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Document Server@UHasselt (58.393 recursos)

Repository of the University of Hasselt containing publications in the fields of statistics, computer science, information strategies and material from the Institute for behavioural sciences.

Dept. Chemistry-Biology-Geology (SBG) - Environmental Biology

Mostrando recursos 1 - 20 de 429

  1. Phytoremediation of Trace Element-Contaminated Environments and the Potential of Endophytic Bacteria for Improving this Process

    Cherian, Sam; WEYENS, Nele; Lindberg, Sylvia; VANGRONSVELD, Jaco
    Trace elements (heavy metals and metalloids) are among the most widespread contaminants that pose serious threat to all living organisms. Plant and microbial-assisted remediation holds great promise for in situ remediation of trace-element contaminated environments. An extended knowledge of plant processes generally involved in the uptake, translocation, storage, and detoxification of contaminants, and plant-microbe interactions were essential in developing improved technologies for environmental cleanup. Presently, with the initiation of transgenic technologies, great strides have been made in trace element phytoremediation research. In this review, the authors provide an overview of the present knowledge of how plants cope with trace elements...

  2. A techno-economic evaluation of a biomass energy conversion park

    Van Dael, Miet; Van Passel, Steven; Pelkmans, Luc; Guisson, Ruben; Reumerman, Patrick; Marquez-Luzardo, Nathalie; Witters, Nele; Broeze, Jan
    Biomass as a renewable energy source has many advantages and is therefore recognized as one of the main renewable energy sources to be deployed in order to attain the target of 20% renewable energy use of final energy consumption by 2020 in Europe. In this paper the concept of a biomass Energy Conversion Park (ECP) is introduced. A biomass ECP can be defined as a synergetic,multi-dimensional biomass conversion site with a highly integrated set of conversion technologies in which a multitude of regionally available biomass (residue) sources are converted into energy and materials. A techno-economic assessment is performed on a...

  3. Occupational Exposure to Petroleum Products and Respiratory Health A Cross-Sectional Study From Algeria

    Sekkal, Samira; Haddam, Nahida; Scheers, Hans; Poels, Katrien L.; Bouhacina, Linda; NAWROT, Tim; Veulemans, Hendrik A.; Taleb, Abdesselam; Nemery, Benoit
    Objective: To investigate the possible impact of long-term occupational exposure to hydrocarbons on respiratory health. Methods: Respiratory health was assessed by questionnaires, spirometry, and exhaled nitric oxide in 250 male workers from a company handling and distributing refined petroleum products (exposed) and 250 electricians (controls). Exposure to hydrocarbons was assessed by personal air monitoring. Results: Aerial exposure to hydrocarbons was low. Respiratory and nasal symptoms were significantly more frequent among exposed subjects than among controls. Although forced vital capacity and forced expiratory volume in 1 second did not differ, ratio of forced expiratory volume in 1 second to forced vital...

  4. Long-term phytoremediation using fodder maize: an integrated approach leads to economic synergies

    Van Dael, Miet; Witters, Nele; Guisson, Ruben; Van Passel, Steven

  5. Importance of crown architecture for leaf area index of different Populus genotypes in a high-density plantation

    Broeckx, L. S.; Verlinden, M. S.; VANGRONSVELD, Jaco; Ceulemans, R.
    Crown architecture is an important determinant of biomass production and yield of any bio-energy plantation since it determines leaf area display and hence light interception. Four Populus genotypes - of different species and hybrids and with contrasting productivity and leaf area - were examined in terms of their branch characteristics in relation to crown architecture during the first and second growing seasons after plantation establishment. The trees were planted at high density (8000 ha???1) on two different former land use types, cropland and pasture. We documented significant differences in branch architecture among the genotypes and for the first year among...

