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Health - Life Sciences - 27.10.2023
Intercellular messengers start revealing themselves 
The cells in our body continuously keep each other informed. They do this by exchanging, among other things, virus-like vesicles. Pascale Zimmermann's group, from the Department of Human Genetics, has been studying these vesicles for many years. Her fundamental research is necessary to use these intercellular messengers in medicine.

Life Sciences - Health - 22.09.2023
VUB increases commitment to 3Rs principle in animal testing policy
Participation in regional action plan motivates university in ambition to replace, reduce and refine animal testing As a humanist university, the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) believes that science and empathy go hand in hand. In research that involves animals, respect and welfare are paramount. VUB recently committed to be part of the regional action plan of Flemish Animal Welfare minister Ben Weyts to reduce animal testing.

Chemistry - Health - 29.08.2023
Safe alternative to controversial building-block chemical
Safe alternative to controversial building-block chemical
The chemical compound BPA (bisphenol A), commonly used in plastic products, has been controversial for years due to its adverse health effects. KU Leuven researchers have developed a BPA alternative with similar functionality that has no harmful effects on health or the environment. From lunch boxes, reusable water bottles and cutting boards to snuffle mats for dogs and children's bibs, anyone searching online for "BPA-free" products will be spoilt for choice.

Life Sciences - Health - 28.07.2023
A key to detecting Alzheimer’s with certainty
For years, scientists trying to gain a better understanding of Alzheimer's disease or other neurodegenerative disorders - tauopathies, since they involve the tau protein - have come up against one difficulty: how to diagnose the disease - beforehand - in a completely reliable way, since only autopsy today enables us to describe the tau protein aggregates in the brain, and thus to know with certainty what type of neurodegenerative disease the person was suffering from.

Health - 19.07.2023
VUB gerontologist advises WHO on senior policy
On average, we're living longer, but we're not necessarily remaining healthy for longer. Prof Ivan Bautmans, head of the Frailty in Ageing research group at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel, wants to change this. Based on his expertise in gerontology, the study of ageing, he is coordinating an advisory group of the World Health Organization (WHO) with a focus on healthy ageing.

Pharmacology - Health - 06.07.2023
A first for UCLouvain in the fight against organ transplant rejection
In Belgium, 40% of people waiting for a transplant are unable to find an organ and therefore have to wait, which is why it is so important to guarantee the success of transplants. One of the major factors in failure is inappropriate dosages of the anti-rejection drug tacrolimus . University of Louvain (UCLouvain)-s Laure Elens and Laure Bindels have uncovered the influence of intestinal microbiota in the variability of the drug's dosages.

Health - Social Sciences - 03.07.2023
Impact of Covid-19 on young people’s health in the WHO European region
According to a series of reports published by WHO and the partner study Health Behaviour in School-aged Children (HBSC), adolescents who are most likely to have suffered from negative impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic are female, older, from less affluent families, faced prolonged school closures or lacked social support.

Life Sciences - Health - 03.07.2023
KU Leuven research generates new insights into the development and care for ’the little brain’ of the gut
Loss of nerve cells is a process that can take place not only in the brain, but also in the (less well-known) nervous system in the gut. A new study, carried out at KU Leuven and published in Nature , shows that specialised immune cells shape this nervous system, enabling the gut to make the transition to solid food early in life.

Health - Pharmacology - 30.05.2023
KU Leuven and the Institut Pasteur of Dakar join forces for local vaccine production in Africa
Currently, only a meagre 1% of the vaccines needed for Africa are produced locally. The ambition is to raise this number to 60% by 2040. Together, KU Leuven and the Institut Pasteur of Dakar are working to overcome several significant challenges, including the need for continuous cooling, time-consuming methods for certain blood analyses in clinical studies, and the lack of vaccines against several deadly tropical diseases.

Health - 22.05.2023
New test determines how best to treat brain tumor
Because of the large number of different cell types in brain tumors, all of which respond differently to treatment, many patients relapse, and the chances of full recovery are very slim. A new diagnostic test, developed by KU Leuven, indicates from a biopsy whether a treatment can attack all the tumor cells present.

