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FlandersBio informs you about important regional and national life sciences news. Send us your news. If your news is of interest to the life sciences community, we will post it on our website.

FlandersBio informeert u over belangrijk nieuws op het vlak van de biowetenschappen. Bezorg ons jouw nieuwtjes. Als het interessant is voor de sector, zullen wij het op onze website plaatsen.

A novel mechanism that helps activated dendritic cells to initiate effective immunity

18.12.2015

Phagocytosis represents a critical innate barrier against infection and serves the clearance of extracellular microbes, infected and dying cells. Different immune cells use phagocytosis for microbial killing, but in dendritic cells (DCs) it mainly serves the processing and presentation of specific molecules (antigens) that are able to alert the immune system and to initiate immune responses. Researchers at VIB and UGent, in close collaboration with a research team of the Institute Curie in France, describe now a mechanism of how the fusion between phagosomes and lysosomes influences the presentation of antigens on major histocompatibility complex (MHC) I molecules to cytotoxic T cells, a process called cross-presentation. The results are published in the December issue of the prestigious journal Immunity. read more

New insights into link between taste and behavior

07.12.2015

Evolutionary conserved brainstem circuits are the first relay for gustatory information in the vertebrate brain. While the brainstem circuits act as our life support system and they mediate vital taste related behaviors, the principles of gustatory computations in these circuits are poorly understood. Researchers at NERF (VIB/KU Leuven/imec) studied how the evolutionary conserved brainstem circuits of zebrafish encode gustatory information. read more

Tuning chocolate flavor through yeast research

03.12.2015

Researchers of Leuven University and VIB in Belgium have shown that the yeasts used to ferment cocoa during chocolate production can modify the aroma of the resulting chocolate. “The set of new yeast variants that we generated makes it possible to create a whole range of boutique chocolates to match everyone’s favorite flavor, similar to wines, tea, and coffee” says Dr. Jan Steensels, one of the lead researchers involved in the project. The results were published November 20 in Applied and Environmental Microbiology, a publication of the American Society for Microbiology. read more

VIB starts up a research group on multiple sclerosis at UHasselt

24.11.2015

The VIB/UHasselt Kleinewietfeld Lab was officially opened this morning. This research group is led by Prof. Markus Kleinewietfeld. Kleinewietfeld was appointed through an international selection process to further expand on his MS research at VIB (the Flanders Institute for Biotechnology) and the Hasselt University, where he is also active as a professor. The lab is located in the Biomedical Research Institute (BIOMED) at UHasselt and it is the first VIB group within this university. read more

VIB research presents new insights in the search for treatments for neurological diseases

19.11.2015

A team of researchers led by professor Patrik Verstreken (VIB/KU Leuven) has exposed the fine details of a mechanism that provides more insight in the communication between neurons. The research has clarified how damaged synapses – the connection points between neurons – are repaired to keep communication between neurons at an optimal level. Disturbances in these mechanisms are believed to play a role in the development of neurodegenerative diseases, such as dementia, ALS or Parkinson’s disease. The results have been published in leading neuroscience journal ‘Neuron’. read more

First Closing of V-Bio Ventures Fund 1 with commitments of € 63 million

19.11.2015

V-Bio Ventures announces the first closing of its V-Bio Ventures Fund 1 with € 63 million in capital commitments. read more

Simple blood test measures risk of liver cancer

27.10.2015

Researchers in Ghent have developed a test to measure the risk of liver cancer in people with cirrhosis of the liver. Their work will be revealed this week at United European Gastroenterology, the most important European conference for stomach, bowel and liver specialists. read more

Breakthrough research reveals a new target for Alzheimer's disease treatment

15.10.2015

A research team led by Amantha Thathiah (VIB/KU Leuven) has determined that a protein – known as GPR3 – might play an important role in alleviating the cognitive deficits and reducing the generation of ‘amyloid plaques’. These abnormal clusters of protein fragments build up between nerve cells and disrupt communication in the brain, which makes them prime suspects for causing Alzheimer’s Disease (AD). The results were announced in the leading journal ‘Science Translational Medicine’. The identification of GPR3 as an AD therapeutic target provides an important new perspective in AD drug development. read more

Unexpected role for the IKK complex in protecting cells from death

18.09.2015

The team of Prof. Bertrand in the group of Prof. Vandenabeele, demonstrates that the IKK complex protects cells from death by inactivating RIPK1, thereby revealing an unexpected NF-kB-independent new role of the IKK complex. read more

Alzheimer’s-disease-related proteases, BACE1 and APH1B-y-secretase, control axonal guidance by regulating growth cone dynamics

14.09.2015

BACE1 is the major drug target for Alzheimer’s disease, but we know surprisingly little about its normal function in the CNS. Soraia Barão and Bart De Strooper (VIB/KU Leuven) now show that this protease is critically involved in axonal guidance processes in thalamic and hippocampal neurons. An active membrane bound proteolytic CHL1 fragment is generated by BACE1 upon Sema3A binding. This fragment relays the Sema3A signal to the neuronal cytoskeleton. APH1B-y-secretase- mediated degradation of this fragment stops the Sema3A-induced collapse and sensitizes the growth cone for the next axonal guidance cue. read more

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