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See detailAssociations between Physical Activity and Mental Health in Iranian Adolescents during the COVID-19 Pandemic: An Accelerometer-Based Study
Ghorbani, Saeed; Afshari, Mostafa; Eckelt, Melanie et al

in Children (2021), 8

Using self-reported questionnaires, several studies found that social isolation during the COVID-19 pandemic has significantly changed the level of physical activity (PA) in children and adolescents ... [more ▼]

Using self-reported questionnaires, several studies found that social isolation during the COVID-19 pandemic has significantly changed the level of physical activity (PA) in children and adolescents. Since the objectivity of self-reported PA is limited in several ways, we used modern accelerometers in this study to assess the PA levels of male and female adolescents during the pandemic-related lockdown. Moreover, the association of PA with mental health of the adolescents were analyzed. A total of 136 students (76 girls, mean age of 16.28 ± 0.97 years) from various schools in Iran wore the accelerometer (ActiGraph GT3X-BT) for seven consecutive days. Mental health was measured through the Depression, Anxiety, Stress Scale-21 of Lovibond and Lovibond (1995). Descriptive statistics and independent t-tests were used to analyze the PA levels of male and female students, and linear regressions were computed to examine whether PA predicts mental health status. On average, the daily time spent in moderate-to-vigorous PA (MVPA) was 18.47 min, which is clearly below the WHO guideline of at least 60 min of MVPA per day. Only 4% of adolescents showed MVPA for more than 30 min per day. Male students were significantly more active than their female peers (p = 0.015). As expected, MVPA was negatively associated with mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, and stress. However, the majority of adolescents reported symptoms of mild-to-moderate mental health disorders. These results emphasize the need for targeted strategies and offerings geared to young people’s needs and preferences to promote an adequate level of PA and good mental health during and after the ongoing pandemic. [less ▲]

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See detail21st century investment protection: Africa’s innovations in investment law reform
Garcia Olmedo, Javier UL

in IBA Arbitration Newsletter (2021)

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See detailSafeTraveller - A conversational assistant for BeNeLux travellers
kudryavtseva, kristina; Hoehn, Sviatlana UL

Scientific Conference (2021, November)

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See detailMigration Internationale au Luxembourg: Système d'observation permanente des migrations OCDE
Sommarribas, Adolfo UL; Nienaber, Birte UL

Report (2021)

Le Luxembourg reste un pays attractif à l’immigration. Entre 2019 et 2020 la population luxembourgeoise a continué à augmenter principalement en raison de l’immigration nette, passant de 626.108 à 634.730 ... [more ▼]

Le Luxembourg reste un pays attractif à l’immigration. Entre 2019 et 2020 la population luxembourgeoise a continué à augmenter principalement en raison de l’immigration nette, passant de 626.108 à 634.730 habitants (+1,4%), mais d’une manière plus discrète que les années précédentes. La part luxembourgeoise représente 52,8% de la population et les ressortissants étrangers 47,2%. La pandémie a dominé la politique en matière d’immigration et asile pendant l’année 2020 et 2021. Ces politiques ont impacté tous les secteurs au Luxembourg y compris les volets de l’immigration et de l’asile. La fermeture des frontières extérieures de l’Union Européenne, la réintroduction temporaire des contrôles aux frontières internes de l’espace Schengen (décrétées par l’Allemagne, la Belgique et la France) et la perturbation du trafic aérien international ont affecté les mouvements migratoires vers et au départ du Luxembourg. La limitation des mouvements des ressortissants pays tiers (RPT) s’est compliquée suite à la déclaration de l’état de crise entre le 18 mars et le 13 mai 2020 et la fermeture des services d’immigration et asile. Néanmoins, afin d’éviter qu’ils ne tombent dans une situation irrégulière, les autorités luxembourgeoises ont étendu la durée de validité des titres et cartes de séjour et des visas de manière automatique. De même, le traitement des dossiers et la prise de décision par la Direction de l’immigration se sont poursuivis sans interruption. L’interdiction d’entrée des RPT (avec des exceptions pour certaines catégories) a été maintenue jusqu’au 30 juin 2021. Une baisse significative du nombre de titres de séjour délivrés, de demandes d'autorisation temporaire de séjour et de visas de court séjour a été constatée, ainsi qu’une diminution de presque 50% des demandes de protection internationale. Le regroupement familial est resté le principal type de titre de séjour en 2020. Les limitations de mouvements ont aussi une incidence sur les transferts sous le règlement Dublin ainsi que sur les retours vers le pays d’origine. Au cours de l’année 2020, le Luxembourg a continué à maintenir ses engagements de solidarité internationale avec la relocalisation et la réinstallation des demandeurs de protection internationale (DPI) puisque 25 personnes (dont 16 mineurs) ont été relocalisées et 14 réinstallées. La réception des DPI s’est poursuivie car l’Office national de l’accueil (ONA) n’a pas fermé ses guichets. Un défi majeur est constitué par les taux d’occupation élevés dans les structures d’hébergement de l’ONA. La crise du logement affecte particulièrement les bénéficiaires de protection internationale (BPI) qui peinent à trouver un logement en-dehors des structures d’accueil réservées en principe aux DPI. Dans ce contexte l’ONA a poursuivi ses efforts à inciter les communes à promouvoir la mise en place de structures d’hébergement pour DPI et/ou de possibilités d’hébergement pour BPI. [less ▲]

