, Marta ULiege

in PLoS ONE (2018)

We sought to describe sounds of some of the common fishes suspected of producing unidentified air movement sounds in soundscape surveys of freshwater habitats in the New England region of North America ... [more ▼]

We sought to describe sounds of some of the common fishes suspected of producing unidentified air movement sounds in soundscape surveys of freshwater habitats in the New England region of North America. Soniferous behavior of target fishes was monitored in real time in the field in both natural and semi-natural environments by coupling Passive Acoustic Monitoring (PAM) with direct visual observation from shore and underwater video recording. Sounds produced by five species including, alewife (Alosa pseudoharengus, Clupeidae), white sucker (Catastomus commersonii, Catostomidae), brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis, Salmonidae), brown trout (Salmo trutta, Salmonidae), and rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss, Salmonidae) were validated and described in detail for the first time. In addition, field recordings of sounds produced by an unidentified salmonid were provisionally attributed to Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar, Salmonidae). Sounds produced by all species are of the air movement type and appear to be species specific. Our data based on fishes in three distinct orders suggest the phenomenon may be more ecologically important than previously thought. Even if entirely incidental, air movement sounds appear to be uniquely identifiable to species and, hence, hold promise for PAM applications in freshwater and marine habitats. [less ▲]

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See detailRaman Chemical Imaging, a new tool in kidney stone structure analysis: Case-study and comparison to Fourier Transform Infrared spectroscopy
Castiglione, Vincent ULiege; Sacre, Pierre-Yves ULiege; CAVALIER, Etienne ULiege et al

in PLoS ONE (2018), 13(8), 0201460

Background and objectives: The kidney stone’s structure might provide clinical information in addition to the stone composition. The Raman chemical imaging is a technology used for the production of two ... [more ▼]

Background and objectives: The kidney stone’s structure might provide clinical information in addition to the stone composition. The Raman chemical imaging is a technology used for the production of two-dimension maps of the constituents' distribution in samples. We aimed at determining the use of Raman chemical imaging in urinary stone analysis. Material and methods: Fourteen calculi were analyzed by Raman chemical imaging using a confocal Raman microspectrophotometer. They were selected according to their heterogeneous composition and morphology. Raman chemical imaging was performed on the whole section of stones. Once acquired, the data were baseline corrected and analyzed by MCR-ALS. Results were then compared to the spectra obtained by Fourier Transform Infrared spectroscopy. Results: Raman chemical imaging succeeded in identifying almost all the chemical components of each sample, including monohydrate and dihydrate calcium oxalate, anhydrous and dihydrate uric acid, apatite, struvite, brushite, and rare chemicals like whitlockite, ammonium urate and drugs. However, proteins couldn't be detected because of the huge autofluorescence background and the small concentration of these poor Raman scatterers. Carbapatite and calcium oxalate were correctly detected even when they represented less than 5 percent of the whole stones. Moreover, Raman chemical imaging provided the distribution of components within the stones: nuclei were accurately identified, as well as thin layers of other components. Conversion of dihydrate to monohydrate calcium oxalate was correctly observed in the centre of one sample. The calcium oxalate monohydrate had different Raman spectra according to its localization. Conclusion: Raman chemical imaging showed a good accuracy in comparison with infrared spectroscopy in identifying components of kidney stones. This analysis was also useful in determining the organization of components within stones, which help locating constituents in low quantity, such as nuclei. However, this analysis is time-consuming, making it more suitable for research studies rather than routine analysis. [less ▲]

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See detailMorphological differences between aerial and submerged sporidia of bio-fongicide Pseudozyma flocculosa CBS 16788
Zaki, Omran ULiege; Weekers, Frederic; Compère, Philippe ULiege et al

in PLoS ONE (2018)

Pseudozyma flocculosa is a fungus very useful and highly efficient as a biocontrol agent against powdery mildew. The reproduction of this fungus occurs exclusively by asexual production of conidia or ... [more ▼]

Pseudozyma flocculosa is a fungus very useful and highly efficient as a biocontrol agent against powdery mildew. The reproduction of this fungus occurs exclusively by asexual production of conidia or sporidia that are the most suitable form for agricultural use and seems to be the most resistant to storage conditions. Despite the advantages offered by P. flocculosa in biological control, the use of this fungus use remains largely limited compared to that of chemical fungicides, at least partly due to the difficulty to obtain sporidia resistant to adverse environmental stresses in submerged culture conditions. Under solid-state and submerged-state cultivation, P. flocculosa strain CBS 16788 produced different types of sporidia. The submerged sporidia (SS) appeared relatively uniform in size, which was 15, 4 ± 1,6 μm μm long, and 2,8 ± 0.8 μm wide. The aerial sporidia (AS) varied in shape and size, with a mean length of 8,2 ± 3 μm and width of 2,3 ± 0.6 μm. Under scanning and transmission electron microscopy, the cell wall of submerged sporidia was thinner than that of aerial spores, and the surface was smooth in contrast to the aerial sporidia that had a tendency to have verrucous, brittle surface characteristics. The thickness of the aerial sporidia wall is due to the presence of an outer layer rich in melanin. The sporidia germination was compared on YMPD (yeast extract, malt extract, soy peptone, dextrose and agar) coated coverslips. The aerial sporidia did not show germ tubes until 5 h of incubation, while the submerged sporidia showed many germ tubes after the same time. The resistance against the adverse environmental conditions in relation to the type of sporidia of P. flocculosa is discussed [less ▲]

