New insights into the production of antibiotics by bacteria

Bacteria use antibiotics as a weapon and even produce more antibiotics if there are competing strains nearby. This is a fundamental insight that can help find new antibiotics. Leiden scientists Daniel Rozen and Gilles van Wezel published their research results in the authoritative Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA on 28 July 2015.

Graphene supercurrents go ballistic

Scientists at TU Delft and Leiden University have observed supercurrents in graphene that bounce back and forth between the edges of the graphene without scattering along the way.

‘The first quantum computer will fill a sports hall’

The worldwide race to the quantum computer is in full swing . This computer can bring about a breakthrough in discovering medicines and new materials. Leiden researchers, together with the TU Delft, are taking part in the race. There is now a dossier online about their work.  

14 Veni grants awarded to Leiden researchers

Fourteen promising researchers from Leiden University have been given the opportunity to realise their research plans for the coming years thanks to a Veni grant from the NWO. This year, these subsidies have been granted to studies of the influence of noise on the great tit, the conditions necessary for the evolution of life on planets, architecture in Paris and London, itching, and the role receptors play in the growth of cancer, among others.

Research shows protein movement is important

Researchers led by Professor of Chemistry Marcellus Ubbink have recently published a study in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) about the dynamics of an important redox enzyme. This work was accomplished thanks to an NWO VICI subsidy granted to Professor Ubbink.

Drug development: how can we make it more efficient?

It takes years to develop new medicines, from the test tube to trials in humans. During the process it often happens that a drug that seems promising in the initial stage has to be dropped in a later phase. This costs time and money. Leiden University and the LUMC are working closely together to make the process more efficient.

Astronomers make invisible dark matter visible

An international team of astronomers, including Professor Koen Kuijken, has published a series of online articles presenting the first results of a major search for dark matter. Never before have researchers been able to chart so precisely the characteristics of groups of galaxies and their dark matter. The results will appear in different journals over the coming period.

Ionica Smeets Professor of Science Communication at Leiden University

Dr Ionica Smeets, one of the well-known ‘Maths girls’, has been appointed part-time Professor of Science Communication at Leiden University with effect from 1 July. Over the coming five years she will carry out research on science communication, how the subject is taught and how to raise students’ enthusiasm for the subject.

New measuring method facilitates drug research

Leiden chemical biologists led by Dr Mario van der Stelt have developed a method to facilitate the search for new drugs. This method has allowed them to take an important first step in the development of a drug against obesity.

Suing the United Nations: is that possible?

Public international law (often known as the law of nations) is increasingly facing new issues as a result of continued globalization. Can an individual take the United Nations to court? How can states keep basic human rights in mind in international trade agreements? An online dossier has just launched to show how researchers from Leiden contribute to finding answers for these issues.

Historian cracks Queen Juliana’s unstable image in Hofmans affaire

Queen Juliana was not, as is often claimed, a monarch with an unstable character who was completely under the influence of spiritual healer Greet Hofmans. Furthermore, her religious circle of friends was not a sect with a political agenda. That is what Han van Bree concludes on the basis of a new archival study. Dissertation defence on 24 June.

The brain on alert

When focussing attention, the neurotransmitters noradrenaline and acetylcholine play an important role. This new finding made by psychologist Stephen Brown provides clues for further research on how focussed attention comes about. Dissertation defence on 16 June.

A new building block for the quantum computer

The race to build the first quantum computer is still ongoing, but Morten Bakker has made big step forward in that process with qubits. A qubit is a unit of quantum information that can be produced in large numbers on chips. Qubits capable of exchanging photons (light particles) could be used in the future as building blocks for a quantum computer.

Buckling on demand

Researchers from Leiden University, the Netherlands, designed a novel metamaterial that buckles on demand. Small structural variations in the material single out regions that buckle selectively under external stress, whereas other regions remain unchanged. The research is published in this week’s Early Edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

New ‘Virtual Reality’ elective included in PhD research

As part of his PhD research, external PhD candidate Robin de Lange will be teaching an elective entitled Virtual Reality for Science and Education. The course starts in September 2015. The Leiden University Fund and the Gratama Association invested 10,000 euros in the project.

Cellular therapy promising treatment for arteriosclerosis

Vanessa Frodermann, a PhD student at the Biopharmaceutical department of the Leiden Academic Centre for Drug Research, has discovered that arteriosclerosis could be inhibited by cellular therapy. Arteriosclerosis is one of the leading causes of the development of cardiovascular disease. Her PhD defence is scheduled for 27 May 2015.