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See detailQuantizations and moduli stacks of curves
Kalugin, Alexey UL

Doctoral thesis (2021)

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See detailImpulsvortrag: Evaluierung und Standardisierung des "Sproochentests"
Krämer, Charlotte UL; Sonnleitner, Philipp UL

Presentation (2021, October 27)

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See detailGenome Sequencing of SARS-CoV-2 Allows Monitoring of Variants of Concern through Wastewater
Herold, Malte; Fouquier d'herouël, Aymeric UL; May, Patrick UL et al

in Water (2021), 13(21 3018),

Monitoring SARS-CoV-2 in wastewater has shown to be an effective tool for epidemiological surveillance. More specifically, RNA levels determined with RT-qPCR have been shown to track with the infection ... [more ▼]

Monitoring SARS-CoV-2 in wastewater has shown to be an effective tool for epidemiological surveillance. More specifically, RNA levels determined with RT-qPCR have been shown to track with the infection dynamics within the population. However, the surveillance of individual lineages circulating in the population based on genomic sequencing of wastewater samples is challenging, as the genetic material constitutes a mixture of different viral haplotypes. Here, we identify specific signature mutations from individual SARS-CoV-2 lineages in wastewater samples to estimate lineages circulating in Luxembourg. We compare circulating lineages and mutations to those detected in clinical samples amongst infected individuals. We show that especially for dominant lineages, the allele frequencies of signature mutations correspond to the occurrence of particular lineages in the population. In addition, we provide evidence that regional clusters can also be discerned. We focused on the time period between November 2020 and March 2021 in which several variants of concern emerged and specifically traced the lineage B.1.1.7, which became dominant in Luxembourg during that time. During the subsequent time points, we were able to reconstruct short haplotypes, highlighting the co-occurrence of several signature mutations. Our results highlight the potential of genomic surveillance in wastewater samples based on amplicon short-read data. By extension, our work provides the basis for the early detection of novel SARS-CoV-2 variants. [less ▲]

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See detailThe Socioeconomic gradient in child health and noncognitive skills: Evidence from the Czech Republic
Borga, Liyousew UL; Munich, Daniel; Kukla, Lubomir

in Economics and Human Biology (2021)

We investigate the presence of a socioeconomic status (SES) gradient in children's health and noncognitive skill development, and its evolution with child age using cohort data from the Czech Republic. We ... [more ▼]

We investigate the presence of a socioeconomic status (SES) gradient in children's health and noncognitive skill development, and its evolution with child age using cohort data from the Czech Republic. We show that family SES are positively associated with better child health. These effects start to emerge at age 3 and are persistent for all subsequent ages. We find a modest strengthening of the gradient as the children grow older. Similarly, at the lowest distribution of average family income, children lag in their noncognitive skills. We find evidence that children enter school with substantial differences in noncognitive skill endowments based on family SES. This correlation persists when controlling for poor health at birth, the roles of specific and chronic health problems, housing conditions, and partner characteristics. Maternal health status explains some of the association between family income and child noncognitive skills. We account for the endogeniety of SES and non-linearities in measures. [less ▲]

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See detailPROCESS INNOVATION FOR SENSORS IN MOBILE APPLICATIONS BASED ON LASER ASSISTED METAL-POLYMER JOINING
Amne Elahi, Mahdi UL

Doctoral thesis (2021)

