Science & Technology

SCTODAY

Technology News 2019

Reoviruses: weapons against cancer?

Prof. David Alsteens recently received two scientific awards for his team's research on initial interactions between a virus and a cell – research that could one day lead to new antiviral or...
Science and technology

Artificial intelligence for space exploration

Michael Saint-Guillain, a computer engineering research assistant at UCLouvain’s ICTEAM, didn’t plan on working in the fascinating realm of outer space. And yet, in 2018, while a PhD...
Environment

Big data: cartography the pulsations of a territory

2019 Fellow Award of the Regional Science Association International (RSAI), Isabelle Thomas reflects on her unconventional journey. ‘What fascinates me? Using geo-localised data to...

The complex market for green energy

Prof. Anthony Papavasiliou, a specialist in energy algorithms, just received an ERC Starting Grant. His research project, ICEBERG, aims to find ways to integrate the individual consumer into...

Does everyone benefit from sharing platforms?

Prosecco is the Italian sparkling white wine. PROSEco is a research programme that tries to establish whether the economic model of Airbnb and Uber sharing platforms is sustainable for all...
Environment

Ultra-thin cells on steel

Solar panels have invaded the roofs of our homes. And they’ll stay there a long time even though new, more sustainable photovoltaic cells are being developed. Electronic circuits, too,...
Environment

Rethinking the energy system

As part of the 11-14 March Water and Climate Festival in Louvain-la-Neuve, Science Today is highlighting UCLouvain ecological transition research and researchers. Gauthier Limpens, a PhD...
Environment

When soils filter wastewater

In Wallonia, one-tenth of domestic waste water doesn’t pass through a waste water treatment plant. Is it pollution? Not necessarily, because soils can filter and purify wastewater naturally...
Environment

Solar energy for a circular economy

The SUNRISE project, in which UCLouvain participates, just received €1 million from the European Union. With this sum, for one year, the consortium will establish a road map and...
Environment

Controlling nitrate

Agricultural nitrate has polluted water for decades. Today various techniques make it possible to more effectively control the use of this necessary fertiliser. It’s a much more complex...
Technology

Detecting dark matter: seven hints point to primordial...

  For several decades, astrophysicists have suspected the existence of so-called dark matter, constituting the bulk of all matter in the universe, but have not detected it directly....

Technology news

Mars, about to reveal its inner side

Mars was habitable 4.6 million years ago. Today, it isn’t. Véronique Dehant, department head at the Royal Observatory of Belgium and a part-time professor at UCLouvain, tries to understand how...
Health

A universal method for immobilising proteins

A team from UCLouvain's Institute of Condensed Matter and Nanosciences has established a self-assembly method for proteins, which are complex molecules. This represents a giant leap in the...
Health

When the virus ‘velcros’ to a cell

  UCLouvain researchers have discovered the essential role played by a glycoprotein present on the surface of herpesviruses. These viruses are responsible for several diseases, which...

Math thesis wins two awards

  Adrien Taylor’s UCLouvain PhD thesis on optimisation, a branch of applied mathematics, earned two research awards, including the FNRS-IBM Innovation Award.  Optimisation is...
Health

A ninth tower serves as a bridge

On 12 October, the UCLouvain campus in Woluwe will inaugurate a new multipurpose building. Built next to the Saint-Luc University Hospital, the Laennec Tower will house the Institute of...
Technology

The Planck legacy

Simulation performed by Christophe Ringeval, representing cosmic strings, which are possible traces of the unification of forces in the primordial universe. The Planck mission found no such...

Benoît Desguin

Cofactors are to enzymes what tools are to workers. Benoît Desguin has discovered a new ‘tool’, a cofactor containing nickel, and intends to identify the family of enzymes that use it to...

François Massonnet

Climate prediction is his forte . At 32 years old, François Massonnet has just been appointed FNRS research associate. While he has been working on the subject for years, he looks forward to...
Environment

A tool for modernising European agricultural policy

Commissioned by the European Commission (EC) and funded by the European Space Agency (ESA), the Sen4CAP research project, led by Sophie Bontemps and Nicolas Bellemans and supervised by Pierre...
Environment

Tracking soybeans

The Trase platform, on which Patrick Meyfroidt and his team of researchers collaborate, is unique: it aims to retrace the channels of the main agricultural products responsible for...
Environnement

Standardising pack ice measurements to better predict...

  At UCL’s Georges Lemaître Centre for Earth and Climate Research (TECLIM), two researchers are passionate about polar region climate variations: François Massonnet and Hugues...
Technology

Turning wood into gas

On 24 November, Xylowatt will begin operating a gas generator at CHU UCL Namur. Fuelled by biomass, it will supply the hospital with heat and electricity. This is a direct consequence of 20 years...
Technology

Digital image compression: after JPEG

The JPEG compression format is more than 25-years-old: a canonical age in the digital age. A UCL researcher and spin-off have imagined the compression standard of tomorrow: JPEG XS. For 25...
Technology

The Higgs boson finds a mate

  The simultaneous production of a Higgs boson and a top/antitop quark pair has just been observed for the first time. For physicists, observing this affinity is an important advance...
Environment

Connected objects that last

In 2017, 403.5 million smartphones were sold worldwide. We usually choose one on the basis of technical characteristics, such as camera or operating system quality; we then hope it lasts long...
Technology

Searching for objects lost in space

A team of researchers at the Institute of Information and Communication Technologies, Electronics and Applied Mathematics (ICTEAM) has just completed a project on behalf of the European Space...

