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Latest VIB Stories

2012-04-03 09:14:45

Plants breathe through stomata Plant leaves are protected from drying out by an airtight wax layer. They breathe and release water through microscopic pores called stomata. Every year 40% of atmospheric CO2 and twice the volume of water found in our atmosphere pass through these pores. This means that stomata are not only important for plant development but also for our climate! It's no surprise then that these pores appear to be strictly regulated by plants. Stomata react extremely...

2011-07-26 13:57:09

G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) are popular drug targets, accounting for about one-third of approved drugs and many hundreds of drugs currently in development. They act as molecular switches that transduce extracellular signals by activating heterotrimeric G proteins (G proteins) located at the inside of the cell. Changes in shape of these proteins determine essential processes, including whether an eye detects light, a virus invades a cell or a drug slows a racing heart. GPCRs sit in the...

2011-04-20 12:00:00

BRUSSELS, April 20, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Every person's intestinal system falls into one of three clearly distinguishable types of gut microbiota, comparable to blood types. These types are not related to race, native country or diet, according to a new metagenomics study by an international consortium of scientists including Jeroen Raes, of the VIB and Vrije Universiteit Brussel, published in Nature. Metagenomics is the study of the genetic material of complete ecosystems, in this case...

2011-02-18 16:05:50

Nele Festjens and Nico Callewaert of VIB and Ghent University have improved the efficacy of the vaccine for tuberculosis. The new vaccine affords - as already proven in mice - better protection against the disease. The development of a new tuberculosis vaccine is a priority in the fight against the disease which claims the lives of 1.7 million people each year. The current vaccine provides only partial protection. Nico Callewaert: "Our vaccine is more effective because it is more quickly...

2011-01-07 11:21:42

Scientists attached to VIB and K.U.Leuven have succeeded in decoding a potential new anti-cancer mechanism. The researchers discovered that normalizing abnormal tumor blood vessels through HRG (histidine-rich glycoprotein) prevents metastasis of tumor cells and enhances chemotherapy efficiency. In tumors, vessels formation is disturbed, leading to inefficient delivery of chemotherapeutic drugs and allowing cancer cells to escape to other parts of the body (metastasis). The normalization of...

2010-08-11 14:54:09

New technology can be applied to boost crop yields As a result of the worldwide growing population, the output of agricultural crops has to double by 2050. To address this challenge, the world needs new varieties of plants, with higher yield per hectare than current varieties. "The major driving force behind plant growth is cell division," says Geert De Jaeger, group leader at VIB and Ghent University. "If you understand the machinery that governs this process, you have the key to increase...

2009-12-15 21:55:06

Scientists at VIB and Ghent University in Flanders, Belgium have found an unexpected ally for the treatment of septic shock, the major cause of death in intensive care units. By inducing the release of nitric oxide (NO) gas in mice with septic shock, researchers Anje Cauwels and Peter Brouckaert discovered that the animal's organs showed much less damage, while their chances of survival increased significantly. That's contrary to all expectations, since it is generally assumed that nitric...

2009-10-15 13:56:47

Flemish technology at VIB: Ghent University creates revolution in protein research All of life is founded on the interactions of millions of proteins. These are the building blocks for cells and form the molecular mechanisms of life. The problem is that proteins are extremely difficult to study, particularly because there are so many of them and they appear in all sizes and weights. Now, Kris Gevaert from VIB/Ghent University and colleagues from the universities of Freiburg and Bochum have...

2009-06-23 10:07:21

"By putting mutant genes from human patients into fruit flies, we've created the first ever fly model for this kind of neuromuscular disease," says Albena Jordanova. "Now we have the opportunity to unravel the molecular mechanism behind Charcot-Marie-Tooth, as well as to start looking for substances with therapeutic value."The breakthrough is the result of collaboration between VIB researchers working at the University of Antwerp and the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, and appears in the...

2009-06-03 09:52:07

IMEC, Europe's leading independent nanoelectronics research center, VIB, Flanders' leading life science institute, and the Leuven University, K.U.Leuven, set up a joint basic research initiative to unravel the neuronal circuitry of the human brain: Neuroelectronics Research Flanders (NERF). Supported by the Flemish Government, NERF will look into fundamental neuroscientific questions through collaborative, interdisciplinary research combining nanoelectronics with neurobiology. It intends to...


Word of the Day
lunula
  • A small crescent-shaped structure or marking, especially the white area at the base of a fingernail that resembles a half-moon.
This word is a diminutive of the Latin 'luna,' moon.
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