news 2018

Social Sciences - Nov 14
Social Sciences
These days, it's easy to resolve questions about paternity with over-the-counter test kits. Now, KU Leuven researchers have put DNA evidence together with long-term genealogical data to explore similar questions of biological fatherhood on a broad scale among people living in parts of Western Europe over the last 500 years.
Astronomy - Nov 6

On behalf of the ESA, UCLouvain has developed antennas for the LaRa instrument that will go to Mars in 2020 to study the red planet's habitability.

Life Sciences - Oct 29
Life Sciences

For the first time ever, researchers from KU Leuven have carried out tests on human brains in the area that is responsible for our vision.

Astronomy - Nov 6

Exploring the heart (core) of Mars will elucidate the red planet's evolution and thus determine whether life would be possible in the future In 2020 the ExoMars mission will send a platform with the LaRa, a 100% Belgian-made instrument , supervised by UCLouvain researcher Véronique Dehant LaRa's

Astronomy - Oct 22

Bioscience engineers at KU Leuven have developed a method to measure the snow depth in all mountain ranges in the Northern Hemisphere using satellites. This technique makes it possible to study areas that cannot be accessed for local measurements, such as the Himalayas.


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Materials Science - Physics - 28.12.2018
Next generation synthetic covalent 2-D materials unveiled
UAntwerp researchers from the CMT group, Dr. Mehmet Yagmurcukardes and Prof. Francois Peeters, in collaboration with a team from Manchester have uncovered novel 2D materials. (Nanowerk News) A team of researchers at the National Graphene Institute at The University of Manchester have developed a new method to synthesize 2D materials that are thought to be impossible or, at least, unobtainable by current technologies.

Life Sciences - 19.12.2018
Game over for Zika? KU Leuven researchers develop promising vaccine
Scientists at the KU Leuven Rega Institute have developed a new vaccine against the Zika virus. This vaccine should prevent the virus from causing microcephaly and other serious conditions in unborn babies.  In 2015 and 2016, the world was shocked by the sudden and massive outbreak of the Zika virus in Latin America.

Physics - Materials Science - 19.12.2018
Hydrogen induces high-temperature superconductivity in a monolayer material
UAntwerp researchers from the CMT group, Dr Jonas Bekaert and Prof Milorad Milosevic, in collaboration with Swedish researchers have predicted that a atomically thin layer of hydrogen will boost the critical temperature of a thin superconductor to above a hundred kelvin. Hydrogen-rich bulk superconducting materials have recently exhibited record-breaking critical temperatures, nearing the ambient temperature and thereby promising a major technological impact on the society.

Environment - 19.12.2018
"Climate change likely to accelerate"
Natural climate buffers feeling effects of higher temperatures, UAntwerp biologists find. Ecosystems like forests sequester large amounts of carbon dioxide and therefore help to slow down global warming. These ecosystems are, however, increasingly becoming the victims of rising temperatures, according to new research led by the University of Antwerp.

Chemistry - 18.12.2018
KU Leuven researchers use sound waves to prevent small chemical reactors from clogging up 
Companies are keen to use miniature chemical reactors to make pharmaceuticals and fine chemicals, but are discouraged by their tendency to clog up. Researchers at KU Leuven have now devised an elegant way of using sound waves to keep the chemicals flowing. The chemical industry conventionally produces in large batches, but this approach has drawbacks.

Career - 17.12.2018
Young women prefer family men
Social media are buzzing with hashtags like #hotdaddy and blog posts à la 'How to get your husband to help out around the house.' The idea that women are attracted to men who are willing to set aside their career in favour of their family has now also been supported by research conducted by Dr Loes Meussen.

Life Sciences - 12.12.2018
Belgian researchers present new beer bible
Belgian Beer: Tested and Tasted is not like other beer books. It's the result of 5 years of hard scientific work. The authors, Professor Kevin Verstrepen and researcher Miguel Roncoroni, analysed as many as 250 beers in their lab at the Leuven Institute for Beer Research and the VIB Centre for Microbiology.  "As scientists, we were frustrated with the fact that we had so little objective data to rely on," Professor Verstrepen explains his motivation.

Health - 10.12.2018
'Grounded running' drastically reduces the loading on the musculoskeletal system
’Grounded running’ drastically reduces the loading on the musculoskeletal system
Ghent University scientists, in collaboration with American and Japanese researchers, unraveled the "grounded running" pattern, which drastically reduces the loading on the musculoskeletal system compared to the "classical" running pattern. Benefits (and disadvantages) of running Distance running is one of the most popular forms of physical activity, with health benefits given as one of the main reasons to go for a run.