Alain Holeyman, 2017 Coulomb Conference guest speaker

This year, the Comité Français de Mécanique des Sols et de Géotechnique (‘French Committee for Soil Mechanics and Geotechnics’) has invited Alain Holeyman to speak at the Coulomb...

Using PET scans to improve Hodgkin’s lymphoma treatment

Using a PET scan to analyse a tumour leads to better treatment of Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a cancer of the white blood cells known as lymphocytes. The technique has been studied and validated by the...

More accurate MRIs: coming soon?

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), already an very effective technology, could soon become even more precise. The MCube H2020 project is working toward more accurate diagnoses. We tend to forget...

IT Targets: advancing cancer immunotherapy

Over the past five years all hopes for combatting cancer have turned to immunotherapy. The IT Targets project is doing its part by targeting GPCR proteins. On paper immunotherapy is...

Robots that help doctors

Medical robotics and related technologies are booming. At UCL, engineers and doctors are working together to meet the technical, human, ethical and financial challenges of future medical practice....

Disasters: robots to the rescue

Imagine an earthquake or nuclear accident disaster area where it’s impossible to send in rescuers without putting their lives at risk. At UCL, Nicolas Van der Noot is looking to robots to do the...

From the lab to the hospital: medical robotics, a team...

Exoskeletons, microsurgery robots, robotic prostheses—robotics and the medical sector have never complemented each other so well. In 2014, UCL created Louvain Bionics, a centre of expertise...

Learning how to grow symbiotic fungi

UCL’s Mycology Laboratory is a world leader in the in vitro breeding of a certain fungus of great value to agriculture and research. Each year, Prof. Stéphane Declerck’s team shares its...

Better big data analysis for better epidemic management

Using big data to precisely and easily predict an epidemic’s course or a virus’s spread—that’s the seemingly incredible goal of Jean-Charles Delvenne, a researcher at the Mathematical...

Getting surfers to smile: online emotion detection

Things go fast on the Internet. A surfer might ‘Like’ something but then all of a sudden, at the least bother or confusion, he or she will click that little ‘x’ that closes your site and...

IgGreen, for the most ethical pharmacological proteins

Using plant cells to produce diagnostic and pharmacological proteins—that’s the challenge taken up by the researchers at IgGreen, a funding recipient of UCL’s ‘First Spin-off’ programme....

Senegal: using big data to anticipate food shortages

Four young researchers of the Environmetrics and Geomatics Laboratory, led by Prof. Pierre Defourny of the UCL Earth and Life Institute, have been recognised by the Massachusetts Institute of...

MammoNote: facilitating diagnosis of breast cancer

Breast cancer afflicts one in eight Belgian women. Early detection increases the chance of survival, thus screening is recommended. The Mammotest screening programme was introduced in Belgium and...

A revolutionary technique for testing nanomaterial strength

A UCL nanoscience research team has developed a new technique for testing the strength of nanomaterials, the miniscule make-up of all sorts of everyday objects. The secret is a process much...

Analysing mobile data can save lives!

The proliferation of mobile phones has spawned a new research sector: mobile data analysis. The goal? To study new information concerning users’ social behaviours. In countries of the South,...

Using electricity to treat the effects of CVA

Most people who survive a cerebrovascular accident (CVA) suffer impaired motor skills. UCL researchers may have found a way to boost their ability to relearn them.  Like all our organs,...

Safer restoration of female fertility after cancer: the...

  Cancer treatment can save your life; it can also make you infertile. UCL pioneered post-cancer female fertility restoration by freezing ovarian tissue prior to treatment and subsequently...

Student mission to Mars

‘Mars to earth, come in, Earth.’ UCL students can pronounce these words every April when they take off for the red planet—so to speak—via Mars Society’s Mission to Mars project. Space...

Gamers, who are you?

When it comes to the players of video games, preconceptions abound. They’re often disturbing stereotypes: the isolated youth with eyes for nothing but his computer, tablet or smartphone. Olivier...

An anti-adhesive treatment to fight staphylococcus aureus

A team led by Professor Yves Dufrêne of UCL’s Institute of Life Sciences, in collaboration with Trinity College Dublin, recently discovered a molecule that can prevent a huge problem for...

Tree transpiration

Thanks in part to the contribution of UCL researchers, the amount of water that returns to the atmosphere from a given tract of forest can now be measured. This is a major advance for the field of...