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See detailDistinct metabolomic signature in cerebrospinal fluid in early parkinson's disease: Early Parkinson'S CSF Metabolic Signature
Trezzi, Jean-Pierre UL; Galozzi, Sara; Jäger, Christian UL et al

in Movement Disorders (2017)

Objective: The purpose of this study was to profile cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) from early-stage PD patients for disease-related metabolic changes and to determine a robust biomarker signature for early ... [more ▼]

Objective: The purpose of this study was to profile cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) from early-stage PD patients for disease-related metabolic changes and to determine a robust biomarker signature for early-stage PD diagnosis. Methods: By applying a non-targeted and mass spectrometry-driven approach, we investigated the CSF metabolome of 44 early-stage sporadic PD patients yet without treatment (DeNoPa cohort). We compared all detected metabolite levels with those measured in CSF of 43 age- and gender-matched healthy controls. After this analysis, we validated the results in an independent PD study cohort (T€ubingen cohort). Results: We identified that dehydroascorbic acid levels were significantly lower and fructose, mannose, and threonic acid levels were significantly higher (P <.05) in PD patients when compared with healthy controls. These changes reflect pathological oxidative stress responses, as well as protein glycation/glycosylation reactions in PD. Using a machine learning approach based on logistic regression, we successfully predicted the origin (PD patients vs healthy controls) in a second (n518) as well as in a third and completely independent validation set (n536). The biomarker signature is composed of the three markers—mannose, threonic acid, and fructose—and allows for sample classification with a sensitivity of 0.790 and a specificity of 0.800. Conclusion: We identified PD-specific metabolic changes in CSF that were associated with antioxidative stress response, glycation, and inflammation. Our results disentangle the complexity of the CSF metabolome to unravel metabolome changes related to earlystage PD. The detected biomarkers help understanding PD pathogenesis and can be applied as biomarkers to increase clinical diagnosis accuracy and patient care in early-stage PD. [less ▲]

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See detailAngiotensin II regulates phosphorylation of actin-associated proteins in human podocytes
Schaffner - Ep. Reckinger, Elisabeth UL

in FASEB Journal (2017)

Within the kidney, angiotensin II (AngII) targets different cell types in the vasculature, tubuli, and glomeruli. An important part of the renal filtration barrier is composed of podocytes with their ... [more ▼]

Within the kidney, angiotensin II (AngII) targets different cell types in the vasculature, tubuli, and glomeruli. An important part of the renal filtration barrier is composed of podocytes with their actin-rich foot processes. In this study, we used stable isotope labeling with amino acids in cell culture coupled to mass spectrometry to characterize relative changes in the phosphoproteome of human podocytes in response to short-term treatment with AngII. In 4 replicates, we identified a total of 17,956 peptides that were traceable to 2081 distinct proteins. Bioinformatic analyses revealed that among the increasingly phosphorylated peptides are predominantly peptides that are related to actin filaments, cytoskeleton, lamellipodia, mammalian target of rapamycin, and MAPK signaling. Among others, this screening approach highlighted the increased phosphorylation of actin-bundling protein, L-plastin (LCP1). AngII-dependent phosphorylation of LCP1 in cultured podocytes was mediated by the kinases ERK, p90 ribosomal S6 kinase, PKA, or PKC. LCP1 phosphorylation increased filopodia formation. In addition, treatmentwith AngII led to LCP1 redistribution to the cell margins,membrane ruffling, and formation of lamellipodia. Our data highlight the importance of AngII-triggered actin cytoskeleton-associated signal transduction in podocytes. [less ▲]

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See detailLived Histories of Science Education in Modern Luxembourg: Interactions between Global Policies, National Curriculum and Local Practices.
Reuter, Bob UL; Schreiber, Catherina

Scientific Conference (2017, August 23)

The current paper is part of a larger research project, that seeks to gain insights into the policy and curricular reform of science education in Luxembourg’s primary schools through a state of the art ... [more ▼]

The current paper is part of a larger research project, that seeks to gain insights into the policy and curricular reform of science education in Luxembourg’s primary schools through a state of the art approach that integrates research in educational sciences (interviews and classroom observations) with research in the history of education (interviews and document analyses). Beginning with the premise that “science education” as a school discipline is the product of culturally shaped expectations, we examine the interface of international and national educational policy with local educational practice through the lens of primary school science education in Luxembourg (from 1920 through the present). This papers focuses on the historical analysis of science education and policy changes in modern Luxembourg using (1) a document-based historical analysis of curricula, textbooks and public discourses and (2) interviews with curriculum developers from the 1980s and 1990s and with key participants in science education in Luxembourg to examine the lived practices in a local context. In the synergy of the different approaches, local analysis of historically shaped notions of science education can be integrated with a transnational global perspective. Our analysis shows, among other findings, that the science education curriculum was conceived as a response to a variety of specific national educational needs (e.g. environmental protection, love of nature, scientific rational thinking, economy development, technological progress, social progress, demographic changes and challenges). But at the same time, it was covertly in line with international “scientization” policies (e.g. Drori & Meyer, 2009) building on transnational ideas such as the “spiral curriculum”. The analysed educational reform is thus a relevant example to understand culturally and historically embedded perspectives of what “science” is, and how this shapes ideals of “science education” as a discipline in school. [less ▲]

