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Machines can learn to respond to new situations like human beings would

Machines can learn to respond to new situations like human beings would

How does the image-recognition technology in a self-driving car respond to a blurred shape suddenly appearing on the road? Researchers from KU Leuven have shown that machines can learn to respond to unfamiliar objects like human beings would.

Machines can learn to respond to new situations like human beings would - Read More…

World’s first population-level microbiome study reveals links between lifestyle and gut flora

World’s first population-level microbiome study reveals links between lifestyle and gut flora

The Flemish Gut Flora Project has presented its first major results about the gut flora of healthy volunteers. By analyzing more than 1,000 human stool samples, a research team led by Professor Jeroen Raes (VIB/VUB/KU Leuven) has identified 69 factors linked to gut flora composition. Their results, published in Science, provide important information for future disease research and clinical studies. 

World’s first population-level microbiome study reveals links between lifestyle and gut flora - Read More…

Brain cells divide the work to recognize bodies

Brain cells divide the work to recognize bodies

Specific regions of the brain are specialized in recognizing bodies of animals and human beings. By measuring the electrical activity per cell, scientists from KU Leuven and the University of Glasgow have shown that the individual brain cells in these areas do different things. Their response to specific contours or body shapes is very selective.

Brain cells divide the work to recognize bodies - Read More…

One embryo, different genes: scientists discover rare type of cell division

One embryo, different genes: scientists discover rare type of cell division

KU Leuven scientists have discovered a new type of cell division that explains genetic differences within one embryo. In this rare kind of cell division, the chromosomes of both parents are not passed on together, but end up in different cells. This can lead to severe developmental disorders.

One embryo, different genes: scientists discover rare type of cell division - Read More…

A bit of chemistry on your roof: solar panel produces hydrogen gas

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.”

A bit of chemistry on your roof: solar panel produces hydrogen gas - Read More…

No river too deep, no hurdle too high: Survival of the Student obstacle race

No river too deep, no hurdle too high: Survival of the Student obstacle race

LOKO Sport, student association Apolloon, and the University Sports Centre organized the second edition of the Survival of the Student obstacle race on Wednesday 13 April. Arenberg Castle Park and the University Sports Centre were transformed into an obstacle course of 6 kilometres with no less than 21 obstacles.

No river too deep, no hurdle too high: Survival of the Student obstacle race - Read More…

MindMates organizes first mental health workshops for international students

The shiny happy world of Facebook may suggest otherwise, but in real life, many of us go through a rough patch sooner or later. Life’s challenges may include personal losses, health issues, or emotional problems. In the autumn of 2014, therefore, KU Leuven launched the MindMates programme to promote emotional well-being among students. MindMates has already organized several Dutch-language workshops and will soon offer its first workshops for international students.

MindMates organizes first mental health workshops for international students - Read More…

Commonly used strategy for website protection is not waterproof

Commonly used strategy for website protection is not waterproof

Cloud-based security providers commonly use DNS redirection to protect customers’ websites. The success of this strategy depends on shielding the website’s original IP address. Computer scientists from KU Leuven, Belgium, and digital research centre iMinds have now revealed that the IP address can be retrieved in more than 70% of the cases. This means that the DNS redirection security mechanism can easily be bypassed.  

Commonly used strategy for website protection is not waterproof - Read More…

The decline of Sagalassos: DNA research sheds new light on history of ancient city

Why did the population of Sagalassos suddenly leave the city in the 13th century?  Scientists have always assumed that earthquakes and the plague in previous centuries had marked the decline of the city. But new DNA research sheds a different light on the swan song of Sagalassos.

The decline of Sagalassos: DNA research sheds new light on history of ancient city - Read More…

Cuckolded fathers are surprisingly rare, DNA evidence shows

Cuckolded fathers are surprisingly rare, DNA evidence shows

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. 

Cuckolded fathers are surprisingly rare, DNA evidence shows - Read More…

Scientists work their magic on ‘shrunken finger illusion’

Scientists work their magic on ‘shrunken finger illusion’

What happens when you rest a chopped ping pong ball on your finger and look at it from above? Experimental psychologists from KU Leuven have shown that our visual system fills in the bottom part of the ball, even if we know it’s missing. This makes our finger feel unusually short, as if to compensate for the ‘complete’ ball. The findings indicate that the completion is due to our visual system, not our imagination.

