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News Archive 2008
 

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HOPE interests students in entrepreneurship
Wednesday 12 November saw the official opening of the entrepreneurship programme HOPE in the Cruise Terminal in Rotterdam. Within this Holland Program on Entrepreneurship three South Holland universities are working together on promoting entrepreneurship and business enterprise among students.
 read more

 

 

Leiden Genomics Centres win NGI Valorisation award of 1 M euro
Five Centres of the Netherlands Genomics Inititiative, of which the LUMC or Leiden University is co-ordinator, last week won the first NGI Valorisation Award worth 1 million euro. The award was presented to Professor Gert-Jan van Ommen, Director of the Centre for Medical Systems Biology.
 read more

 

 

Foster care for chimpanzees successful
In a unique experiment at the Yerkes primate centre in Atlanta Leiden education specialists Rien van IJzendoorn and Marian Bakermans-Kranenburg and colleagues from the University of Portsmouth have demonstrated that young chimpanzees benefit from four hours a day personal attention. The researchers expect the same effect in children.
 read more

 

 

Social anthropology much older than imagined
The multicultural background of German-speaking researchers in eighteenth century Russia forms the basis of social-cultural anthropology. Their ethnological style of thinking had already developed by the eighteenth century, states Han Vermeulen. In his dissertation he places them in their historical and political context.
 read more

 

Between completely closed and accessible
‘There's nothing new under the sun,' was the message given by Mark Meadow in his inaugural lecture on 11 November. 'Since as early as the fifteenth century, the institutions which generate, safeguard and disseminate knowledge have been typified by conflict between inclusion and exclusion, accessibility and security.’
 read more

 

 

Integration issue is of all times
Integration never runs smoothly and always takes at least three generations, according to Herman Obdeijn and Marlou Schrover in their book ‘Komen en gaan’ which was published last week. The government itself complicates integration by emphasising the differences of groups of migrants.'.
 read more

 

 

Physical impact
Leiden natural sciences and astronomy feature strongly in an article about science in the Netherlands in the 30th October edition of Nature.
 read more (pdf)

 

 

Legal-political bias in response to Islam
Prof. Maurits Berger is researching how Muslims in western societies shape their lives. His studies also include aspects of western society itself. Why does Islam act as such a catalyst in the social debate? Berger will deliver his inaugural lecture on 4 November.
 read more

 

 

Traces of Dutch 'Hunger Winter' in genetic material
Conditions in the uterus can give rise to life-long changes in genetic material. People in their sixties who were conceived during the Hunger Winter of 1944-45 have been found to have a different molecular setting for a gene which regulates growth. Researchers from the LUMC are the first to demonstrate this effect. They published their findings this week in PNAS Online Early Edition, together with colleagues from Columbia University.
 read more

 

 

Use of COS Funding Alert expected to grow rapidly
The less structural funding universities receive for research, the more important external sources of funding become. For the past eighteen months Leiden University has had a subscription to the Community of Science (COS), a database that notifies researchers of funding and subsidy opportunities relevant to their field. The use of COS is expected to grow rapidly.
 read more

 

Seeking an invisible cavity
Ninety per cent of all medicines are metabolised by a single type of enzyme. But it remains an enigma how medicines penetrate this enzyme. Peter Keizers has been awarded a Veni subsidy to study how the locus of activity can be reached.
 read more

 

 

Research may contribute to peace
The longer a war lasts, the more successful the peace talks and the more enduring the peace. Madeleine Hosli, Professor of International Relations, has drawn this conclusion from an international collection of war studies. She delivered her inaugural lecture on 14 October.
 read more

 

 

Coffee and Parkinson's
Many models which have formed the basis of novel drug design may be incorrect. This is the sobering and at the same time very important discovery mde by two Leiden researchers from the Leiden/Amsterdam Center for Drug Reserch (LACDR).
 read more

 

 

Sunbathing around young stars
The ultraviolet radiation caused by the formation of new stars heats up much greater quantities of gas and dust that had previously been assumed. This cosmic 'sunbathing' prevents the cloud from further collapse and has an effect on the chemical evolution of low mass stars, such as our own sun. This discovery was made by Leiden astronomer Tim van Kempen.
 read more

 

 

A brain full of contradictions
How do the brains of adolescents work, and more importantly: how do the different areas of the brain interact with one another? Developmental psychologist Eveline Crone has written a book about the uneven development of the adolescent brain. The book deals with the complex relationship between the learning, the emotional, the creative and the social brains of adolescents. Her book will be available in the bookshops next week.
 read more

 

 

Honour and atonement in medieval Friesland
In medieval Friesland, if a person suffered an injury inflicted by another person, this was considered as an affront to his honour and he would be eligible for compensation. There were lists of fines for each type of injury, but the payment was often long in coming. Han Nijdam obtained his PhD on 2 October based on the Old Frisian registers of fines.

 read more

 

 

Parkinson's at nanoscale
The protein alpha-Synuclein plays an important role in Parkinson's disease. But how it works and what it does to the nerve cells is still largely a mystery. Biophysicist Martina Huber uses electron spin resonance to provide new information about the binding of the protein with the nerve membrane.
 read more

 

 

The Kondo effect unravelled
Leiden physicist Sander Otte, together with a research team from IBM in California, has achieved a breakthrough in understanding a fascinating fundamental scientific phenomenon: the Kondo effect. This is a phenomenon whereby a large number of particles behave as one quantum mechanical unit. The discovery is reported this month in Nature Physics.
 read more

