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See detailRare GABRA3 variants are associated with epileptic seizures, encephalopathy and dysmorphic features
Niturad, Elena Christina; Lev, Dorit; Kalscheuer, Vera M et al

in Brain : A Journal of Neurology (2017)

Genetic epilepsies are caused by mutations in a range of different genes, many of them encoding ion channels, receptors or transporters. While the number of detected variants and genes increased ... [more ▼]

Genetic epilepsies are caused by mutations in a range of different genes, many of them encoding ion channels, receptors or transporters. While the number of detected variants and genes increased dramatically in the recent years, pleiotropic effects have also been recognized, revealing that clinical syndromes with various degrees of severity arise from a single gene, a single mutation, or from different mutations showing similar functional defects. Accordingly, several genes coding for GABAA receptor subunits have been linked to a spectrum of benign to severe epileptic disorders and it was shown that a loss of function presents the major correlated pathomechanism. Here, we identified six variants in GABRA3 encoding the α3-subunit of the GABAA receptor. This gene is located on chromosome Xq28 and has not been previously associated with human disease. Five missense variants and one microduplication were detected in four families and two sporadic cases presenting with a range of epileptic seizure types, a varying degree of intellectual disability and developmental delay, sometimes with dysmorphic features or nystagmus. The variants co-segregated mostly but not completely with the phenotype in the families, indicating in some cases incomplete penetrance, involvement of other genes, or presence of phenocopies. Overall, males were more severely affected and there were three asymptomatic female mutation carriers compared to only one male without a clinical phenotype. X-chromosome inactivation studies could not explain the phenotypic variability in females. Three detected missense variants are localized in the extracellular GABA-binding NH2-terminus, one in the M2-M3 linker and one in the M4 transmembrane segment of the α3-subunit. Functional studies in Xenopus laevis oocytes revealed a variable but significant reduction of GABA-evoked anion currents for all mutants compared to wild-type receptors. The degree of current reduction correlated partially with the phenotype. The microduplication disrupted GABRA3 expression in fibroblasts of the affected patient. In summary, our results reveal that rare loss-of-function variants in GABRA3 increase the risk for a varying combination of epilepsy, intellectual disability/developmental delay and dysmorphic features, presenting in some pedigrees with an X-linked inheritance pattern. [less ▲]

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See detailThe Implementation of the Cross-Border Mergers Directive in Luxembourg - A Critical Assessment
Corbisier, Isabelle UL

Scientific Conference (2017, October 07)

Many cross-border mergers do take place in Luxembourg. Most practical difficulties in implementing the new regime were solved in the first months/years following the transposal of the Cross-Border Mergers ... [more ▼]

Many cross-border mergers do take place in Luxembourg. Most practical difficulties in implementing the new regime were solved in the first months/years following the transposal of the Cross-Border Mergers directive. As a matter of fact most of the cross-border mergers taking place in Luxembourg are of a rather uncomplicated kind as they are often intra-group mergers, between companies with no or very few employees and furthermore in a vast majority of cases between a parent company and its 100% subsidiary. In the most recent practice however, the following questions/issues were raised : - the directive only addresses mergers. Other restructurings such as divisions, transfers of assets, of a branch of activity or of the universality of the company’s assets are not covered by the directive and this even though they can likewise take place across the borders and can be difficult to carry out in the absence of some harmonized regime; - a new company law reform was recently adopted in Luxembourg, introducing, a.o., a new article 1865bis in the Civil Code that allows “dissolution-confusion” in one-shareholder companies. The question can be raised whether this provision could be applied across the borders (f.e. could a French company being the sole shareholder of a Luxembourg company decide to dissolve it without having to consider the provisions of the Cross-Border Mergers Directive ?); - another provision of the recently adopted company law reform does re-balance things when considering the cross-border merger as a means for the company to change “nationality” (or law applicable thereto). In the past companies were eventually forced to use the detour of the CBM in order to avoid the requirement of unanimity imposed by law for the transfer of the seat. Since aforementioned reform unanimity is no longer required for the cross-border transfer of the seat. The usefulness of the Cross-Border Merger Directive is therefore not in the least questioned in Luxembourg but it is regrettable that this would appear part of a “work-in-progress” that however does not show concrete signs of being completed any time soon. [less ▲]

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See detailHall measurements on low-mobility thin films
Werner, Florian UL

in Journal of Applied Physics (2017), 122

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See detailEnumerating quasitrivial semigroups
Devillet, Jimmy UL; Couceiro, Miguel; Marichal, Jean-Luc UL

