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Life Sciences - 03.11.2022
New view on the brain: It’s all in the connections
It's not the individual brain regions but rather their connections that matter: neuroscientists propose a new model of how the brain works. This new view enables us to understand better why and how our brains vary between individuals. The researchers publish it in a special issue of Science on November 4th.

Life Sciences - Health - 03.11.2022
Major recognition for research on fat metabolism in brain
Neuroscientist Rik van der Kant (VU Amsterdam and Alzheimer Center Amsterdam UMC) and chemist Martin Giera (Leiden University Medical Centre) have been awarded a Neurodegeneration Challenge Network (NDCN) grant from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative.

Life Sciences - Microtechnics - 19.10.2022
How flying insects and drones can discern up from down
Scientists have developed a theory that can explain how flying insects determine the gravity direction without using accelerometers. It also forms a substantial step in the creation of tiny, autonomous drones. Scientists have discovered a novel manner for flying drones and insects to estimate the gravity direction.

Environment - Life Sciences - 13.10.2022
WWF report: Climate action also needed to reverse biodiversity losses
WWF report: Climate action also needed to reverse biodiversity losses
The new Living Planet Report 2022 of the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) reveals that populations of mammals, birds, amphibians, reptiles and fish have declined by an average of 69% since 1970. The report highlights the stark outlook of the state of nature and warns governments, businesses and the public to take action to reverse the decline in biodiversity.

Health - Life Sciences - 27.09.2022
’Love hormone’ may support memory in people with Alzheimer’s
Oxytocin may be able to support memory in people with Alzheimer's disease. This is the conclusion of a study led by Maastricht University in which oxytocin was administered to mice with Alzheimer's-related problems. The research is based on epigenetics, the external effects that turn parts of our DNA on or off during our lifetime.

Life Sciences - 27.09.2022
Why domestic cats may have small brains
Why domestic cats may have small brains
Domestic cats have smaller brains than their wild ancestors. Smaller brains need less energy. Cats might thus be able to spend more energy on other energetically costly organs. In the scientific journal Integrative Biology, a group of international researchers suggest that domestic cats have used this energy to enlarge their gut length to adapt their digestive system to the human environment.

Environment - Life Sciences - 26.09.2022
Scientists estimate more than half of palm species may be threatened with extinction
Scientists estimate more than half of palm species may be threatened with extinction
An international team of biologists, including W. Daniel Kissling of the University of Amsterdam, has used artificial intelligence techniques to estimate the conservation status of nearly 1900 palm species across the world. They found that more than 1000 of the species may be at risk of extinction.

Life Sciences - 26.09.2022
Virus discovered in world's most widely used research plant
Virus discovered in world’s most widely used research plant
A previously unknown virus has been found to occur worldwide in the most widely studied plant species, thale cress ( Arabidopsis thaliana ). The presence of the virus, which was discovered by researchers at Utrecht University and Wageningen University & Research, potentially has far-reaching implications for research projects.

Life Sciences - Microtechnics - 26.09.2022
Next level plant science in new NPEC lab
With the completion of NPEC at the end of this month, plant research enters a new era. The era of automation and a lot of data. NPEC stands for Netherlands Plant Eco-phenotyping Centre. The focus here is not the plant's genetic baggage - its genotype - but its outward appearance, or phenotype. The research entails measuring aspects of the plant's appearance and the influence of the environment.

Environment - Life Sciences - 20.09.2022
Plastic and debris in Arctic fox poo in Iceland
Plastic and debris in Arctic fox poo in Iceland
Recently, researchers associated with Wageningen Marine Research published an article in the scientific journal Polar Biology, where they discuss anthropogenic debris in Arctic fox faeces from Iceland. Samples from different decennia show that plastic has been ingested since the 1990's but that frequencies of such uptake are low.

Life Sciences - 16.09.2022
Ig Nobel Prize for research into romantic click
Cognitive psychologists Eliska Prochazkova and Mariska Kret from Leiden University have won an Ig Nobel Prize for their research into the romantic click between people.