Scientists work their magic on ‘shrunken finger illusion’ - Read More…

Geneticists identify cause of rare immune disease and find potential cure 

Geneticists identify cause of rare immune disease and find potential cure 

No known cause, no cure. Those were the bleak prospects for patients with a mysterious inflammatory disease that causes severe skin lesions, fevers, pain, and exhaustion. Researchers from KU Leuven/VIB and University Hospitals Leuven have now identified the genetic mutation causing the disease. They even suggest a potential cure.

Geneticists identify cause of rare immune disease and find potential cure  - Read More…

Belgian royal couple pay heartening visit to victims and medical staff in University Hospitals Leuven

Belgian royal couple pay heartening visit to victims and medical staff in University Hospitals Leuven

On Thursday morning 24 March, King Philippe and Queen Mathilde visited Campus Gasthuisberg of University Hospitals Leuven to offer moral support to the victims of the Brussels attacks treated there and to their families. They visited the intensive care units and talked to doctors and nurses. They also went to the operating wing to meet the surgeons and the nursing staff. At the time of the visit, 18 victims of the attacks were being cared for in the hospital, two of whom were in a critical condition.

Belgian royal couple pay heartening visit to victims and medical staff in University Hospitals Leuven - Read More…

KU Leuven campuses in Brussels have reopened

KU Leuven campuses in Brussels have reopened

The KU Leuven campuses in Brussels have reopened on Thursday 24 March. All classes and activities on Campus Brussels and Campus Sint-Lucas Brussels have resumed on Thursday morning.

KU Leuven campuses in Brussels have reopened - Read More…

Genetics may determine who develops type 1 and type 2 diabetes

Genetics may determine who develops type 1 and type 2 diabetes

An international team led by Professor Adrian Liston has discovered that a genetic defect in beta cells – the cells in the pancreas that produce, store, and release insulin – may underlie the development of both type 1 and type 2 diabetes. The study also describes a new animal model that may help develop new treatments for type 2 diabetes.

Genetics may determine who develops type 1 and type 2 diabetes - Read More…

Centuries-old student notes offer unique perspective on developments in science and education

Centuries-old student notes offer unique perspective on developments in science and education

KU Leuven, UCL, and the Royal Library of Belgium have digitized thousands of pages of lecture notes from the period 1425-1797. These handwritten notes offer a unique perspective on the developments in science and teaching practices at the University of Leuven. The digitization project makes the student notes available to researchers worldwide. 

Centuries-old student notes offer unique perspective on developments in science and education - Read More…

Weak number sense is a risk factor for dyscalculia

Weak number sense is a risk factor for dyscalculia

How well does a child understand how numbers work? The answer to that question predicts the child’s maths performance in later life, KU Leuven researchers have shown. Their findings open up new perspectives for the quick detection of dyscalculia.

Weak number sense is a risk factor for dyscalculia - Read More…

Enzyme may help dissolve blood clots in stroke patients

Enzyme may help dissolve blood clots in stroke patients

Cardiovascular scientists from KU Leuven Campus Kulak Kortrijk have shown that the ADAMTS13 enzyme can dissolve blood clots blocking the blood flow to the brain. Their discovery may open up new possibilities for the treatment of stroke patients.

Enzyme may help dissolve blood clots in stroke patients - Read More…

Children in intensive care recover faster with little to no nutrition

Children in intensive care recover faster with little to no nutrition

Critically ill children are artificially fed soon after their arrival in intensive care. This common practice is based on the assumption that it will help them recover more quickly. An international study coordinated at KU Leuven has now disproven this theory. The study shows that receiving little to no nutrition during the first week in intensive care makes children recover faster.

Children in intensive care recover faster with little to no nutrition - Read More…

Food and fun at the Ethiopian Cultural Show

Food and fun at the Ethiopian Cultural Show

The 21st edition of Afrika Filmfestival focuses the camera on Ethiopia. More than a hundred movies and documentaries make up most of the programme, but there are numerous activities related to African countries and their cultures as well. On Thursday 10 March, for instance, the Ethiopian Students Association Leuven (ESAL) and KU Leuven hosted an Ethiopian Cultural Show on Campus Group T. The guests were treated to an authentic injera meal, followed by a coffee ceremony. A fashion show in traditional attire closed the event with flying colours.

Food and fun at the Ethiopian Cultural Show - Read More…

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