Mon04242017

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Co-organised by the University of Luxembourg and the Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology (LIST), the Information Security Education Day (ISED) each year provides new knowledge on a topic related to security and privacy. This year, ISED will focus on "emerging regulations: what you will need to do to be standard and compliant in a close future."

The event will take place on 28 April 2017 from 09:00 to 16:15 at the University of Luxembourg, in room 3.520 of the Maison du Savoir, 2, Avenue de l'Université, 4365 Esch-sur-Alzette. For more information, see the website: https://ised.uni.lu/

lhoft

The 3x3 lecture series is a joint project between the Luxembourg House of Financial Technology (LHoFT) and the University of Luxembourg and features three speakers from each of the three disciplines carrying out FinTech research at the University of Luxembourg, namely information technology, finance and law.

The speaker for this lecture on 27 April is Dr Radu State from the Interdisciplinary Centre for Security, Reliability and Trust (SnT). The lecture starts at 18:00 on Campus Kirchberg, Weicker building, room B001. Interested parties should register on: Eventbrite.

Luxembourg Institute Science Technology LIST

Part of a lecture series organised for the Certificate in Sustainable Development, the discussion on what it takes for citizens to produce science on water quality is led by Henry-Michel Cauchie from the Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology (LIST).

Anyone wishing to attend should send an e-mail to christelle.karleskind@uni.lu. The lecture takes place at Campus Limpertsberg, Bâtiment des Sciences, room BSC 0.03 on 25 April. 

LIH T cell immune defence

Scientists at the Luxembourg Institute of Health (LIH) have discovered a previously unknown molecular mechanism that promotes activation of the human immune system, opening a door to new strategies for targeting cancer and autoimmune diseases. 

The team, led by Professor Dirk Brenner, fellow and head of the Experimental & Molecular Immunology research group, has been studying the glutathione molecule, produced among others by a particular type of white blood cells named T-cells and known for its role in cleaning the body from harmful metabolic wastes. Their research project revealed that glutathione also stimulates T-cells’ metabolic energy. 

“Our body has to keep our immune system in a carefully balanced equilibrium,” said Professor Brenner. “If the body’s innate defences are overactive, then they turn against the body. This is what happens in autoimmune diseases like multiple sclerosis or arthritis, for example. 

“However if the defences are too weak, then infections cannot be handled or body cells can proliferate uncontrolled and grow to form tumours, which can become life threatening.” 

Immune cells such as T-cells therefore normally reside in a state of alert hibernation, with their energy consumption reduced to a minimum. If pathogens come into contact with the T-cells, these wake up and boost their metabolism to produce more energy. This necessarily creates greater amounts of metabolic waste products such as reactive oxygen species (ROS) and free radicals, which can be toxic for the cells.

When the concentration of these oxidants increases, the T-cells have to produce more antioxidants so as not to be poisoned. No previous research group had studied the mechanism of action of antioxidants in T-cells to great detail before. In exploring this phenomenon, Professor Brenner’s team discovered that the antioxidant glutathione produced by T-cells serves not only as a garbage collector to dispose of metabolic waste products, it is also a key switch for energy metabolism that controls the immune response, and is thus of high relevance to various diseases. 

“These fascinating results form a basis for a targeted intervening in the metabolism of immune cells and for developing a new generation of immuno-therapies,” said Professor Markus Ollert, Director of LIH’s Department of Infection and Immunity. 

For their investigations, the scientists employed animal models having T-cells unable to produce glutathione. “In these mice, we discovered that the control of viruses is impaired – these mice have an immunodeficiency. But by the same token, this also meant the mice could not develop any autoimmune disease such as multiple sclerosis.” Further tests performed by Professor Brenner’s team demonstrated the reason for this. 

“The mice cannot produce any glutathione in their T-cells,” said Professor Brennor. “As a result, without glutathione, T-cells do not become fully functional; they remain in their state of hibernation and no self-destructive autoimmune response occurs.” 

Professor Karsten Hiller from the Braunschweig University of Technology, who collaborated with the Luxembourgish scientists added, “It is intriguing to see that cellular metabolism and immune activation are so tightly entangled and that a fine-grained interplay is essential to achieve a correct function."

Professor Brenner sees his T-cell experiments as a prelude to more in-depth investigation of the energy balance of immune cells in general. A number of different autoimmune diseases, for example, are related to malfunctions in various subgroups of T-cells. 

“If we understand the differences in the molecular mechanisms by which they stimulate their metabolism to get energy during defensive or autoimmune responses, then we can discover clues as to possible attack points for therapeutic agents regulating the immune response.”

The researcher sees a similar situation in cancer. “In this context too, it is important to know why the immune cells that are actually supposed to fight cancer cells drop to a low metabolic state and in some cases even actively suppress an immune response against the tumour. Counteractive metabolism-stimulating measures could make the immune cells work more efficiently and fight off cancer more effectively,” he said. 

