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Most Popular Stories of 2016

22 December 2016 - Scientific breakthroughs, exciting events, and a little bit of folly: that is 2016 in a nutshell. To celebrate another wonderful year at KU Leuven, we compiled a list of the most popular stories published in 2016. Discover them in this interactive image or scroll down for this year's top 10. Happy News Year!

22 December 2016 - Scientific breakthroughs, exciting events, and a little bit of folly: that is 2016 in a nutshell. To celebrate another wonderful year at KU Leuven, we compiled a list of the most popular stories published in 2016. Discover them in this interactive image or scroll down for this year's top 10. 

Happy News Year!

 

 

1. Blood of King Albert I identified after 80 years

22 July 2016 - The death of King Albert I of Belgium in 1934 – officially a climbing accident  – still fuels speculation. Forensic geneticist Maarten Larmuseau and his KU Leuven colleagues have now compared DNA from blood found on the scene in 1934 to that of two distant relatives. Their analysis confirms that the blood really is that of Albert I. This conclusion is at odds with several conspiracy theories about the king’s death.

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2. HAY FEVER MEDICINE REDUCES SYMPTOMS OF IRRITABLE BOWEL SYNDROME 

15 January 2016 - Researchers from KU Leuven have identified the cause of abdominal pain in patients with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). As a result, they were able to select a medicine that could reduce or end that pain. This medicine is already used to treat hay fever. 

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3. KU Leuven tops Reuters ranking of Europe's most innovative universities 

14 June 2016 - KU Leuven, Imperial College London, and the University of Cambridge lead the Reuters Top 100: Europe’s Most Innovative Universities ranking. The Reuters Top 100 aims to identify which institutions contribute the most to science and technology, and have the greatest impact on the global economy.

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4. GUIDED TOURS AND DUTCH FOR BEGINNERS: LEUVEN WELCOMES NEW INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS 

19 September 2016 - Thousands of international students come to Leuven each year. With initiatives including Orientation Days and the Buddy Programme, KU Leuven ensures that these students receive a warm welcome.

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5. Will Earth still exist 5 billion years from now? Old star offers sneak preview of the future 

8 December 2016 - What will happen to Earth when, in a few billion years’ time, the Sun is a hundred times bigger than it is today? Using the most powerful radio telescope in the world, an international team of astronomers has set out to look for answers in the ageing star L2 Puppis. 

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6. CUCKOLDED FATHERS ARE SURPRISINGLY RARE, DNA EVIDENCE SHOWS

5 April 2016 - Despite the urban myth reinforced by many a daytime talk show, emerging evidence consistently indicates that very few fathers have unknowingly raised children who were not biologically their own. That is the conclusion of KU Leuven geneticists, biologists, and sociologists in Trends in Ecology and Evolution

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7. Patron Saint’s Day 2016: “A little folly brings utopia closer” 

11 February 2016 - With a nod towards Erasmus and Thomas More, Rector Rik Torfs held a plea for a healthy dose of folly as well as utopianism. In other words: we have to dare to dream, just like the six individuals who received an honorary doctorate during this year’s Patron Saint’s Day celebrations.

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8. A BIT OF CHEMISTRY ON YOUR ROOF: SOLAR PANEL PRODUCES HYDROGEN GAS

18 April 2016 - A team of bioscience engineers is experimenting with a miniature solar panel that produces hydrogen gas, thus supplying both electricity and fuel. Hydrogen gas can also reduce CO2 on a large scale and convert it into useful substances. “Chemistry is often frowned upon as a polluting industry, but for a challenge such as climate change, it may very well provide the ultimate solution.”

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9. Electronic nose detects pesticides and nerve gas 

4 July 2016 - Detecting pesticides and nerve gas in very low concentrations? An international team of researchers led by Ivo Stassen and Rob Ameloot from KU Leuven have made it possible. Don't forget to watch the Reuters video!

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10. Greenland ice sheet melts more when it’s cloudy

12 January 2016 - Clouds play a bigger role in the melting of the Greenland ice sheet than was previously assumed. Compared to clear skies, clouds enhance the meltwater runoff by a third. Those are the findings of an international study that was coordinated by KU Leuven and published in Nature Communications.

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