Ghent University
  • Gent, Belgium
Recent publications
The in vitro production of equine embryos via ovum pickup (OPU) and intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) has increased rapidly. There is a marked effect of the individual mare on the outcome of OPU-ICSI, but little is known about the influence of the mare's health condition. This study aimed to investigate the potential associations between the concentrations of interleukin-6 (IL-6), reactive oxygen metabolites (d-ROMs), and biological antioxidant potential (BAP) in serum of oocytes' donor mares and the subsequent embryonic development. Just before OPU, a blood sample was collected from 28 Warmblood donor mares, that were subjected to a routine OPU-ICSI program. The serum concentrations of IL-6, d-ROMs, and BAP were assayed photometrically. The maturation, cleavage and blastocyst rate as well as the kinetics of blastocyst development were recorded. The average blastocyst rate was 24.68 ± 5.16% and the average concentrations of IL-6, d-ROMs, and BAP were 519.59 ± 157.08 pg/mL, 171.30 ± 4.55 carratelli units (UCARR), and 2711.30 ± 4.55 μmol/L, respectively. Serum concentrations of IL-6, d-ROMs, and BAP were not significantly different between mares yielding at least one blastocyst (552.68 ± 235.18 pg/mL, 168.36 ± 5.56 UCARR, and 2524.80 ± 159.55 μmol/L) and mares yielding no blastocysts (468.47 ± 179.99 pg/mL, 175.85 ± 7.89 UCARR, and 2999.50 ± 300.13 μmol/L, respectively). Serum concentrations of d-ROMs were significantly lower in mares with fast growing (at day 7-8 post ICSI; 148.10 ± 8.13 UCARR) compared to those with slow growing blastocysts (≥ day 9 post ICSI; 179.41 ± 4.89 UCARR; P = 0.003). Taken together, the serum concentration of IL-6, d-ROMs, and BAP do not determine the mare's ability to produce blastocysts in vitro. Although it may be questioned whether a single sample is representative of the mare's health status, changes in serum metabolites related to oxidative stress at the time of oocyte retrieval were linked to a delayed blastocyst development in a clinical OPU-ICSI outcome.
The present study examines the measurement property of instructional quality in mathematics education, building on data from teachers and students, by combing TALIS 2013 and PISA 2012 linkage data from seven countries. Confirmatory factor analysis was applied to examine the dimensionality of the construct instructional quality in mathematics instruction. Three dimensions were identified (i.e., classroom disciplinary climate, teacher support, and cognitive activation) when building on teacher data from TALIS. This three-dimensional model did not fit all countries. When analyzing PISA data, the same three dimensions could be identified, but two additional dimensions appeared: classroom management and student-orientated instruction. This five-dimensional factor structure reflected metric invariance across all countries. The findings imply that students and teachers seem to hold different perceptions about mathematics instructional quality reflect different dimensions. These differences seem to vary within and between countries. This implies that care should be taken when using the construct as an equivalent measure of instructional quality when studying school effectiveness in mathematics education across countries.
Recent years have seen a widespread integration of technology into the daily lives of families. Psychological science has recently started to focus on the use of smartphones by parents while they are engaged in parenting activities, a behavior known under the terms “phubbing,” “technoference,” “parental screen distraction,” and various other terms. We argue that understanding the real impact of co-present smartphone use by parents is inhibited by problems related to the conceptualization and methodology employed in empirical studies. In the present commentary, we identify the features of current research that may contribute to the theory crisis and hamper the progress of psychological research. Specifically, we discuss the implications of (a) inconsistent conceptualization of the phenomenon and (b) suboptimal operationalizations that may prevent us from understanding what is being studied and call for greater consideration of definitional clarity and valid operationalization in future research.
  • Giselly B Alves
    Giselly B Alves
  • Timóteo S O Lemes
    Timóteo S O Lemes
  • Eliseu J G Pereira
    Eliseu J G Pereira
  • [...]
