LE STUDIUM Multidisciplinary Journal

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Insects vectoring human disease, like mosquitoes and kissing-bugs, endure a high risk of predation related to their life histories. Therefore, insect vectors are expected to have a finely adapted behavioral repertoire to survive in the context of their close association to vertebrate hosts. The study of molecular bases of their perception of the environment and their behavior, is relevant to understand the evolution of hematophagy as well as to promote the discovery of new targets of opportunity for developing rational control methods. Our long-lasting scientific collaboration has been dedicated to these tasks and the support of the Le Studium Foundation has been instrumental to further promote its development. We report here a series of studies that have been completed during the stay in the region Centre. Kissing-bugs are nocturnal insects that spend daylight hours hidden inside narrow shelters. Therefore, comprehending shelter choice, as well as the cues that trigger foraging decisions seems essential in order to predict bug distribution and activity precisely. We have focussed on Rhodnius prolixus, one of the two main vectors of Chagas disease in the Americas, and the way they use shelters. As an outcome of these investigations, three scientific papers have been published to report factors affecting shelter choice by bugs, the lack of a chemical marking system in bugs of this genus and the key role that host odours play in promoting bug foraging outside shelters. In parallel, we have described what seem to be diverging locomotory profiles in these bugs suggesting that foraging strategies can vary from “sitter” to “rover” individuals. As a third topic, we have developed a synthetic blend of compounds imitating the effects of the sexual pheromone attracting males to R. prolixus females. In a fourth topic we have uncovered what appears to be a local modulatory system present in the antennae of insects including the synthesis of transcripts for neuropeptides, GPCRs and nuclear receptors. Finally, we have revised the molecular bases of sensory processes in triatomine bugs vectors of Chagas disease in a review publication.


Catholyte formulations for high-energy Li-S batteries


Satyajit Phadke, Erwan Coadou, Julie Pires, Alexander Korzhenko, Mérièm Anouti

DOI https://doi.org/10.34846/le-studium.139.01.fr.06-2019
Scientific Field Materials and Energy sciences
Fellow Dr Satyajit Phadke
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The sulphur electrode in LiS batteries suffers from rapid capacity loss and low efficiency due to the solubility of long chain polysulphides formed during discharge. Herein, we demonstrate the beneficial effect of original catholyte formulations containing redox active organyl disulphides (PhS2Ph) on the capacity utilization and retention as well as the efficiency in LiS batteries. Resulting from the chemical equilibria in the electrolyte between the sulphur/polysulphides (S8/Sx2-) and disulphide/thiolates (PhS2Ph/PhSx-), the polysulphide redox shuttle phenomenon is minimized due to the suppression of formation of soluble polysulphides (Sx2-, x > 4). Using the catholyte containing 0.4 M Ph2S2 as an additive in a standard base electrolyte (DOL/DME + LiTFSI/LiNO3), a stable capacity of 1050 mAh.g-1 is obtained under galvanostatic cycling at C/5 with a coulombic efficiency of >99.5%. At 45°C, it is shown that the formulated catholyte enables galvanostatic cycling at a high c-rate of 1C over 500 cycles with a capacity above 900 mAh.g-1 and a high energy efficiency of 82%.


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During this fellowship I performed several greenhouse and laboratory experiments, aiming at assessing the phytotoxic and microbiological effects of microencapsulated peppermint (Mentha x piperita L.) essential oil (MPO). The different doses of MPO were applied in the pot experiments either into vermiculite or top layer of arable soils. As the acceptor-species, I used four maize cultivars, one cultivar of mustard and a weed– lambsquarters (Chenopodium album L.). The microbiological analyses were performed using i) commercial strain of arbuscular fungus Rhizophagus irregularis on maize roots by intersection method, and ii) natural soil-microbiota by FDA biotest. I have found, based on the ED50 analysis, that the phytotoxic effect of MPO is both dose and species as well as soil-medium dependent. The biochemical analyses revealed, that the plants’ response to the application of MPO is typical for the allelopathic stress. The microbiological responses to the MPO applications were not clear enough to conclude and should be continued further.