Life Sciences - 15.09.2022
A new method developed for quantifying complex-formed corals
A new method developed for quantifying complex-formed corals
Researchers Jaap Kaandorp, Rob Belleman of the Informatics Institute, Computational Science lab (CSL) and master student Inge Bieger have developed a new method to use the analysis of 3D images to quantify the morphology of complex-formed and branching corals.

Life Sciences - Environment - 12.09.2022
Understanding our origins by exploring Asgard archaea viruses
Understanding our origins by exploring Asgard archaea viruses
In recent years, biologists have discovered an astounding diversity of all kinds of microorganisms: bacteria, archaea, eukaryotes and viruses. Using this information, multiple scientific teams have tried to delineate our evolutionary past. By studying our microbial relatives, we can better understand our own origins and the complex ecological communities of which they are part.

Life Sciences - Physics - 12.09.2022
Can we live longer? Leiden physicist makes discovery in protective layer in genes
Can we live longer? Leiden physicist makes discovery in protective layer in genes
With the aid of physics and a minuscule magnet, researchers have discovered a new structure of telomeric DNA. Telomeres are sometimes seen as the key to living longer. They protect genes from damage but get a bit shorter each time a cell divides. If they become too short, the cell dies. The new discovery will help us understand ageing and disease.

Life Sciences - Environment - 09.09.2022
The future of real milk without cows
The future of real milk without cows
"Maybe one day we can produce cell-based proteins on a rooftop in a city," says Julia Keppler from the Laboratory of Food Process Engineering. This lab looks into milk proteins made by cells instead of cows. Over the next four years, she and her colleagues will be taking major steps on this new path in the protein transition.

Environment - Life Sciences - 08.09.2022
Temperature Tiny Forest up to 20 degrees lower than on the streets on hot days
Temperature Tiny Forest up to 20 degrees lower than on the streets on hot days
Tiny Forests form an excellent solution to drought and heat stress in urban areas. Research by Wageningen Environmental Research shows that temperatures in a Tiny Forest may be as much as 20 degrees below those in the streets. Moreover, the mini forests store much water during heavy precipitation, which is sorely needed in the increasingly dry Netherlands.

Life Sciences - Health - 07.09.2022
Researchers propose new framework for regulating engineered crops
A Policy Forum article published this week in Science calls for a new approach to regulating genetically engineered (GE) crops, arguing that current approaches for triggering safety testing vary dramatically among countries and generally lack scientific merit - particularly as advances in crop breeding have blurred the lines between conventional breeding and genetic engineering.

Life Sciences - Psychology - 06.09.2022
Mariska Kret: 'The arrogance of thinking we're better than animals is downright stupid'
Mariska Kret: ’The arrogance of thinking we’re better than animals is downright stupid’
Professor of Cognitive Psychology Mariska Kret studies how humans and animals express emotions. Comparisons between humans and great apes offer important evolutionary insights, Kret will say in her inaugural lecture on Friday 9 September. Many of us still think humans are unique and 'shine at the top of evolution,' says Kret.

Life Sciences - Environment - 01.09.2022
The future of real milk without the cow
The future of real milk without the cow
"Maybe one day we can produce cell-based proteins on a rooftop in a city," says Julia Keppler from the Laboratory of Food Process Engineering. This lab looks into milk proteins made by cells instead of cows. Over the next four years, she and her colleagues will be taking major steps on this new path in the protein transition.

Health - Life Sciences - 30.08.2022
Negative expectations of treatment increase the chance of pain
Negative expectations of treatment increase the chance of pain
Many people experience more pain if they have negative expectations of treatment. What happens here in our brain? PhD candidate Mia Thomaidou conducted research into this nocebo effect. She discovered how brains convert negative expectations into pain signals. PhD defence on September 7. It is always good to read the medicine information leaflet, but focusing too much on possible negative effects is not advisable, says neuropsychologist Mia Thomaidou.