The number of offshore wind farms in the North Sea is exponentially increasing. Their construction responds to the urgent need to transition to green energy production and carbon neutrality. The installation of these man-made structures has a notable impact on the marine ecosystem. Some positive impacts include providing a new home for various animals, and offering shelter, food, and breeding grounds. However, there have been observations of black sediment patches in the sampled sediments near the turbine foundations, suggesting a high input of organic matter into the sediment, altering natural biogeochemical processes.
After several years of dismal market activity, 2024 is already looking up for deals in the pharmaceutical industry, with a recent flurry of billion-dollar mergers and acquisitions. Is this trend being driven by the impending loss of revenue caused by soon-to-expire blockbuster drug patents? And what does it mean for earlier-stage biotech startups?
Personalized healthcare is characterized by tailoring treatments to each individual patient’s needs. Despite evident benefits, implementing such a system is not straightforward. The ATHENA project consortium has successfully devised a set of building blocks to address the challenges associated. Both technological and governance tools were developed that can now be used on a larger scale to catalyze the transition towards personalized medicine and care.
The emergence of artificial intelligence and machine learning accelerates research and innovation across various sectors, particularly in healthcare. The potential for the development of innovative diagnostic tools and therapies based on insights from health data is limitless. However, progress should never compromise the privacy of patients. It’s a delicate balance that is essential to maintain.
Belgium is one of the top countries in the world for in vitro fertilization (IVF). Despite the high cumulative success rates of these interventions, disproportionally little attention has been given to the health of both mother and child during and after pregnancy. With the HEART (High risk for pre-Eclampsia after Assisted Reproductive Technology) project, Belgian researchers strive to understand why some women have an increased risk for pre-eclampsia after IVF and whether biomarkers can be identified to estimate these risks early in pregnancy or even before conception. They aim to raise the standard from successful conception to improved child and maternal health.
While a vast majority of women experience vaginal yeast infections, research has fallen short in providing an effective treatment approach. However, hope has emerged recently with the development of new model systems that allow exploration of the complex vaginal environment. Organ-on-chip models enable researchers to examine the interactions between human cells and microbes in a more accurate manner, offering the potential for the development of new therapies.
Antibiotic resistance is a major concern for humans and animals. Increasing pressure to move away from antibiotics has created space for new solutions for disease management. Animab’s oral monoclonal antibody platform is a promising alternative, effectively guarding against infection during a vulnerable period in an animal’s development.
The patient’s journey in a healthcare setting is influenced by factors beyond the mere medical aspects of the case. Local variations in care procedures among hospitals and caregivers enable benchmarking and adaptation of practices to optimize outcomes. For effective process modeling, it’s essential to collect data and extract insights. To optimize this process efficiently, collaborative efforts should explore alternative data sources and implement novel tools.
Barely any people stick to a three-meals-a-day plan. Snacking is part of our culture and can even contribute to a healthy diet when choosing the right snacks. But your appetite doesn’t always agree about what’s the “right” snack. Your hands automatically reach for those candy bars, instead of a handful of nuts. Therefore, we investigated whether two different nutritional labels – calorie labels and the Nutri-Score – can nudge you in the right direction.
Gluten-free dietary products contain more sugar and fats but fewer nutrients and are generally more expensive. A gluten-free diet can even lead to social isolation and stigmatization. Scientists are thus looking for a way that allows people with celiac gluten intolerance disease to enjoy the benefits of gluten in a safe manner.
In December 2023, Azalea Vision announced the first test of their smart contact lens on a real person. This demonstration showcased the first functional prototype of their smart lens, known as the ALMA lens, which was developed by the company to address ocular disorders characterized by the inability to effectively filter light.
Similar to the growing use of large-scale scientific data to guide laboratory research, urban data presents significant potential for informed decision-making in city governance. Extensive data on waste collection, traffic, pollution, and various other facets of city management can be collected and analyzed to help policymakers identify challenges and develop prediction-based solutions. Thomas Van Oppens, Deputy Mayor of Leuven, underscores the importance of local collaboration in establishing such a data-driven growth model for city governance.
Even though endometriosis impacts millions of women globally, the condition remains poorly understood and researched, leading to delayed diagnosis and lack of effective treatment. Encouragingly, there are promising recent developments in the field coming from Belgium. Professor Hugo Vankelecom’s research group at KU Leuven uses advanced cellular models, known as organoids, to delve into the disease and expedite the drug discovery process. The Danish BioInnovation Institute now offers the team an incubation program to pave the way towards industrial success.
After a therapeutic drug hits the market, it is crucial to continuously gather, analyze, and report data regarding its safety and potential side effects, a practice known as pharmacovigilance. Unlike clinical trials, this involves real-world data (RWD), presenting unique challenges in terms of both quality and quantity. The Belgian BELpREG project seeks to employ RWD for monitoring drug utilization during pregnancy and investigating potential safety implications for both maternal and child health. This initiative holds great promise, although it faces substantial hurdles on its path to success.
Muna Therapeutics is developing transformative therapies for neurodegenerative diseases. These drugs aim to preserve cognition and enhance the brain’s resilience in diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, providing much-needed hope for millions of patients and their loved ones.