KU Leuven

Fighting the southern green stink bug

We are facing a little green problem: the southern green stink bug, an insect from Ethiopia, is on the rise in our country. And that's bad news for our vegetable growers. Fortunately, Margot Geerinck is working on a solution. The protagonists: ichneumon wasps & fungi!
KU Leuven

Showtime! Stereotypes about English loanwords in children

'Yow', 'Peace', 'Man'. Those English loanwords fly around joyfully when Melissa Schuring asks children for her research to briefly imitate a rapper. Very different, in fact, from when she has them play a farmer or a minister. Experiments like this teach her more about the development of linguistic stereotypes in children. In her video, she tells you more about her research.
KU Leuven

Let's cover our cars with solar panels

Do you own an electric car? Then you know how difficult it can be to find available charging spots. But what if we cover electric cars with solar panels so that they can charge themselves with the power of the sun? Well, that's not easy because conventional solar panels used on roofs can't be integrated into our cars. Electrical engineer Bin Luo is looking at new solar panels suitable for our cars.

Why is social contact so difficult after a brain injury?

People who suffer a brain injury, after an accident or stroke, often face social problems. They lose friends, face problems at work and their relationships fall apart more often. But what makes social contact so difficult after a brain injury? Neuropsychologist Annemarie Stiekema lists the main insights from research for you.
KU Leuven

Do we simplify our language in conversations with non-native speakers?

"Hebt gij Pieter toevallig nie gezien vandaag?"

This trivial Dutch question illustrates how, in our daily lives, we often use a more informal language, than the one we learn at school. This makes it challenging for non-native speakers to learn our language. In his research, Valentijn Prové studied conversations of Dutch native speakers with non-native speakers. He thus offers us an insight into how we adapt our language when we think someone will not understand us.

We ignore some lung cancer cells. Is that smart?

Up to 25% of the cells present in lung cancer tumours are currently ignored. As such, we don't know what the role of these so-called B cells is. "It is crucial to figure that out because we cannot efficiently fight something we do not fully understand," says Pauline Bardet (VUB - VIB - FWO).

In her PhD, she wants to get to the bottom of those B cells and thus find out whether those cells are "good guys" or "bad guys".
KU Leuven

Can proper recycling cure ALS?

Roughly every 5 minutes someone on this planet dies of ALS, and the sad truth is that we still do not have an effective treatment to cure this disease. The problem lies in the fact that we do not fully understand what causes ALS in the first place. In his doctorate, Jimmy Beckers is trying to solve a piece of the puzzle. He is investigating whether a malfunction in our internal cellular recycling system might be linked to ALS.

How radars will help deliver your pizza!

The year is 2040. A drone just landed on your doorstep, delivering your favorite pizza, which you just ordered a few minutes ago. 🍕 😋 What a time to be alive right?! To make this scenario a reality, Adnan Albaba (Imec - VUB) is working on radar technology to make self-navigating drones.

The religious lives of Bangladeshis in Europe

Why is it that Muslim migrants seem to become more religious after arriving in Europe, in a secular society? That's what Saimum Parvez (VUB) is investigating. He's looking into the case of Bangladeshi migrants, by raising questions such as: how do they participate in religious rituals? Do they see themselves as religious? And what impact does migration have on their religion?

Stem cells in the battle against brain tumors

Once diagnosed with glioblastoma, a highly aggressive brain cancer, a patient has on average only 15 months to live. "This terrible statistic shows that we urgently need new treatment options," says Myrthe Mampay (VUB - FWO). In her research, she is looking for one such new treatment based on immunotherapy, in which she wants to use patient stem cells to make macrophages that attack the tumour.

What can science and policy learn from each other?

"Scientific information has to play a bigger role in the process of decision-making in policy." This is Ante Ivčević firm belief. In his research, he seeks to understand how policymakers make decisions and, more importantly, how we can get them to make these decisions based on scientific information. To investigate this, he researches science and policy regarding coastal areas in the Mediterranean basin.

Challenges with long-acting medication

People suffering from a chronic brain disorder can be helped with long-acting injectables, medication that works for a long time and no longer requires them to take pills every day. But the traditional manufacturing process of long-acting medication is complex, time-consuming, and requires a lot of energy. Snehashis Nandi investigates how long-acting injectables can be produced sustainably and efficiently.