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See detailPrototype Incorporated Emotional Neural Network (PI-EmNN)
Oyedotun, Oyebade UL; Khashman, Adnan

in IEEE Transactions on Neural Networks and Learning Systems (2017)

Artificial neural networks (ANNs) aim to simulate the biological neural activities. Interestingly, many ‘engineering’ prospects in ANN have relied on motivations from cognition and psychology studies. So ... [more ▼]

Artificial neural networks (ANNs) aim to simulate the biological neural activities. Interestingly, many ‘engineering’ prospects in ANN have relied on motivations from cognition and psychology studies. So far, two important learning theories that have been subject of active research are the prototype and adaptive learning theories. The learning rules employed for ANNs can be related to adaptive learning theory, where several examples of the different classes in a task are supplied to the network for adjusting internal parameters. Conversely, prototype learning theory uses prototypes (representative examples); usually, one prototype per class of the different classes contained in the task. These prototypes are supplied for systematic matching with new examples so that class association can be achieved. In this paper, we propose and implement a novel neural network algorithm based on modifying the emotional neural network (EmNN) model to unify the prototype and adaptive learning theories. We refer to our new model as “PI-EmNN” (Prototype-Incorporated Emotional Neural Network). Furthermore, we apply the proposed model to two real-life challenging tasks, namely; static hand gesture recognition and face recognition, and compare the result to those obtained using the popular back propagation neural network (BPNN), emotional back propagation neural network (EmNN), deep networks and an exemplar classification model, k-nearest neighbor (k-NN). [less ▲]

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See detailNumerical prediction of the rheological properties of fresh self-compacting concrete
Huang, Haiqin UL; Zilian, Andreas UL

Scientific Conference (2017, July 14)

Self-Compacting Concrete (SCC) is a high-performance construction material that can simplify classical handling on concrete construction by avoiding the need for additional vibrational compaction ... [more ▼]

Self-Compacting Concrete (SCC) is a high-performance construction material that can simplify classical handling on concrete construction by avoiding the need for additional vibrational compaction. Challenges in the use of SCC lie in ensuring optimal operation of the material in terms of properly filled castings in presence of complex reinforcement arrangements, reduction of entrained gas bubbles and limitation of aggregate separation. A major factor influencing the aforementioned aspects is the rheological properties of SCC mixtures under varying conditions (e.g. content composition, mechanical impact, temperature, moisture). This contribution aims at unified constitutive modelling of SCC in the setting stage. Concrete setting describes the transition from fluid-like fresh concrete, which -in presence of time- dependent transport-reaction processes- develops a porous cementitious structure, to hardened concrete showing solid-like behaviour. The constitutive model is implemented using the open-source finite element framework FENICS and applied to a number of benchmark problems. [less ▲]

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See detailHerman Van Rompuy [biography]
Chiocchetti, Paolo UL

E-print/Working paper (2017)

Herman Van Rompuy (b. 1947) is a Belgian and European politician. In his capacity as President of the European Council (2009-2014), he played a key role in the EU's response to the financial crisis and in ... [more ▼]

Herman Van Rompuy (b. 1947) is a Belgian and European politician. In his capacity as President of the European Council (2009-2014), he played a key role in the EU's response to the financial crisis and in the strengthening of the European framework of economic governance. [less ▲]

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See detailWolfgang Schäuble [biography]
Chiocchetti, Paolo UL

E-print/Working paper (2017)

Wolfgang Schäuble (b. 1942) is an active German politician. He played a key role in the German reunification process (1989-90) and in the management of the Eurozone crisis (since 2009).

