KU Leuven News
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.