 

 

From 12 years onwards you learn differently
Eight-year-old children have a radically different learning strategy from twelve-year-olds and adults. This can be seen on fMRI scans of the brain. Eight-year-olds learn primarily from positive feedback. Twelve-year-olds and adults can benefit more from negative feedback.
 read more

 

 

Snorting students underestimate effects of cocaine
XTC is out, coke is in. A worrying trend, according to psychologist and Veni winner Lorenza Colzato. ‘A lot of young people think that a line of cocaine now and then does no harm, but my research has shown that the opposite is true.'
 read more

 

 

Common street violence or undermining of democracy?
Western democracies respond differently to national threats, even if they are bound to the same international treaties and experience similar threats at particular times in their history. Historian Beatrice de Graaf will be using her recently awarded Vidi subsidy to research how these differences can be explained in a historical context.
 read more

 

 

Digital, individually tailored patient information is faster and more effective
Individual computer-generated information on the use of sleeping pills and tranquillizers is twice as effective as standard information. These are the findings of research carried out by psychologist Geeske Brecht ten Wolde. She will defend her dissertation on Thursday 18 September.
 read more

 

 

Italian dialects and their exotic behaviour
The dialects of Italy are dying out. But, according to Professor Roberta d'Alessandro in her inaugural lecture, they are enormously valuable for research into Romance languages. Some aspects of their grammar are more similar to Basque, Georgian, Hindi and native Australian languages than to Italian and French.
 read more

 

 

A glimpse in the delivery room of a solar system
The distribution and movement of molecular gas in the protoplanetary disk around young siblings of the sun may indicate that new planets have already been formed. This is the conclusion reached by an international team of astronomers, including Ewine van Dishoeck, Professor of Molecular Astrophysics, winner of the Spinoza prize.
 read more

 

 

Marijn Franx to study earliest stellar galaxies
With his ERC (European Research Council) Advanced grant of 1.5 million euro Professor of Astronomy Dr Marijn Franx is planning to study stellar galaxies which produced light 13 billion years ago. This is half a billion years after the big bang. New telescopes and cameras for near-infrared spectroscopy should make this possible.
 read more

 

 

One chromosome: a world of difference
Children with a sex chromosome abnormality should be diagnosed as early as possible, is what Veni winner Sophie van Rijn advocates. Currently, the condition often goes unnoticed, with the risk that the child's cognitive and social problems accumulate unnecessarily.
 read more

 

Use of milk 3000 years older than assumed
Archaeologists have discovered that the Syrians milked cows as long ago as 8000 years. This finding is reported in Nature on 7 August.
 read more

 

Snakes were originally rear-fanged
Some species of snakes have a fang at the front of the mouth, others at the back. The origin and evolution of fangs which form in different places is the subject of long dispute among evolutionary biologists. A team led by Leiden researchers sheds light on the topic in a cover story in Nature of 31 July.
 read more

 

Expedition to the oldest remains of the earth
Fourteen excellent students of geology, biology, astronomy and maths and several staff members have made a geological excursion to Australia. The aim of the Eendracht Expedition, organised by the Bioscience Initiative of the Faculty of Science, was to visit the very oldest remains of life and the earth's crust.
 read more

 

A stradivarius is definitely different
Medical information scientist Dr Berend Stoel measures the density of emphysema lungs using CT scans. An American violin-maker reading Investigative Radiology asked him to compare the density of the wood of Stradivariuses and Guarneris with modern violins.
 read more

 

Hunger for antibiotics
Many antiobiotics are produced by the family of bacteria known as Streptomyces. A team of biochemists has discovered that streptomycetes can be encouraged to make other types of antibiotics. This is an important discovery as dangerous pathogens are increasingly developing resistance to commonly used antibiotics.
 read more

 

Roman boys will be boys
Did young people in ancient times with their responsible public functions mature earlier, or were they fickle, sometimes idealistic, adolescents? In the book Jeugd in het Romeinse Rijk (Young People in the Roman Empire), Leiden historian Johan Strubbe and his colleague from Leuven, Christian Laes, analyse a current debate. Do literary sources and inscriptions contradict one another?.
 read more

 

Major subsidy for Sterrewacht archive
With subsidies of 165,000 euro from the Teylers Museum Foundation, 125,000 euro from the National Conservation Programme Metamorfoze and 100,000 euro from the Gratama Fund, the archive of the Leiden Sterrewacht can now be preserved and digitised. Dr David Baneke will first make an inventory of the archive: ‘Without a good inventory, such an archive is no more than a pile of paper.’
 read more


 

Gr8!! Is this actually a word?
Do the brains of the texting generation recognise abbreviations and acronyms such as BRB and LOL as words or as abbreviations? And do they still consider the 8 in GR8 a number? Psycholinguist Dr Lesya Ganushchak will be researching this subject in Birmingham, funded by a Rubicon subsidy.
 read more

 

Islam in Indonesia still moderate
'Traditional authority figures do not readily relinquish their influence in the area of marriage law, whether these be Catholic priests, African tribal chiefs or Islamic Bible scholars,' according to Jan Michiel Otto, Professor of Law and Administration in Developing Countries and Director of the Van Vollenhoven Institute.
 read more

 

 