  • Raimundo W S Aguiar
    Raimundo W S Aguiar
Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) is known for its Cry and Vip3A pesticidal proteins with high selectivity to target pests. Here, we assessed the potential of a novel neotropical Bt strain (UFT038) against six lepidopteran pests, including two Cry-resistant populations of fall armyworm, Spodoptera frugiperda. We also sequenced and analyzed the genome of Bt UFT038 to identify genes involved in insecticidal activities or encoding other virulence factors. In toxicological bioassays, Bt UFT038 killed and inhibited the neonate growth in a concentration-dependent manner. Bt UFT038 and HD-1 were equally toxic against S. cosmioides, S. frugiperda (S_Bt and R_Cry1 + 2Ab populations), Helicoverpa zea, and H. armigera. However, larval growth inhibition results indicated that Bt UFT038 was more toxic than HD-1 to S. cosmioides, while HD-1 was more active against Chrysodeixis includens. The draft genome of Bt UFT038 showed the cry1Aa8, cry1Ac11, cry1Ia44, cry2Aa9, cry2Ab35, and vip3Af5 genes. Besides this, genes encoding the virulence factors (inhA, plcA, piplC, sph, and chi1-2) and toxins (alo, cytK, hlyIII, hblA-D, and nheA-C) were also identified. Collectively, our findings reveal the potential of the Bt UFT038 strain as a source of insecticidal genes against lepidopteran pests, including S. cosmioides and S. frugiperda.
  • Rosa Lilia Segundo Díaz
    Rosa Lilia Segundo Díaz
  • Gustavo Rovelo
    Gustavo Rovelo
  • Miriam Bouzouita
    Miriam Bouzouita
  • [...]
  • Karin Coninx
    Karin Coninx
The present research investigates the effects of Personality Traits (PTs) and Game Design Elements (GDEs) on Player Enjoyment (PE) in the context of serious games. Three Games With A Purpose (GWAPs) were created to revise and correct automatically tagged Parts-of-Speech (PoS) of the Corpus Oral y Sonoro del Español Rural (COSER, [5], ‘Audible Corpus of Spoken Rural Spanish’), the most extensive collection of spoken dialectal Spanish data. The ultimate goal of the project is to build a morpho-syntactically annotated and parsed corpus of the European Spanish dialects through a crowd-sourced gaming environment, whereby players assign a PoS, i.e., a grammatical category (e.g., verb, noun, adjective, pronoun), to a word in an input text thereby confirming or correcting the automatically tagged PoS. This task has been implemented in three GWAPs: Agentes, Tesoros, and Anotatlón. Each game concept includes a set of GDEs (e.g., rewards, challenges, leaderboards, among others) to investigate their influence on PE. This study, which includes 54 participants, shows associations between PTs and GDEs, and some GDEs yielded a positive correlation with PE. These findings hold the potential to inspire future research and guide the design of future serious games.
  • Rosie Broadhead
    Rosie Broadhead
The bodies interaction with clothing and how this influences the skin microbiome have gained a lot of interest within the sciences in the last few years. There has been a fundamental shift in our understanding of the innate chemistry of the body and the role the microbiome plays in shaping it. Textiles are an integral part of our lives, and these insights into bacterial cell communities on our skin have led us to question the clothes we live in and who is living on us, and how this plays a role in our overall health. This chapter will explore the current research and future developments in the field of skin and textiles microbiomes. Firstly, it will discuss textiles and skin in relation to out health and the notions of self, including the nature of modern production methods in clothing which can disrupt skin health and the benefits of more natural and microbiome-friendly therapies. These include probiotic-encapsulated textiles, antioxidants and bioactive ingredients and will also touch on more speculative futures of the textile and skin interaction. This multispecies ‘inter and intra action’ between humans and non-humans is what Donna Haraway describes as an ‘extended synthesis’ where transdisciplinary science and arts practices become entwined to form ecologies, technologies and performances. By exploring the current and future possibilities of these therapeutic materials, it becomes possible to view clothing and the body as one entity.
This paper explores the formal correspondences between the members of verb pairs participating in the noncausal/causal alternation in Kagulu, a Bantu language from Tanzania. Our investigation shows that Kagulu has a predominance of equipollent verb pairs, with the anticausative and causative correspondences following close behind. We argue that, diachronically, the causative correspondence was much more prominent than it is in present-day Kagulu. However, due to morphophonological changes triggered by the historical causative suffix *-i, a significant number of verb pairs that are diachronically causative can be synchronically reanalyzed as equipollent. This study highlights the complexity of diachronic morphology in synchronic analyses of comparative-typological phenomena such as the noncausal/causal alternation, and contributes to the growing body of research on noncausal/causal verb pairs in African languages.
This study investigates the effect of protein structure and food microstructure on in vitro protein gastrointestinal digestibility of different soy-based products, i.e. soy drink, reconstituted soy drink powder, firm tofu...
