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Life Sciences - 07.12.2022
KU Leuven researchers put octopus brain on the map
KU Leuven researchers put octopus brain on the map
Wide variation in brain cells makes octopus brain even more complex than thought For the first time, researchers are mapping the different cell types found in octopus brains. Because of these animals' amazing ability to think, it should come as no surprise that their brain cells exhibit similar properties to the known neurons and glia in other animals.

Life Sciences - Environment - 15.11.2022
Active lipids enable intelligent swimming under nutrient limitation
Biophysicists from the University of Luxembourg have uncovered how microplankton - key photosynthetic organisms which produce nearly 50% of the oxygen we breathe - adopt a thrifty lifestyle when nutrients turn limiting. They strategically harness internal lipids to regulate swimming properties to maximise their fitness.

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.

Life Sciences - 01.09.2022
Biologists create new human cell type for research
Biologists create new human cell type for research
Professor Vincent Pasque and his team at KU Leuven have generated a new type of human cell in the lab using stem cells. The cells closely resemble their natural counterparts in early human embryos. As a result, researchers can now better study what happens just after an embryo implants in the womb. The findings were published in Cell Stem Cell .

Life Sciences - Environment - 23.08.2022
Yellow color provides more efficient mating in locust swarm
Yellow color provides more efficient mating in locust swarm
An international team of researchers led by Professor Jozef Vanden Broeck (KU Leuven) discovered why adult male desert locusts in a swarm have a yellow color, in contrast to their brownish, female counterparts. This color difference ensures that male locusts can recognize fertile females during mating in a large swarm and avoid ending up with another male or with an already formed pair.

Health - Life Sciences - 16.08.2022
Discovery of a genetic factor that quadruples the risk of end-stage renal failure!
Discovery of a genetic factor that quadruples the risk of end-stage renal failure!
In brief: Chronic kidney disease (CKD) affects over 10% of the world's population, including over one million people in Belgium. Genetic mutations are a major cause of CKD. Some mutations are very rare and have very severe effects on the kidney. Others are much and have barely detectable effects. For the first time, a UCLouvain team has discovered an intermediate-effect genetic mutation, present in about one in 1,000 people, that strongly increases the risk of CKD.

Life Sciences - 14.06.2022
Quick and Easy Biomonitoring in Living Tissue
A research team at KU Leuven (Belgium) has developed a new technique that allows researchers to easily quantify the concentration of calcium in living organisms over a long period of time. Up to now, this was only possible with more complex experimental setups. This simplified method can be adapted to other molecules and tissues, making it a useful instrument for translational research and the development of applications.

Life Sciences - 13.06.2022
The black box behind embryonic development
The black box behind embryonic development
Stem cell biologists identify how placenta cells are regulated DNA regulation is a critical process in a cell that allows it to fulfil its function. This process is key during pregnancy, when embryonic cells must develop into all cell types needed to form an embryo. An international team of researchers from KU Leuven, Babraham Institute, Radboud University, Ghent University and IMBA, have discovered that the first cell fate decision of embryonic development is regulated by a protein known as PRC2.

Life Sciences - Materials Science - 21.04.2022
Researchers from KU Leuven and UHasselt take important step towards development of biological dental enamel
To this day, cavities and damage to enamel are repaired by dentists with the help of synthetic filling materials. There is no natural alternative to this. A new 3D model with human dental stem cells could change this in the future. The results of the research led by KU Leuven Professor Hugo Vankelecom and Professors Annelies Bronckaers and Ivo Lambrichts from UHasselt have been published in Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences .

Life Sciences - Health - 17.03.2022
Midbrain single-cell sequencing to understand Parkinson’s Disease
Researchers from the Luxembourg Centre for Systems Biomedicine (LCSB) at the University of Luxembourg, in collaboration with the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics in Berlin, investigated the different cell types present in the human midbrain to better understand their respective role in Parkinson's disease.

Health - Life Sciences - 03.03.2022
Unexpected element in aging process discovered
VUB professor Ann Massie and her research group Neuro-Aging & Viro-Immunotherapy have published a surprising finding in an article in the leading journal Molecular Psychiatry. They have discovered a strategy that results in prolonged life expectancy and counteracts memory loss during the aging process.

Life Sciences - Health - 28.02.2022
Alternatives to animal testing on the rise
VUB, Sciensano, Flanders and Brussels call on scientists to share expertise on alternative testing methods via RE-Place platform A few years ago, the Flemish and Brussels Regions launched RE-Place , a platform for researchers to share their expertise on alternatives to animal testing.

Life Sciences - 10.02.2022
Analysis of 2,658 tumours sheds new light on mutations in cancer
A large-scale study conducted by KU Leuven and The Francis Crick Institute shows that 21% of tumours have double mutations, in which the exact same letter is mutated in both the maternal and paternal copy of your DNA. This is an observation that was not previously taken into account when analysing tumours but is important for future cancer research into the origin of mutations and their biological significance in the development of cancer.

Health - Life Sciences - 24.01.2022
Link between sugar metabolism and Parkinson's disease
Link between sugar metabolism and Parkinson’s disease
In brief: Parkinson's disease is the second most common neurodegenerative disease, but we still do not understand why this disease occurs. Scientists from the UCLouvain de Duve Institute have discovered a new type of molecular damage that is (glycolysis). They also discovered a mechanism that allows cells to prevent this type of damage.

Life Sciences - Health - 21.01.2022
Scientist receives grant for promising Alzheimer research
Researcher returns from US with state-of-the-art knowledge Friday, January 21, 2022 — VUB scientist Gamze Ates has been awarded ¤100,000 for research into Alzheimer's disease.

Life Sciences - Environment - 11.01.2022
How can we know how animals synchronise their behaviour?
How can we know how animals synchronise their behaviour?
Koen de Reus of VUB's Artificial Intelligence Lab and the Comparative Bioacoustics Group at Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics in the Netherlands: "Failure of a non-human animal to synchronise in an experiment designed to test humans does not mean they are incapable of synchronising. It could also mean that the experiment was not appropriately designed to test a particular species." VUB researcher Koen de Reus is part of an international team exploring the best way to study how animals synchronise behaviours such as moving, vocalising, and breathing.

Health - Life Sciences - 24.12.2021
Our 10 most-read science news stories of 2021
From abdominal pain after eating certain foods to experimental hearing implants: in this overview, we present the most-read news items about research at KU Leuven in 2021. KU Leuven develops very potent antiviral against dengue 6 October Researchers have developed an inhibitor of the dengue virus. The antiviral molecule is effective against all known dengue variants and could be used for therapeutic and prevention purposes.

Environment - Life Sciences - 23.12.2021
Protecting ecosystems is better done regionally than locally
VUB biologists find missing link between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning Biologists from VUB and the University of Gothenburg in Sweden have demonstrated for the first time that it is not the local biodiversity in a specific place that is essential for maintaining a properly functioning ecosystem, but the biodiversity of the entire region.

Life Sciences - Environment - 02.12.2021
City butterflies keep flying for longer
A new study led by VUB biologist Thomas Merckx shows that because of the warmer urban environment in which they live, butterflies and moths display a longer flight season than those in the surrounding countryside. The experiments he and colleagues conducted demonstrate for the first time that urban populations are evolutionarily adapted to start their overwintering state later in the year.

Environment - Life Sciences - 01.12.2021
VUB establishes Global Change Biology
Brussels and other cities as a living lab of ecological change and evolutionary adaptation The Vrije Universiteit Brussel has a new research specialisation in biology.
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