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Life Sciences - Physics - 10.06.2024
Meike Bos investigated how lungs transport mucus by using physics
Applying physics to better understand complicated biological processes: that is what Meike Bos did during her PhD. She used computer models to investigate how ciliated cells in the airways move to ensure that mucus can be transported. Her research, culminating in a successful dissertation defense on 29 May, highlights the power of computational modeling in addressing complex biological phenomena.

Life Sciences - 03.06.2024
Freeze response in dangerous situations is actually very useful
When people face an acute threat, they tend to react in one of three ways: fight, flight or freeze. A doctoral research project conducted at Radboud University by Felix Klaassen and defended on the 5th of June shows that the freeze response can be really helpful in dealing with a situation in a well-considered way.

Life Sciences - 30.05.2024
More wolves does not necessarily equal fewer foxes or badgers
The assumption that the numbers of smaller predators will decline when large predator populations rise, is not necessarily valid. For mammals in Europe, this relationship appears to exist only in specific cases. Utrecht biologists Thomas van Schaik, Marijke van Kuijk , and Liesbeth Sterck conclude this based on a literature review they conducted, which was recently published in the scientific journal Mammal Review.

Life Sciences - Microtechnics - 15.05.2024
Animal brain inspired AI game changer for autonomous robots
Animal brain inspired AI game changer for autonomous robots
A team of researchers at Delft University of Technology has developed a drone that flies autonomously using neuromorphic image processing and control based on the workings of animal brains. Animal brains use less data and energy compared to current deep neural networks running on GPUs (graphic chips).

Environment - Life Sciences - 30.04.2024
Residual waste from mushroom cultivation removes pollutants from water
Water can be purified using mushroom substrate: the mixture of fungal filaments and horse manure that remains after harvesting mushrooms. The substrate effectively decreases concentrations of pesticides and drugs in contaminated water. Utrecht researchers Brigit van Brenk , Han Wösten , and colleagues demonstrate this in a paper in the scientific journal Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology.

Life Sciences - Environment - 24.04.2024
First experimental proof for brain-like computer with water and salt
First experimental proof for brain-like computer with water and salt
Theoretical physicists at Utrecht University, together with experimental physicists at Sogang University in South Korea, have succeeded in building an artificial synapse. This synapse works with water and salt and provides the first evidence that a system using the same medium as our brains can process complex information.

Life Sciences - 19.04.2024
Problem in microscopy solved after decades
Problem in microscopy solved after decades
Examining tissues, cells, and proteins under a microscope helps us prevent and combat diseases. To study this, we need to precisely determine the dimensions of the biological structure. However, a biological sample may appear flatter under the light microscope than it actually is. Researchers at Delft University of Technology have now demonstrated for the first time that this distortion is not constant, contrary to what many scientists have assumed for decades.

Life Sciences - Computer Science - 11.04.2024
Our brain as an example
Our brain as an example
TU/e researcher Imke Krauhausen built new electronic devices based on neuromorphic computing Our brain can process complex information at lightning speed using very little energy. This is why there is rapidly growing interest in the human brain as a model for the development of new computer technology.

Environment - Life Sciences - 10.04.2024
FSC-certification of tropical forests proves beneficial for gorillas and elephants
FSC-certification of tropical forests proves beneficial for gorillas and elephants
Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)-certified timber harvesting areas in Gabon and Congo boast a greater abundance of larger mammals, such as leopards, gorillas, and elephants, than non-FSC forests. Utrecht University researcher Joeri Zwerts and colleagues conclude this based on 1.3 million camera trap images gathered in fourteen commercially exploited forests.

Life Sciences - Environment - 27.03.2024
Recently discovered bacterium holds promise for improved wastewater treatment
Recently discovered bacterium holds promise for improved wastewater treatment
The recent discovery of the comammox bacterium might prove pivotal in a new and improved approach to wastewater purification that will be more efficient according to research carried out by Pieter Blom. Mr Blom will receive his PhD on the subject from Radboud University on 4 April. Water treatment facilities remove nitrogen, among other substances, from wastewater before releasing it back into the environment.