Poales are one of the most species-rich, ecologically and economically important orders of plants and often characterise open habitats, enabled by unique suites of traits. We test six hypotheses regarding the evolution and assembly of Poales in open and closed habitats throughout the world and examine whether diversification patterns demonstrate parallel evolution. We sampled 42% of Poales species and obtained taxonomic and biogeographic data from the World Checklist of Vascular Plants database, which was combined with open/closed habitat data scored by taxonomic experts. A dated supertree of Poales was constructed. We integrated spatial phylogenetics with regionalisation analyses, historical biogeography and ancestral state estimations. Diversification in Poales and assembly of open and closed habitats result from dynamic evolutionary processes that vary across lineages, time and space, most prominently in tropical and southern latitudes. Our results reveal parallel and recurrent patterns of habitat and trait transitions in the species-rich families Poaceae and Cyperaceae. Smaller families display unique and often divergent evolutionary trajectories. The Poales have achieved global dominance via parallel evolution in open habitats, with notable, spatially and phylogenetically restricted divergences into strictly closed habitats.
Effective monitoring of non-indigenous seaweeds and combatting their effects relies on a solid confirmation of the non-indigenous status of the respective species. We critically analysed the status of presumed non-indigenous seaweed species reported from the Mediterranean Sea, the Northeast Atlantic Ocean and Macaronesia, resulting in a list of 140 species whose non-indigenous nature is undisputed. For an additional 87 species it is unclear if they are native or non-indigenous (cryptogenic species) or their identity requires confirmation (data deficient species). We discuss the factors underlying both taxonomic and biogeographic uncertainties and outline recommendations to reduce uncertainty about the non-indigenous status of seaweeds. Our dataset consisted of over 19,000 distribution records, half of which can be attributed to only five species (Sargassum muticum, Bonnemaisonia hamifera, Asparagopsis armata, Caulerpa cylindracea and Colpomenia peregrina), while 56 species (40%) are recorded no more than once or twice. In addition, our analyses revealed considerable variation in the diversity of non-indigenous species between the geographic regions. The Eastern Mediterranean Sea is home to the largest fraction of non-indigenous seaweed species, the majority of which have a Red Sea or Indo-Pacific origin and have entered the Mediterranean Sea mostly via the Suez Canal. Non-indigenous seaweeds with native ranges situated in the Northwest Pacific make up a large fraction of the total in the Western Mediterranean Sea, Lusitania and Northern Europe, followed by non-indigenous species with a presumed Australasian origin. Uncertainty remains, however, regarding the native range of a substantial fraction of non-indigenous seaweeds in the study area. In so far as analyses of first detections can serve as a proxy for the introduction rate of non-indigenous seaweeds, these do not reveal a decrease in the introduction rate, indicating that the current measures and policies are insufficient to battle the introduction and spread of non-indigenous species in the study area.
  • Sara Lembrechts
    Sara Lembrechts
When unaccompanied minors or families with minor children obtain a negative decision on their asylum application in Belgium, they can appeal at the Council for Alien Law Litigation (CALL). Each year, several hundreds of children and young people visit the CALL premises in Brussels for an oral hearing with the judge. Some children merely accompany their parents without taking up an active role in the procedure, others are also heard by the judge. This chapter aims to inspire legal institutions worldwide to install a system of child-friendly justice in appellate asylum cases involving minors. To that end, empirical data from a legal ethnography at the CALL are critically analysed through the lens of children’s human rights. The reader is taken on a virtual guided tour of the CALL premises, with a focus on the spatial aspects of courtrooms and waiting areas. During the tour, the reader meets seven young people between 11 and 15 years old who have recently navigated an appeal procedure at the CALL and share their experiences. Based on these observations, the chapter concludes with a set of recommendations that could help reconcile the spatial and communicative experiences of migrant children with their human rights in legal procedures.
The understanding of lanthanide-related electron transfer processes is crucial for designing efficient and functional luminescent phosphors. However, the current knowledge on those processes between Eu ions with different oxidation states is rather scarce, which limits the progress of developing new efficient phosphors with good stability. In this work, we report on Eu²⁺-doped Li4SrCa(SiO4)2 and its solid solutions, in which optically-induced reversible electron transfer between Eu²⁺ and Eu³⁺ is demonstrated under illumination at different wavelengths. It is confirmed that the reversible electron transfer between Eu²⁺ and Eu³⁺ in inequivalent sites can be initiated by exciting the corresponding Eu²⁺. Additionally, it is shown that the strong increase in orange emission intensity of EuCa²⁺ with temperature can be attributed to the thermally-assisted energy transfer from EuSr²⁺ to EuCa²⁺ and an increase of EuCa²⁺ centers due to photoinduced electron transfer. This phosphor was previously reported as a potential candidate for luminescence thermometry but, as shown here, the temperature-dependent, reversible electron transfer processes in combination with temperature-dependent energy transfer between Eu²⁺ ions on two different crystallographic sites would strongly compromise any attempt of measuring temperatures with this phosphor. The results of this work advance our understanding of electron transfer between Eu²⁺ and Eu³⁺ in general, which is very relevant for other europium doped phosphors.