What the Duke of Alva and the NSB have in common
24-06-2008
Names, words and images may sometimes evoke associations belonging to a canonised collective memory,' says Judith Pollmann, Professor of History and Culture of the United Dutch Republic.  She will deliver her inaugural lecture on friday 27 June.

 read more

 

 

Making molecules to combat type 2 diabetes
24-06-2008
Hermen Overkleeft, organic chemist, was not originally involved in diabetes research, but was working on medicines to combat a rare hereditary metabolic disease. To his surprise, one of his enzyme inhibitors also appeared to influence insulin sensitivity in type 2 diabetes.  With funding from a TOP subsidy awarded by NWO, he will investigate the background to this.
 read more

 

 

Enzymologist films repair of break in DNA
24-06-2008
Showing in slow motion how a break in the double helix of DNA is repaired. This is what enzymologist Alexey Cherepanov has managed to achieve using time-resolved Nuclear Magnetic Resonance spectroscopy. Part of his research was published last week in the leading scientific journal PNAS. The article describes a first step towards a 3D molecular animation of biological catalysts – the enzymes in action. 
 read more

 

 

Women undermined by subtle discrimination
'17-06-2008
Women suffer more as a result of subtle sexism than as a result of open sexual discrimination. 
Subtle forms of discrimination affect one's self-image, which lowers performance. Victims can come to think that they have been justifiably rejected,' states social-psychologist Sezgin Cihangir. He will defend his doctoral dissertation on 17 June.

 read more

 

 

Divided between admiration and aversion
17-06-2008
Images of China are strongly determined by the spirit of the time in the west itself, is the contention of Arie Pos who will obtain his PhD on 24 June on the subject:  ‘Literaire chinoiserie’. (Literary Chinoiserie) ‘Texts portraying a distorted image of China say more about what occupied the westerner.' 

 read more

 

 

Making new blood vessels already possible in mice
17-06-2008
People suffering from serious vascular problems are currently treated with coronary angioplasty or they receive a bypass or stent, which may lead to various kinds of problems. Research on methods for treatment continues. On 20 June, experimental vascular biologist Professor Dr Paul Quax will expand on this subject in his inaugural lecture.
 read more

 

 

Underlying causes of inferior lifestyle
10-06-2008
The ten students who received a VSB grant have distinguished themselves through their endless ambition, a good set of marks and quite often a clear plan for the future. ‘Of course it is wonderful  to be able to study at a top university without having to worry about money.’ 
 read more

 

 

'Adolescent brains' in final of Academic Year Prize
10-06-2008
On Wednesday 11 June a team of researchers and students from the Leiden Institute for Brain and Cognition will represent Leiden University at the finals of the Academic Year Prize, on their subject ‘Adolescent brains’. The location is the Leiden Schouwburg. Minister Plasterk will announce the winner in the evening.
 read more

 

 

Underlying causes of inferior lifestyle
03-06-2008
The health of people in poorer areas is considerably worse compared to those who are better off. The political parties are trying to remedy this by stimulating a healthier lifestyle. But this isn’t enough, according to Barend Middelkoop. His inaugural lecture will be held on Friday 6 June.
   
 read more

 

 

NWO subsidy for new electron microscope
03-06-2008
A research team headed by Prof. Dr Jan van Ruitenbeek has received a subsidy for developing a new microscope, ESCHER (Electronic, Structural and CHEmical nanoimaging in Real-time). The subsidy of some 2.3 million euro is one of the nine awards within the ‘Investment Subsidy NWO Large 2007-2008' programme.
 read more

 

 

Norwegian national treasure vanished to Deventer
03-06-2008
Extremely expensive maritime archaeological expeditions have been conducted in the Trondheim Fjord to recover the treasure of16th century archbishop Olav. A waste of money, according to historian Dr Louis Sicking. Research in Dutch archives provides much more information
 read more

 

 

Five NWO subsidies for chemistry research in Leiden
03-06-2008
Leiden astronomers are the first in the world to observe from the earth the atmosphere surrounding the most well-known exoplanet (HD209458b). This unique result will be presented this week at an international symposium at Harvard University.
 read more

 

 

First-ever analysis of DNA sequence in female candidate
27-05-2008
Clinical geneticist Dr Marjolein Kriek is the first woman and the first European to have her DNA sequence mapped.  The analysis took place in the LUMC, in brief periods when the sequencing equipment was free.   
 read more

 

 

Cloning while enjoying frog ice cream
20-05--2008
Witness live cloning experiments or have your own body’s bacteria cultivated in a Petri dish. Expressive artist and researcher Jennifer Willet and a group of students are bringing the laboratory out into the open.  Friday 23 May between 13.00 and 17.00 hours in the museum garden of the National Museum of Ethnology in Leiden.
 read more

 

 

Exoplanet's atmosphere seen from earth
20-05-2008
Leiden astronomers are the first in the world to observe from the earth the atmosphere surrounding the most well-known exoplanet (HD209458b). This unique result will be presented this week at an international symposium at Harvard University.
 read more

 

 

Judith Frishman Professor of Judaism
20-05-2008
With effect from 12 September, Judith Frishman will be appointed Professor of Judaism at the Faculty of Religious Studies of Leiden University. She will focus primarily on modern Judaism from the nineteenth century to the present day.  
 read more

 

 

