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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.

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.á "As scientists, we were frustrated with the fact that we had so little objective data to rely on," Professor Verstrepen explains his motivation.

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,ácomputational biologists, and physiciansáto understand the underlying causes of neurodegenerative disorders.

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.

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 metabolismáand 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.

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.

Life Sciences - 25.10.2018
Spaceflight has impact on cosmonauts’ brains
A trip into space impacts the brain of a space traveller, according to new international research, led by the University of Antwerp. "Changes occur in the grey and white matter and cerebrospinal fluid," says Dr Angelique Van Ombergen (UAntwerp) . "And some of those changes remain detectable even seven months after the mission has ended." An international team of scientists conducted a unique study on Russian cosmonauts.

Life Sciences - 19.09.2018
Hardwired for laziness’ Our brain must work hard to avoid sloth
If getting to the gym seems like a struggle, researchers want you to know this: the struggle is real, and it's happening inside your brain. The brain is where Matthieu Boisgontier (KU Leuven / UBC) and his colleagues went looking for answers to what they call the "exercise paradox": for decades, society has encouraged people to be more physically active, yet statistics show that, despite our best intentions, we are actually becoming less active.

Health - Life Sciences - 18.09.2018
Fighting oxidative stressáto treat cartilage, brain and bone disease
KU Leuven researchers have discovered a novel mechanism that prevents oxidative stress and therefore provides protection against joint, brain and bone diseases. When the cells in our body have a normal metabolism, this results in the production of chemically reactive molecules that contain oxygen, also called reactive oxygen species.

Life Sciences - Health - 30.08.2018
Discovery of long-lived macrophages in the intestine
Macrophages are specialised immune cells that destroy bacteria and other harmful organisms. KU Leuven scientists have come to the surprising conclusion that some macrophages in the intestines of mice canásurvive for quite some time. Most importantly, these long-lived macrophages are vital for the survivaláof the nerve cells of the gastrointestinal tract.

Life Sciences - 14.08.2018
New insights in cell death in plants might generate new leads for weed control
( 14-08-2018 ) Ironically, most of a tree's biomass is actually not alive. It is formed by persistent cell corpses collectively called wood. The formation of wood is one of the many programmed cell death processes important for plant growth & development. The lab of Prof. Moritz Nowack (VIB-UGent Center for Plant Systems Biology) investigates the regulation of these plant cell death processes in the model plant Arabidopsis.

Psychology - Life Sciences - 06.08.2018
Learning while sleeping has limitations
Learning while sleeping has limitations
A group of researchers found that our learning capabilities are limited during slow wave sleep. Using magnetoencephalography (MEG), they showed that while our brain is still able to perceive sounds during sleep, it is unable to group these sounds according to their organisation in a sequence. Hypnopedia, or the ability to learn during sleep, was popularized in the '60s, with for example the dystopia Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, in which individuals are conditioned to their future tasks during sleep.

Health - Life Sciences - 30.07.2018
Therapy-resistant cancers once again made sensitive to treatment
Far too often, cancer cells manage to become resistant to doctors' treatments. Researchers at KU Leuven have now discovered a new mechanism that makes cancer cells more resistant to therapy. Fortunately, they also came up with a way to by-pass this problem. Their research was published Communications.

Life Sciences - 23.07.2018
New findings on inter-cellular communication
New findings on inter-cellular communication
By studying the development of the blood vessels of the brain, researchers at UniversitÚ libre de Bruxelles have just shed light on a question that was pending for 10 years! They provide a molecular

History / Archeology - Life Sciences - 20.06.2018
Artificial intelligence reveals authors of anonymous 19th-century texts on evolution
Artificial intelligence reveals authors of anonymous 19th-century texts on evolution
Some anonymously published papers on evolution far predate the publication of Charles Darwin's Origin of Species (1859). With the help of modern AI software, Koen Tanghe (UGent) and Mike Kestemont (UAntwerpen) have revealed the authors of two of these papers. This work may help to foster interest in those early, intriguing publications on evolution, their authors and their possible influence on Charles Darwin.

Life Sciences - 15.06.2018
Body armour guards against dehydration, not just predators
Introduction: Research by Chris Broeckhoven (UAntwerp) reveals function of lizards' scales. Crocodiles, armadillos, turtles and many other animals are equipped with scales -a kind of body armour. It is generally accepted that the main purpose of this shield is to protect them from predators. Research at UAntwerp has shed a different light on this, however.

Environment - Life Sciences - 13.06.2018
Cities alter body size of animal communities
Introduction: A large and international team of ecologists reports in the renowned journal Nature that urbanization is driving body-size shifts in animal communities. Three authors of the Global Change Ecology Centre , Erik Matthysen , Lisa Baardsen and Thierry Backeljau (all belonging to the research group Evolutionary Ecology ), contributed to the study.