Presentation (2017, October 03)

We investigate the class of binary associative and quasitrivial operations on a given finite set. Here quasitriviality (also known as conserva-tiveness) means that the operation always outputs one of its ... [more ▼]

We investigate the class of binary associative and quasitrivial operations on a given finite set. Here quasitriviality (also known as conserva-tiveness) means that the operation always outputs one of its input values. We also examine the special situations where the operations are commutative and nondecreasing. In the latter case, these operations reduce to discrete uninorms, which are discrete fuzzy connectives that play an important role in fuzzy logic. As we will see nondecreasing, associative and quasitrivial operations are chara-cterized in terms of total and weak orderings through the so-called single-peakedness property introduced in social choice theory by Duncan Black. This will enable visual interpretaions of the above mentioned algebraic properties. Motivated by these results, we will also address a number of counting issues: we enumerate all binary associative and quasitrivial operations on a given finite set as well as of those operations that are commutative, are nondecreasing, have neutral and/or annihilator elements. As we will see, these considerations lead to several, previously unknown, integer sequences. [less ▲]

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See detailEU Tax Law and Policy in the 21st Century
Haslehner, Werner UL; Kofler, Georg; Rust, Alexander

Book published by Kluwer Law International (2017)

Major changes in EU tax law demand an analysis of not just the current state of the field, but also forthcoming EU-level policy initiatives and their likely implications for taxpayers, regulators, and ... [more ▼]

Major changes in EU tax law demand an analysis of not just the current state of the field, but also forthcoming EU-level policy initiatives and their likely implications for taxpayers, regulators, and national legislatures alike. This book, the first in-depth commentary and analysis of such developments, offers exactly that. Twenty EU tax and policy experts examine the impact of EU Treaty provisions and recent ECJ case law on EU tax law, and provide well-informed assessments of current and anticipated EU tax policy initiatives and their potential impacts. [less ▲]

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See detailWi-Fi butterfly effect in indoor localization: The impact of imprecise ground truth and small-scale fading
Popleteev, Andrei UL

in 14th IEEE Workshop on Positioning, Navigation and Communications (WPNC-2017) (2017, October)

The increasing accuracy of indoor positioning systems makes their evaluation an increasingly challenging task. A number of factors are already known to affect performance of fingerprint-based systems ... [more ▼]

The increasing accuracy of indoor positioning systems makes their evaluation an increasingly challenging task. A number of factors are already known to affect performance of fingerprint-based systems: hardware diversity, device orientation, environment dynamics. This paper presents a new butterfly-like effect in localization experiments. The effect is caused by minor ground truth (GT) errors --- that is, small deviations between calibration and test positions. While such deviations are widely considered as purely additive and thus negligible, we demonstrate that even centimeter-scale GT errors are amplified by small-scale radio fading and lead to severe multi-meter Wi-Fi positioning errors. The results show that fingerprint-based localization accuracy quickly deteriorates as GT errors increase towards 0.4 wavelength (5 cm for 2.4 GHz). Beyond that threshold, system's accuracy saturates to about one-third of its original level achievable with precise GT. This effect challenges the impact of the already known accuracy-limiting factors (such as cross-user tests, receiver diversity, device orientation and temporal variations), as they can be partially explained by minor GT errors. Moreover, for smartphone-in-a-hand experiments, this effect directly associates the evaluation outcomes with experimenters' diligence. [less ▲]

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See detailPlease Stand By: TV-based indoor localization
Popleteev, Andrei UL

in 28th IEEE Annual International Symposium on Personal, Indoor, and Mobile Radio Communications (PIMRC-2017) (2017, October)

Despite the decades of efforts, indoor positioning remains an open research challenge. While existing solutions already demonstrate high accuracy, their in-building infrastructure --- such as Wi-Fi access ... [more ▼]

Despite the decades of efforts, indoor positioning remains an open research challenge. While existing solutions already demonstrate high accuracy, their in-building infrastructure --- such as Wi-Fi access points or Bluetooth beacons --- provides only a limited coverage. This paper investigates feasibility of accurate indoor positioning using broadcast digital TV signals, readily available in populated areas worldwide. We experiment with the classic received signal strength (RSS) fingerprinting, and introduce a novel approach based on channel state information (CSI), which leverages frequency-selective multipath fading of wideband TV signals. The proposed methods are experimentally evaluated on an extensive dataset of DVB-T signals, systematically collected in two large buildings over the course of 8 months. The results show that the proposed approach consistently outperforms RSS fingerprinting and achieves 92--98% localization accuracy. While this study is based on the European DVB-T signals, the proposed method is directly generalizable to other TV standards (such as ATSC, ISDB, DTMB and DMB) and wide-area TV white space (TVWS) networks. [less ▲]