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In agreement with the research project proposed to Le Studium, our work consisted in the development of the following aspects: 1. - Tracking and compilation of biblio-hemerographic materials at the BNF; 2. - Selection and analysis of Juana Manso's corpus of materials; 3. - Organization of two scientific events; 4. - Attendance, as speaker, at a scientific event; 5.- Writing of two book chapters; 6. - Organization of the volume Forjar miradas. Imagen y cultura visual en la América latina del siglo XIX. Iberoamericana Vervuert (in progress) and, 7. - At the request of the Scientific Relations Manager of Le Studium, design of the research proposal "Regarder au XIXe. Panoptisme et culture visuelle.”.


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The increased mobility of large groups of people from outside and inside Europe has influenced the socio-geographical fixity of a continent of nation-states, putting in question both the concepts of ‘national identity’ and ‘European identity’. This book project considers contemporary debates around the idea of ‘Europe’ and ‘European identity’ through an examination of recent European films dealing with various aspects of globalization (the refugee crisis, labor migration, the resurgence of nationalism and ethnic violence, international tourism, neoliberalism, post-colonialism etc.) in order to reflect on the ambiguities and contradictory aspects of the figure of the migrant and the ways in which this figure challenges us to rethink core concepts such as European identity, European citizenship, justice, ethics, liberty, tolerance, and hospitality in the post-national context of ephemerality, volatility, and contingency that finds people desperately looking for firmer markers of identity. By drawing attention to the structural and affective affinities between the experience of migrants and non-migrants, Europeans and non-Europeans, the book argues that it is becoming increasingly difficult to separate stories about migration from stories about life under neoliberalism in general.

 

Recombinant Intrabodies as Molecular Tools and Potential Therapeutics for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis


Denis Reis de Assis, Anna Chami, Rudolf Hergesheimer, Judith Halewa, Seyedeh Tayebeh Ahmad Pour, Débora Lanznaster, Osbaldo López Charcas, Lucie Brisson, Maxime Gueguinou, Sébastien Roger, Jean-François Dumas, Frédéric Laumonnier, Patrick Vourc´h, Hélène Blasco

DOI https://doi.org/10.34846/le-studium.173.02.fr.03-2019
Scientific Field Life & Health Sciences
Fellow Dr Denis Reis de Assis
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Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a neurodegenerative disease that has no diagnostic marker, prognosis, nor an effective treatment. Numerous physiopathological mechanisms have been described for this disease, such as glutamatergic excitotoxicity, oxidative stress, and the accumulation of protein aggregates in cells of the central nervous system, in particular the aggregation of cytoplasmic TDP-43.Our aim was targeting the protein aggregates containing TDP-43 through fragments of antibodies synthesized by the cell, termed intrabodies. In order to determine the most relevant criteria to test the protective effects of the intrabodies, we searched for different toxicity markers associated with TDP-43aggregates. During the fellowship, the fellow participated of 2 publications of the host laboratory in this field. Besides, at the end of the fellowship, the host Scientist and the Le Studium fellow organized a conference about iPS cells, a powerful tool to model in vitro neurodegenerative diseases such as ALS. In addition, the fellow generated preliminary results showing that TDP-43 overexpression in HEK 293 cells does not affect mitochondrial respiration, but causes an increase in cytoplasmic calcium levels, while impairs the mitochondrial capacity to buffer the excessive cytoplasmic calcium. Moreover, preliminary patch clamp data showed alterations in spontaneous currents in primary hippocampal and motor neurons overexpressing TDP-43. If these results are further confirmed, calcium signaling and spontaneous currents could be used as parameters to measure the efficacy of anti-TDP-43 intrabodies.


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During the past decades, fractional calculus has gained great interest and success in the field of automatic control. The research project was on numerical algorithms and observer design for fractional order systems. Various effective algorithms have been proposed to simulate different kinds of systems. Accurate and robust algebraic observers have been designed to estimate useful system information in noisy environment. An international conference has been held with the support of the project, which provided a platform for researchers to exchange results and advanced technology. Moreover, this project has provided an international collaboration opportunity for faculties and students both from INSA Centre Val de Loire and Yanshan University in China.


