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Genetic risk scores for Parkinson’s for precision medicine approach

Life Sciences - May 23

An interdisciplinary team from the Luxembourg Centre for Systems Biomedicine (LCSB) at the University of Luxembourg, together with international collaborators, established that a combination of small variations in genes regulating mitochondria, an important component of human cells, is associated with a higher risk for Parkinson's disease.

Health - May 21

Could naked mole rats be the key to fighting cancer?

A ULB study reveals a new advance in our understanding of the immune system of the naked mole rat, opening up prospects for cellular immunotherapy of cancer.

Danoy on Swarm Intelligence Powered by Automated Algorithm Design 

Swarm intelligence will revolutionise autonomous systems like robots or satellites. Inspired by nature, swarms of autonomous agents can display collectively intelligent behaviours, even though every single agent follows simple rules based on its individual perception.

Environment - May 20

Increasing drought puts the resilience of the Amazon rainforest to the test

Environment

Since 2015, the Amazon has been slower to recover from increasing drought events, but, overall, the rainforest still shows a remarkable resilience. New international research led by KU Leuven earth and environmental scientists shows that forest degradation due to drought has been most pronounced in the southern Amazon, where human impact is greatest. 

Environment - May 15

Summers warm up faster than winters, fossil shells from Antwerp show

Environment

In a warmer climate, summers warm much faster than winters. That is the conclusion of research into fossil shells by earth scientist Niels de Winter. With this knowledge we can better map the consequences of current global warming in the North Sea area.

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Life Sciences - Health - 23.05.2024
Genetic risk scores for Parkinson’s for precision medicine approach
An interdisciplinary team from the Luxembourg Centre for Systems Biomedicine (LCSB) at the University of Luxembourg, together with international collaborators, established that a combination of small variations in genes regulating mitochondria, an important component of human cells, is associated with a higher risk for Parkinson's disease.

Health - Pharmacology - 21.05.2024
Could naked mole rats be the key to fighting cancer?
A ULB study reveals a new advance in our understanding of the immune system of the naked mole rat, opening up prospects for cellular immunotherapy of cancer . During the development of cancer, the immune system is able to exert antitumor activity thanks to natural killer (NK) cells and T lymphocytes.

Environment - 20.05.2024
Increasing drought puts the resilience of the Amazon rainforest to the test
Increasing drought puts the resilience of the Amazon rainforest to the test
Since 2015, the Amazon has been slower to recover from increasing drought events, but, overall, the rainforest still shows a remarkable resilience. New international research led by KU Leuven earth and environmental scientists shows that forest degradation due to drought has been most pronounced in the southern Amazon, where human impact is greatest.   Since the turn of the century, four extreme droughts have occurred in the Amazon rainforest.

Computer Science - Microtechnics - 15.05.2024
Danoy on Swarm Intelligence Powered by Automated Algorithm Design 
Swarm intelligence will revolutionise autonomous systems like robots or satellites. Inspired by nature, swarms of autonomous agents can display collectively intelligent behaviours, even though every single agent follows simple rules based on its individual perception. Thinking ahead, such systems can enable completely new possibilities for a multitude of use cases.

Environment - 15.05.2024
Summers warm up faster than winters, fossil shells from Antwerp show
Summers warm up faster than winters, fossil shells from Antwerp show
In a warmer climate, summers warm much faster than winters. That is the conclusion of research into fossil shells by earth scientist Niels de Winter. With this knowledge we can better map the consequences of current global warming in the North Sea area. De Winter, affiliated with the Department of Earth Sciences at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and the AMGC research group at Vrije Universiteit Brussel, measured alongside colleagues from institutions such as the Institute for Natural Sciences in Brussels the chemical composition of fossil shells from Antwerp, Belgium.

Media - 01.05.2024
Good Move: what do twittering Brussels residents think?
Good Move: what do twittering Brussels residents think?
How big data and AI can help policymakers evaluate mobility projects Following the vehement protests against the Good Move plan, the much-discussed Brussels mobility plan that was implemented in several phases starting in 2019 and shortly thereafter was already discarded by a number of municipalities, scientists from the VUB Data Analytics Lab and the VUB Mobilise research group decided to find out to what extent that negative vibe matched reality.

Innovation - 24.04.2024
Opening up the potential of thin-film electronics for flexible chip design
Opening up the potential of thin-film electronics for flexible chip design
NEW RESEARCH DEMONSTRATES FEASIBILITY OF 'FOUNDRY' MODEL FOR FLEXIBLE ELECTRONICS The mass production of conventional silicon chips relies on a successful business model with large 'semiconductor fabrication plants' or 'foundries'. New research by KU Leuven and imec shows that this 'foundry' model can also be applied to the field of flexible, thin-film electronics.

Astronomy / Space - Physics - 23.04.2024
See the Universe in 3D
See the Universe in 3D
A team of researchers led by Vincent Pelgrims (ULB) dust off the Galaxy to build the first 3D map of the Universe's magnetic field. A new launch for astronomy, allowing us to explore the depths of the sky like never before. A study published in the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics. The space between stars is "dirty".

Astronomy / Space - Physics - 23.04.2024
New microgravity experiment: the first-ever weightless anti-bubble
New microgravity experiment: the first-ever weightless anti-bubble
From April 15 to 19, Benoit Scheid and his team produced and observed, for the very first time in the world, antibubbles in zero gravity. Their work could lead to advances in water treatment and drug encapsulation . Twice a year, the European Space Agency (ESA) organizes weightlessness (or microgravity) flights.