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See detailJailed in the mountains: Genetic diversity and structure of an endemic newt species across the Pyrenees
Valbuena-Ureña, Emilio; Oromi Farrús, Neus ULiege; Soler-Membrives, Anna et al

in PLoS ONE (2018), 13(8), 0200214

The Pyrenees represent a natural laboratory for biogeographic, evolutionary and ecological research of mountain fauna as a result of the high variety of habitats and the profound effect of the glacial and ... [more ▼]

The Pyrenees represent a natural laboratory for biogeographic, evolutionary and ecological research of mountain fauna as a result of the high variety of habitats and the profound effect of the glacial and interglacial periods. There is a paucity of studies providing a detailed insight into genetic processes and better knowledge on the patterns of genetic diversity and how they are maintained under high altitude conditions. This is of particular interest when considering the course of past climate conditions and glaciations in a species which is considered site tenacious, with long generation times. Here we analyzed the genetic patterns of diversity and structure of the endemic Pyrenean brook newt (Calotriton asper) along its distribution range, with special emphasis on the distinct habitat types (caves, streams, and lakes), and the altitudinal and geographical ranges, using a total set of 900 individuals from 44 different localities across the Pyrenean mountain range genotyped for 19 microsatellite loci. We found evidence for a negative longitudinal and positive altitudinal gradient of genetic diversity in C. asper populations. The fact that genetic diversity was markedly higher westwards is in accordance with other Pyrenean species. However, the impact of altitudinal gradient on the genetic diversity seems to differ from other species, and mostly from other amphibians. We found that lower altitudes can act as a barrier probably because the lowlands do not provide a suitable habitat for C. asper. Regarding the distinct habitat types, caves had significantly lower values of genetic diversity compared to streams or lakes. The mean FST value was relatively high (0.304) with maximum values as high as 0.771, suggesting a highly structured total population. Indeed, populations were grouped into five subclusters, the eastern populations (cluster 1) remained grouped into two subclusters and the central-western Pyrenees (cluster 2) into three subclusters. The increase of isolation with geographical distance is consistent with the population structure detected. In conclusion, C. asper seems to be adapted to high altitude mountain habitats, and its genetic diversity is higher in the western Pyrenees. In terms of conservation priority, we consider more relevant the populations that represent a reservoir of genetic diversity. [less ▲]

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See detailLilingostrobus chaloneri gen. et sp. nov., a Late Devonian woody lycopsid from Hunan, China
Gerrienne, Philippe ULiege; Cascales-Minana, Cascales; Prestianni, Cyrille et al

in PLoS ONE (2018), 13(7), 1-25

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See detailProspective and longitudinal natural history study of patients with Type 2 and 3 spinal muscular atrophy: Baseline data NatHis-SMA study.
Chabanon, Aurelie; Seferian, Andreea Mihaela; DARON, Aurore ULiege et al

in PLoS ONE (2018), 13(7), 0201004

Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is a monogenic disorder caused by loss of function mutations in the survival motor neuron 1 gene, which results in a broad range of disease severity, from neonatal to adult ... [more ▼]

Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is a monogenic disorder caused by loss of function mutations in the survival motor neuron 1 gene, which results in a broad range of disease severity, from neonatal to adult onset. There is currently a concerted effort to define the natural history of the disease and develop outcome measures that accurately capture its complexity. As several therapeutic strategies are currently under investigation and both the FDA and EMA have recently approved the first medical treatment for SMA, there is a critical need to identify the right association of responsive outcome measures and biomarkers for individual patient follow-up. As an approved treatment becomes available, untreated patients will soon become rare, further intensifying the need for a rapid, prospective and longitudinal study of the natural history of SMA Type 2 and 3. Here we present the baseline assessments of 81 patients aged 2 to 30 years of which 19 are non-sitter SMA Type 2, 34 are sitter SMA Type 2, 9 non-ambulant SMA Type 3 and 19 ambulant SMA Type 3. Collecting these data at nine sites in France, Germany and Belgium established the feasibility of gathering consistent data from numerous and demanding assessments in a multicenter SMA study. Most assessments discriminated between the four groups well. This included the Motor Function Measure (MFM), pulmonary function testing, strength, electroneuromyography, muscle imaging and workspace volume. Additionally, all of the assessments showed good correlation with the MFM score. As the untreated patient population decreases, having reliable and valid multi-site data will be imperative for recruitment in clinical trials. The pending two-year study results will evaluate the sensitivity of the studied outcomes and biomarkers to disease progression. TRIAL REGISTRATION: ClinicalTrials.gov (NCT02391831). [less ▲]