Life Sciences - Pharmacology - 08.12.2018
Knowledge for Growth 2019
Inleiding: 5 Flemish universities reveal innovative state-of-the-art biotech research No less than 25 technologies in drug screening, therapy development, MedTech, digital health and AI will be showc

Health - Life Sciences - 05.12.2018
Belgian team secures million-dollar funding from Chan Zuckerberg Initiative
The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI), the philanthropic endeavour led by Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg and his partner Priscilla Chan, has announced the launch of its Neurodegeneration Challenge Network.   This new network brings together experimental scientists from various biomedical research fields, computational biologists, and physicians to understand the underlying causes of neurodegenerative disorders.

Pharmacology - Administration - 04.12.2018
Researchers force breakthrough in the administration of natural painkillers
Charlotte Martin and Steven Ballet of the VUB Research Group of Organic Chemistry have succeeded in developing an injectable hydrogel that can be used to administer natural painkillers in a minimally invasive manner. The hydrogel is broken down naturally in the body and has a pain-relieving effect of 3 to 4 days.

Environment - Earth Sciences - 23.11.2018
Belgian researchers will spend Christmas in Antarctica to understand climate change
On 1 December, a team of glaciologists and climate researchers from ULB , UCLouvain and the University of Colorado will head for the Antarctic. On the agenda is the second field campaign for the Mass2Ant project being coordinated by UCLouvain , which also includes partners from the IRM (the Royal Meteorological Institute of Belgium) and Delft University of Technology.

Health - Life Sciences - 21.11.2018
NIPT can detect blood cancers before symptoms appear
The non-invasive prenatal test (NIPT), developed to detect Down syndrome and other chromosomal abnormalities in unborn children, can also detect blood cancers. Not just in pregnant women but in everyone. This is because the test examines the DNA that is circulating in the blood - and that may include the genetic material of cancer cells.

Electroengineering - Innovation - 19.11.2018
Imec, Ghent University and SEED Demonstrate Electronics in Hydrogel-based Soft Lenses
Imec, Ghent University and SEED Demonstrate Electronics in Hydrogel-based Soft Lenses
imec, Ghent University, and SEED Co., Ltd. have developed a contact lens with autonomous electronics, opening the door to unique applications such as lenses with sensors and/or drug-delivery systems for the treatment of eye disorders.

Environment - 14.11.2018
Ghent University boosts sustainable cocoa cultivation in Ghana
Ghent University boosts sustainable cocoa cultivation in Ghana
Researchers of Ghent University are teaching Ghanaian cocoa farmers how to produce better and more cocoa beans in a sustainable way. With a share of 20% of the premium cocoa beans on the international market, Ghana plays a significant role in the global cocoa production. However, the last couple of years Ghana has suffered low productivity rate and limited profit margins in its cocoa production.

Life Sciences - 05.11.2018
Physicists unravel the mechanics of DNA
Physicists unravel the mechanics of DNA
A team of physicists at KU Leuven are improving our understanding of how DNA works. Amongst their findings is the proof of the elusive 'twist-bend coupling', the theory of which was first proposed in 1990. They also found out exactly why our DNA is coiled tighter in some places, while it's looser in others.

Health - Life Sciences - 31.10.2018
The adrenal gland is vital to survive malaria
One cannot overcome malaria without adrenal gland. Malaria affects the sugar metabolism and this has fatal consequences without the help of the adrenal gland. The study of the Laboratory of Immunobiology (Rega Institute) explores a new field within malaria research and was published.    Malaria is still one of the most important infectious diseases.

Health - Business / Economics - 31.10.2018
HIV Ontrafelen Fund supports groundbreaking HIV research
( 31-10-2018 ) To the search for an effective remedy to combat HIV, the HIV Cure Research Center at UZ Ghent has made groundbreaking contributions. The HIV Ontrafelen Fund represents an indispensable link to enable this research work to continue. As a progressive and pluralistic institution, Ghent University is committed to contributing via research to the exploration of solutions to social and economic problems.

Chemistry - Life Sciences - 29.10.2018
A USB stick? In the distant future, a little powder should suffice
( 29-10-2018 ) Whether you think about bank accounts, YouTube videos or QR codes, everything is saved as zeros and ones, or data, on a computer. The storage equipment available might not be capable of holding all that information much longer. Ghent University successfully investigates alternative data storage methods There are two major issues.

Health - Life Sciences - 26.10.2018
Novel method to block immunosuppression in cancer
( 26-10-2018 ) Belgian researchers elucidated the three-dimensional structure of an assembly of proteins operating on cells that dampen immune responses. They also discovered how an antibody can block this assembly and the immunosuppression it induces downstream. Such an antibody could serve to stimulate immunity against tumor cells in cancer patients, triggering the destruction of their tumors by immune cells.
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