KU Leuven News
27 October 2016 - Scientists in Belgium have developed an algorithm to help rhinoplasty patients design a nose suited to their facial proportions. The technique could also help patients who have lost their own nose because of disease to design a perfectly fitting prosthetic.
27 October 2016 - Through its Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme, the EU is investing in research to combat the Zika virus outbreak. The funding will support research to develop treatments, diagnostics and vaccines, and to make a better risk assessment. KU Leuven is a partner institution in ZIKAlliance and ZikaPLAN, two of the research consortia involved.
25 October 2016 - Computer scientist Tuur Stuyck (25) had an animated summer: he spent it working on Pixar’s new film Coco. A dream job, according to Tuur: “The offices look like small castles, log cabins, or race cars."
21 October 2016 - Only a small share of Congolese villagers is the driving force behind most of the deforestation. They’re not felling trees to feed their families, but to increase their quality of life. These findings are based on fieldwork by bioscience engineer Pieter Moonen from KU Leuven. They indicate that international programmes aiming to slow down tropical deforestation are not sufficiently taking local farmers into account.
20 October 2016 - Boosting the metabolism of specific white blood cells may prevent the spread of cancer. The key lies in making these cells ‘steal’ sugar from the cells that create the escape route for the cancer cells: the blood vessels of the tumour.
On 11 October, Rector Rik Torfs launched a new alumni chapter in Japan. This was part of a state visit on the occasion of 150 years of diplomatic relations between Japan and Belgium. Together with other Flemish universities, KU Leuven also concluded new partnerships with Japanese universities.
12 October 2016 - Spreading tumour cells adapt their metabolism to the specific organs they are invading. That is the conclusion of researchers from VIB and KU Leuven in the journal Cell Reports. The researchers examined lung cancer metastases that originated from breast tumours. They discovered that the two tumour types have different ways of using nutrients to grow. These findings may pave the way for the development of new methods to halt tumour growth.
11 October 2016 - A malfunctioning mechanism to cope with intense brain activity plays an important role in the development of Parkinson’s disease. That is the conclusion of a study by Professor Patrik Verstreken (VIB / KU Leuven) and his team.
5 October 2016 - Using a simple decision rule and a finger prick to test blood, general practitioners can now detect serious infections in children very quickly. This ensures that seriously ill children don’t have to wait for a diagnosis until they’re hospitalized – a delay that may have fatal consequences. The procedure also prevents unnecessary hospital referrals for less serious cases. That is the conclusion of a study conducted by a clinical team at KU Leuven in collaboration with Ghent University and University of Oxford.
4 October 2016 - At the start of the previous academic year, KU Leuven introduced the so-called ‘30% measure’. This measure reorients starting bachelor’s students and students in bridging programmes with a very low CSE (Cumulative Study Efficiency) and prevents their chances of a successful student career from being permanently jeopardized. According to the first figures, the implementation of the measure has positive consequences: study results are improving.
3 October 2016 - Electrical engineer Kristof Van Beeck has developed a safety system that alerts truck drivers to the presence of cyclists or pedestrians in their vehicle blind spot. The system is more accurate than existing cameras and may thus prevent more accidents.
On Monday 26 September, the 2016-2017 academic year was officially opened at KU Leuven. In keeping with tradition, the procession of academic regalia started off the day. During the convocation ceremony, Rector Rik Torfs presented his version of Utopia: “The true utopia is not a perfect society, but a society that carefully creates room for the imperfect.”
23 September 2016 - Lake Victoria in East Africa will become a hotspot for hazardous thunderstorms due to climate change. This is shown by an international study led by KU Leuven. The findings were published in Nature Communications.
20 September 2016 - KU Leuven has found that a student and a former student have committed identity fraud in the context of written exams. The university takes this matter very seriously. The student will not be allowed to re-register at the university for two years. KU Leuven will also file a complaint against the other person with the office of the public prosecutor.
20 September 2016 – Was Popeye onto something after all? Researchers from the Athletic Performance Centre at KU Leuven have found that taking a supplement of nitrate – a substance found in leafy greens such as spinach – may enhance athletic performance.
19 September 2016 - When a conflict between a retailer and a manufacturer gets out of hand, the retailer may decide to stop carrying specific products, or the manufacturer may stop selling his products to the retailer. Marketing researchers at KU Leuven have now shown that these so-called conflict delistings have negative consequences for both parties. But in terms of sales, the retailer stands to lose the most.
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.
16 September 2016 - A new system for automated food packaging reduces waste and is far more flexible than existing systems. With its three modules, the automated system can even process different food products on the same production line.
14 September 2016 - Twenty years after the technique was developed, scientists at KU Leuven and Stanford University have unravelled the mechanism behind the direct conversion process of natural gas into methanol at room temperature. This discovery will have major consequences for the future use of methanol in various everyday applications.
8 September 2016 – The yeast strains we are using to produce beer and wine were selected in the sixteenth century, long before the discovery of microorganisms. That is the main conclusion of a study conducted by researchers at VIB, KU Leuven, and UGent.