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Life Sciences - Health - 11.01.2021
New criteria bring stem cell research one step closer to long-sought goal
New criteria bring stem cell research one step closer to long-sought goal
Creating stem cells that can give rise to any cell type in the early embryo and its supporting structures, including the placenta: some call it 'the holy grail' of stem cell research. An international team of researchers offer new criteria to determine whether a mouse stem cell line has this much-wanted ability, known as totipotency.

Health - Life Sciences - 22.12.2020
Our 10 most-read science news stories of 2020
From stars in another galaxy to a microscopic virus that has taken hold of the entire Earth: in this overview we present the most-read news items about research at KU Leuven in 2020. Bioscience engineers and economists from KU Leuven mapped out how wood could replace petroleum in the chemical industry.

Life Sciences - 08.12.2020
Genetics of human face begin to reveal underlying profile
Genetics of human face begin to reveal underlying profile
In an international study led by KU Leuven and Pennsylvania State University, researchers have identified 203 genes that play a role in the shape of our face. Their study was published. The genetics behind the shape of the human face are difficult to decipher. In 2018, KU Leuven Professor Peter Claes and international colleagues, from Penn State, the University of Pittsburgh and Stanford University School of Medicine, already identified 15 genes that can be connected with specific areas of the face.

Life Sciences - 24.11.2020
Which speaker are you listening to? Hearing aid of the future listens to brainwaves to find out
In a noisy room with many speakers, hearing aids can suppress background noise, but they have difficulties isolating one voice - that of the person you're talking to at a party, for instance.

Health - Life Sciences - 17.11.2020
Existing antidepressant helps to inhibit growth of cancer cells in lab animals
New research has shown that the antidepressant sertraline helps to inhibit the growth of cancer cells. The substance acts on a metabolic addiction that allows different types of cancer to grow. This is shown by a study on cell cultures and lab animals performed by various research labs of KU Leuven.

Health - Life Sciences - 06.10.2020
Targeting our second brain to fight diabetes
In brief: Patrice Cani (UCLouvain) and Claude Knauf (INSERM) have discovered a 'jammer' that blocks communication between the gut and the brain, thus preventing proper regulation of sugar and causing insulin resistance in people with diabetes They also discovered that a lipid produced by our body helps prevent this dysfunction and regulate sugar level, thus mitigating diabetes and intestinal inflammation.

Life Sciences - Health - 26.08.2020
Mechanisms controlling cellular identity of stem cells identified
Mechanisms controlling cellular identity of stem cells identified
Researchers have identified for the first time the mechanisms by which communication between cells controls the identity of stem cells from the mammary gland and prostate. The mammary gland and prostate are composed of two different cell types: basal cells and luminal cells. These two cell types are maintained by separate basal and luminal stem cells.

Life Sciences - Psychology - 25.08.2020
Researchers reversibly disable brain pathway in primates
Researchers reversibly disable brain pathway in primates
For the first time ever, neurophysiologists of KU Leuven, Harvard and the University of Kyoto have succeeded in reversibly disabling a connection between two areas in the brains of primates while they were performing cognitive tasks and their whole brain activity was being monitored. The disconnection had a negative impact on the motivation of the animals, but not on their learning behaviour.

Life Sciences - Earth Sciences - 29.07.2020
Genetic defects can provide a long-term evolutionary advantage
Evolution seems to be a story of continual progress. The weak will perish, according to Darwin's law. Nevertheless, genetic defects that at first glance might make an organism weaker can increase its long-term chances of survival. At first sight, evolution seems to be a story of continual, step-by-step progress.

Health - Life Sciences - 09.07.2020
Which vaccine types are in the running against COVID-19?
Which vaccine types are in the running against COVID-19?
The world is eagerly awaiting one or more vaccines to protect us against the SARS-CoV-2 virus. We will only be able to fully resume our lives when we are immune to the infection.

Life Sciences - Health - 22.06.2020
Click... Resistant bacteria caught in the act !
Click... Resistant bacteria caught in the act !
As humanity fights against the coronavirus, the battle against antibiotic resistant bacteria continues Scientists at UCLouvain have succeeded in capturing unique images of protein soldiers that help bacteria resist drugs. This discovery is published in the prestigious scientific The image recordings will make it possible to develop new attacks on bacteria and thus produce Article: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41589-020-0575-0 The resistance of bacteria to antibiotics is a major health problem.

Health - Life Sciences - 19.06.2020
Measles virus much older than previously thought
Measles virus much older than previously thought
The measles virus may have emerged as early as the 6 th century BCE, an international team of researchers reports. The finding is based on a virus sample found in Germany that dates back to 1912. It is the oldest human RNA virus genome that has been sequenced to date. The study was published in Science .

Computer Science - Life Sciences - 28.05.2020
Single-cell software supported by a Chan Zuckerberg Initiative grant
Software for the analysis and visualization of single-cell data is one of the projects that will receive funding as part of CZI's Essential Open Source Software for Science (EOSS) program. The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative (CZI) announced $3.8 million in funding for 23 grants to support open-source software projects essential to biomedical research, enabling software maintenance, growth, development, and community engagement.

Health - Life Sciences - 30.04.2020
KU Leuven researchers unravel protein mystery of three brain diseases
KU Leuven researchers unravel protein mystery of three brain diseases
The accumulation of one particular protein in the brain is at the basis of three very different age-related conditions. Until recently, nobody understood how this was possible. Research by the Laboratory for Neurobiology and Gene Therapy now reveals that the shape of the protein determines the clinical picture.

Life Sciences - Chemistry - 29.04.2020
Molecular switch plays crucial role in learning from negative experiences
Neurobiologists at KU Leuven have discovered how the signalling molecule Neuromedin U plays a crucial role in our learning process. The protein allows the brain to recall negative memories and, as such, learn from the past. The findings of their study on roundworms have been published Communications. If a certain type of food or drink has made you ill in the past, you will avoid it on future occasions.

Life Sciences - Health - 26.02.2020
Bone or cartilage? Presence of fatty acids determines skeletal stem cell development
Bone or cartilage? Presence of fatty acids determines skeletal stem cell development
In the event of a bone fracture, fatty acids in our blood signal to stem cells that they have to develop into bone-forming cells. If there are no blood vessels nearby, the stem cells end up forming cartilage. The finding that specific nutrients directly influence the development of stem cells opens new avenues for stem cell research.

Life Sciences - 05.02.2020
Belgian waffles with insect fat instead of butter: is this the future?
Belgian waffles with insect fat instead of butter: is this the future?
Insect-based fat is a sustainable and healthy alternative to butter. When in bakery products less than half of the butter is replaced by insect fat, one can hardly taste the difference, according to research at Ghent University in Belgium.

Health - Life Sciences - 29.01.2020
Defective cellular transport system as a new cause of Parkinson’s disease
Biomedical scientists at KU Leuven have discovered that a defect in the ATP13A2 gene causes cell death by disrupting the cellular transport of polyamines. When this happens in the part of the brain that controls body movement, it can lead to Parkinson's disease. With more than six million patients around the world, Parkinson's disease is one of the most common neurodegenerative disorders.

Life Sciences - Health - 14.01.2020
New strategy in the fight against antibiotic resistance
Bioscience engineers from KU Leuven in Belgium have developed a new antibacterial strategy that weakens bacteria by preventing them from cooperating. Unlike with antibiotics, there is no resistance to this strategy, because the non-resistant bacteria outnumber resistant ones. The findings are published.

Life Sciences - Health - 26.11.2019
A protein tag to study the immune system
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.
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