  6. Adverse Health Effects of Child Labor: High Exposure to Chromium and Oxidative DNA Damage in Children Manufacturing Surgical Instruments

    Sughis, Muhammad; NAWROT, Tim; Haufroid, Vincent; Nemery, Benoit
    BACKGROUND: A considerable part of the worldwide production of surgical instruments takes place in Sialkot, Pakistan. Many children work in hazardous conditions in this industry. OBJECTIVE: We investigated exposure to metals and possible health effects among children working in surgical instruments manufacturing units compared with schoolchildren from the same city. METHODS: In a cross-sectional study we studied a convenience sample of 104 male children (10-14 years of age) working in surgical instruments manufacturing units and 75 male children of similar age from a school in Sialkot, Pakistan. A respiratory questionnaire was administered, spirometry was performed, and blood pressure was measured....

  7. Health impact of urban air pollution in Belgium

    Remy, Suzanne; Nawrot, Tim; Fierens, Frans; Petit, Paul; Vanderstraeten, Peter; Nemery, Benoit; Bouland, Catherine
    Health impact assessment (HIA) of air pollution was performed in three Belgian cities using APHEIS methodology, in the framework of the Belgian NEHAP. The urban agglomerations of Liege, Antwerp, and Brussels were chosen, totalling together two million inhabitants. HIA was calculated using either measured or interpolated populated weighted air data. We estimated the annual number of deaths in 2004 attributed to acute, subacute, and chronic exposure to PM10 above 20 mu g/m(3), the PM10 target value defined in the EU directive (1999/30/EC). For the three cities combined, 5.5% of the mortality is attributable to PM10 concentrations higher than the reference...

  8. The impact of traffic air pollution on bronchiolitis obliterans syndrome and mortality after lung transplantation

    Nawrot, Tim S.; Vos, Robin; Jacobs, Lotte; Verleden, Stijn E.; Wauters, Shana; Mertens, Veerle; Dooms, Christophe; Hoet, Peter H.; Van Raemdonck, Dirk E.; Faes, Christel; Dupont, Lieven J.; Nemery, Benoit; Verleden, Geert M.; Vanaudenaerde, Bart M.
    Background: Approximately half of all patients who underwent a lung transplantation suffer from bronchiolitis obliterans syndrome(BOS), the clinical correlate of chronic rejection, within 5 years after transplantation. This prevalence is much higher than for other solid organ transplantations, possibly due to the lung's direct contact with the environment. The authors assessed the association between proximity of the home to major roads and BOS and mortality in a cohort of patients after lung transplantation. Methods: The authors calculated hazard ratios for BOS and mortality in relation to proximity of the home to major roads, adjustng for relevant covariables, in 288 patients...

  9. Negative effects of ultrafine particle exposure during forced exercise on the expression of Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor in the hippocampus of rats

    Bos, I.; De Boever, P.; Int Panis, L.; Sarre, S.; Meeusen, R.
    Exercise improves cognitive function, and Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF) plays a key role in this process. We recently reported that particulate matter (PM) exposure negatively contributed to the exercise-induced increase in human serum BDNF concentration. Furthermore, PM exposure is associated with neuroinflammation and cognitive decline. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of exposure to ultrafine particles (UFP) during a single bout of forced exercise on the expression of inflammatory (IL1α, IL1β, TNF, IL6, NOS2, NOS3) and oxidative stress (NFE2L2)-related genes, as well as BDNF in the brain of rats. Four groups (n=6/group) of Wistar rats were...

  10. Changed gene expression in brains of mice exposed to traffic in a highway tunnel

    Bos, Inge; De Boever, Patrick; Buekers, Jurgen; Emmerechts, Jan; Vanoirbeek, Jeroen; Meeusen, Romain; Van Poppel, Martine; Nemery, Benoit; Van Poppel, M.; Nawrot, Tim; Int Panis, Luc
    Context: Air pollution has been suggested to have an impact on the brain. Objective: The objective was to assess the expression of inflammation-related genes in the brains of mice that had been exposed for 5 days to a well-characterized traffic-polluted environment,i.e. a highway tunnel. Materials and methods: Twenty C57BL6 mice were randomly allocated to four groups of five animals. Two groups were placed in the tunnel for 5 days(mean PM 2.5, 55.1 μg/m3, mean elemental carbon, EC 13.9 μg/m3) in cages with or without filter, two control groups were housed outside the tunnel. Animals were assessed within 24 hours after...

