How plants really grow

Biologist Sébastjen Schoenaers (UAntwerpen) watches his son Ferre grow rapidly. Yet Ferre grows 150 times slower than an ordinary corn leaf 🌱 We still don't understand how plants do this. Sébastjen zooms in on the plant up to molecular level to figure out how it really grows 🔬 This can help us grow plants better and faster.

Micro-algae: how to make space food your daily snack?

Micro-algae form a healthy protein-rich meal. No wonder this is eaten by astronauts during space travels 👨‍🚀 Joran Verspreet's (VITO) mission is to get this fancy space food onto your plate 🍽
Rios Rios

Feeding your superhero bacteria with prebiotics

Your gut is filled with 'superhero' bacteria that help you maintain your body in a healthy way. These superheroes rely on prebiotics; compounds that help them grow. Karina Rios Rios (VITO) is looking for such prebiotics in unsuspected resources... Find out how she wants to help you feed your superhero bacteria.

More and healthier strawberries thanks to insect breeders 🍓 🐛

Insects and fruit, it doesn't seem like a very successful combination. And yet, insect breeders and their 'critters' can help strawberry farmers to grow more and healthier strawberries. Lise Soetemans (VITO) explains how.

Reforesting 80.000 trees a day: a mission impossible?

Did you know that it's possible to grow 1 million new trees in one year starting from (fragments of) one single plant? By using the promising technique of in vitro propagation, Maroua Grira (Ghent University) wants to save tree species such as Mahogany & Dalbergia from extinction. 
Van Peteghem

What if we fed bacteria to our fish and pigs? 🦠 🍽 🐟 🐖

Imagine that you could use the CO2 emissions of factories to feed animals! Two birds with one stone. Well, this is possible! in this video, Lotte Van Peteghem (Ghent University) explains how she would like to use the CO2 emissions of steel factory Arcelor Mittal to eventually feed about 150,000 pigs

Innovation for a more sustainable agriculture 🚜 👨🏽‍🌾

A strawberry picking robot: a fine example of innovation in agriculture. Yet innovations seem difficult to spread in the agricultural sector. That's why Evelien Cronin is researching how we can improve the innovation process: "Alone you go faster, but together you get further."
KU Leuven

The circle of food

Our poo and pee are too precious to waste, says Angelou Papangelou. The phosphorus in our excrement and in animal manure can serve as the food of our food and shouldn't go to waste. That's why Anastasia Papangelou is mapping the nutrient stocks and flows in the country, so that we can put our poo and pee to good use!
KU Leuven

Staying afloat: how rural Bangladeshi women adapt to changing climate

The land of farmers in coastal Bangladesh remains flooded for almost half of the year. To tackle this, Bangladeshi farmers use 'floating farms'. Jinat Hossain tells you more about this innovative adaptation mechanism. 
KU Leuven

White bread, but deliciously rich in fibre

Do you also love bread? Belgians eat an average of 33 kg of bread a year, about 1,000 slices. But that's mostly white bread, which doesn't contain much fibre. To make us eat more of that healthy fibre, Sara Petit-Jean (KU Leuven) is working on new, high-fibre white bread.

How seeds shape history

Have you ever noticed how seeds are omnipresent? You find them in our daily bread, they are used in medicines, cosmetics, and even jewelry. This has always been the case, throughout the history of mankind. Archaeobotanist Sidonie Preiss dives into archaeological wells, granaries, and even latrines to recover seeds and reconstruct the shared history of plants and mankind.

Can we use bacteria to cure plants?

Each of us has lost a precious plant to aphids or other insects before. Unfortunately, most insecticides to combat these creatures are harmful to the environment. That's why Tessa Acar is committed to the development of a new and better weapon: bacteria that can fight insects.