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See detailExploring gambling craving through the elaborated intrusion theory of desire: a mixed methods approach
Cornil, Aurélien; Lopez-Fernandez, Olatz; Devos, Gaëtan et al

in International Gambling Studies (in press)

Gambling disorder is a well-established behavioural addiction, which was classified with substance-related disorders in the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders ... [more ▼]

Gambling disorder is a well-established behavioural addiction, which was classified with substance-related disorders in the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. Although craving was introduced as a new diagnostic criterion for substance-related disorders, it was not included for gambling disorder. This study aimed to explore the experience of gambling craving and to evaluate whether the elaborated intrusion theory of desire (EIT), a cognitive model of craving, fits gambling craving. A mixed methods study was conducted among 31 non-clinical gamblers. The qualitative part consisted of open-ended questions targeting the components of the EIT. The quantitative part consisted of a questionnaire designed to assess triggers and descriptions of gambling craving. Qualitative analysis revealed six distinct conceptual categories related to gambling craving: positive and negative affect, external cues, mental imageries, thoughts and physiological sensations. The quantitative analysis highlighted the most relevant triggers (e.g. spontaneous thoughts) and experiential characteristics (e.g. visual imagery) of gambling craving. The present study allowed the authors to support the relevance of the EIT as it applies to gambling craving by disentangling its core features. Findings from this study suggest that the use of interventions derived from the EIT may be relevant for problem gambling treatment. [less ▲]

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See detailA Head-count Measure of Rank Mobility and Its Directional Decomposition
D'Ambrosio, Conchita UL; Bossert, Walter; Can, Burak

in Economica (in press)

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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 detailTowards a 21st-century roadmap for biomedical research and drug discovery: consensus report and recommendations.
Langley, Gillian R.; Adcock, Ian M.; Busquet, Francois et al

in Drug discovery today (2017), 22(2), 327-339

Decades of costly failures in translating drug candidates from preclinical disease models to human therapeutic use warrant reconsideration of the priority placed on animal models in biomedical research ... [more ▼]

Decades of costly failures in translating drug candidates from preclinical disease models to human therapeutic use warrant reconsideration of the priority placed on animal models in biomedical research. Following an international workshop attended by experts from academia, government institutions, research funding bodies, and the corporate and non-governmental organisation (NGO) sectors, in this consensus report, we analyse, as case studies, five disease areas with major unmet needs for new treatments. In view of the scientifically driven transition towards a human pathways-based paradigm in toxicology, a similar paradigm shift appears to be justified in biomedical research. There is a pressing need for an approach that strategically implements advanced, human biology-based models and tools to understand disease pathways at multiple biological scales. We present recommendations to help achieve this. [less ▲]

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See detailAccessing 3D microtissue metabolism: Lactate and oxygen monitoring in hepatocyte spheroids.
Weltin, Andreas; Hammer, Steffen; Noor, Fozia UL et al

in Biosensors & bioelectronics (2017), 87

3D hepatic microtissues, unlike 2D cell cultures, retain many of the in-vivo-like functionalities even after long-term cultivation. Such 3D cultures are increasingly applied to investigate liver damage ... [more ▼]

3D hepatic microtissues, unlike 2D cell cultures, retain many of the in-vivo-like functionalities even after long-term cultivation. Such 3D cultures are increasingly applied to investigate liver damage due to drug exposure in toxicology. However, there is a need for thorough metabolic characterization of these microtissues for mechanistic understanding of effects on culture behaviour. We measured metabolic parameters from single human HepaRG hepatocyte spheroids online and continuously with electrochemical microsensors. A microsensor platform for lactate and oxygen was integrated in a standard 96-well plate. Electrochemical microsensors for lactate and oxygen allow fast, precise and continuous long-term measurement of metabolic parameters directly in the microwell. The demonstrated capability to precisely detect small concentration changes by single spheroids is the key to access their metabolism. Lactate levels in the culture medium starting from 50microM with production rates of 5microMh-1 were monitored and precisely quantified over three days. Parallel long-term oxygen measurements showed no oxygen depletion or hypoxic conditions in the microwell. Increased lactate production by spheroids upon suppression of the aerobic metabolism was observed. The dose-dependent decrease in lactate production caused by the addition of the hepatotoxic drug Bosentan was determined. We showed that in a toxicological application, metabolic monitoring yields quantitative, online information on cell viability, which complements and supports other methods such as microscopy. The demonstrated continuous access to 3D cell culture metabolism within a standard setup improves in vitro toxicology models in replacement strategies of animal experiments. Controlling the microenvironment of such organotypic cultures has impact in tissue engineering, cancer therapy and personalized medicine. [less ▲]