In follow-up projects, the researchers are planning to gain new indications for potential sites of therapeutic interventions. The groups from Luxembourg and Braunschweig are currently applying for new research funding for a joint project supported by the German Research Foundation (DFG) and the Luxembourg National Research Fund (FNR).

The scientists publish their findings today in the world’s most prestigious immunology journal, “Immunity” (DOI: 10.1016/j.immuni.2017.03.019.).

Image: © Communication LIH

Wednesday, 19 April 2017 16:13

DLSI Profits up for 2016

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Employment agency group, DLSI, has declared 2016 a good year on the back of accounts for the year which showed a rising net profit for the fifth year in a row based on consolidated sales of €195.6 million, an increase of 3% on 2015. A 4.3% decline in Switzerland, which represents more than 30% of consolidated sales, offset by growth in Germany, up 7. 6%, and Luxembourg, up 33.6%.

The group, with agencies in France accounting for more than 70% of total turnover, Switzerland, Germany, Luxembourg and Poland, saw its operating income increase by 4.6%, which it partially attributes to continued costs control.

International — non-France — revenues continued to increase with a 1.1% increase over the year.

Salaries and personnel expenses increased by 3.2% and were impacted by a compulsory insurance requirement of €496,000 for temporary workers due since 2016.

Pre-tax income increased by 7.7%, mainly due to the continuing fall in financial expenses and reached €9.225 million, up from  €8.564 million the previous year.

Group net income after tax stood at €6.432 million, an increase of 4.2% compared with the previous year. The net margin reached 3.3%, and represents the same level of net margin as in 2015.

Total consolidated shareholders' equity came to more than €35 million and represented 40% of the balance sheet total. Minority interests amounted to €818,000.

The debt-ratio increased as a result of a change in working capital requirements financed by short-term financial resources. The Group has no long-term or medium-term borrowings.

At the shareholders’ AGM on 23 June 23 2017, a dividend of €0.50 per share will be distributed, an increase of 8% over the dividend paid in respect of the previous financial year.

ING new siege

The new head office branch of ING Luxembourg in the Kons Building at the Place de la Gare officially opened for business yesterday. 

Based on the ‘Agence Orange’ concept, the branch diverges from the traditional banking model, with fewer staff and greater autonomy of operations for customers. The area is arranged around three customer areas, including a self-service zone for simple operations, a coaching zone to assist customers from the moment they arrive, and an advice zone for complex operations. The branch also features a coffee lounge and vending machine for ING promotional products the profits from which are donated to Unicef Luxembourg.  

 

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The Commission de Surveillance du Secteur Financier (CSSF) has been informed by the Comisión Nacional del Mercado de Valores (CNMV), the related competent authority for Spain, about the suspension of the financial instrument Abertis Infraestructuras 3,125% 19/03/2024 from trading on Mercado de Renta FIJA on 18 April 2017. Therefore, the CSSF has required, in accordance with Article 9(3) of the Law of 13 July 2007 on markets in financial instruments, the suspension of the said financial instrument from trading on the regulated market of the Luxembourg Stock Exchange with immediate effect as of this afternoon until the market has been duly informed. 

curling benoy schweitzer kelly benoy april2017

Luxembourg’s curling teams are brushing up on their game skills ahead of the 42nd Friendly Cup at the Curling Club Letzebuerg this 21 to 23 April featuring fourteen teams from across Europe, all of whom will be aiming to take the winner’s cup away from last year’s winning team, Luxembourg-Hansen.

They won’t be there this year, but Luxembourg is well represented with Karn’boys — Marco Etienne, Karen Wauters, François Panunzi and Frank Yünlü — Remnants — Dan Kelly, Gregor Graham, Claude Schweitzer, Barry Foulds — Schwyletz — a joint Swiss/Luxembourg team including Alex and Susi Benoy — and, Broombastic — a joint German/Luxembourg team including Jörg Moeser and Yves Sieradzki.

The schedule for the matches is reproduced below. Entrance for spectators is free and the VIP-balcony stand with a good view of the two playing fields will also be permanently open.

Friday Matches:
10.15 Rink A: CHARLEVILLE (fra) mathey vs. REMNANTS (lux,sco,eng) kelly
  Rink B C.BAMSE ERFURT (ger) holzfuss vs. SCHWYLETZ (sui,lux) stauffer

12.00 Rink A MANNHEIM (ger) kühlwein vs. KARN’ BOYS (lux,can,ger) étienne
  Rink B CURLY BEAVERS (can,gre) moon vs. ROYAL BLUE (ned) vantschip 

13.45 Rink A winners 10.15
  Rink B losers 10.15

15.30 Rink A losers 12.00
  Rink B winners 12.00

17.30 Rink A VIRY BAD CURL (fra) naquin vs. KöLN (ger,usa) weber
  Rink B VIRY DAMES (fra) tatiana vs. BROOMBASTIC (lux, ger,fin) moeser

19.15 Rink A BESANçON (fra) pernin vs. DRYTECH (sui) camenzind
  Rink B KöLN (ger,usa) weber vs. BROOMBASTIC (lux, ger, fin) moeser 

