news 2017

Life Sciences - Nov 26
Researchers from VIB-Ghent Universitiy Center for Medical Biotechnology and other collaborators, developed a novel approach to better understand a basic defense mechanism of our immune system. Central is ISG15, a small protein with a role in the immune system. With the newly developed method, scientists can now identify and study proteins tagged with ISG15, allowing them to unravel its many functions in fighting disease, potentially leading to novel antimicrobial drugs.
Law - Nov 25

The Law and Development Research Group welcomes Tomaso Ferrando (research professor), Antidius Kaitu, Tefera Addis (PhD researchers) and Anne Oloo (Sustjustice coordinator). The Law and Development Research Group welcomes Tomaso Ferrando (research professor), Antidius Kaitu, and Tefera Addis (PhD researchers).

Environment - Nov 20

Researchers from KU Leuven have discovered that the presence of yeasts can alter the chemical composition and thus the nutritional value of nectar for pollinators such as bees. The study discovered that yeasts can even boost bee health and colony fitness.

Astronomy - Nov 25
Astronomy

Let's first state the obvious: the universe is endlessly fascinating. When the first ever picture of a black hole was released this spring, it easily made front pages.

Health - Nov 19

Why do some patients with Crohn's disease still suffer from abdominal pain, even when their treatment is successful? With funding from the Helmsley Charitable Trust, researchers from Belgium and Sweden will spend the next three years examining the underlying mechanisms of this pain.


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Physics - 22.12.2017
Graphene well-suited for rapid internet
Introduction: Ben Van Duppen (University of Antwerp) and his international colleagues are paving the way for a successful internet of things. The ultra-thin material graphene can make the internet several thousand times faster. By cutting the material into very small strips, the researchers from several institutions, including the University of Antwerp, discovered a new effect that could give a strong boost to fibre internet.

Environment - Life Sciences - 19.12.2017
Microbial communities in Iceland surprisingly resistant to climate change
Introduction: Effects of warming over 50 years were even reduced compared to changes in the first decade. How stable are ecosystems under climate change? This question gets ever increasing scientific attention. And while they are not as visible as plant and animal communities, soil microbial communities are quintessential to look at in this context.

Life Sciences - Pharmacology - 19.12.2017
New UCL discovery in the fight against antibiotic-resistant bacteria
New UCL discovery in the fight against antibiotic-resistant bacteria
Researchers at the UCLouvain have made a major new discovery in the research on bacteria. Jean-François Collet, professor at UCL's de Duve Institute, and his team have shown that when you change the structure of a bacterium, you decrease its ability to detect environmental stress and to activate stress responses against antibiotics.

Life Sciences - Health - 19.12.2017
Research at KU Leuven: what we learned in 2017
Surgical robots, Wi-Fi security flaws, and everything you always wanted to know about Tinder but were afraid to ask: here are the 10 most-read science stories of 2017! 1. World first: surgical robot performs precision-injection in patient with retinal vein occlusion Eye surgeons at University Hospitals Leuven have been the first to use a surgical robotto operate on a patient with retinal vein occlusion.

Life Sciences - Health - 19.12.2017
Research at KU Leuven
Surgical robots, Wi-Fi security flaws, and everything you always wanted to know about Tinder but were afraid to ask: here are the 10 most-read science stories of 2017! Surgical robots, Wi-Fi security flaws, and everything you always wanted to know about Tinder but were afraid to ask: here are the 10 most-read science stories of 2017! 1.

- 16.12.2017
Linking turnover to organizational performance: the role of process conformance
Inleiding: Jan Wynen, Wouter Van Dooren, Jan Mattijs and Carl Deschamps investigated the optimal rate of turnover for organizational performance and the role for process conformance. The article 'Linking turnover to organizational performance: the role of process conformance' is published Open Access.

Environment - 11.12.2017
UCL indexes natural disasters
Research UCL - 10 December, International Climate Day - press release 2017: fewer disasters but more cost damages, reports researchers of University of Louvain (UCL) EMDAT is an international referen

Agronomy / Food Science - 07.12.2017
Translating my research into Smurf
Inleiding: On May 1st, 2018, Els Lecoutere presented her research on the Flemish public television broadcaster, the VRT (Vlaamse Radio -en Televisieomroeporganisatie). If you think of a dull science documentary, you got it wrong... She explained how gender and power relations influence collective action in Smurfs' land.

Health - 07.12.2017
Syria: rise in aerial bombings fatal for children according to University of Louvain researchers
In 2016, one in four civilians killed in the Syrian conflict was a child.  A team of researchers at the UCL Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters analyzed data about more than 140,000 violent deaths between 2011 and 2016 in areas not controlled by the Bashar al-Assad regime.  Their findings were published today, 6 December 2017 , in The Lancet Global Health journal.