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See detailHepatocytes of Wistar and Sprague Dawley rats differ significantly in their central metabolism.
Garg, Richa; Heinzle, Elmar; Noor, Fozia UL

in Journal of cellular biochemistry (2017)

Wistar and Sprague-Dawley (SD) rats are most commonly used experimental rats. They have similar genetic background and are therefore, not discriminated in practical research. In this study, we compared ... [more ▼]

Wistar and Sprague-Dawley (SD) rats are most commonly used experimental rats. They have similar genetic background and are therefore, not discriminated in practical research. In this study, we compared metabolic profiles of Wistar and SD rat hepatocytes from middle (6 months) and old (23 months) age groups. Principle component analysis (PCA) on the specific uptake and production rates of amino acids, glucose, lactate and urea indicated clear differences between Wistar and SD rat hepatocytes. SD rat hepatocytes showed higher uptake rates of various essential and non-essential amino acids, particularly in early culture phases (0-12 h) compared to later phases (12-24 h). SD hepatocytes seem to be more sensitive to isolation procedure and in vitro culture requiring more amino acids for cellular maintenance and repair. Major differences between Wistar and SD rat hepatocytes were observed for glucose and branched chain amino acid metabolism. We conclude that the observed differences in the central carbon metabolism of isolated hepatocytes from these two rats should be considered when using one or the other rat type in studies on metabolic effects or diseases such as diabetes or obesity. [less ▲]

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See detailProteomic Characterization of Primary Mouse Hepatocytes in Collagen Monolayer and Sandwich Culture.
Orsini, Malina; Sperber, Saskia; Noor, Fozia UL et al

in Journal of cellular biochemistry (2017)

Dedifferentiation of primary hepatocytes in vitro makes their application in long-term studies difficult. Embedding hepatocytes in a sandwich of extracellular matrix is reported to delay the ... [more ▼]

Dedifferentiation of primary hepatocytes in vitro makes their application in long-term studies difficult. Embedding hepatocytes in a sandwich of extracellular matrix is reported to delay the dedifferentiation process to some extent. In this study, we compared the intracellular proteome of primary mouse hepatocytes (PMH) in conventional monolayer cultures (ML) to collagen sandwich culture (SW) after 1 day and 5 days of cultivation. Quantitative proteome analysis of PMH showed no differences between collagen SW and ML cultures after 1 day. Glycolysis and gluconeogenesis were strongly affected by long-term cultivation in both ML and SW cultures. Interestingly, culture conditions had no effect on cellular lipid metabolism. After 5 days, PMH in collagen SW and ML cultures exhibit characteristic indications of oxidative stress. However, in the SW culture the defense system against oxidative stress is significantly up-regulated to deal with this, whereas in the ML culture a down-regulation of these important enzymes takes place. Regarding the multiple effects of ROS and oxidative stress in cells, we conclude that the down-regulation of these enzymes seem to play a role in the loss of hepatic function observed in the ML cultivation. In addition, enzymes of the urea cycle were clearly down-regulated in ML culture. Proteomics confirms lack in oxidative stress defense mechanisms as the major characteristic of hepatocytes in monolayer cultures compared to sandwich cultures. J. Cell. Biochem. 9999: 1-8, 2017. (c) 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. [less ▲]

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See detailTowards a repertoire-building approach: multilingualism in language classes for refugees in Luxembourg
Kalocsanyiova, Erika UL

in Language and Intercultural Communication (2017), 17(4), 474-493

This contribution examines how the diverse language resources that teachers and learners bring to the classroom can support the process of language learning. It draws on a range of linguistic ethnographic ... [more ▼]