21.00 Rink A VIRY DAMES(fra) tatiana vs. DRYTECH (sui) camenzind
  Rink B BESANçON (fra) pernin vs. VIRY BAD CURL (fra) naquin

22.30 end of the day

Saturday Matches:
9.15 Rink A 1 vs. 2 Rink B 3 vs. 4

11.15 Rink A 5 vs. 6 Rink B 7 vs. 8

13.45 Rink A 9 vs.10 Rink B 11 vs. 12

15.45 Rink A 13 vs. 14

17.45 Curling end of the day and new ranking!

19.00 Come as you are-evening at BigBeerCompany at Rives de Clausen (www.bigbeercompany.lu)

Sunday Matches:
08.30 Rink A 13 vs. 14

10.30 Rink A 9 vs. 10 Rink B 11 vs. 12

13.00 Rink A 5 vs. 6 Rink B 7 vs. 8

13.30 Silver-Prize-giving

15.00 Rink A 1 vs. 2 (closed) Rink B 3 vs. 4

17.00 GOLD-PRIZE-GIVING

Image: Alex Benoy, Claude Schweitzer, Dan Kelly, Susi Benoy are on the line-up for this weekend's Friendly Cup 

gala des etoiles 2017

The Gala des Etoiles is back for its fifth twirl at the Grande Théâtre Luxembourg on 20 and 21 May with a gathering of dancers from some of the world’s most prestigious ballet companies, including the Bolshoi Theatre Moscow, The Royal Ballet London, Staatsballett Berlin, and Australian Ballet Melbourne, and stars of barre and stage such as Vladimir Malakhov, Lucia Lacarra, Beatrice Knop, Iana Salenko, Maria Yakovleva, and special guests Marianela Nunez and Alejandro Parente, performing to some of the world’s best -known choreographers and musical arrangements.  

On the programme are pas de deux and solos from classical and neo-classical  choreographers Georges Balanchine, Mikhail Fokine, Herman Lovenskiold, Jean Coralli, Jules Perrot, Lev Ivanov, August Bournonville, Pierre Lacotte, Ben van Cauwenbergh, Raimondo Rebeck, Hans van Manen, Frederick Ashtonnicek and others. The musical accompaniment will be provided by Maestro Igor Zapravdin, pianist at the Vienna State Opera for 25 years.

The Gala des Etoiles is a non-commercial event organised by Ballet enthusiasts, whose aim is to promote classical dance at the highest level and attract an international audience to Luxembourg. 

It also aims to provide support and encouragement to young Luxembourg artists to give them the experience and confidence to dance alongside some of the world’s greats. 

The public is also invited to pull back the curtains on the mysterious world of ballet by attending a professional dance workshop run by Vladimir Malakhov — formerly of the Bolshoi, American Ballet Theatre and Berlin State Ballet. The class will be at the Grand Theatre of Luxembourg at 17:00 on 21 May, and tickets for this unique opportunity are just €10.  

Young dancers are also invited to participate in a series of workshops administered by Sergey Ignatiev, on Friday 19 May and Saturday 20 May. Entrance to the class is €40 for two days. 

Friday 19 May: 17:00 to 18:15 for students between eight and twelve years of age, and 18:30 to 20:00 for students 13 years and over. 

Saturday 20 May: 10:00 to 11:15 for students between eight and twelve years of age, and 11:30 to 13:00 for students 13 years and over.

Tickets for the main shows on 20 and 21 May are €65 (category I), or €55 (Category II). 

Places are limited for the dance workshops of Vladimir Malakhov and Sergey Ingatiev, and registration in advance is recommended.  

Bookings can be made by telephone: 4708 951, or online: luxembourgticket.lu

 

 Casino Luxembourg Marco Godinho CL 600x337

Marco Godinho has been selected by the Ministry of Culture as the 2017 artist in residence for the Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris following a unanimous decision of the jury. 

The Portuguese artist lives and works in Luxembourg where he has been conducting an exploration of the issues of exile, memory and geography for several years. This reflection is nourished by his experience of nomadic life, at the crossroads of several languages ​​and cultures overlaid with their literary and poetic influences. 

Invited by the Progress Gallery in Paris for a personal exhibition in October, the three-month residency will allow Godinho to carry out an in-situ intervention that extends his research related to wandering, travel and more particularly to the relationship between space and time, while opening up environmental and social questions.

The jury, made up of Valérie Quilez, Danielle Igniti and Carine Krecké, said that it is convinced that the residence will give Godinho the opportunity to reinforce his long-standing ties with France, in particular during this year in which he is part of a collective exhibition at the MAC VAL in Vitry-sur-Seine, Paris, and at the Lyon Biennale.

The Ministry of Culture, which has owned a quarter of the workshop-housing at the Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris since 1963, regularly invites applications for its residency programme in Paris. In addition to the availability of his workshop, the department awards a work grant to the selected artist. 

Image: An image from Godhino's video exhibition at Casino Luxembourg in June last year. © Marco Godhino

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