  • Anneleen De Schepper
    Anneleen De Schepper
  • Jeroen Schillewaert
    Jeroen Schillewaert
  • Hendrik Van Maldeghem
    Hendrik Van Maldeghem
  • Magali Victoor
    Magali Victoor
We characterise the varieties appearing in the third row of the Freudenthal–Tits magic square over an arbitrary field, in both the split and non-split version, as originally presented by Jacques Tits in his Habilitation thesis. In particular, we characterise the variety related to the 56-dimensional module of a Chevalley group of exceptional type \(\mathsf {E_7}\) over an arbitrary field. We use an elementary axiom system which is the natural continuation of the one characterising the varieties of the second row of the magic square. We provide an explicit common construction of all characterised varieties as the quadratic Zariski closure of the image of a newly defined affine dual polar Veronese map. We also provide a construction of each of these varieties as the common null set of quadratic forms.
  • Wasihun Diriba Keno
    Wasihun Diriba Keno
  • Kannaki Shanmugam Pondicherry
    Kannaki Shanmugam Pondicherry
  • Dieter Fauconnier
    Dieter Fauconnier
  • [...]
  • Patrick De Baets
    Patrick De Baets
Due to the current devastating environmental concerns caused by petroleum-derived lubricants in internal combustion (IC) engines (because of their toxicity, non-biodegradability and not environmental adaptability), and the increase in oil prices, as well as the degradation of the global crude oil reserves, researchers all over the world are working to develop innovative ideas for sustainable development in biomass-derived biodegradable lubricant oil which the perform equivalent or more than the commercial petroleum-based oils in engine lubrication. This review paper’s major purpose is to provide those researchers and particularly engineers interested in IC engine biolubricant oil derived from renewable biomass with appropriate information and perspective.
  • Caroline De Tender
    Caroline De Tender
  • Michiel Vandecasteele
    Michiel Vandecasteele
  • Sarah Ommeslag
    Sarah Ommeslag
  • [...]
  • Jane Debode
    Jane Debode
Chitin has proven to be a valuable alternative for mineral fertilizers in growing media. We recently hypothesized that chitin might work as a biostimulant, attracting plant growth promoting microbes to the rhizosphere. Especially Mortierellales increase massively in abundance by chitin application and might have a profound role in chitin-mediated plant growth promotion. We isolated four strains of this order, classified as Linnemannia elongata, from chitin-enriched growing medium and the lettuce rhizosphere. The isolates induced a consistent increase in shoot and root fresh weight and increased chlorophyll content of Arabidopsis thaliana in vitro as measured by multispectral imaging. By studying the isolate’s genomes, we postulate that this growth promotion is induced through auxin production and/or translocation of Ca to the plant. The synergy between chitin and L. elongata was demonstrated by (1) the chitinase activity and chitin degradation potential of all isolates and (2) the positive effect of chitin and L. elongata seed coating on germination of A. thaliana seeds as compared to L. elongata seed coating without chitin. We conclude that chitin-related growth promotion is depending on the activation of the microbial community, with L. elongata as a key species.
  • Thomas Oosthuyse
    Thomas Oosthuyse
  • David Dudal
    David Dudal
We determine the Casimir energies and forces in a variety of potentially experimentally viable setups, consisting of parallel plates made of perfect electromagnetic conductors (PEMCs), which generalize perfect electric conductors (PECs) and perfect magnetic conductors (PMCs), and Weyl semimetals (WSMs). Where comparison is possible, our results agree with the Casimir forces calculated elsewhere in the literature, albeit with different methods. We find a multitude of known but also new cases where repulsive Casimir forces are in principle possible, but restricting the setup to PECs combined with the aforementioned WSM geometry, results in purely attractive Casimir forces.
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34,045 members
Jens Staal
  • VIB Department of Molecular Biomedical Research (DMBR)
Frederik Gailly
  • Department of Management Information and Operations Management
Sint-Pietersnieuwstraat 25, 9000, Gent, Belgium
Head of institution
Prof Dr Rik Van de Walle
+32 9 264 31 11