Do women have different neurological software from men?
20-05-2008
Women are more able to multi-task, but they often suffer more from hyperactivity with Parkinson's, chronic pain, anxiety disorders and depression.  Prof. Dr J.J. van Hilten believes that the female nervous system has a different software.  He will deliver his inaugural lecture on 23 May.  read more

 

 

Authorised Version digitised by volunteers
20-05-2008
Within a period of a year the Netherlands' largest volunteer language project will bear fruit. On Thursday 22 May, the Digital 1637 Authorised Version will be festively opened by Professor Dr Frits van Oostrom. ' I would have felt like a deserter if I hadn't taken part,' said one volunteer.
 read more

 

 

Doom scenarios about ageing unjustified
13-05-2008
'A turnaround in our thinking is needed to be able to cope adequately with the ageing of the population.' Professor of Geriatric Psychiatry Prof. Dr Roos van der Mast from the Leiden University Medical Center (LUMC) rejects what she calls the 'soured' social debate about older people. Her inaugural lecture is on 16 May.
 read more

 

 

Six Leiden students receive Toptalent subsidy
13-05-2008
Six Leiden students will be studying for their PhD supported by a Toptalent subsidy from NWO for 'young creative talent.' The subjects vary from ecotourism among Mongolian nomads to repair of UV damage in DNA.  NWO awarded a total of 48 Toptalent subsidies.  Two of these went to Leiden Latin specialists. 
 read more

 

 

CD-ROM reveals Egyptian graves
13-05-2008
With the presentation of MastaBase on Tuesday afternoon, a database of Egyptian elitist tombs on CD-ROM, a longstanding project which started out as a card-index box in 1980, has been completed. ‘A considerable gain in time,’ says Dr René van Walsem, ‘with a few mouse clicks you can now obtain results which would have formerly taken you months of browsing in the library.’
 read more

 

 

Partner choice and the formation of species
13-05-2008
The choice of a partner and sexual preference play a very significant role in the origin or the extinction of species. Since January, the Leiden Biologist Machteld Verzijden has been conducting research on the sexual preference of the sword tail fish at the Texas A&M University. She has recently received a Rubicon subsidy to carry out this study.
 read more

 

 

Schools may intervene within the family
06-05-2008
We have to rid ourselves of the Dutch taboo that schools should not concern themselves with what happens within the family.'  Prof. Dr Evert Scholte, Professor of Clinical Child and Adolescent Studies, Youthcare and Special Education, advocates better cooperation between youth care. Scholte will deliver his inaugural lecture on 9 May.
 read more

 

 

Dissecting bodies in 17th-century Leiden
06-05-2008
Attending a demonstration at the Leiden anatomical theatre meant gaining knowledge of the crowning glory of creation and with it an understanding of the Creator himself. For the purposes of science there was the Caecilia Hospital. Tim Huisman will obtain his doctorate on 8 May based on the anatomical theatre and seventeenth century anatomy in Leiden. 
 read more

 

 

Was there famine in Galilee in the time of Jesus?
T06-05-2008
he gospels are largely set in Galilean villages, but we know virtually nothing of daily life there. To rectify this, Jürgen Zangenberg, Professor of the New Testament, will therefore be excavating a village in the region. This sole Dutch excavation project in Israel will also become a Field School for students.
 read more

 

 

Seeking the link between obesity and mortality
29-04-2008
‘It is a known fact that people who are overweight suffer more frequent illnesses and die at an younger age,' says nutrition specialist Renée de Mutsert. ‘It's just not fully understood why one person who is overweight becomes ill and another doesn't.' De Mutsert will be going to Harvard to carry out further studies.
 read more

 

 

Shower of royal honours for Leiden
29-04-2008
The shower of royal honours which takes place each year just before Queen's Day, was this year more like a cloudburst: on 25 April, honours were awarded to eleven Leiden researchers and one member of the administrative staff.  Nine honours were presented that day, with a further two due to be presented at a later date. 
 read more

 

 

New therapy for self-harm
29-04-2008
It is one of the most urgent problems which can confront a psychotherapist: a patient who is deliberately inflicting self-harm. How can you protect someone from doing themselves further injury? Psychologist Nadja Slee has developed a therapy which appears to be more effective than standard treatment.
 read more

 

 

Quest for the origin of Alzheimer's
22-04-2008
Alzheimer's disease occurs frequently, it cannot be diagnosed at an early stage and there is no cure for it.  A consortium led by LUMC neuroradiologist Mark van Buchem will be developing techniques for diagnosing Alzheimer'sa at an early stage.
 read more

 

 

Early photography in India
22-04-2008
In recent weeks, Leiden Professor of Sanskrit and Indian archaeology, Jean Philippe Vogel (1871-1958), has been featured in an exhibition in the National Museum of India in Delhi. With a monograph and an exhibiton of 80 original paintings, now owned by the Kern Institute.
 read more

 

 

Self-protection for bacteria
22-04-2008
Microbiologist Bjørn Traag is one of five Leiden University researchers who will be conducting research at a top-level foreign university. He will leave in July for the Harvard Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology for a period of two years in order to learn all about the growth of the bacterium Bacillus.
 read more

 

 

Fluorescent tumours
22-04-2008
Enormous improvements in optical imaging techniques will make it possible to operate in future with greater precision. This which will give cancer patients a greater chance of recovery, whilst at the same time avoiding unnecessary complications.  Prof. Dr Clemens Löwik is at the forefront of this research.  He delivered his inaugural lecture on 25 April.  
 read more