  11. Acute changes in pulse pressure in relation to constituents of particulate air pollution in elderly persons

    Jacobs, Lotte; Buczynska, Anna; Walgraeve, Christophe; Delcloo, Andy; Potgieter-Vermaak, Sanja; Van Grieken, Rene; Demeestere, Kristof; Dewulf, Jo; Van Langenhove, Herman; De Backer, Hugo; Nemery, Benoit; Nawrot, Tim S.
    An increased pulse pressure (difference between systolic and diastolic blood pressure) suggests aortic stiffening. The objective of this study was to examine the acute effects of both particulate matter (PM) mass and composition on blood pressure, among elderly persons. We carried out a panel study in persons living in elderly homes in Antwerp, Belgium. We recruited 88 non-smoking persons, 70% women with a mean age of 83 years (standard deviation: 5.2). Blood pressure was measured and a blood sample was collected on two time points, which were chosen so that there was an exposure contrast in ambient PM exposure. The...

  12. Cell type-associated differences in migration, survival and immunogenicity following grafting in CNS tissue

    Praet, J.; Reekmans, K.; LIN, Dan; De Vocht, N.; Daans, J.; HENS, Niel; Pauwels, P.; Berneman, Z.; Van der Linden, A.; Ponsaerts, P.
    Cell transplantation has been suggested to display several neuro-protective and/or - regenerative effects in animal models of central nervous system (CNS) trauma. However, while most studies report on clinical observations, currently little is known regarding the actual fate of the cell populations grafted and whether or how the brain's innate immune system, mainly directed by activated microglia and astrocytes, interacts with autologous cellular implants. In this study, we grafted well-characterised neural stem cell, mouse embryonic fibroblast, dendritic cell, bone marrow mononuclear cell and splenocyte populations, all isolated or culturedfrom C57BL/6-eGFP transgenic mice, below the capsula externa (CE) of healthy C57BL/6...

  13. Changed gene expression in brains of mice exposed to traffic in a highway tunnel

    Bos, Inge; DE BOEVER, Patrick; Emmerechts, Jan; Buekers, Jurgen; Vanoirbeek, Jeroen; Meeusen, Romain; Van Poppel, Martine; Nemery, Benoit; NAWROT, Tim; INT PANIS, Luc
    Context: Air pollution has been suggested to have an impact on the brain. Objective: The objective was to assess the expression of inflammation-related genes in the brains of mice that had been exposed for 5 days to a well-characterized traffic-polluted environment, i.e. a highway tunnel. Materials and methods: Twenty C57BL6 mice were randomly allocated to four groups of five animals. Two groups were placed in the tunnel for 5 days (mean PM 2.5, 55.1 mu g/m(3), mean elemental carbon, EC 13.9 mu g/m(3)) in cages with or without filter, two control groups were housed outside the tunnel. Animals were assessed...

  14. Cryptic species of the Eucypris virens species complex (Ostracoda, Crustacea) from Europe have invaded Western Australia

    Koenders, A.; Martens, Koen; Halse, S.; SCHON, Isa
    Eucypris virens, an ostracod with mixed reproduction and Holarctic distribution, forms a species complex with more than 35 cryptic species in Europe. Here, we analysed COI and LSU DNA sequence data from Western Australian E. virens to distinguish between the possibilities that vicariant processes have led to the formation of Australian E. virens species or that these ostracods have been introduced into Western Australia. Phylogenetic reconstructions, genetic networks and estimates of genetic distances all show clearly that Western Australian and European E. virens are very closely related. Some haplotypes are identical, others are only separated by one or two mutational...

  15. Nanoscale channels on ectomycorrhizal-colonized chlorite: Evidence for plant-driven fungal dissolution

    Gazze, Salvatore A.; Saccone, Loredana; Ragnarsdottir, K. Vala; SMITS, Mark; Duran, Adele L.; Leake, Jonathan R.; Banwart, Steven A.; McMaster, Terence J.
    The roots of many trees in temperate and boreal forests are sheathed with ectomycorrhizal fungi (EMF) that extend into the soil, forming intimate contact with soil minerals, from which they absorb nutrient elements required by the plants and, in return, are supported by the organic carbon photosynthesized by the trees. While EMF are strongly implicated in mineral weathering, their effects on mineral surfaces at the nanoscale are less documented. In the present study, we investigated the effects of symbiotic EMF on the topography of a chlorite mineral using atomic force microscopy. A cleaning protocol was successfully applied to remove fungal...

