KU Leuven

Unmasking bank risk

In 2008 banks took too many risks and lied about their true condition. Their collapse led to a worldwide financial crisis, that had a huge impact on society. You may think that everything is better now, but is it? Or do banks only look safer than they really are? That's what Elizaveta Sizova (KU Leuven) is investigating, in order to assess bank risk.
KU Leuven

Let's no longer treat every ovarian cancer patient the same way

"Each person is unique. So why do we still treat every woman with ovarian cancer the same way?" Liselore Loverix (KU Leuven - FWO) examines patient by patient and looks for errors in the DNA of their tumour cells. In this way, before treatment starts, she identifies which patient would benefit from a new, targeted therapy based on cancer drugs.
KU Leuven

English loan words: the clash of grammatical constructions

Dutch is full of loan words, such as "last minute" or "lunch". It seems as if it can borrow English words without any limit. But is that really the case? Linguist Marlieke Shaw (KU Leuven - FWO) looks into this by studying transcriptions of spoken texts. A real must-see for fans of the Dutch language.
KU Leuven

Can we be multilingual in our own mother tongue?

There is only one stable grammar, which applies in all situations of language use, right? Not really, says linguist Alexandra Engel (KU Leuven). Her research shows that, depending on the formality of the situation, we use different variants of grammar - for example, you talk differently to your friend than to your boss. In a sense, we are multilingual in our own mother tongue.
KU Leuven

The big impact of tiny critters in our food

You have no doubt come across it when opening your fridge: a packet of cheese full of mould or a pot of sauce with a suspiciously bulging lid. The culprits? Bacteria, yeasts and moulds. Food producers try to prevent this type of spoilage as much as possible, by ensuring that a product contains as few micro-organisms as possible when it leaves the factory. Bio-engineer Thijs Vackier is working on new cleaning agents that can better break down biofilms, protective mantles around micro-organisms, in food processing equipment.
KU Leuven

Gamma Cassiopeia, the stellar ballerina

Did you know that one of the brightest stars in the night sky is still a mystery to astronomers? Gamma Cassiopeia, the central star of the Cassiopeia constellation (the 'W' you can see at night), is rapidly spinning around its axis, much like a ballerina, causing it to break itself apart. And it's not the only one. Julia Bodensteiner wants to shed light on these spinning, or should we say 'dancing' stars.

3D printing and accelerators to improve chemical production

Real almonds are expensive. That's why products such as marzipan are sometimes made with synthetic almond flavour. For this, two elements are important: a reactor in which to make these synthetic almond molecules and a catalyst to speed up the chemical reaction. Chemical engineer & marzipan lover Clement Jacquot tells you more about his clever idea to produce more of this synthetic almond flavour, in a much faster way!
de Lenne
KU Leuven

How effective are realistic models in advertising?

Slim top models and muscled hunks are increasingly making way for realistic models in advertising campaigns. A good evolution, although it is not clear whether these campaigns actually result in a more positive body image. Orpha de Lenne studies realistic advertisements to find out how they can really make us feel better about our body. 

LED lights: The lighthouses of the future?

GPS is a wonderful technology. Unfortunately, it is of no use in large buildings, such as hospitals and airports, because concrete blocks GPS signals. But Robin Amsters (KU Leuven - FWO) is working on a solution. He explains how lightning-fast flickering LED lights will guide us and our robots indoors in the future.
KU Leuven

How to get your school moving

Children should exercise about 60 minutes a day, but figures show that children in Belgium do not meet that standard. Rosalie Coolkens wants to use schools to help children reach that recommended hour of exercise.
Van Dyck
KU Leuven

A conspiracy between two microbes

Together you are always stronger. Unfortunately, this also applies to some microbes, which can conspire to make us seriously ill. Microbiologist Katrien Van Dyck is investigating such a conspiracy between a fungus and a microbe that work together to cause a serious infection. By studying the interaction between the two, she hopes to find out how we can break their alliance.
KU Leuven

Chronic swallowing problems after head and neck cancer

Thanks to new radiotherapy techniques, more and more patients with head and neck cancer are surviving. But for 70% of them, this radiation causes chronic swallowing problems, making it difficult to eat and drink. Hanne Massonet hopes to help them enjoy food and drink again by training their tongue, mouth, and throat muscles.