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See detailAssessing adaptive task assignments in a simulated classroom setting
Hörstermann, Thomas UL

Scientific Conference (2017, October)

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See detailTowards Automatic Human Body Model Fitting to a 3D Scan
Saint, Alexandre Fabian A UL; Shabayek, Abd El Rahman UL; Aouada, Djamila UL et al

in D'APUZZO, Nicola (Ed.) Proceedings of 3DBODY.TECH 2017 - 8th International Conference and Exhibition on 3D Body Scanning and Processing Technologies, Montreal QC, Canada, 11-12 Oct. 2017 (2017, October)

This paper presents a method to automatically recover a realistic and accurate body shape of a person wearing clothing from a 3D scan. Indeed, in many practical situations, people are scanned wearing ... [more ▼]

This paper presents a method to automatically recover a realistic and accurate body shape of a person wearing clothing from a 3D scan. Indeed, in many practical situations, people are scanned wearing clothing. The underlying body shape is thus partially or completely occluded. Yet, it is very desirable to recover the shape of a covered body as it provides non-invasive means of measuring and analysing it. This is particularly convenient for patients in medical applications, customers in a retail shop, as well as in security applications where suspicious objects under clothing are to be detected. To recover the body shape from the 3D scan of a person in any pose, a human body model is usually fitted to the scan. Current methods rely on the manual placement of markers on the body to identify anatomical locations and guide the pose fitting. The markers are either physically placed on the body before scanning or placed in software as a postprocessing step. Some other methods detect key points on the scan using 3D feature descriptors to automate the placement of markers. They usually require a large database of 3D scans. We propose to automatically estimate the body pose of a person from a 3D mesh acquired by standard 3D body scanners, with or without texture. To fit a human model to the scan, we use joint locations as anchors. These are detected from multiple 2D views using a conventional body joint detector working on images. In contrast to existing approaches, the proposed method is fully automatic, and takes advantage of the robustness of state-of-art 2D joint detectors. The proposed approach is validated on scans of people in different poses wearing garments of various thicknesses and on scans of one person in multiple poses with known ground truth wearing close-fitting clothing. [less ▲]

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See detailFamilles et égalité de traitement - Table ronde en droit fiscal
Chaouche, Fatima UL

Presentation (2017, October)

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See detailEnlarging the frame: Issues of Inclusion and mental health in an ageing society
Murdock, Elke UL; Ferring, Dieter UL

Scientific Conference (2017, September 22)

This contribution frames the notions of inclusion and mental health by describing trends in European societies at the social and economic level that will have direct consequences for a participative civil ... [more ▼]

This contribution frames the notions of inclusion and mental health by describing trends in European societies at the social and economic level that will have direct consequences for a participative civil society and social cohesion. Our starting point is the observation that the world faces challenges at the start of the 21st century that are new and unprecedented in its history. The four global forces that break all the trends known so far in human history include urbanisation, accelerating technological development, greater global connections, and population ageing (Dobbs, Manyika and Woetzel, 2016). We will first describe the scale of population ageing, as ageing populutions characterize several developed economies. In a second step, we will highlight some consequences of population ageing for social welfare and in a third part I will elaborate on the notion of justice and inclusion in rapidly changing societies. [less ▲]

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See detailAb initio approaches to Resonant Raman Spectroscopy of Transition Metal Dichalcogenides
Pereira Coutada Miranda, Henrique UL

Doctoral thesis (2017)

This thesis deals with the theory and simulation of resonant Raman spectroscopy in two-dimensional transition metal dichalcogenides. We present two different ab initio approaches. In the first, we ... [more ▼]

