BioMiMedics

Tuesday, 07 June 2011 15:04

Euregional collaboration as basis for top performance

Cross-border scientific collaboration. It should be a fact of life, certainly here in the Meuse-Rhine Euregion with its high concentration of universities and research institutes. Practitioners have been resistant. But the founding of BioMiMedics is a big step in the right direction, as UM professor and project leader Leo Koole explains.


CAPHRI brings Centre of Research Excellence to Maastricht 

Come up with clever technological solutions and launch these on the market, to ensure that healthcare in the Netherlands remains accessible and affordable. That, put simply, is the task of the Centre for Care Technology Research (CCTR), which was founded late last year. The Maastricht research institute CAPHRI will play a key role in the new centre. According to scientific director Professor Onno van Schayck, this represents nothing less than “a fantastic and tough challenge”.


Towards an artificial vestibular system

In Body
Thursday, 12 May 2011 10:48

Ig Nobel Prize winner Herman Kingma

It sits in our ears. It helps us see clearly when we walk. It’s crucial for our sense of balance, so that we don't fall, and it tells our conscience where we’re in a room. The vestibular system is so fundamental to daily life that people with major vestibular disorders are severely handicapped – to the extent that some decide to end their own lives. For almost 30 years, Maastricht University’s Professor Herman Kingma has sought to improve the diagnostics and treatment of vestibular disorders. One of the top vestibular disorder specialists – or vestibulologists – in the world, he also travels far and wide to share his knowledge. Read on for an interview with the winner of the 2011 Ig Nobel Prize for Physics.


For decades, the Greek island of Crete was renowned as one of the healthiest areas in the world, where cardiovascular diseases or cancer hardly occurred. The ‘Seven Countries Study’, a large-scale international health study in the sixties, showed that the inhabitants of Crete owed their excellent health to their Mediterranean diet. But times have changed and Crete’s golden health has disappeared. Dr. Constantine Vardavas found out why.


The compensating brain

In Mind
Wednesday, 02 June 2010 00:00

Alexander Sack, researcher at the Maastricht Brain Imaging Center (M-BIC) has developed an extraordinary method of brain research: a combination of Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) and imaging via an fMRI scanner. With TMS, Sack can temporarily stimulate and disturb the brain in specific locations. Using the scanner, he can see exactly what happens. Brain manipulation sounds creepy, but I want to experience being a test subject to see what the effects are for myself. It’s okay: there is no damage from the experiment - other than contamination with the virus of scientific enthusiasm. Carrier of the virus: Alexander Sack.


Putting the brakes on arteriosclerosis

In Body
Wednesday, 02 June 2010 00:00

Christian Weber holds the Molecular Cardiology chair at RWTH Aachen University and a professorship at UM’s School for Cardiovascular Diseases (CARIM). He was awarded the Vici grant for his project proposal ‘Putting the brakes on arteriosclerosis’. Arteriosclerosis is caused by an inflammation in the arteries that leads to fatty plaques in the vascular wall. The development of the inflammation is controlled by proteins. So how do these proteins work exactly, and how can they be stopped without creating damaging side effects?


A fair chance for healthy offspring

In Body
Wednesday, 02 June 2010 00:00

Preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) is a method for testing embryos for genetic defects or chromosome abnormalities before they are implanted in the uterus. It is an alternative for prenatal diagnosis and selective termination of pregnancy in couples with a high risk of transmitting an inherited condition, such as Huntington’s disease or cystic fibrosis, to their offspring. PGD helps these couples to decide in a very early stage wether they want to go on with getting offspring, thus avoiding the difficult choice of abortion. The Maastricht University Medical Centre+ (MUMC+) has the only PGD license in The Netherlands. A state-of-the-art by Professor Joep Geraedts, head and Dr. Christine de Die-Smulders, medical coordinator of the Maastricht PGD Centre.


Self-control. This is where it often falls apart for obese people who struggle to lose weight, and then to maintain their new weight. So help is needed, says Anita Jansen, Professor of Eating disorders at the Department of Experimental Clinical Psychology. And not only in the form of dieticians, but more importantly from cognitive behaviour therapists. Wim Saris, Professor of Human nutrition at the Department of Human Biology, takes a different view. ‘Behavioural therapy could play a role but I don’t think we should put all our eggs into that basket’.


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