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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.

Environment - Life Sciences - 20.11.2019
Yeasts in nectar can stimulate the growth of bee colonies
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. "Research into the role of microbes in our ecosystem is of vital importance to safeguard bees." It is not widely known that pollen and floral nectar contain yeasts.

Health - Life Sciences - 19.11.2019
KU Leuven researchers receive 3 million dollars to fight Crohn’s disease
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. Approximately 3 out of 1000 people have Crohn's disease, which is characterised by intestinal inflammation.

Life Sciences - Social Sciences - 14.11.2019
DNA data offers scientific look at 500 years of extramarital sex in Western Europe
DNA data offers scientific look at 500 years of extramarital sex in Western Europe
KU Leuven researchers combined DNA data with long-term genealogical records to explore questions of biological fatherhood in Western Europe over the last 500 years. 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.

Life Sciences - Health - 29.10.2019
Electrodes to study how our brain recognises objects
Electrodes to study how our brain recognises objects
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. This research method is unique. The results have been published in PLOS Biology . To gain a better understanding of the human brain, researchers can rely on several methods.

Life Sciences - Health - 14.10.2019
The electric switches in our brain need lipids
Our brain cells, and more specifically the channel proteins in the cell wall, need lipids - or fat - to function properly. These are the findings of an international study led by the Laboratory of Structural Neurobiology at KU Leuven. The researchers identified the structure of these proteins in the presence of a lipid molecule at the atomic level for the first time.

Life Sciences - Health - 14.10.2019
Stem cell researchers identify possible mechanism of neurocognitive problems in Duchenne muscular dystrophy
Research at KU Leuven suggests a cause for the neurodevelopmental disturbances experienced by a third of patients with Duchenne muscular dystrophy. The discovery suggests possible underlying mechanisms of these problems, which appear targetable by therapeutic interventions in a cellular model.  Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is an inherited neuromuscular disorder in which the muscles, including the heart and respiratory muscles, progressively become weaker.

Health - Life Sciences - 19.09.2019
One step closer to treating and preventing stomach flu thanks to new research model
One step closer to treating and preventing stomach flu thanks to new research model
Researchers at KU Leuven have developed a new research model to grow and study the human variant of the norovirus. The virus could thus far only be studied through a variant that occurs in mice. The new model, that is described in the journal PLOS Pathogens, should allow researchers to develop a treatment for stomach flu.

Life Sciences - Pharmacology - 09.08.2019
Researchers use CRISPR/Cas to repair two mutations of the cystic fibrosis gene
Biomedical scientists at KU Leuven and the University of Trento have used gene correction to fix two mutations that cause cystic fibrosis. The breakthrough involved a petri dish with 3D cell structures, or organoids, from cystic fibrosis patients. Cystic fibrosis is the most common genetic disorder in Belgium.

Health - Life Sciences - 01.07.2019
A bacteria likely to reduce the cardiovascular risks of 1 in 2 people
Patrice Cani, professor at UCLouvain, and his team conducted the first pilot study in humans to observe the impact of the bacteria Akkermansia (ingestion for 3 months), particularly on the reduction of cardiovascular risk factors. The results are published in the scientific journal Nature Medicine .

Life Sciences - 27.06.2019
Understanding people gets harder when you’re over 50, even when you have good hearing
Older people have trouble understanding speech, even if their hearing is fine. That's one of the conclusions of a new study by the Research Group Experimental Oto-rhino-laryngology (ExpORL) of KU Leuven. The results underline the importance of tests to measure if people with seemingly normal hearing have really understood a message.

Life Sciences - 11.06.2019
From face to DNA: new method aims to improve match between DNA sample and face database
Predicting what someone's face looks like based on a DNA sample remains a hard nut to crack for science. It is, however, getting easier to use such a sample to filter the right face from a face database, as an international team led by KU Leuven has shown. Their findings were published. Our physical appearance, including our face, is hardwired into our genetic material.

Life Sciences - Health - 03.06.2019
Towards a new era of small animal imaging research
A collaborative study between the University of Antwerp and McGill University allows PET scanning on animals without the use of anesthesia. Have you ever spent half an hour trying to take the best photo of your pets but they won't stay still in the perfect angle? This is also true for small animal imaging research using positron emission tomography (PET).
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