Health - Pharmacology - 22.04.2024
Predicting arrhythmia 30 minutes before it happens
Atrial fibrillation is the most common cardiac arrhythmia worldwide with around 59 million people concerned in 2019 . This irregular heartbeat is associated with increased risks of heart failure, dementia and stroke. It constitutes a significant burden to healthcare systems, making its early detection and treatment a major goal.

History / Archeology - Environment - 18.04.2024
Secrets of cave from the Early Upper Palaeolithic, when Neanderthals and the first Homo sapiens co-existed
Secrets of cave from the Early Upper Palaeolithic, when Neanderthals and the first Homo sapiens co-existed
VUB researcher reveals secrets of cave from the Early Upper Palaeolithic, when Neanderthals and the first Homo sapiens co-existed Mughr el-Hamamah, meaning "pigeon cave" in Arabic, is a site in northwestern Jordan, renowned for its prehistoric findings dating between 39,000 and 45,000 years old. Numerous stone tools, hearths, and animal and hominin bones have been excavated there.

Social Sciences - 17.04.2024
Group antenatal care still too little known, despite proven benefits
The Horizon2020 programme Group Care for the First 1000 Days is coming to an end. Researchers in seven countries, including three from the VUB, have worked with colleagues in the US to investigate the provision of antenatal care in participating countries. The study looked at group sessions rather than traditional monitoring through individual consultations, as is standard in Belgium.

Health - Life Sciences - 04.04.2024
Once upon a time, there was a cerebral blood vessel...
Once upon a time, there was a cerebral blood vessel...
A ULB team has discovered how blood vessels in the brain are formed and how they differ from other vessels in the body. A major breakthrough that could lead to new therapeutic approaches . Cardiovascular disease, including myocardial infarction and stroke, is the world's leading cause of death, claiming around 18 million lives a year.

Health - Pharmacology - 04.04.2024
Stool transplantation shows promise for Parkinson's disease
Stool transplantation shows promise for Parkinson’s disease
Dr. Arnout Bruggeman (VIB-UGent-UZ Gent), Prof. Debby Laukens (UGent), Prof. Roosmarijn Vandenbroucke (VIB-UGent) en Prof. Patrick Santens (UZ Gent) Clinical study shows stool transplantation of healthy gut bacteria reduces Parkinson's disease symptoms. Parkinson's disease (PD) is a common neurodegenerative disease that affects millions worldwide.

Health - Life Sciences - 26.03.2024
XCT protein is key link in inhibiting pancreatic cancer growth and limiting mood disturbances
XCT protein is key link in inhibiting pancreatic cancer growth and limiting mood disturbances
VUB researchers show xCT protein is key link in inhibiting pancreatic cancer growth and limiting mood disturbances The xCT protein, which plays an important role as a transport molecule in the cell, could play a part in cancer treatment in the future, researchers at VUB have discovered. Their work is the result of a collaboration between the research groups of neuroscientist Ann Massie of the Laboratory of Neuro-Aging & Viro-Immunotherapy and pancreatic cancer expert Ilse Rooman of the Laboratory for Medical and Molecular Oncology.

Psychology - 15.03.2024
The benefits of anger in the face of the ecological crisis
The benefits of anger in the face of the ecological crisis
The emotions we feel about the ecological crisis are not without consequences. Whether it's anxiety, sadness or anger, environmental degradation generally leaves no one indifferent. Until now, these emotions have often been perceived as negative, or even as potential sources of psychological suffering.

Health - Sport - 07.03.2024
Taking women's bodies into account: the impact of the menstrual cycle and contraception on sports performance
Taking women’s bodies into account: the impact of the menstrual cycle and contraception on sports performance
Researcher Marine Carpentier (Laboratoire de physiologie cardio-respiratoire à l'effort) tackles a blind spot in motor science research: the influence of the menstrual cycle and hormonal contraception on sports performance. On this International Women's Rights Day, she shares her findings, initial hypotheses and research prospects with us .

Life Sciences - Health - 29.02.2024
A mechanism for healthy brain development
A mechanism for healthy brain development
Scientists at UCLouvain have discovered that the balance between two proteins plays a decisive role in brain development. The study is published in the American Association for the Advancement of Science's (AAAS) prestigious journal Science Advances . During embryonic development, cells continuously receive numerous stimuli to which they react via intracellular signals.

Health - Life Sciences - 28.02.2024
Newly discovered protein blocks sleeping sickness
Newly discovered protein blocks sleeping sickness
Human African Trypanosomiasis (HAT), or sleeping sickness, is a neglected tropical disease that affects millions of people and is fatal if left untreated. Most treatments and preventative options, however, are not very effective. New research identifies a protein that could pave the way toward drugs against sleeping sickness.

Life Sciences - Health - 23.02.2024
Essential protein that contributes to liver fibrosis
Essential protein that contributes to liver fibrosis
Chronic liver disease is a serious global health problem that has a severe impact on personal quality of life. A major characteristic of chronic liver disease is liver fibrosis, where certain liver cells, called hepatic stellate cells, become activated and produce scar tissue that damages the liver. At present, no specific drugs are available to treat this condition, partly because we know too little about the activation process for the stellate cells, and no specific targets have been identified to date.