news 2021


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Social Sciences - Career - 13.10.2021
VUB student investigates effect of job quality on study performance
Better student jobs bring more satisfaction and less negative effects on academic results Students are increasingly taking on jobs while they are at university, including many VUB students. Since a relaxation of the regulations on student work in 2017, the number of hours of student work and the number of students with one or more jobs has steadily increased.

Health - Pharmacology - 06.10.2021
KU Leuven develops very potent antiviral against dengue
KU Leuven develops very potent antiviral against dengue
Researchers at the KU Leuven Rega Institute and CD3 have developed an ultrapotent inhibitor of the dengue virus, which causes the tropical disease known as dengue.

Environment - 04.10.2021
The cooling effect of European forests mapped for the first time
The cooling effect of European forests mapped for the first time
A team of scientists from KU Leuven, UAntwerp and Ghent University have mapped the temperatures of all European forest tracts. The results show that the summer temperatures in certain forests can cool down by as much as 10°C compared to the surrounding area. This cooling function is important in the battle against climate change.

Environment - 27.09.2021
The kids aren’t alright
VUB led Science publication shows how climate change is disproportionally affecting children International research led by Prof. Wim Thiery of the VUB research group BCLIMATE shows that children are to face disproportionate increases in lifetime extreme event exposure - especially in low-income countries.

Social Sciences - 21.09.2021
Researchers call for more awareness of malpractice in inter-country adoption
In recent years, more and more inter-country adoptees have been raising questions about their history and the adoption procedure. A damning report in the Netherlands has called for the practice to be discontinued. Commissioned by the Flemish government, VUB scientists and researchers from UGent and UAntwerp conducted research on errors, injustices and malpractices in inter-country adoption and have now presented their final findings in seven reports.

Life Sciences - Health - 15.09.2021
Coconut tree cloning breakthrough will help propagation and preservation
Coconut tree cloning breakthrough will help propagation and preservation
Coconut trees grow slowly and are difficult to clone. Scientists at KU Leuven and the Alliance multiplied seedlings faster and conserved coconut genetic resources for the long term. Coconut trees grow slowly and are difficult to clone. Scientists at KU Leuven and the Alliance have developed a method to multiply seedlings faster and conserve coconut genetic resources for the long term.

Life Sciences - Computer Science - 13.09.2021
AI standards in biomedical research
Guidelines published , to ensure quality and reproducibility of predictive methods An international group of scientists, including the ELIXIR Machine Learning Focus Group , developed a set of guidelines for better reporting standards for AI methods aiming to classify biomedical data. Examples of such methods are machine learning predictors that try to identify, based on genetic and other data, whether someone suffers from a particular rare disease or predictive methods that aim to identify the drug to which a cancer patient would respond best.

Pedagogy - Life Sciences - 30.08.2021
Brains are most amenable to reading development in the first two years of primary education
Brains are most amenable to reading development in the first two years of primary education
The regions that form the reading network in the brain mainly develop in the first two years of primary school. After that, the growth of these brain regions stabilises. This has been shown by a year-long study conducted by KU Leuven. Neurobiological differences in dyslexia are already present at pre-school age  The regions that form the reading network in the brain mainly develop in the first two years of primary school.

Life Sciences - 24.08.2021
What octopuses can teach us about our own brains
What octopuses can teach us about our own brains
KU Leuven researchers expose some surprising similarities with animals that are 600 million years of evolution removed from us. Although octopuses have been wandering a different evolutionary path for around 600 million years, the formation of their brain cells shows some surprising similarities with that of humans.

Health - 11.08.2021
Team led by VUB professor reach milestone in pancreatic cancer research
Healthy pancreas contains cells similar to most aggressive tumour cells, study finds Wednesday, August 11, 2021 — A team of researchers from the Vrije Universiteit Brussel, the UZ Brussel and elsewhere in Belgium and abroad, led by VUB professor Ilse Rooman, have discovered a cell in the pancreas of healthy people that is very similar to the most aggressive pancreatic cancer cells.