The laser joining of metals to polymers is currently an interesting research area thanks to the capability of developing lightweight structures. Considering their miscellaneous applications in the ... [more ▼]

The laser joining of metals to polymers is currently an interesting research area thanks to the capability of developing lightweight structures. Considering their miscellaneous applications in the automotive industry, aluminum and polyamide are chosen as the material combination for this study. There are three main challenges regarding laser joining of metals to polymers in general: significant difference between the melting points of the materials, adhesion at the interface, and the mechanical properties of the assembly. The first challenge is addressed by in-situ heating observation and temperature measurement during the joining process. Therefore, polyamide thermal pyrolysis is effectively avoided by optimizing the laser joining parameters and employing power modulation. The second one is studied by applying different surface treatments on the materials (laser-based and abrasive-based). The surfaces were tested by several characterization techniques before and after each surface treatment. The modification of the surface structure through an appropriate surface treatment leads to the improvement of wetting and adhesion between the melted polyamide and aluminum surface. Therefore, the alteration of a mixed failure (adhesive/cohesive) to a fully cohesive failure is the major step to enhance the mechanical properties of the assemblies. However, in the absence of bubbles, the structural modification of polyamide during the joining process is responsible for the failure. Energy-dispersive X-ray1 mapping and Time-of-Flight Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry2 shows the physicochemical bonding between aluminum oxide and the polyamide at the interface. To further enhance the mechanical properties of the assemblies, the structure of the polyamide near the interface of metal/polymer is addressed. For this purpose, laser treatment of polyamide, post-heat treatment, and joining with different feed rates were implemented. Finally, the shear strength of approximately 45 MPa on average is achieved for the assembly of laser-polished aluminum laser-joined to the polyamide with 2 and 5 mm/s feed rate. [less ▲]

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See detailPräsentation der Fallstudie: Handlungswissen für eine Verbesserung des Gewässerzustands im Syrtal
Hondrila, Kristina UL

Speeches/Talks (2021)

Den Zustand der Gewässer in Luxemburg zu verbessern ist eine große Herausforderung. Die Präsentation fasst Lerneffekte zusammen, die aus Governance-Prozessen im Flussgebiet der Syr im Zeitraum 2012-2019 ... [more ▼]

Den Zustand der Gewässer in Luxemburg zu verbessern ist eine große Herausforderung. Die Präsentation fasst Lerneffekte zusammen, die aus Governance-Prozessen im Flussgebiet der Syr im Zeitraum 2012-2019 hervorgegangen sind. Sie zeigt, welche Faktoren dazu beitragen können, dass Akteure in Wasserwirtschaft, Umweltschutz und Landwirtschaft zusammenarbeiten und gemeinsames Handlungswissen schaffen, um den Zustand von Flüssen und Bächen trotz zahlreicher Hürden zu verbessern. [less ▲]

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See detailRoadmap on organic–inorganic hybrid perovskite semiconductors and devices
Schmidt-Mende, Lukas; Dyakonov, Vladimir; Olthof, Selina et al

in APL Materials (2021)

Metal halide perovskites are the first solution processed semiconductors that can compete in their functionality with conventional semiconductors, such as silicon. Over the past several years, perovskite ... [more ▼]

Metal halide perovskites are the first solution processed semiconductors that can compete in their functionality with conventional semiconductors, such as silicon. Over the past several years, perovskite semiconductors have reported breakthroughs in various optoelectronic devices, such as solar cells, photodetectors, light emitting and memory devices, and so on. Until now, perovskite semiconductors face challenges regarding their stability, reproducibility, and toxicity. In this Roadmap, we combine the expertise of chemistry, physics, and device engineering from leading experts in the perovskite research community to focus on the fundamental material properties, the fabrication methods, characterization and photophysical properties, perovskite devices, and current challenges in this field. We develop a comprehensive overview of the current state-of-the-art and offer readers an informed perspective of where this field is heading and what challenges we have to overcome to get to successful commercialization. [less ▲]

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See detailLe point du contact national luxembourgeois du Réseau européen des migrations
Sommarribas, Adolfo UL; Petry, Ralph UL

Presentation (2021, October 26)

The presentation describes the structure, aims and objectives of the European Migration Network and the structure, aim and activities of EMN Luxembourg.