Life Sciences - 06.03.2024
Chimpanzees are able to learn from their conspecifics what they cannot innovate themselves
Chimpanzees are able to learn from their conspecifics what they cannot innovate themselves
Chimpanzees that are unable to figure out a complex puzzle on their own, are capable of learning the solution from other chimps that were trained to solve it. Utrecht University researcher Edwin van Leeuwen and international colleagues conclude this based on experiments conducted with groups of chimpanzees in Zambia.

Health - Life Sciences - 13.02.2024
New technology to identify individual full-length human proteins
New technology to identify individual full-length human proteins
Scientists from Delft University of Technology present a new technique to identify proteins. Proteins carry out essential functions in our cells, while playing a crucial role in diseases like cancer and COVID-19 infection. The researchers identify proteins by reading out the fingerprint, and comparing the fingerprint to patterns from a database.

Life Sciences - 12.12.2023
Vlieland friend was seriously ill: inflammation in lungs, brain and ears
Vlieland friend was seriously ill: inflammation in lungs, brain and ears
The pilot whale found dead on Vlieland's beach in early December was examined at Utrecht University's Faculty of Veterinary Medicine. Investigations revealed that the animal was seriously ill and had inflammations in several organs. The adult female had meningitis and pneumonia as well as abnormalities in her teeth and hearing organs.

Health - Life Sciences - 08.12.2023
New 3D co-culture model to study the effect of proton therapy on aggressive brain cancer
New 3D co-culture model to study the effect of proton therapy on aggressive brain cancer
Researchers at TU Delft designed novel 3D-engineered scaffolds inspired by the geometry of the brain microvasculature. The micro-structures were co-cultured with both glioblastoma, an aggressive brain cancer, and endothelial cells, the building blocks of blood vessels. This model enabled researchers to study the effect of proton therapy on glioblastoma and uncovered a possible protective role of endothelial cells on cancer cells.

Life Sciences - 07.12.2023
Six genes found for a woman's likelihood of having fraternal twins
The Twinning Genetics Consortium announced the discovery of at least six genes influencing a woman's likelihood of having fraternal twins. Among the identified genes, four were associated with known roles in female reproduction, affecting the follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) pathway, particularly relevant to women undergoing fertility treatments.

Health - Life Sciences - 07.12.2023
Important antibody in our blood found to carry a surprise
Important antibody in our blood found to carry a surprise
The structure of one of the most abundant antibodies in our blood, Immunoglobulin M (IgM), turns out to be different than previously thought: it contains an additional protein known as CD5L. This discovery, made by Utrecht researchers under the guidance of Albert Heck and colleagues at Sanquin in Amsterdam, is now published in the scientific journal PNAS .

Life Sciences - Environment - 07.12.2023
Methane emissions from canals underestimated
Researchers have so far underestimated methane emissions from canals in five major Dutch cities. That is the conclusion of microbiologist Koen Pelsma, who will defend his PhD thesis on this topic at Radboud University on 13 December. In calculations of methane emissions from water, far too little is known about emissions from urban waters such as canals, says researcher Koen Pelsma.

Life Sciences - 04.12.2023
Working attitude and school grades are subject to common genetic influences
Working attitude and school grades are subject to common genetic influences
Pupils with a high level of self-control and grit generally achieve better grades. Many assume that this good working attitude results in better grades, but biological psychologists at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU) have discovered that the relationship is less causal than thought. Children predisposed to a good work attitude also are also predisposed to good academic performance.

Life Sciences - 04.12.2023
Reward sensitivity plays a role in youth crime
Reward sensitivity plays a role in youth crime
Boys who associate with delinquent friends are more likely to display antisocial behavior. A new study by neuroscientists and behavior experts from Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and Amsterdam UMC shows that this association is stronger in boys with an increased sensitivity to reward. For the first time, a scientific study on antisocial behavior has demonstrated an interaction effect between a brain mechanism, measured with functional MRI scans, and an environmental factor.

Health - Life Sciences - 16.11.2023
Plant protects next generation via soil
Plant protects next generation via soil
Plants recruit soil bacteria to protect against downy mildew, forming a leaf-based defense system. The bacteria not only combat pathogens but also leave a protective legacy in the soil for the next plant generation. This discovery, published today by Utrecht biologists, offers a promising path toward creating crops that naturally fend off diseases, reducing reliance on harmful pesticides in agriculture.
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