 

 

Medieval logic and semantics
22-04-2008
According to Prof. Dr Bert Bos, priority should be given to editorial work - the publication of ancient texts - in the research into medieval philosophical concepts.  This requires knowledge of Latin, paleography and codicology. Prof. Bos delivered his inaugural lecture on Tuesday 22 April.
 read more

 

 

Attachment and genes protect children from anxiety
15-04-2008
Do you find talking in front of the class a challenge? An anxious temperament does not have to be fatal.  If you have a safe attachment to your parents and have the right geners.  Education specialist Renske Gilissen has researched some children feel more anxious than others in stressful situations.
 read more

 

 

Living in the hospital
15-04-2008
Rooms with a toilet, shower, kitchen and an internet connection in a historic monument with a spacious courtyard garden in the heart of the city. Friday 11 April marked the official opening of the former Saint Elisabeth Hospital on the Hooigracht. The building has 205 rooms for foreign students, guest lecturers and expatriates.
 read more

 

 

Diabetes patients benefit most from stomach reduction
15-04-2008
Stomach reduction involving diversion of part of the intestine is the most effective therapy for type 2 diabetes patients. 70 to 80% are free of diabetes within four weeks of the operation  This was the message given by Hanno Pijl in his inaugural lecure on 15 April. read more

 

 

Dutch share of slave trade greater than assumed
15-04-2008
In the eighteenth century, smugglers’ ships had a considerably larger share in the Dutch goods and slave trade between Africa and America than has so far always been assumed. Ruud Paesie will obtain his doctorate on 17 April based on his research into these smuggling voyages.
 read more

 

 

Korean films to Leiden
15-04-2008
The Department of Korean Language and Culture has managed to scoop a large Korean subsidy. The department’s library has been assigned as a so-called 'hub library' for Korean Film. Apart from Korea itself, this subsidy will make the library one of the best equipped libraries in the field of Korean film worldwide.
 read more

 

 

Never go along with the rhetoric of war
08-04-2008
Terrorism is a political problem which cannot be solved with military solutions, says Dr Beatrice de Graaf of the Leiden University / Campus The Hague Centre for Terrorism and Counter Terrorism. She will speak on this subject on Wednesday 16 April at the symposium on Historic Terrorism.
 read more

 

 

Made to measure science for small to medium-sized companies
08-04-2008
There will be one central contact point for knowledge questions from companies in South Holland: the Business to Science Portal Holland. The focus group: small to medium-sized companies in life sciences and medical technology. The aim: innovation.
 read more

 

 

Attachment in young people can now be reliably measured 
08-04-2008
A person with secure attachment relationships feels more supported by his or her environment and invests more in relationships. The attachment behaviour interview is a tried and tested method of measuring attachment in adults.  Mariëlle Beijersbergen has now also validated this measuring instrument for young people. 
 read more

 

 

The trouble with European subsidy law
08-04-2008
The quality of European subsidy law is often less than ideal,' according to Prof. Mr Willemien den Ouden, professor of Constitutional and Administrative Law.  'The legislation is not yet as it ought to be.  And the absence of precise rules rapidly leads to legal uncertainty.' Her inaugural lecture will be given on Friday 11 April. 
 read more

 

 

What should Europe do?
08-04-2008
Laurens Jan Brinkhorst will deliver his inaugural lecture on 8th April, mentioning three agenda items for the future of Europe. Firstly, more effective use of, and also greater priority for, military means. Secondly, a reduction of the democratic deficit, and thirdly better collaboration between national states and the European Community.
 read more

 

 

Buddhism is definitely a religion
01-04-2008
There are virtually no Indian Buddhist texts which have been the subject of scientific research.’ This is a statement which Professor Dr Jonathan Silk has no qualms in making. Silk has been appointed Professor of Buddhism within the Faculty of Arts and Religious Studies. On 1 April he delivered his inaugural lecture. There is work to be done. 
 read more

 

 

Laurens Jan Brinkhorst: students shape the future
01-04-2008
The opportunity to be in contact with students is Brinkhorst’s prime motivation for concluding his career with a professorship at Leiden University. He wants to convince students of the significance of European collaboration. His inaugural lecture is on Tuesday 8 April. 
 read more

 

 

Five Leiden researchers receive Rubicon subsidy 
01-04-2008
Five Leiden researchers have been awarded Rubicon subsidies by NWO to enable them to gain international research experience after obtaining their PhD.  Three of the researchers will go to the United States, one to Great Britain and one to Australia. . 
 read more

 

 

Five NWO subsidies for equipment to Leiden 
01-04-2008
A spectrometer for tracing molecules in space, a three-dimensional microscope for the LUMC, synthesizers for developing vaccines, an NMR magnet for developing new MRI techniques and software for radio astronomy. 
 read more

 

 

Making the invisible visible
01-04-2008
A telescope consisting of a cubic kilometre of sea water is the project with which Professor Dr Maarten de Jong is involved. He has devised a method of using this telescope even more efficiently. On Friday 4 April he delivered his inaugural lecture.
 read more

 

 

Take children's physical complaints seriously
25-03-2008
One in four children suffers from physical complaints, and for 90% of these complaints there is no attributable medical cause. Are these children putting it on? Psychologist Francine Jellesma has a different view of the matter. ‘Children with physical complaints often also feel unhappy, and they deserve serious attention.’
 read more