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See detailBoard gender diversity and corporate social performance: Is there really a link?
Derouiche, Imen UL; Boubaker, Sabri; Dang, Rey et al

Scientific Conference (2017, July 05)

Our study aims to see whether and how board gender diversity (BGD) may influence the corporate social performance (CSP). Theoretically, we rely on the stakeholders’ theory. From an empirical standpoint ... [more ▼]

Our study aims to see whether and how board gender diversity (BGD) may influence the corporate social performance (CSP). Theoretically, we rely on the stakeholders’ theory. From an empirical standpoint, we employ a dynamic panel system GMM (generalized moments method) estimator to estimate a dynamic model of CSP. Our study is carried out on a sample of 101 listed firms on Euronext Paris that made up the SBF Index 250 over the 2006-2010 (be-fore the enactment of the Copé-Zimmermann on gender quota on boards). We find that board gender diversity significantly impacts CSP. Furthermore, a critical mass of female directors is significantly and positively correlated with CSP. The effect is economically significant. Finally, we take into account French specificities by examining the influence of family firms. We found that family firms contribute to the role of female directors regarding CSR activities, especially there is a critical mass of female directors in these firms. [less ▲]

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See detailAchtsamkeit als Determinante von Glück im Alter - Theoretische und Empirische Analysen
Theisen, Marie-Paule Gaby UL

Doctoral thesis (2017)

In den späten siebziger Jahren entwickelte der Molekularbiologe und Zen-Praktiker Jon Kabat-Zinn in den USA das „Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Program – MBSR“ (dt.: das Programm zur Stressreduzierung ... [more ▼]

In den späten siebziger Jahren entwickelte der Molekularbiologe und Zen-Praktiker Jon Kabat-Zinn in den USA das „Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Program – MBSR“ (dt.: das Programm zur Stressreduzierung durch Achtsamkeit). Der Medizinprofessor begann mit Erfolg, das Programm an Schmerzpatienten der University of Massachusetts Medical School Stress Reduction Clinic zu vermitteln. Parallel dazu untersuchte der Forscher die Auswirkungen dieses Stressreduzierungsprogramms auf das psychische und physische Wohlbefinden der Patienten. Diese Forschungsergebnisse veranlassten mich dazu, das bestehende Programm MBSR an die Bedürfnisse und Wünsche von gesunden, existenziell verängstigten, gestressten Menschen im Vorrentenalter und Rentenalter anzupassen und das Programm „Achtsamkeit Entdecken – Leben im Augenblick“ (AELA) für Senioren zu entwickeln. Als theoretische Grundlage dieses Programms wurden einschlägige Theorien zu Achtsamkeit, Glück und dem Alternsprozess beschrieben und in ihrem Zusammenhang elaboriert. Anschließend daran wurden über eine Kombination von quantitativem und qualitativem Vorgehen die Nützlichkeit und die Wirkungen von Achtsamkeit auf das Glücksempfinden „betagter“ Menschen im Alltag untersucht. Im Rahmen einer quantitativ angelegten Trainingsstudie wurden über den Zeitraum von vier Wochen Achtsamkeitselemente vermittelt, die über die Selbstberichte der Teilnehmer evaluiert wurden. Insgesamt zeichneten sich dabei positive Effekte auf das Befinden der Teilnehmer ab und diese betrachteten die Achtsamkeitsübungen als nützlich, um bewusster zu leben. Im Rahmen einer qualitativen Studie wurden fünfzehn Interviews zum Leben im Alter durchgeführt und dabei unterschiedliche Aspekte – wie z.B. Wünsche und Ziele, aber auch Ängste und Befürchtungen – exploriert. In den Interviews wurde zudem erfragt, inwieweit die Personen bereits mit dem Konzept der Achtsamkeit vertraut sind und inwieweit sie dieses nutzen. Auch diese Studie belegt die Bedeutsamkeit dieses Konzeptes für das Leben im Alter. Alle Befunde sprechen somit dafür, dass der gesunde ältere Mensch durch eine regelmäßige Achtsamkeitspraxis – im Sinne eines bewussten Lebens von Augenblick zu Augenblick – Stressfreiheit und Glück erfahren kann.   [less ▲]

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See detailMAGNETIC SMALL-ANGLE NEUTRON SCATTERING ON BULK METALLIC GLASSES
Mettus, Denis UL; Michels, Andreas UL; Birringer, Rainer et al

Scientific Conference (2017, July 03)

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See detailSpin structure of Nd-Fe-B-based textured nanocomposites:role of interface chemistry
Titov, Ivan UL; Michels, Andreas UL

Scientific Conference (2017, July 02)

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See detailTesting the discrimination hypothesis for female self employment migrants in the UK
Constantinidis, Christina UL; Fletcher, Denise Elaine UL; Joxhe, Majlinda UL

in IAFFE (Ed.) Books of Abstracts (2017, July 01)

We propose a comparative analysis of migrants in both sectors (employment and self-employment) exploring the gender earning discrimination hypothesis. Using individual micro data from the British ... [more ▼]