Health - Life Sciences - 04.05.2023
Researcher monitors antibiotic resistance using a smartphone
Researcher monitors antibiotic resistance using a smartphone
Researchers from the Vrije Universiteit Brussel and the EPFL in Lausanne, Switzerland, have developed a highly efficient method for rapid testing the sensitivity of bacteria to antibiotics. The technique, optical nanomotion detection (ONMD), is extremely fast, precise to a single cell and requires only a traditional microscope equipped with a camera or a mobile phone.

Health - Pharmacology - 13.04.2023
Biomarkers to predict how cancer patients respond to immunotherapy
Immunotherapy is a powerful way to treat cancer patients but up till now, it was hard to predict why some patients or cancer types do not benefit from this treatment. Researchers could identify markers which predict a patient's or cancer type's response to immunotherapy. For some cancers, immunotherapy can be integrated into the standard treatment but for others, further research is needed to either alter the immunological environment with cancer vaccines or to develop a new type of immunotherapies that target the tumour in another manner.

Health - Environment - 04.04.2023
Researchers calculate evolution of brain tumours and sea levels
Researchers calculate evolution of brain tumours and sea levels
David Tewodrose and Harry Zekollari are two of 13 researchers to receive a prestigious Odysseus grant, a start-up fund from the Research Foundation - Flanders (FWO). They will be based at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel for the next five years to develop their research practice. Tewodrose focuses on geometric analysis that is used in medical applications, among other uses.

Health - Pharmacology - 13.03.2023
Shifts in human gut microbiome due to COVID-19
COVID-19, caused by an infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus, was declared a global pandemic by the World Health Organisation (WHO) in March 2020. While some people developed severe illness and required medical care, many people reported only mild-to-moderate symptoms, if any at all. However, many of the infected individuals have experienced persisting symptoms or frequent other infections months after the initial infection even if they weren-t much impacted by the disease to begin with.

Health - Pharmacology - 23.11.2022
Diabetes: do some sport!
Diabetes: do some sport!
Regular exercise may protect pancreatic beta cells from stresses that contribute to diabetes. Researchers from the ULB Center for Diabete Research observed this in a study published in Diabetologia . Diabetes is characterized by a progressive loss of pancreatic beta cells, the same cells that produce insulin and thus maintain the right level of sugar in the blood.

Health - Life Sciences - 12.10.2022
Study maps how brain reacts to infections
Study maps how brain reacts to infections
A team led by Prof Kiavash Movahedi (VUB, VIB) has mapped in detail how the immune system acts against pathogens invading the brain. The findings shed new light on host-pathogen interactions and the long-term consequences of brain infections. The results, published in the renowned journal Immunity, show how different types of immune cells are involved in the defence against brain infections.

Health - 11.10.2022
Possible new treatment method for metastatic prostate cancer
Possible new treatment method for metastatic prostate cancer
Researchers at KU Leuven have discovered a promising new method for the treatment of metastatic prostate cancer. In such cases, conventional treatments involve the use of medication to suppress or inhibit the patient's male hormones in order to slow down the disease. After some time, however, the cancer cells become resistant to that medication.

Health - 05.10.2022
Target cells for cancer immunotherapy
Target cells for cancer immunotherapy
Gamma delta (γδ) T cells are immune system cells that possess several characteristics that make them attractive cellular targets for cancer immunotherapy. A team of researchers sought to better understand the development of these T cells in humans. Gamma delta (γδ) T cells are of increasing interest as target cells for cancer immunotherapy.

Health - 01.09.2022
Understanding the migration mechanisms of metastatic cells to fight cancer
When a tumor develops in an organism, it is very common for the cancer cells to leave the tumor and settle in another organ where they proliferate, creating what is called metastasis. This process is an important factor in mortality since it means the worsening of the disease. Hence the interest in better understanding what happens during this phenomenon.

Health - 27.08.2022
Autoimmune disorders increase risk of cardiovascular disease
Autoimmune disorders increase risk of cardiovascular disease
In a large epidemiological study researchers from KU Leuven show that patients with an autoimmune disorder have a substantially higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease than individuals without autoimmune disease. The research shows for the first time that cardiovascular risks affect autoimmune disorders as a group of diseases with implications across a broad range of cardiovascular outcomes.