 

 

After 50 years, glassw has become clear
25-03-2008
If one thing is clear, it has to be glass.  Yet nobody really understands how glass is formed.  Leiden physicists have now made a breakthrough at molecular level in fathoming the process of glass formation, which has been the subject of debate for more than fifty years, and is regarded as one of the most difficult problems of solid state physics.
 read more

 

 

Leiden archaeology students discover Saqqara grave artefacts 
25-03-2008
Two Leiden archaeology students took part in an excavation project in Saqqara, a burial ground near the ancient Egyptian capital of Memphis. Each of them supervised a part of the excavation. One found a stele (stone slab), the other a scarab.
 read more

 

 

Enlightened self-interest rather than development cooperation
25-03-2008
‘A sustainable society without vaccines is impossible,’ states Ben van der Zeijst. ‘It is naive to think that no new virus will ever appear again. It’s something you have to be prepared for.’ On Friday 28 March he will deliver his inaugural lecture.
 read more

 

 

New sources for early Islam
18-03-2008
Petra Sijpesteijn, Leiden Professor of Arabic since 1 February, has obtained a prestigious ERC grant for her research on the first 150 years of Islamic history based on untapped sources of papyri. On 26 March, she will be be presented with the award by Minister Plasterk. 
 read more

 

 

Our kingdom's Indian past
18-03-2008
Little is known about the cultural heritage of the Dutch Antilles, both in the Netherlands and locally. Archaeological research can and must put an end to all the tall stories in the vein of the ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’. These are the words of Professor Dr Corinne Hofman, pronounced in her inaugural lecture.
 read more

 

 

Prehistoric horse butchers
18-03-2008
Archaeologist Boudewijn Voormolen has been researching the skeletal remains of horses at least 300,000 years old.  He has concluded that our forefathers were not scavengers, but hunters, and that they probably used language to communicate when hunting.  In reaching this conclusion, he has settled a long-standing debate.  He will obtain his PhD on 19 March. 
 read more

 

 

Unique characteristics of a dying language 
18-03-2008
Many languages threatened with extinction have characteristics which are often unique for that specific language.  When a language dies out, valuable linguistic information is lost concerning the form which the language can take.  Prof. Dr Maarten Mous wishes to make an inventory of these characteristics in a new European line of research.
 read more

 

 

Leiden's first distance PhD
11-03-2008
Obtaining your doctorate at Leiden University from a studio in Haifa: this is where Ephraim Lansky is defending his thesis. The supervisory committee is challenging him from Leiden. Never before has a Leiden PhD candidate received his degree diploma virtually.
 read more

 

 

Getting to know your own genes
11-03-2008
Situated along the A44 motorway is Corpus, a 35 metre tall centre where visitors can take a journey through the human body. The Leiden human genetics specialists Gert-Jan van Ommen and Annette Vriends helped devise the presentation of human genetics. Queen Beatrix will open the Corpus centre on 14 March.
 read more

 

 

Banking over the border still underdeveloped11-03-2008
The conditions for cross-border financial services are still not optimal, in spite of complete harmonisation in legislation. Apprehension among banks and investment companies can be alleviated if the EU pays more attention to issues of liability, according to Prof. Mr Rogier Raas, in his inaugural lecture on 11 March.
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On symbols and fables 
11-03-2008
In ancient Japan, image and text were already closely intertwined. ‘According to some people, the 18th century kiboyashi ‘books with the yellow covers’ are the precursors of the popular manga  cartoons,’ says Professor Dr Ivo Smits. Friday 14 March was the date of his inaugural lecture entitled: ‘Unseen’. (Niet gezien).  read more

 

 

The dark side of the VOC mentality
11-03-2008
The kingdom of Arakan on the border of Bangladesh and Burma was the VOC's biggest supplier of slaves.  The need for workers for the spice plantations on the Banda island transformed the slave trade from a supply-driven into a demand-driven market.
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Smoking during pregnancy increases risk of  behavioural problems in children
04-03-2008
Children who have been exposed to nicotine during gestation experience serious difficulties in modifying their behaviour to circumstances, especially where emotions are concerned,’ Hanna Swaab stated in her inaugural lecture on 4 March.
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Focus on customary law promotes inequality
04-03-2008
Conflicts about land issues are rife in large parts of Africa. Policy-makers and development specialists agree with traditional land tenure which attributes a prime role to the chief. According to legal anthropologist Janine Ubink, this approach leads to inequality and social unrest.
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'Listening to pupils is what makes a good teacher' 
04-03-2008
'You only become a good teacher once you have gained enough practical experience,' is the opinion of Jan van Driel. For this reason, the Professor of Didactics of Natural Sciences advocates continuing teacher training in professional practice.  He will deliver his inaugural lecture on Friday 7 March.
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Enzyme changes colour with activity
04-03-2008
If artificial fertilizer is strewn over the land, the nitrate contained in it is converted to nitrite, which is in turn converted to the greenhouse gas nitrogen monoxide. This is the effect of bacteria, enhanced by enzyme activity. A new technique shows the working of the enzyme nitrite reductase.
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Handicapped muslims no denial of divine perfection
26-02-2008
Islamic manuscripts demonstrate a positive attitude towards people with a handicap.  Many scientists themselvs had a handicap and afforded themselves a particular position, according to Muslim theologian Mohammed Ghaly. He will defend his PhD dissertation on 27 February.
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LIFE attracts Nobel Prize winner Walker to Leiden
26-02-2008
Study association LIFE of Life Science & Technology is organising a symposium on Bio-imaging. Imagine every detail on 6 March. The appearance of one man in particular is eagerly anticipated: Nobel Prize winner Professor John E. Walker from Cambridge University.
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Better treatment for Crohn's disease
26-02-2008
Crohn's disease can be treated much better if doctors immediately prescribe a combination of immuno-suppressants. This has been demonstrated by research conducted by a team headed by Prof. Dr Daan Hommes, as reported in The Lancet.
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How can war victims gain redress?
19-02-2008
Prof. Dr Liesbeth Zegveld is considering legal measures against the Dutch state on behalf of civilian victims of air attacks on Uruzgan.  In her position as professor, she will make a fundamental study of the compensation procedures available to war victims. Her inaugural lecture takes place on Friday 22 February.
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Painkillers cause chronic headache
19-02-2008
'The most important cause of chronic frequent headaches (CFH) is the excessive use of painkillers,’ says Natalie Wiendels. ‘Every advertisement should include a warning notice, as is the case with cigarettes.’ She will defend her PhD thesis on Wednesday 20 February.
 
