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In a seminal study published in Cell, an international team of scientists led by Prof. Adrian Liston (VIB-KU Leuven Center for Brain & Disease Research and Babraham Institute) describe a population of specialized brain-resident immune cells discovered in the mouse and human brain, and show that the presence of white blood cells is essential for normal brain development in mice.
In some individuals, a diet high in sugar increases the likelihood of developing pancreatic cancer and also drives the aggressive growth of tumours, a study by researchers from VIB-KU Leuven, Belgium and the Babraham Institute, Cambridge, UK, has found.
With the advent of super-resolution microscopy, scientists can study close protein associations better than ever before. In the latest edition of eLife, the team of Wim Annaert (VIB-KU Leuven) combines state-of-the-art imaging techniques to investigate the distribution of γ-secretase, a protein complex associated with both Alzheimer’s disease and cancer.
Today, on World ALS Day, the Research Foundation – Flanders (FWO) has allocated 322,000 euros to research aimed at improving the understanding and treatment of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). The money comes from a bequest left to the FWO by Mr. Van Eyck, who had explicitly requested that the money be spent on research into this neurological disease.
Two mutations identified in individuals with developmental and epileptic brain disease can be traced back to the same ion channel. Researchers have now elucidated how both independent mutations affect the channel’s function: by making it overly active and highly sensitive to stimulation. The findings are an important step towards unraveling what causes the patients’ symptoms.
Leuven researchers have deployed synthetic amyloids to trigger protein misfolding as a strategy to combat the influenza A and Zika virus.
In a recent study in JAMA Neurology, a Leuven research team led by Prof. Philip Van Damme, reveals that FDG-PET imaging is an early and sensitive biomarker to detect cerebral metabolic changes in presymptomatic carriers of a C9orf72 mutation. Their findings suggest that FDG-PET captures early cerebral changes years before disease onset.
Single cell technologies provide unprecedented insights into the dynamics of gene regulation of individual cells, but resolving spatiotemporal regulation networks has remained an experimental and computational challenge. A team of scientists lead by Stein Aerts (VIB-KU Leuven) came up with a new approach to map gene regulation in 2D tissues.
Last month both our EM and Biophysics expertise units received good news: each secured a substantial grant for new infrastructure. Two new microscopes will enable us to continue our pursuit of innovative lines of research.
Severe congenital neutropenia leaves young patients to contract infection after infection, leading to life-threatening situations. A team of Leuven scientists has identified a novel genetic mutation, pointing to a new causative mechanism for this severe immune disorder.