Targeting acetylcholine receptors to enhance immunity to infection


William G. C. Horsnell, Murray E. Selkirk, Luke B. Roberts, Corinna Schnoeller, Matthew Darby, Claire Mackowiak, Delphine Sedda, Valerie Quesniaux, Bernhard Ryffel, Rachel Vaux, Rita Berkachy, Kleoniki Gounaris

DOI https://doi.org/10.34846/Le-Studium.155.05.FR.06-2018
Scientific Field Life & Health Sciences
Fellow Dr William Horsnell
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Group 2 innate lymphoid cell (ILC2s) responses drive type 2 immunity against helminths and are initiated by host alarmin release. Here we show that in addition to signature type 2 cytokines ILC2 also synthesise and release acetylcholine (ACh).  ILC2 ACh synthesis (defined by choline acetyltransferase (ChAT) expression) following Nb or Alternaria challenge revealed pronounced ACh synthesis in ILC2 when compared to other immune cell populations. In vivo alarmin cytokine challenges selectively induced this ILC2 ACh responses. Nippostrongylus brasiliensis infection of RORCreChATLoxP mice (which have a targeted disruption of the ILC2 ACh response) resulted in higher intestinal helminth burdens than in control mice.  This impaired control of infection associated with reduced ILC2 and CD4 IL-13 production. Adoptive transfer of  RORCreChATLoxP ILC2s into RAG2-/-IL-2rg-/- resulted in subsequent infection having a higher intestinal burden than in ChATloxp recipeints. These data identify ILC2-derived ACh as a novel axis required for optimal type 2 immunity.

 

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The proliferation of visual practices, engagements, and tactics on the streets and plazas of the cities connect art to the political constitution of local struggles on the one hand, and the global grassroots politics of the social movements, on the other. This project investigates the ideologies, relationships, meanings and practices that arise from the diverse interactions among the three social spheres: urban space, art, and social movements. In an innovative and multidisciplinary fashion, it addresses the pressing question in humanities and social sciences : How does art, as a cultural form, partake in contemporary urban transformations and social struggle ?

The aesthetic dimension in the political and the political dimension in art coincide in the contested terrain of the urban public space. This proposed project does not repeat the exhausted questions, such as whether contemporary art can be an impetus for social change or how much it is involved in politics. Instead, it analyzes how art merges with new political formations and becomes a vital part of the constitution of a new understanding of political participation. It further engages in art’s critical, aesthetic, dialogical, communicative and creative powers from the perspective of social mobilization and creation of political commons.

The prolific significance of this project is in its multi-perspective approach to bring together three different dimensions in the intersection of art, urban space and social movements: “art and neoliberal urban transformation,” “urban art interventions” and “art in social movements.” The contribution that the project intends to make for state of the art is its ability to bring together the theories and discussions on art’s twofold role in urban planning and collective resistance, its debated function as an aesthetic intervention in the public space and its envisaged place in urban social movements.


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Malaria is one of the most important parasitic infection in the world. Cerebral and pulmonary complications may occur after infection and are often lethal. Immune response plays an important role in controlling malaria infection; however, excessive inflammatory response can lead to severe disease. The present work aims to decipher the cellular and molecular events associated with brain and pulmonary pathology in response to blood stage Plasmodium berghei ANKA (PbA) infection. PbA infection in C57BL/6 wild-type (WT) mice induces experimental cerebral malaria (ECM), associated with strong pro-inflammatory response, brain damage, as well as paralysis, coma early death (around day 7 p.i.). Interestingly, IFNγ receptor deficient mice (IFNγR1-/-, C57BL/6 background) are resistant to ECM and died at a later time-point, due to the hyperparasitaemia and severe anemia. Here, we addressed the impact of IFNγR1 deficiency in the development of pulmonary damage during PbA infection. At day 7 post-infection, the broncho-alveolar lavage (BAL) allowed the quantitative analysis of total cells and proteins in the broncho-alveolar space of the animals. In addition, histological analysis and Western blot were performed to compare the cerebral and pulmonary compartments. As compared to PbA-infected WT mice, the histological sections confirmed a less intense accumulation of leukocytes as well as an absence of hemorrhages in the brains of IFNγR1-/- mice. In addition, the quantification of pro-apoptotic proteins (Granzyme B and cleaved caspase-3) in olfactory bulbs showed lower levels in IFNγR1-/- mice. While IFNγR1 deficient mice were fully resistant to brain pathology, those mice were partially protected for pulmonary damage, as observed by the levels of Granzyme B and cleaved caspase-3 in the lung parenchyma, leukocyte number in the broncho-alveolar space and pulmonary edema.