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Van Delft to enhance collections through collaboration
19-02-2008
Dr Dirk van Delft, Director of Museum Boerhaave has been appointed Professor of Material Heritage of Natural Science with effect from 15 February. Van Delft intends to integrate the museum’s rich collections into research and teaching at Leiden University.
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Pioneering with ancient DNA
26-02-2008
The technology of ancient DNA research has undergone rapid development in recent years.  Eveline Altena is one of the few archaeologists to make use of this technology. The first Dutch congress on DNA and archaeology will take place on 22 February. 
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Influence of 24 hour bio-rhythms even greater
19-02-2008
Almost all Dutch readers are familiar with the love song Hebben olla uogala.. (English: Have all birds …..), but is it also the oldest remaining Dutch? Professor Arend Quak is convinced it is not. He delivered his inaugural lecture on 19 February.
 
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Influence of 24 hour bio-rhythms even greater
12-02-2008
The genes which govern the biological clock influence the incidence of depressive symptoms, Prof. Dr Joke Meijer has recently demonstrated.  In her inaugural lecture, she explained how research into the biological clock and 24 hour bio-rhythms are shedding increasing light on social and  medical issues.
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Kama Sutra is not a sex manual
12-02-2008
The Kama Sutra is not a sex manual, but an intellectual exploration, as Dr Herman Tieken has discovered. Tieken has recently published De kunst van het versieren, the chapter on courtship and marriage, for the first time translated directly from Sanskrit to Dutch.
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Musical chairs for houses
12-02-2008
Every peace treaty should include the right to restitution of their homes to refugees, according to human rights lawyer Antoine Buyse. This is more important to normal people than bringing to justice 'big names' like Karadzić en Mladić.
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In the footsteps of the plague
12-02-2008
Pieter van Woensel visited the Ottoman Empire at the end of the eighteenth century. A man with a self-willed view of Turkey which differed from the then prevailing assumptions. René Bakker has written a biography of van Van Woensel.
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University to cluster Arts and Humanities
05-02-2008
A single graduate school of Arts and Humanities comprising the Faculties of Arts, Archaeology, Religious Studies, Theology and Creative and Performing Arts.  These faculties are to be merged into a new Faculty of Arts and Humanities.
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'Study choice too early'
05-02-2008
‘It is only towards the end of adolescence, between the ages of 17 and 21, that young people are ready to deal with the issue of identity.  It's no wonder that they find it so difficult to choose the right study,' says developmental psychologist Professor Michiel Westenberg, who will deliver the Dies lecture on Friday 8 February.
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Language acquisition Baby Lab opened
29-01-2008
Babies learn amazingly quickly.  Research is being carried out in the Language Acquisition Baby Lab into what babies and toddlers understand and say, and into the relationship between the two. The lab will be officially opened on Friday 1 February, with a guest lecture by 'the mother of baby labs', Anne Cutler.
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Cornelis van Bochove - Professor of Science Policy
29-01-2008
Cornelis van Bochove will become Professor of Science Policy with effect from 1 February.  Bochove is Director of Research and Science Policy at the Ministry of OC&W. He will be focusing on developing the new field of evidence-based science policy.
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Japanese round table discussions - a Leiden phenomenon
29-01-2008
On 24 January, the annual Japanese round table discussions took place in Plexus, organised by the Student Association for International Relations. A large number of diplomats come to Leiden for this event to engage in informal discussions with students.
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Terrorism scientists rely too much on reason
22-01-2008
‘There are very few scientists who have anticipated the significance of religion for terrorism today, according to Professor of Terrorism Bob de Graaff. They rely too much on reason as the mainspring for human actions. De Graaff delivered his inaugural lecture on 22 January.
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Making hormones visible
22-01-2008
Hormonal diseases could be treated differently and better if more were known about hormones. Clinical endocrinologist Jan Smit is applying himself to finding better treatment methods.  He will deliver his inaugural lecture on Friday 25 January on the challenges facing modern endocrinology.
 read more

 

 

Brain research nominated for Academic Year Prize
22-01-2008
The nominees for the Academic Year Prize were announced on Saturday 19 January. Leiden University is competing for the prize with a team from the Leiden Institute for Brain and Cognition (LIBC), who are presenting their proposal on ‘The adolescent brain'.
 read more

