Genomics technologies promise to shape the ideal animal of the future. Social sciences so far mostly took interest in the medical domain with the Human Genome Project and its aftermath. However, a great deal of fast-pace developments are occurring in livestock genomics. This has become a mundane genomics infrastructure, routinely used in late capitalist societies. This infrastructure offers to solve pressing societal issues, such as improving the health of animals, lowering their environmental impact or enhancing the biodiversity. Focusing on the case of cattle livestock, The BoS project aims to describe and analyze how societal values are being translated in bovine bodies. It asks the following guiding research questions: how are such values as health, environment or biodiversity incorporated in cattle selection and reproduction? Conversely, how are bodies transformed by these values, and through which techniques and practices? To answer those questions, The BoS project will provide a political anthropology of the genomics infrastructure, contributing to sociology of scientific knowledge, science & technology studies and environmental humanities. Phase 1 carries out three laboratory ethnographies in centres of scientific excellence that contribute to global livestock genomics, so as to provide context-sensitive accounts of how values of health, the environment and biodiversity are turned into knowledge. Phase 2 follows the knowledge in the wider world of social actors, carrying out participant observations and semi-structured interviews, to question the transformation of cattle bodies by genomics. The project is very innovative as livestock genomics offers an unprecedented case study of actual applications of genomics knowledge. Three PhD students will be respectively in charge of one of the fieldworks (one centre / one value). A postdoc researcher will investigate the historical contexts for each fieldwork and provide conceptual insight to the PhDs students.
Symbiotic and pathogenic microbes are major environmental factors that play fundamental roles in shaping host immunity. Such dynamic interactions between commensals or pathogens and the host must be finely regulated to balance protective immune responses and induction of regulatory pathways. While frequently underestimated, immune imprinting by viruses is a key determinant for variation in disease susceptibility. Numerous evidence shows that a history of infections trains the innate immune system for the long term. Amongst the cells that are trained, monocytes are highly heterogeneous and are involved in essential biological processes such as anti-microbial activity, immunomodulation or macrophage-niche replenishment. While the current paradigm states that monocyte fate and function are driven by the local microenvironment, a recent study has shown that monocytes are primed in the bone marrow for functional properties. Here, we want to explore how and where monocyte development and function are educated by symbiotic (Murid herpesvirus 4) or pathogenic (Pneumonia Virus of Mice) viruses and with which potential outcomes for long-term immunity. To this end, we have devised three main aims. First, following infections, we will characterize monocytes and their progenitors by classical immunophenotyping, functional assays and unbiased single-cell RNA-seq in combination with ATAC-seq, to investigate in-depth how and where viruses shape monocytes and monocyte-derived cells. Second, molecular mechanism(s) underlying monocyte priming after infections will be assessed. In particular, based on literature and preliminary results, we postulate that bone marrow CD169+ macrophages could play a key role in early monocyte priming. Third, the consequences of virus-driven monocyte training will be investigated at steady state and upon heterologous challenges. Such research could provide the proof of concept that viral education of bone marrow monocytes shapes long-term innate immunity.
Heart valve prostheses are currently among the most widely used cardiovascular devices. To maintain enduring optimal biomechanical properties, the mechanical prostheses, based on carbon, metallic and polymeric components, require permanent anticoagulation, which often leads to adverse reactions, i.e. higher risks of thromboembolism, hemorrhage, and hemolysis. Continuing advances in heart valve prosthesis design and in techniques for implantation have improved the survival length and quality of life of patients who receive these devices. In an ongoing effort to develop a more durable and biocompatible heart valve prosthesis, researchers have used a variety of techniques to determine the suitability of given valve materials for a given implant application. In recent years, advances in polymer science have given rise to new ways of improving artificial cardiovascular devices biostability and hemocompatibility. To date, no polymer coated mechanical prosthetic heart valve exists. The present research project aims to improve the hemocompatibility and long-term in vivo performance of mechanical prosthetic heart valves by reducing contact-induced thrombosis through bioactive polymer prosthetic valve surface coating. These new coated prosthetic heart valves will be designed for hemodynamic performance and durability similar to uncoated materials, combined with a greater thromboresistance, both in vitro and in animal studies. With these promising advances, bioactive surface coated prosthetic heart valves could replace previous generation of prosthetic valves in the near future. The utmost perspective of the current project paves the way for the development of new bioactive coating for other implantable cardiovascular devices or materials.
This prospective exploratory study will aim at characterizing vigilance fluctuation in patients with disorders of consciousness (as defined by a change in diurnal behavioral response over time) using neurophysiological parameters. We based this project on the assumption that changes at the Coma Recovery Scale-Revised scores (i.e., behavioral responsiveness) will be associated with a change in ocular measures and EEG complexity, suggesting that some of these parameters could be used for monitoring vigilance in this population. We expect that this fluctuation will be particularly marked in patients with a minimally conscious state as compared with patients in an unresponsive wakefulness syndrome who will display a more stable pattern of response over the two days. This project aims to better understand the course of vigilance fluctuation in DOC and to develop an objective tool based on biomarkers that could be used at bedside to determine the best periods to assess and treat these patients.