This contribution examines how the diverse language resources that teachers and learners bring to the classroom can support the process of language learning. It draws on a range of linguistic ethnographic data collected at a French language course that was attended mostly by Syrian and Iraqi refugees in Luxembourg. Drawing on the analysis of multilingual interactional practices, the article sheds light on some of the opportunities for learning that emerged as a result of translation, translanguaging and receptive multilingualism. It discusses the relevance of these practices for building a repertoire of resources that enables forced migrants to communicate in multilingual contexts such as Luxembourg. [less ▲]

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See detailFinal Report for the INTER Mobility BiFaLy
Aleksic, Gabrijela UL

Report (2016)

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See detailThe influence of language and culture on the dynamics of mixed couples
Aleksic, Gabrijela UL

Presentation (2016, May 17)

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See detailFamily literacy programme for Portuguese preschool children in Luxembourg
Aleksic, Gabrijela UL

Presentation (2016, May 02)

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See detailNovel human hepatic organoid model enables testing of drug-induced liver fibrosis in vitro.
Leite, Sofia B.; Roosens, Tiffany; El Taghdouini, Adil et al

in Biomaterials (2016), 78

Current models for in vitro fibrosis consist of simple mono-layer cultures of rodent hepatic stellate cells (HSC), ignoring the role of hepatocyte injury. We aimed to develop a method allowing the ... [more ▼]

Current models for in vitro fibrosis consist of simple mono-layer cultures of rodent hepatic stellate cells (HSC), ignoring the role of hepatocyte injury. We aimed to develop a method allowing the detection of hepatocyte-mediated and drug-induced liver fibrosis. We used HepaRG (Hep) and primary human HSCs cultured as 3D spheroids in 96-well plates. These resulting scaffold-free organoids were characterized for CYP induction, albumin secretion, and hepatocyte and HSC-specific gene expression by qPCR. The metabolic competence of the organoid over 21 days allows activation of HSCs in the organoid in a drug- and hepatocyte-dependent manner. After a single dose or repeated exposure for 14 days to the pro-fibrotic compounds Allyl alcohol and Methotrexate, hepatic organoids display fibrotic features such as HSC activation, collagen secretion and deposition. Acetaminophen was identified by these organoids as an inducer of hepatotoxic-mediated HSC activation which was confirmed in vivo in mice. This novel hepatic organoid culture model is the first that can detect hepatocyte-dependent and compound-induced HSC activation, thereby representing an important step forward towards in vitro compound testing for drug-induced liver fibrosis. [less ▲]

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See detailMetabolic fate of desomorphine elucidated using rat urine, pooled human liver preparations, and human hepatocyte cultures as well as its detectability using standard urine screening approaches.
Richter, Lilian H. J.; Kaminski, Yeda Rumi; Noor, Fozia UL et al

in Analytical and bioanalytical chemistry (2016), 408(23), 6283-94

Desomorphine is an opioid misused as "crocodile", a cheaper alternative to heroin. It is a crude synthesis product homemade from codeine with toxic byproducts. The aim of the present work was to ... [more ▼]

Desomorphine is an opioid misused as "crocodile", a cheaper alternative to heroin. It is a crude synthesis product homemade from codeine with toxic byproducts. The aim of the present work was to investigate the metabolic fate of desomorphine in vivo using rat urine and in vitro using pooled human liver microsomes and cytosol as well as human liver cell lines (HepG2 and HepaRG) by Orbitrap-based liquid chromatography-high resolution-tandem mass spectrometry or hydrophilic interaction liquid chromatography. According to the identified metabolites, the following metabolic steps could be proposed: N-demethylation, hydroxylation at various positions, N-oxidation, glucuronidation, and sulfation. The cytochrome P450 (CYP) initial activity screening revealed CYP3A4 to be the only CYP involved in all phase I steps. UDP-glucuronyltransferase (UGT) initial activity screening showed that UGT1A1, UGT1A8, UGT1A9, UGT1A10, UGT2B4, UGT2B7, UGT2B15, and UGT2B17 formed desomorphine glucuronide. Among the tested in vitro models, HepaRG cells were identified to be the most suitable tool for prediction of human hepatic phase I and II metabolism of drugs of abuse. Finally, desomorphine (crocodile) consumption should be detectable by all standard urine screening approaches mainly via the parent compound and/or its glucuronide assuming similar kinetics in rats and humans. [less ▲]