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See detailExperimental study of isolas in nonlinear systems featuring modal interactions
Detroux, Thibaut ULiege; Noël, Jean-Philippe ULiege; Virgin, Lawrence et al

in PLoS ONE (2018), 13(3), 0194452

The objective of the present paper is to provide experimental evidence of isolated resonances in the frequency response of nonlinear mechanical systems. More specifically, this work explores the presence ... [more ▼]

The objective of the present paper is to provide experimental evidence of isolated resonances in the frequency response of nonlinear mechanical systems. More specifically, this work explores the presence of isolas, which are periodic solutions detached from the main frequency response, in the case of a nonlinear set-up consisting of two masses sliding on a horizontal guide. A careful experimental investigation of isolas is carried out using responses to swept-sine and stepped-sine excitations. The experimental findings are validated with advanced numerical simulations combining nonlinear modal analysis and bifurcation monitoring. In particular, the interactions between two nonlinear normal modes are shown to be responsible for the creation of the isolas. [less ▲]

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See detailQualitative thematic analysis of the phenomenology of near-death experiences
Cassol, Helena ULiege; Pétré, Benoît ULiege; Degrange, Sophie ULiege et al

in PLoS ONE (2018)

Near-death experiences (NDEs) refer to profound psychological events that can have an important impact on the experiencers’ (NDErs) lives. Previous studies have shown that NDEs memories are ... [more ▼]

Near-death experiences (NDEs) refer to profound psychological events that can have an important impact on the experiencers’ (NDErs) lives. Previous studies have shown that NDEs memories are phenomenologically rich. In the present study, we therefore aimed to extract the common themes (referred to as “features” in the NDE literature) reported by NDErs by analyzing all the concepts stored in the narratives of their experiences. A qualitative thematic analysis has been carried out on 34 cardiac arrest survivors’ NDE narratives. Our results shed the light on the structure of the narratives by identifying 10 “time-bounded” themes which refer to isolated events encountered during the NDE and 1 “transversal” theme which characterizes the whole narrative and generally appears as a retrospective comment of self-reflection on the experience. The division of narratives into themes provides us with detailed information about the vocabulary used by NDErs to describe their experience. This established thematic method enables a rigorous description of the phenomenon, ensuring the inclusion of all self-reported manifestations of themes in narratives. [less ▲]

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See detailPerformance of glomerular filtration rate estimation equations in Congolese healthy adults: the inopportunity of the ethnic correction
Bukabau, JB; Sumaili, EK; CAVALIER, Etienne ULiege et al

in PLoS ONE (2018), 13(3), 0193384

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See detailBeached bachelors: An extensive study on the largest recorded sperm whale Physeter macrocephalus mortality event in the North Sea
IJsseldijk, L. L.; Van Neer, A.; Deaville, R. et al

in PLoS ONE (2018), 13(8),

Between the 8th January and the 25th February 2016, the largest sperm whale Physeter macrocephalus mortality event ever recorded in the North Sea occurred with 30 sperm whales stranding in five countries ... [more ▼]

Between the 8th January and the 25th February 2016, the largest sperm whale Physeter macrocephalus mortality event ever recorded in the North Sea occurred with 30 sperm whales stranding in five countries within six weeks. All sperm whales were immature males. Groups were stratified by size, with the smaller animals stranding in the Netherlands, and the largest in England. The majority (n = 27) of the stranded animals were necropsied and/ or sampled, allowing for an international and comprehensive investigation into this mortality event. The animals were in fair to good nutritional condition and, aside from the pathologies caused by stranding, did not exhibit significant evidence of disease or trauma. Infectious agents were found, including various parasite species, several bacterial and fungal pathogens and a novel alphaherpesvirus. In nine of the sperm whales a variety of marine litter was found. However, none of these findings were considered to have been the primary cause of the stranding event. Potential anthropogenic and environmental factors that may have caused the sperm whales to enter the North Sea were assessed. Once sperm whales enter the North Sea and head south, the water becomes progressively shallower (<40 m), making this region a global hotspot for sperm whale strandings. We conclude that the reasons for sperm whales to enter the southern North Sea are the result of complex interactions of extrinsic environmental factors. As such, these large mortality events seldom have a single ultimate cause and it is only through multidisciplinary, collaborative approaches that potentially multifactorial large-scale stranding events can be effectively investigated. © 2018 IJsseldijk et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. [less ▲]

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