This thesis deals with the theory and simulation of resonant Raman spectroscopy in two-dimensional transition metal dichalcogenides. We present two different ab initio approaches. In the first, we calculate the Raman susceptibility tensor as a function of laser energy from the change of the dielectric susceptibility with atomic displacements. In the second, we formulate the Raman tensor in terms of time-dependent perturbation theory and calculate it using electron-light and electron-phonon coupling matrix elements obtained from density functional theory. We investigate the role of resonance, quantum interference and excitonic effects in the Raman spectra of single and triple-layer MoTe2. We compare our simulations with experimental results, explaining the dependence of the Raman intensities on the excitation energy. We demonstrate that the two approaches are formally and numerically equivalent in the adiabatic limit. In addition, the second approach allows to include the dynamical effects and captures a shift of the intensities with respect to the adiabatic case. This method is also more computationally efficient and is extended to include temperature effects using many-body perturbation theory. We have implemented both of these methods in a software package with interfaces to open source ab initio codes. Furthermore, we have developed web based tools to visualize excitonic states and phonon modes. [less ▲]

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See detailRestraint and Transgression - a Cross-Cultural Perspective
Murdock, Elke UL

Presentation (2017, September 12)

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See detailImpact of the Time of Diagnosis on Dyslexic Adolescents' Self-efficacy beliefs
Battistutta, Layla UL; Commissaire, Eva; Steffgen, Georges UL

Poster (2017, September)

Aim: Most of the research on self-efficacy in children with specific learning disorders has focused on inter-group comparisons, showing that these children hold lower self-efficacy scores than their ... [more ▼]

Aim: Most of the research on self-efficacy in children with specific learning disorders has focused on inter-group comparisons, showing that these children hold lower self-efficacy scores than their normally developing peers. As these lower scores might be due to a reduced access to self-efficacy sources (Hampton & Mason, 2003), this small-scale study (N=18) aimed to investigate whether the time of diagnosis might modulate the access to these sources within a group of dyslexic adolescents, either diagnosed in primary or secondary school but paired on chronological age and duration of remedial training. Methods: Mixed methods were employed by using general as well as academic and social self-efficacy scales, complemented by semi-structured interviews investigating students’ understanding and acceptance of their dyslexia. Results: The findings showed that early-diagnosed students hold higher general and academic scores. Further analyses regarding students’ personal statements revealed a statistically significant association between time of diagnosis and understanding as well as tolerance of dyslexia, indicating that early-diagnosed adolescents, compared to their late-diagnosed peers, have a more cohesive understanding and more adequate representations of their reading disorder as specific and non-stigmatizing, all the while being more tolerant and open about announcing their dyslexia to others. Conclusions: An early diagnosis of dyslexia is thus associated with a better understanding and acceptance of the disorder, possibly serving as a protective factor which can consequently contribute to higher general and academic self-efficacy scores. Hence, these findings not only extend the literature on self-efficacy beliefs in dyslexia by investigating the time of diagnosis, but also have important practical implications, highlighting the significance of an early diagnosis beyond the benefits of early rehabilitation as well as the potentially negative psychological consequences of a late diagnosis. [less ▲]

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See detailAmbiLoc: A year-long dataset of FM, TV and GSM fingerprints for ambient indoor localization
Popleteev, Andrei UL

in 8th International Conference on Indoor Positioning and Indoor Navigation (IPIN-2017) (2017, September)

Ambient indoor localization - an approach that leverages ambient radio signals - has been previously shown to provide promising positioning performance using the globally available infrastructure of FM ... [more ▼]

Ambient indoor localization - an approach that leverages ambient radio signals - has been previously shown to provide promising positioning performance using the globally available infrastructure of FM, TV and cellular stations. However, the need for specialized equipment and laborious data collection constitute a high entry barrier for follow-up studies. This paper presents AmbiLoc - a dataset of radio signals for ambient indoor localization research. The dataset has been systematically collected in multiple testbeds, including large-scale and multi-floor buildings, over the course of one year. Due to the use of a software-defined radio receiver, raw signal samples in AmbiLoc allow extraction of arbitrary fingerprinting features. The first edition of AmbiLoc, introduced in this paper, includes received signals strength (RSS) fingerprints of FM, TV and GSM signals, along with the relevant metadata (such as weather conditions). The dataset is available online at AmbiLoc.org. As the first public dataset of ambient localization signals, AmbiLoc provides an easy entry and a common reference for researchers exploring novel indoor localization methods. [less ▲]

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See detailInternationalisierung des Luxemburger Wohnungsmarkts: Chance oder Hürde für Alternativen?
Becker, Tom UL; Christmann, Nathalie UL

Presentation (2017, September)