  16. Exposure of Arabidopsis thaliana to excess Zn reveals a Zn-specific oxidative stress signature

    REMANS, Tony; OPDENAKKER, Kelly; Guisez, Yves; CARLEER, Robert; Schat, Henk; VANGRONSVELD, Jaco; CUYPERS, Ann
    Zinc (Zn) is an essential micronutrient for plants, but accumulation of excess Zn causes oxidative stress, even though the element is not redox-active. An oxidative stress signature, consisting of multiple oxidative stress related parameters, is indicative of disturbance of redox homeostasis and signaling, but has not been determined after exposure to excess Zn. To reveal general and Zn-specific effects, changes in oxidative stress related gene expression, enzyme activities and metabolites were determined after 24 h exposure of Arabidopsis thaliana plants to a concentration range of 0, 100,250 or 500 mu M excess ZnSO4, and the oxidative stress signature compared to...

  17. Plant-driven weathering of apatite - the role of an ectomycorrhizal fungus

    Smits, Mark; Bonneville, S.; Benning, L. G.; Banwart, Steven A.; Leake, J. R.
    Ectomycorrhizal (EcM) fungi are increasingly recognized as important agents of mineral weathering and soil development, with far-reaching impacts on biogeochemical cycles. Because EcM fungi live in a symbiotic relationship with trees and in close contact with bacteria and archaea, it is difficult to distinguish between the weathering effects of the fungus, host tree and other micro-organisms. Here, we quantified mineral weathering by the fungus Paxillus involutus, growing in symbiosis with Pinus sylvestris under sterile conditions. The mycorrhizal trees were grown in specially designed sterile microcosms in which the supply of soluble phosphorus (P) in the bulk media was varied and...

  18. Cadmium from zinc smelter emission and variation in cancer incidence: the hierarchy of evidence

    NAWROT, Tim; Roels, Harry A.; VANGRONSVELD, Jaco; Staessen, Jan A.

  19. Effects of elevated CO2 and N fertilization on plant and soil carbon pools of managed grasslands: a meta-analysis

    Sillen, W. M. A.; Dieleman, W. I. J.
    Elevated atmospheric CO2 levels and increasing nitrogen deposition both stimulate plant production in terrestrial ecosystems. Moreover, nitrogen deposition could alleviate an increasing nitrogen limitation experienced by plants exposed to elevated CO2 concentrations. However, an increased rate of C flux through the soil compartment as a consequence of elevated CO2 concentrations has been suggested to limit C sequestration in terrestrial ecosystems, questioning the potential for terrestrial C uptake to mitigate increasing atmospheric CO2 concentrations. Our study used data from 77 published studies applying elevated CO2 and/or N fertilization treatment to monitor carbon storage potential in grasslands, and considered the influence of...

  20. Understanding the development of roots exposed to contaminants and the potential of plant-associated bacteria for optimization of growth

    Remans, Tony; Thijs, Sofie; Truyens, Sascha; Weyens, Nele; Schellingen, Kerim; Keunen, Els; Gielen, Heidi; Cuypers, Ann; Vangronsveld, Jaco
    Plant responses to the toxic effects of soil contaminants, such as excess metals or organic substances, have been studied mainly at physiological, biochemical and molecular levels, but the influence on root system architecture has received little attention. Nevertheless, the precise position, morphology and extent of roots can influence contaminant uptake. Here, data are discussed that aim to increase the molecular and ecological understanding of the influence of contaminants on root system architecture. Furthermore, the potential of plant-associated bacteria to influence root growth by their growth-promoting and stress-relieving capacities is explored. Root growth parameters of Arabidopsis thaliana seedlings grown in vertical...

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