 

 

€ 1 million a year for employment law
15-01-2008
‘This is a sign of recognition for our work,' says Prof. Mr Guus Heerma van Voss of the department of Social Law at the Faculty of Law. The department is to have control of € 1 million of EU funding a year. The Law Faculty will use the money to report to the European Commission on employment law within the EU.
 read more

 

 

Hope for Duchennes patients
15-01-2008
Leiden researchers from the LUMC and the biotech company Prosensa have successfully completed an initial test with a new drug to combat Duchennes muscular dystrophy.  The article and the report of their research has attracted worldwide interest.
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There will almost certainly be a new ice age
15-01-2008
The influence of humans on climate change should not be overestimated,' according to Thijs van Kolfschoten.  He is researching the development of mammals since the first ice age. On 11 January he will deliver his inaugural lecture in the partially restored Academy Building.
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Ultrasound and MRI at nanoscale
15-01-2008
Surface physicist Tjerk Oosterkamp from the Leiden Insitute of Physics (LION) has been awarded a Starting Grant of € 1.8 million from the European Research Council to carry out research on two new techniques for the scanning  probe microscope. He will be looking beneath the surface of a specimen, and making a three-dimensional image of the cell nucleus or of a protein.
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From muskets to Nokias
08-01-2008
The historiography of colonialism, class struggles and exploitation hardly allows for individual choices. Researchers Professor Dr Robert Ross and Dr Jan-Bart Gewald want to examine how people in Central-African societies consider, use and adopt technological products.
 read more

 

 

How the Church Fathers appropriated  the Old Testament
08-01-2008
The Christian Church Fathers employed the Old Testament exegesis to determine the position of Christianity within their own contemporary religious and intellectual field of influence. Dr Hagit Amirav has been awarded a Starting Grant from the European Research Council to research this process.
 read more

2007 | 2006 | 2005

2008-06-24 Pollmann 2008-06-24 Diabetes 2008-06-10 Enzymologist 2008-06-18 discrimination 2008-06-18 China 2008-06-18 Blood Vessels 2008-06-10 VSB beurs 2008-06-10 adolescent brains 2008-06-03 causes of causes 2008-06-03 Nwo subsidie electronmicroscope 2008-06-03 Norwegian national treasure 2008-06-03 Five NWO award 2008-05-27 DNA 2008-05-20 Frog Ice Cream 2008-05-20 exoplanet 2008-05-20 Frishman 2008-05-20 neurological software 2008-05-20 Bible digitised by volunteers 2008-05-13 Doom scenarios 2008-05-13 Six Top Talent awards 2008-05-13 Egyptian database 2008-05-13 Partner Choice 2008-05-06 Bemoeien met gezin 2008-05-06 Dissecting corpses 2008-05-06 Famine in galilee 2008-04-29 Obesity 2008-04-29 lintjesregen 2008-04-22 self-harm 2008-04-22 Alzheimer 2008-04-22 Photography in India 2008-04-22 How bacterium protects itself 2008-04-22 tumours 2008-04-22 Medieval semantics 2008-04-15 Gehectheid 2008-04-15 Living in the Hospital 2008-04-15 Diabetes 2008-04-15 Smugglers ships 2008-04-15 Korean Film 2008-04-08 warfare rhetoric 2008-04-08 Small business 2008-04-08 Gehechtheid 2008-04-08 European Subsidy legislation 2008-04-08 Brinkhorst oratie 2008-04-01 J Silk Buddhism 2008-04-01 Brinkhorst 2008-04-01 Rubicon 2008-04-01 NWO 2008-04-01 Visible invisible 2008-03-25 Physical complaints of children 2008-03-25 Glass 2008-03-25 Sakkara 2008-03-25 Vaccines 2008-03-18 Sijpesteijn 2008-03-18 Hofman lecture 2008-03-18 prehistoric paardenslagers 2008-03-18 Dying languages 2008-03-11 Distance PhD 2008-03-11 Corpus 2008-03-11 Bankieren 2008-03-11 Ivo Smit 2008-03-11 VOC 2008-03-04 Smoking in pregnancy 2008-03-04 Customary Law 2008-03-04 Good Ears 2008-03-04 Enzymes 2008-02-26 Handicapped Musli 2008-02-26 LIFE 2008-02-26 Crohns 2008-02-19 How can war victims gain redress? 2008-02-19 Painkillers cause chronic headache 2008-02-19 Van Delft 2008-02-19 Ancient DNA research 2008-02-19 Oldest Dutch 2008-02-12 24 hour clock 2008-02-12 Kama Sutra 2008-02-12 Returning refugees a legal right to their homes 2008-02-12 The Plague 2008-02-06 Humanities 2008-02-06 Westenberg 2008-01-29 Babylab 2008-01-29 Bochove 2008-01-29 Japanese Round Table 2008-01-22 De Graaff 2008-01-22 Hormones 2008-01-22 Academic Jaarprij 2008-01-15 Arbeidsrecht 2008-01-14 Duchenne 2008-01-08 Ice Age 2008-01-08 tjerk oosterkamp 2008-01-08 Musket to Nokia 2008-01-08 Kerkvaders Research News Archive 2007 Research News Archive 2006 Research News Archive 2005
       
 
   
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