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See detailJudicial review of EU soft law: a revolutionary step which has not fully happened (Case note on BT v. Balgarska Narodna Banka, C-501/18)
Hubkova, Pavlina UL

in Revista General de Derecho Europeo (2021), (55),

In the judgment in case BT v Balgarska Narodna Banka, the Court of Justice of the EU declared, for the first time, invalid a part of a legally non-binding EU act – a recommendation adopted by the European ... [more ▼]

In the judgment in case BT v Balgarska Narodna Banka, the Court of Justice of the EU declared, for the first time, invalid a part of a legally non-binding EU act – a recommendation adopted by the European Banking Authority and addressed to the Bulgarian National Bank. It also confirmed that the referring court deciding upon damages has a duty to take such a recommendation into consideration. Moreover, the individuals in the national proceedings should have a right to rely upon the content of the recommendation even if they are not addressees of such an act. However, when assessed in more detail, the case points out to several interesting aspects related to EU soft law that have not been properly discussed yet. [less ▲]

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See detailGenetic evaluation of dementia with Lewy bodies implicates distinct disease subgroups
Kaivola, Karri; Shah, Zalak; Chia, Ruth et al

in Brain: a Journal of Neurology (2021), awab402

The APOE locus is strongly associated with risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease and dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB). In particular, the role of the APOE ε4 allele as a putative driver of α-synuclein ... [more ▼]

The APOE locus is strongly associated with risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease and dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB). In particular, the role of the APOE ε4 allele as a putative driver of α-synuclein pathology is a topic of intense debate. Here, we performed a comprehensive evaluation in 2,466 DLB cases versus 2,928 neurologically healthy, aged controls. Using an APOE-stratified genome-wide association study approach, we found that GBA is associated with risk for DLB in patients without APOE ε4 (p = 6.58 x 10−9, OR = 3.41, 95% CI = 2.25–5.17), but not with DLB with APOE ε4 (p = 0.034, OR = 1.87, 95%, 95% CI = 1.05–3.37). We then divided 495 neuropathologically examined DLB cases into three groups based on the extent of concomitant Alzheimer’s disease co-pathology: pure DLB (n = 88), DLB with intermediate Alzheimer’s disease co-pathology (DLB + iAD, n = 66), and DLB with high Alzheimer’s disease co-pathology (DLB + AD, n = 341). In each group, we tested the association of the APOE ε4 against the 2,928 neurologically healthy controls. Our examination found that APOE ε4 was associated with DLB + AD (p = 1.29x10−32, OR = 4.25, 95% CI = 3.35–5.39) and DLB + iAD (p = 0.0011, OR = 2.31, 95% CI = 1.40–3.83), but not with pure DLB (p = 0.31, OR = 0.75, 95% CI = 0.43–1.30). In conclusion, though deep clinical data were not available for these samples, our findings do not support the notion that APOE ε4 is an independent driver of α-synuclein pathology in pure DLB, but rather implicate GBA as the main risk gene for the pure DLB subgroup. [less ▲]

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See detailBead Width Prediction in Laser Wire Additive Manufacturing Process
Mbodj, Natago Guilé UL; Plapper, Peter UL

in Mbodj, Natago Guilé; Plapper, Peter (Eds.) Bead Width Prediction in Laser Wire Additive Manufacturing Process (2021, October 22)

In laser wire Additive manufacturing (LWAM), the final geometry is produced using layer-by-layer deposition principle of beads. To achieve good geometrical accuracy of the final product, proper ... [more ▼]

In laser wire Additive manufacturing (LWAM), the final geometry is produced using layer-by-layer deposition principle of beads. To achieve good geometrical accuracy of the final product, proper implementation of the bead geometry is essential. The process parameters have a direct influence on the bead geometry, thus to the printed part. In this paper, we propose a bead width prediction model to improve deposition accuracy. A regression algorithm is applied to the experimental results to predict the bead width dimension. Bead prediction equation relating the bead width growth for each layer is obtained for a given set of process parameters. The prediction equations show similar evolution trends and confirm the influence of deposition process parameters on the bead width. The proposed method demonstrates a prospective insight on a more proper selection of process or physical parameter intervening in laser wire additive manufacturing process. [less ▲]

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See detailEarthquakes and Mental Health
Bertinelli, Luisito UL; Mahé, Clotilde; Strobl, Eric

E-print/Working paper (2021)

Earthquakes may seriously deteriorate mental health by generating fear and stress as a result of economic and human losses. However, mental health has also been found to improve as a result of greater ... [more ▼]