Die internationale Ausrichtung von Städten wirkt sich vielfach als Problem für Wohnungsmärkte aus. Die steigende Nachfrage führt zu Angebotsverknappungen und direkten wie indirekten Folgeeffekten im Markt ... [more ▼]

Die internationale Ausrichtung von Städten wirkt sich vielfach als Problem für Wohnungsmärkte aus. Die steigende Nachfrage führt zu Angebotsverknappungen und direkten wie indirekten Folgeeffekten im Markt insgesamt. Auf diese Weise entwickelt sich das Wohnungswesen zunehmend kritisch. Der Beitrag diskutiert dieses Problem am empirischen Beispiel Luxemburgs, einem stark internationalisierten Kleinstaat und bedeutenden Finanz- und EU-Standort. In Luxemburg gilt der Erwerb von Wohneigentum zwecks Wertsteigerung nach wie vor als Credo einer stark liberalistisch geprägten, konservativen Wohnungsbaupolitik. Zugleich stellt dies für viele Luxemburger als auch für die stetig wachsende Anzahl der im Großherzogtum ansässigen Ausländer die Grundlage für lukrative Vermögensanlagen dar. Seit der globalen Finanz- und Wirtschaftskrise steht die Anwerbung ausländischer Investoren zunehmend auf der wirtschaftspolitischen Agenda. Die ökonomische Stabilität des Landes und die relative Sicherheit von Immobilieninvestitionen fördern diese Entwicklung. Öffentlicher Wohnungsbau ist nach wie vor eine Randerscheinung. Die einzige Antwort, die in dieser Situation zu einem Konsens führt, sind Baulückenprogramme, verdichtetes Wohnen und urbane Großprojekte. Diese profitorientierte Wirtschaftsentwicklung ist im europäischen Kontext nicht einzigartig. Sie führte jedoch in diesem spezifischen Fall in der Vergangenheit zu beispiellosen Folgen: Bezogen auf die geringe Größe des Landes und im Licht eines starken, primär migrationsbedingten Bevölkerungsanstiegs, wachsender Einkommensunterschiede und einem immer stärker werdenden Nachfrageüberhang, wird bezahlbarer Wohnraum zunehmend knapp. Dieser Trend zeichnet sich nicht nur im Ballungsgebiet der Hauptstadt ab, sondern indes auch in ländlich geprägten, peripheren Gebieten des Kleinstaats. Bisher vorherrschende Machtverhältnisse, Ideologien und Kulturen geraten immer mehr unter Druck. Spannungen zwischen Mehrheiten und Minderheiten, Eigentümern und Mietern werden immer deutlicher, aber deren Aushandlung spielt sich oftmals in einem Vakuum ab. Die Verschuldung der Haushalte steigt weiter an. Nach der globalen Finanzkrise haben sich jedoch einige bottom-up Wohnungsbauinitiativen gegründet. Sie tragen dazu bei, den Diskurs über die Wohnungsfrage öffentlich auszutragen und bieten somit die Chance für die Etablierung von alternativen Wohnmodellen. Die Aushandlungsprozesse um diese neuen Bewältigungsstrategien finden jedoch statt in einem Setting, in dem die Devise „der Markt wird es schon richten“ seit Jahren die Politik (beg)leitet. Ihre Implementation ist langwierig. Die Kombination von sozioökonomischen Rahmenbedingungen, starken Interessengruppen sowie informellen Arrangements hat zu institutionellen Lock-Ins geführt, die eine Hürde für die Etablierung von Alternativen darstellen. [less ▲]

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See detailEmbedding of the Personalized Sentiment Engine PERSEUS in an Artificial Companion
Guo, Siwen UL; Schommer, Christoph UL

in International Conference on Companion Technology, Ulm 11-13 September 2017 (2017, September)

The term Artificial Companion has originally been introduced by Y. Wilks [1] as “...an intelligent and helpful cognitive agent, which appears to know its owner and their habits, chats to them and diverts ... [more ▼]

The term Artificial Companion has originally been introduced by Y. Wilks [1] as “...an intelligent and helpful cognitive agent, which appears to know its owner and their habits, chats to them and diverts them, assists them with simple tasks. . . ”. To serve the users’ interests by considering a personal knowledge is, furthermore, demanded. The following position paper takes this request as motivation for the embedding of the PERSEUS system, which is a personalized sentiment framework based on a Deep Learning approach. We discuss how such an embedding with a group of users should be realized and why the utilization of PERSEUS is beneficial. [less ▲]

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