Physics - 30.07.2021
Chasing neutrinos in Greenland
VUB leads pioneering project to search for cosmic particles from space with radio antennas Researchers from the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) are part of a unique installation on the Greenland ice cap that will try to observe almost elusive particles from space. The Radio Neutrino Observatory Greenland (RNO-G) is a pioneering project that uses a new method to detect cosmic neutrinos with very high energy using radio antennas.

Environment - Life Sciences - 27.07.2021
Size doesn’t matter in ecosystem resilience, study in PNAS shows
Mangrove forests were once dominant in the tropics, but they have disappeared at alarming rates around the world. Little is known, however, about the impact of this deforestation on the functional diversity and resilience of resident fauna. A team including Farid Dahdouh-Guebas of VUB's Ecology & Biodiversity Research Unit Researchers addressed this question and found that mangroves have among the lowest faunal diversity of any of the planet's ecosystems, making them especially vulnerable to environmental change.

Pharmacology - Health - 23.07.2021
Important factor in transplant rejection identified
KU Leuven researchers have revealed the importance of a newly identified mechanism of kidney transplant rejection. These results could increase the chances of a successful transplantation in the future.  Each year, about 500 people in our country undergo a kidney transplant. 15 to 20% of these patients experience rejection symptoms.

Health - Pharmacology - 22.07.2021
Antibiotics may help to treat melanoma
Antibiotics may help to treat melanoma
Some antibiotics appear to be effective against a form of skin cancer known as melanoma. KU Leuven researchers examined the effect of these antibiotics on patient-derived tumours in mice. Some antibiotics appear to be effective against a form of skin cancer known as melanoma. KU Leuven researchers examined the effect of these antibiotics on patient-derived tumours in mice.

Health - 05.07.2021
Second coronavirus wave in Europe after summer 2020 mainly due to introduction of new virus strains
More than half of the COVID-19 strains that were circulating in the late summer of 2020 in Europe were only introduced after 15 June.

Environment - 30.06.2021
New vegetable fat enables improvement of cholesterol-lowering products
New vegetable fat enables improvement of cholesterol-lowering products
Olive oil and other unsaturated fats are liquid, but researchers have now developed an unsaturated fat that still remains solid at room temperature. Their product can help food companies to develop healthy alternatives to existing high-fat products. Olive oil and other unsaturated fats are liquid, but KU Leuven researchers have now developed an unsaturated fat that still remains solid at room temperature.

Health - Pharmacology - 25.06.2021
Clinical trial with virtual patients shows great potential
Clinical trial with virtual patients shows great potential
A study involving virtual instead of real patients was as effective as traditional clinical trials in evaluating a medical device used to treat brain aneurysms, according to researchers from the University of Leeds and KU Leuven. Furthermore, the 'virtual' approach required far less time and money. A study involving virtual instead of real patients was as effective as traditional clinical trials in evaluating a medical device used to treat brain aneurysms, according to researchers from the University of Leeds and KU Leuven.

Health - Social Sciences - 13.06.2021
Research on albinism in Tanzania
Successful pilot project to tackle discrimination 13 June is International Albinism Awareness Day One in 1,400 people in Tanzania has albinism. These people are often socially excluded, heavily discriminated against and sometimes even have to fear for their lives. Dr Tjitske de Groot of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel set up a pilot project for her doctoral research and investigated what actions and means could be used to reduce the stigma of albinism - as well as other stigma - and actively contributed to this on site.

Environment - Paleontology - 10.06.2021
Dinosaurs lived in greenhouse climate with hot summers
New climate reconstruction method provides precise picture of climate 78 million years ago Palaeoclimatologists study climate of the geological past. Using an innovative technique, new research by an international research team led by Niels de Winter (VUB-AMGC & Utrecht University) shows for the first time that dinosaurs had to deal with greater seasonal differences than previously thought.

Health - Life Sciences - 09.06.2021
A new bacteria, made in Belgium (and UCLouvain)
In brief: A research team from University of Louvain (UCLouvain) has discovered a new bacterium in the human intestine.
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