Chemistry - Pharmacology - 04.12.2017
UCL tests new molecule to prevent cancer metastasis in mice
UCL tests new molecule to prevent cancer metastasis in mice
Three years ago, Pierre Sonveaux, a researcher at the UCL Institute of Experimental and Clinical Research, and his team discovered that when the mitochondria (the power plants) of tumour cells are impaired, they promote the formation of metastases. Subsequently, the researchers verified a molecule, MitoQ, as capable of preventing these impairments and thus tumour metastases.

Health - 29.11.2017
New laser technique detects soot particles in blood and urine
Researchers from UHasselt and KU Leuven have developed a brand-new method to detect soot particles in the human body. Recent research has shown that, each year, over 4.2 million individuals around the world die prematurely due to air pollution. "This type of pollution can lead to a lower weight at birth, decreased cognitive functions in children, lung cancer, and respiratory diseases, among other things," says Professor Tim Nawrot (UHasselt).

Physics - Mathematics - 22.11.2017
New type of turbulence discovered in the Sun
In the outer atmosphere of the Sun a form of turbulence has been discovered that has always been considered impossible: the turbulence is not caused by colliding waves, but by waves moving into the same direction. With the discovery of this phenomenon - called 'uniturbulence' - a number of KU Leuven mathematicians have earned their place in the physics handbooks for future generations.

Life Sciences - 10.11.2017
UCL study identifies mechanism responsible for immunotherapy failure
UCL study identifies mechanism responsible for immunotherapy failure
UCL research - Press release While immunotherapy generated undreamt-of results in the treatment of aggressive and advanced metastatic cancer , they occurred in only one-fourth to one-third of patients, leaving a large majority that didn't respond. Explaining why and increasing immunotherapy's efficiency were the research objectives of Benoît Van den Eynde, a researcher at UCL's de Duve Institute and director of the Brussels Branch of the Ludwig Cancer Research Institute .

Health - Life Sciences - 03.11.2017
Scientists identify 27 novel cancer genes
Researchers from KU Leuven and the Francis Crick Institute have pinpointed 27 novel genes thought to prevent cancer from forming. Their findings could help develop personalised cancer treatments that target these genes. "Our cells have two copies of tumour suppressor genes that, when lost in mutated cells, cause cancer," says Jonas Demeulemeester.

Life Sciences - Health - 22.10.2017
Scientists identify ’first responders’ to bacterial invasion
When bacteria enter our body, they kick-start a powerful immune response. But this chain of reactions doesn't fully account for our immediate responses. KU Leuven researchers show that so-called ion channels play a key role as 'first responders'. When we get a bacterial lung infection, the cells lining our airways are the first line of defence.

Chemistry - Environment - 17.10.2017
Separating methane and COâ‚‚ will become more efficient
To make natural gas and biogas suitable for use, the methane has to be separated from the CO2. This involves the use of membranes: filters that stop the methane and let the CO2 pass through. Researchers at KU Leuven have developed a new membrane that makes the separation process much more effective.

Life Sciences - Health - 09.10.2017
Computer program detects differences between human cells
"How many different cell types are there in the human body? And how do these differences develop? Nobody really knows," says Professor Stein Aerts from KU Leuven/VIB. But thanks to a new method developed by his team, that may be about to change. "How many different cell types are there in the human body? And how do these differences develop? Nobody really knows," says Professor Stein Aerts from KU Leuven/VIB.

Life Sciences - 14.09.2017
Humans no longer have ancient defence mechanism against viruses
Insects and plants have an important ancient defence mechanism that helps them to fight viruses. This is encoded in their DNA. Scientists have long assumed that vertebrates - including humans - also had this same mechanism. But researchers at KU Leuven have found that vertebrates lost this particular asset in the course of their evolution.

Health - 20.06.2017
Researchers unravel mechanism behind bowel paralysis after surgery
In the days following abdominal surgery, patients' intestinal contents pass more slowly or not at all. New research at KU Leuven has now shown that this phenomenon - known as post-operative ileus or bowel paralysis - is not caused by the cells previously identified as the main players. Quite the opposite, in fact: the cells even help restore bowel function.

Life Sciences - History / Archeology - 19.06.2017
Ancient DNA reveals role of Near East and Egypt in cat domestication
DNA found at archaeological sites reveals that the origins of our domestic cat are in the Near East and ancient Egypt. Cats were domesticated by the first farmers some 10,000 years ago. They later spread across Europe and other parts of the world via trade hub Egypt. The DNA analysis also revealed that most of these ancient cats had stripes: spotted cats were uncommon until the Middle Ages.

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