Earthquakes may seriously deteriorate mental health by generating fear and stress as a result of economic and human losses. However, mental health has also been found to improve as a result of greater social cohesion in affected communities after the event. We examine the short-run effects of earthquakes on a wide set of mental health outcomes in Ecuador. To this end, we combine hospital admissions, death records, and survey data with precise measures of local seismic activity to exploit the plausibly random spatial and temporal nature of earthquake intensity. We find that damaging earthquakes decrease the propensity to be admitted, the number of days of hospitalisation for mental and behavioural disorders, and deaths due to suicide. Estimates from nationally-representative surveys provide suggestive evidence of increased life satisfaction, trust, and religious observance, and thus provide a possible explanation for the fall in admissions and suicides after an earthquake. [less ▲]

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See detailContesting war memories: Parties and voters in contemporary Southeast Europe
Glaurdic, Josip UL; Lesschaeve, Christophe UL; Mochtak, Michal UL

in Party Politics (2021)

Over the past four decades, there has been a proliferation of interest in the causes, consequences, and dynamics of contestation over collective memories across a variety of fields. Unfortunately ... [more ▼]

Over the past four decades, there has been a proliferation of interest in the causes, consequences, and dynamics of contestation over collective memories across a variety of fields. Unfortunately, collective memories—particularly those of traumatic experiences of violence such as wars and revolutions—have been largely absent from party politics research. Using data collected in an expert survey on the policy positions and ideological orientations of all relevant political parties, as well as an extensive survey of more than ten thousand voters in the six post-conflict countries of Southeast Europe, we demonstrate that collective memories of war are not only subjects of historiographical contestation but are also significant sources of ideological and policy differentiation among political parties, as well as one of the strongest determinants of voter choice. Our analysis shows that collective memories are politically contested and that party politics research would benefit from taking them seriously. [less ▲]

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See detailDevelopment of a large-scale screener for functional vision impairments in early childhood
Monteiro, Sara UL; Esch, Pascale UL; Hipp, Géraldine et al

Scientific Conference (2021, October 21)

Cerebral Visual Impairment (CVI) is a term used to designate a neurological disorder of the visual pathways impacting visual processes at any given level (Lueck et al., 2019). Due to the advances in ... [more ▼]

Cerebral Visual Impairment (CVI) is a term used to designate a neurological disorder of the visual pathways impacting visual processes at any given level (Lueck et al., 2019). Due to the advances in perinatal and medicinal care, CVI’s occurrence has increased significantly over the last years (Chokron & Dutton, 2016). The condition almost always entails aggregated functional vision impairments, i.e., limitations on the use of binocular vision during everyday tasks (Dutton, 2015). CVI can have effects on school achievements if undetected. Early detection is thus key to offer appropriate aids to avoid a negative impact on learning processes. The aim of this project is to develop a large-scale screener at the beginning of formal schooling, to identify functional vision impairments early on. For this reason, a set of items assessing different visual functions will be incorporated into the Luxembourgish school monitoring program. Based on a theoretical model of visual perceptual processing (Humphreys and Riddoch, 1987), we developed timed and non-timed items that can be administered in a large-scale classroom setting which target different stages of visual perceptual processing. Furthermore, we included visual functions connected with both dorsal and ventral streams, visual spatial processing, visual exploration and visual memory. We will present the design of the large-scale screener in relation to the theoretical model, as well as the rationale used to include or exclude various perceptual visual functions in the final test. Furthermore, we will explain the planned data collection and tool validation processes. [less ▲]

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See detailThe Past Web as Heritage: Practices, Challenges and Uses of Web Archives
Schafer, Valerie UL

Scientific Conference (2021, October 20)

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See detailThe Future of Living with AI
Schommer, Christoph UL

Speeches/Talks (2021)

This talk, which was part of a 2-hour panel and delivered as a 20-minute presentation without slides, came at the invitation of the Luxembourg Embassy in Brussels, Belgium. The speech is a statement and ... [more ▼]

This talk, which was part of a 2-hour panel and delivered as a 20-minute presentation without slides, came at the invitation of the Luxembourg Embassy in Brussels, Belgium. The speech is a statement and part of the International Symposium "The Future of Living", supported by EUNIC - EU National Institutes of Culture. The event was under the patronage of the Slovenian Presidency of the European Parliament. In the lecture, I briefly presented some selected ideas, observations, and examples on the symposium topic as well as my view of a future living together. [less ▲]

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