We propose a comparative analysis of migrants in both sectors (employment and self-employment) exploring the gender earning discrimination hypothesis. Using individual micro data from the British Household Panel Survey (1991-2008), we estimate wage equations for employed and self-employed migrants and find that, contrary to our expectations, the average earnings gap in self-employment is almost double compared to the employment sector. This finding reveals that self-employment leads migrant women to an even more precarious and vulnerable position in terms of financial means and economic power. In addition, we explore the determinants of these gaps using the econometric procedure of the decomposition (the Blinder-Oaxaca) model. We find that the variables that explain the gender gap in the employment sector are mostly observable individual characteristics like education or migration duration, confirming the human capital theory, whereas in the self-employment sector, this gap is more due to unobservable individual characteristics. Through our work, we show that including the gender perspective into migration analysis has implications for policy makers enabling them to evaluate these processes from a more social (rather than individualistic) dimension. [less ▲]

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See detailTransnationalisation of Sports: A Middle class value across borders
Vysotskaya, Volha UL; Kerivel, Aude

Presentation (2017, July)

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See detailThe role of humour in intimate intercultural relationships
Aleksic, Gabrijela UL

in The 9th European IACPP Conference (2017, July)

Humour is vital for social life. We explored the role of humour in intimate intercultural relationships by: (1) interviewing intercultural couples and (2) analysing the videos of international street ... [more ▼]

Humour is vital for social life. We explored the role of humour in intimate intercultural relationships by: (1) interviewing intercultural couples and (2) analysing the videos of international street performances of a conflictual intercultural clown couple. The interviews involved 15 intercultural couples. The video analysis was based on one clown couple selected from an initial sample. Preliminary results supported the interdisciplinary theories explaining the relationships between: (1) humour and embarrassment and (2) humour and hatred. Humour and ridicule are main elements of embarrassment which is important for maintaining social order. The presence of an audience in embarrassing situations is necessary. ‘Laughing with’ or ‘laughing at’ was explored through three main types of embarrassing situations: faux pas, sticky situations and being the centre of attention. The third type was found to be the most common among intercultural couples, especially in situations of linguistic misunderstandings. Humour was the most used remedial strategy, along with apologies, excuses and justifications. Embarrassment was related to shame, the master-emotion appearing when interpersonal or group relations are broken. Shame could transform into rage and humour can provide tools for expressing it while also supporting the feelings of pleasure. Hatred was present in the forms of stereotypes against the partner’s culture through jokes. We discuss humour, embarrassment and hatred from micro to macro level to understand how they can protect the social order, find the pleasure in damaging the same and what we can do about it. [less ▲]

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See detailL' échange d' informations fiscales en droit de l' Union européenne
Pantazatou, Aikaterini UL

in L' Observateur de Bruxelles (2017), (109),

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See detailTutoring and its effect on teachers.
Weber, Jean-Marie UL; Voynova, Ruzhena UL

Scientific Conference (2017, July)

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See detailLMI-Based H_infty Nonlinear State Observer Design for Anaerobic Digestion Model
Chaib Draa, Khadidja UL; Voos, Holger UL; Alma, Marouane et al

in IEEE Mediterranean Conference on Control and Automation, Valletta 3-6 July 2017 (2017, July)

This note deals with the design of an $H_{\infty}$ nonlinear state observer for the anaerobic digestion model. Positively, the designed observer is an unified one that can be used for different class of ... [more ▼]

This note deals with the design of an $H_{\infty}$ nonlinear state observer for the anaerobic digestion model. Positively, the designed observer is an unified one that can be used for different class of systems, mainly linear systems, Linear Parameter Varying (LPV) systems with known and bounded parameters, and nonlinear Lipschitz systems. Applying the Lyapunov theory and theH¥ criterion, Linear Matrix Inequality (LMI) condition is synthesised and solved to obtain the designed observer gains. The novelty of our work consists in the relaxation of the synthesized LMI condition through the inclusion of additional decision variables. This was possible due to the use of a suitable reformulation of the Young’s inequality. Stability, effectiveness and potency of the theoretical results are confirmed by the simulation results. [less ▲]

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See detailAn LMI-Based H_infty Discrete-Time Nonlinear State Observer Design for an Anaerobic Digestion Model
Chaib Draa, Khadidja UL; Voos, Holger UL

in World Congress of the International Federation of Automatic Control, Toulouse 9-14 July 2017 (2017, July)

This paper is devoted to the design of an H1 discrete-time nonlinear state observer for an anaerobic digestion model. Indeed, the designed observer can be used for di erent class of systems, mainly linear ... [more ▼]

This paper is devoted to the design of an H1 discrete-time nonlinear state observer for an anaerobic digestion model. Indeed, the designed observer can be used for di erent class of systems, mainly linear systems, LPV systems with known and bounded parameters, and nonlinear Lipschitz systems. We use an LMI approach to guarantee the H1 asymptotic stability of the estimation error despite the disturbances a ecting the system dynamics and measurements. The synthesised LMI is relaxed due to the inclusion of additional decision variables which enhance its feasibility. This was possible due to the use of a suitable reformulation of the Young's inequality. Simulation results are given to show the robustness of the designed observer. [less ▲]

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